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Not too long ago one of my friends was married. Recently I learned that another is engaged. I'm nineteen years old, yet I feel the pressure to 'get a guy' and get married, too. Is there some sort of psychological reason for this? As much as I want to assert myself as a happy individual I sometimes feel, well, sad and lonely being a single gal. Do you have any advice?

Thanks a lot.


Dear Natalie,

I am a big believer in defying the myth that marriage and togetherness equals happiness and being single equals sadness. I know just as many people who are single and happy as those who are married and sad. Most of this comes back to the person and his/her personality. There is a big distinction between being unmarried and being single. You can have an equally committed relationship without marriage as you can with it. That bond should exist regardless of the church or the state sanctifying your relationship.

Also, I don't want to sound like an old person, but you are 19 -- I have friends who were married at 26 and they thought that was too young. If you find someone great, the focus should be on your personal happiness, not on conforming to other people's narrow definition of happiness.

- Amy


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