Shed the "Shoulds"
A Woman Shares Why She Decided to Stay Single
- Blasius Erlinger/Getty Images
There's no denying that we live in a world of preconceived ideals. We judge ourselves and others based on who we are and how we think people should live on a daily basis. But when we challenge those deep-seated assumptions—or are forced to face them—it's often surprising the amount of happiness and purpose we can find. Read on to learn how Eleanore Wells of TheSpinsterliciousLife.com, one of four women we're highlighting for challenging norms, decided to "say yes to staying single."
Wells' story: A few years ago, when I was in my late 40s, a good friend playfully called me an Old Maid. She and I both speak a little Spanish, and we occasionally leave phone messages for each other using what we hope will someday be our second language. So I identified myself as Señorita Wells, and she pointed out that I was too old to be a señorita. She explained that señorita, like mademoiselle and miss, is used to refer to a young unmarried woman. That really made me think. What do you call a fascinating, charming middle-aged woman who has never had a husband or children? There isn't a word to describe us.
I've known all my life that marriage was not for me. I was never that girl who dreamed about her wedding long before she knew who the groom would be. I'm not anti-marriage but, to me, being married is not a better life—it's just a different one.
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