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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karin Anderson Abrell

National Unmarried & Single Americans Week: Yes, It’s a Thing and Yes, We Need it

(Me, Tricia, and Lisa not settling.)

It’s better to eat stale bread alone than to eat steak with a miserable man.

~ Lisa’s grandmother, Mimi Antonucci.

Happy National Unmarried and Single Americans Week! You’ve probably never heard of it but yes, it’s a thing.

I posted a video about it on Facebook and one friend commented, “There’s a week to celebrate 52% of the population?” He’s got a point—current census data show that unmarried adults are in the majority. But nevertheless, there’s still a stigma to being single.

Which is why, I suppose, singles sometimes cave in to the pressure to couple up. They figure it’s better to be with someone than no one. So they settle.

I’m not a fan of settling.

Just today I met a woman at the dog park. We started talking about our professions and when I shared about my book and brand, she jumped in with, “My sister admitted before she got married that she wasn’t in love with her fiancé. But she assured me that since he was an okay guy she’d learn to love him eventually. Seventeen unhappy years later, she’s divorced."

It’s better to eat stale bread alone than to eat steak with a miserable man.

On her wedding day, my friend, Cindy, remembers having just one thought as her father walked her down the aisle. She desperately wished he’d turn to her and say, “You know, you don’t have to go through with this. We can hop in that limo and take off.” But her dad didn’t know she needed that option. So she kept walking and vowed to love, honor, and obey an angry, unmotivated man. Four years later, she filed for divorce.

It’s better to eat stale bread alone than to eat steak with a miserable man.

At age 34, I called off my engagement two months before the wedding. My fiancé wasn’t a miserable man; he just wasn’t my man. I decided I’d rather remain single—maybe forever—than live a lie for the next 60 years.

So yeah, I think we do need a week to celebrate unmarried Americans. Maybe if we highlight the perks of flying solo and praise singles for having the strength to go it alone, fewer of us will settle for steak with the wrong partner and recognize the beauty of a table for one—even if the bread’s a little stale. Mimi would be proud.

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