Single and Loving It…or Am I: Recognizing Personal Pressures (Part 1 of 3)

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I would like to begin by welcoming you to my blog. My name is Charles Jackson, and I am a 26 year-old native of Montgomery, Alabama. I am currently working at Auburn University as a public relations coordinator for the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative, which is a public awareness and education program through the College of Human Sciences.

This entry is the first of a three part series that will focus on the importance of being single and loving it. Please do not mistake me to be a young, lustful man that is just interested in sowing my oats. I know this may seem a little odd coming from someone employed by a marriage initiative. However, the goals of the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative are not to push marriage upon anyone, nor is it to encourage anyone to remain in unhealthy situations. We are driven to promote healthy marriages while providing the education and resources to married couples, those considering marriage, and singles. We know that by doing this, we can strengthen our children, families, and communities. I am sure you will understand the relevance of “being single and loving it” if you stay tuned. So relax and enjoy the show. I look forward to your shared comments, and I hope you will continue to be a reader of my blog. Please understand that I am indeed a man, and I am writing from a male perspective. However, I always try to look at things objectively while also standing upon healthy marriage research.

Twenty-Something…also known as the Quarter Life Crisis. This is the time that many young adults are graduating college and finding themselves pressured to find a job. However, this is not the only pressure that they are experiencing. This is also the time that we begin to become overwhelmed by the personal and societal pressures to get married.

Throughout our lives, we tend to build timelines, and as we mature and age we become stressed with the reality of the approaching deadlines that we committed ourselves to. For women, it seems as if it is the looming ticks of the “biological clock” and a desire to be a mother that drives their race to the altar. Unfortunately, in the midst of this mad dash, they frequently settle for their first encounters while ignoring the warning signs that are SCREAMING at them. With the reality of this misfortune, some women find themselves blinded by impatience and eventually unhappy, contemplating divorce, or living with regrets. Contrary to popular belief, men also experience personal pressure to get married. As we enter into our careers, we tend to realize that it is difficult being single. After a long day at work, men desire that pat on their backs and that special person to share their thoughts with. We also enjoy an occasional stroke of the ego, and although we do not want to admit it, we reach our sexual peak prior to women. Whether by internal instinct, something we’re taught, or both, men desire to be providers and protectors. It makes us feel more like men, and it is important to feel like a “manly man.”

Together we can pressure one another. Thinking that it will be great to have “the ring” prior to our high school reunions, we tend to rush into marriages as we continuously attend the wedding of our friends and classmates. While the numbers of our friends that are single begin to diminish, we become anxious without adequately preparing ourselves. Thus, we find it difficult to love someone else because we have not figured out how to love ourselves. If you are single and unhappy, you will likely be married and unhappy. Ironically, recent research shows that divorces within 10 years of marriage are lowest among couples who entered a first-time marriage after the age of 25. So the next time someone asks, “What are you waiting on?” Simply, tell them that you are waiting on your opportunity for stability while not jumping into an irrational situation.

I like to look at transitioning from being single to married as a journey. While you are on the trip, you should take time to get to know you fellow travelers, their interests, and beliefs. Once you make it to your destination, things change. You have to be focused on the business of combining two lives, adjusting budgets, and meeting deadlines while balancing work and play. What will make this trip enjoyable is how well you got to know the other travelers and the one you choose to spend your time with.

Society does not make being single very easy. Part two will address societal pressures and measures of success, so please stay tuned for the next entry. Until then, please ponder these thoughts and feel free to comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

Charles Jackson, Public Relations Coordinator

Auburn University, Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

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8 Responses to “Single and Loving It…or Am I: Recognizing Personal Pressures (Part 1 of 3)”

  1. Roselyn Furlow Says:

    You made some pretty interesting points in your blog. I am anticipating reading the other parts. I will reserve my comments until after I have read the whole series.

  2. Precious Ramsey Says:

    Great blog…I think I may have learned a thing or two.

  3. Kim Says:

    I agree with the other two respondents. This is a great blog. Now that I am 24 I am seeing that alot of my friends are getting married. I have been in 3 weddings, and I am attending one at the beginning of next year. Can you say “27 dresses.” I joke about it but I have no desire to get married anytime soon. I can say that I am happy with my current partner, and I am in a healthy relationship. Everyday we are learning something new about each other.

  4. april Says:

    The pressure is definitely on in your mid to twenties and above to get married. But, you made a great point when you said unhappy singles create unhappy marriages. Happiness is a choice that you make and you have to define it for yourself, No one else can do it for you. When you put those unrealistic expectations on your partner, you set your relationship up for failure.

  5. P. Haulk Says:

    Did I talk to u yesterday???

    WOW!!!

  6. Single and Loving It: Taking Care of Me (Part 2 of 3) « What’s Happening at ACHMI Says:

    […] the journey of being single. A few of you may have just noticed that this is the second part of a blog that I posted earlier this year. If you have yet to read it, please feel free to follow the […]

  7. 北京EMS Says:

    great advice and sharing,I will buy one this elegant shirt for me .thanks

  8. Dacia Housley Says:

    Wow, I am so thankful I came across this, because in the beginning of my wedding it provides me with so many details in order to organise my occasion!

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