Couples at a party, Micha Krakowiak, Getty Images // Couples at a party, Micha Krakowiak, Getty Images (Couples at a party, Micha Krakowiak, Getty Images)
Thus, if a woman in a couple thinks it would be very hard to leave her relationship, she’s more likely to think that people in long-term romantic relationships have more meaningful and fulfilling lives. That’s right, your coupled-up friends all think your life is sad, sad, sad, you poor single thing.

But before my fellow single girls get all huffy, let’s look at the other side of this whole “normative idealization” thing. The reverse is that a single woman who feels like it would be more difficult to enter a relationship is more likely to think that people would prefer to be independent but feel pressured to enter relationships. That’s right, you think all your couple friends are just bowing to societal pressure and are secretly miserable.

Rude, everybody! OK, we’re not really so bad as that, I hope. But basically, the reality is that we all employ defense mechanisms to validate our own lifestyle, especially if we feel like our lifestyle wouldn’t be easy to change. It’s understandable to want to feel validated by your own choices, but it’s a good idea for us all to keep in mind that we don’t have to tear down others to feel good about our own lives. Let’s all agree to want the best for one another but acknowledge that one particular way of life doesn’t have to be the right one for all of us.


Something to remember when we find ourselves comparing lives.  

(My favorite comment left by a reader of the article:  If single life is so bad and miserable, then how come Jesus was single?  Now, how do you argue with that??)