Marriage is not the solution because singleness is not a problem. They are both good.
Ah, okay. Now that I have that lovely thesis statement, the rest of this post may or may not have anything to do with it. You see, I was writing a novel (don't worry, I still am). I wanted it to be a romance. I haven't written romance stories before (though I do like the subplot option sometimes) but my best friend writes romance, I like romances, and I thought I'd give it a try.
Welp, I tried. Moving on.
No, really, I did try. I had my characters semi-solid in my mind, my setting basically figured out, and a fair bit of the backstory in my head. But probably about five or seven thousand words into it, I realized that my leading man would never choose the leading lady over his fiancée if the two women were side by side. Even though the direct comparison is impossible in the story, it wouldn't be very satisfying to anyone (the characters, myself, and most importantly readers) if my leading lady was a second best.
And so, the romance died. My book turned on its head, and I was left trying to patch together a plot that works and satisfies. But, never fear (not that you would, and that's okay), that is happening. I am far far far behind where I wished to be, but that is also in the works.
So I guess the whole couples/marriage/single thing has been in my mind for a while. Concentrated, that is, on my story. Now, I want my leading lady, the main protagonist, to be satisfied and happy even with being single. But, I confess, it was pretty hard to figure out how to do that for my character when I couldn't do it for myself.
Thus the thesis. (Hey, I am tying this together!) Singleness is not a problem to be solved because it's not a problem. Singleness and marriage are both good things in their own time. It's just something that I've come to realize recently, largely due to a friend sharing this. I think my life had been leading up to hearing that for...oh, say...eh, we'll call it six or seven months. Let's not think about it too hard; just recognize that it's been a process.
Now, I am freed of the worries, fears, and even aimless hopes that I personally have had for years. I have never been more excited to be single. Maybe I won't be single for my whole life...and maybe I will. But now I understand that singleness is not a problem. It is a good thing to be enjoyed and used to its fullest.
Now I think I can give my character the same appreciation.