Successful Women In Their 20s, 30s and 40s Explain Why Marriage Isn’t On Their Radar

These 10 women open up about why marriage just isn’t on their radar right now and prove that their Black Girl Magic doesn’t require a cosign from a man.

Ni'Kesia Pannell Jul, 11, 2016

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Occupation: Media Manager for Travel Company and FitHair Expert - “There is a lot more to life than just marriage. I learned early on in life that marriage does not equal happiness. Being unhappy with yourself is one issue, but being unhappy and in an unhappy marriage is even worse.  Not focusing on marriage allows me to invest in myself, career, and choose my path in life. I have found more enjoyment in my life, defined who I am and cherish the creation of memories with others and the blissful moments of solitude.”

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Job: Marketing Content Specialist – “I am a black, 23-year-old-female who is in a 2 year committed relationship. Though I am still young, I feel the constant pressures of getting married soon as many of my peers are engaged, married or have children. I am at a pivotal point in my life. I just graduated from college and am attending graduate school in the fall, while working full time. I absolutely love my job and work environment, and I am not looking to get married anytime in the near future.  Actually, the thought scares me a tad. My boyfriend and I are on the same page. We both are extremely goal oriented and have a list of career and financial goals that we aim to check off before even considering an engagement. Living in a marriage obsessed culture can be tough, but a wedding is not on my mind, period.”

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Job: Editor + Digital Content Manager – “In my teens and early 20s, I developed a bad habit of doing ‘wife like’ things for temporary boyfriends, thus burning me out years later. I’ve found myself so entangled in being someone else’s everything that when things became undone, I was shredded and broken. My sense of self was lost, and though rewarding, the road back to myself hasn’t been easy. Like many millennial women, I fight for self-identity, self-love and self-care every single day. Now in my late 20s, I’m not sure that I’m ready for marriage. I haven’t completely given up on the thought of marriage, but I don’t take it lightly, nor do I obsess over it like I did 6 years ago. In that time, I’ve hit emotional rock bottoms only to realize the things I’m passionate about: creative writing, art, community, and cultivating relationships with women like me. My ambition is poppin’ and I’m learning, unfortunately, that some men choose to find that offensive. Now that I’m becoming certain on who I am, it is often too much or not enough for the lagging dating pool that I’ve almost drowned in. Am I supposed to dial it back or tone down to find real love? I don’t think (or hope) so.My focus is set on being the best version of myself and slaying career + life goals and for the first time ever, I won’t apologize for that.”

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Job: Blogger - Most young girls grow up fantasizing about their wedding day: the flowers, the venue, the man and of course, the dress.  In my case, my fantasies involved: test tubes, a sterile lab, and of course a crisp white lab coat. I simply have never desired that level of companionship and commitment with the opposite sex. Though my career aspirations have changed as I've grown into womanhood, my lack of desire for marriage has remained consistent. I love waking up each morning with my only commitment being to the Lord and myself. Traveling whenever the feeling strikes me to wherever I wish for as long as I wish doing what I wish.

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Job: “Writing Coach & Blogger - For me – a single 32-year-old with a five-year-old – I definitely want to be married one day. However, I'm not totally pressured right now as I recently got out of a relationship and focused on my son and me. What takes a lot of my time is also the focus on building my business and getting it to where I want to be so that I can leave my 9 to 5. So marriage isn't really on my mind at the moment. Also, I've witnessed so many people that I know go through a divorce and I want to make sure that I take my time in the right person finding me, so that it will be a marriage that will last a lifetime, not a season.”

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Job: Business Development Manager at Groupon, Inc.; Owner of BrunchOnABudget.com - “I am a 43-year-old, independent woman, and do not want to share myself with a man in terms of marriage. I’m divorced – was married for eight years over five years ago – and I am done with the marriage institution. Marriage kept me in a bad relationship longer than I would have been. My ex-husband made the most money, so he called all the shots. And, I lived in a city that I never wanted to live in.  I want full control of my life.”

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Job: Celebrity Stylist - “I believe marriage is not for me right now because I have to build a foundation first. After being dumped and left being a single mother at 19, I took a vow that my focus will be my career and making myself financially stable. So many women make the mistake of jumping into a relationship and not having anything to offer. To me, a commitment as vast as marriage means we both have to equally bring substance to the table; not one partner bringing the entire table. So until there is a healthy balance, I've just decided to stay focused. My career will never wake up and decide it doesn't love me anymore or it isn't ready for commitment.”

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Job: Author & Psychotherapist – “As a divorced mother of two teen sons, although I am currently dating, my focus is no longer on marriage, but being in a healthy relationship.”

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Job: Founder and Lead Editor of Pryce Editing and Proofreading Services – “Marriage is not all that appealing to me at this point in my life. And besides, my insane amount of self-respect and extremely high standards, my professional trajectory has proven a better, and more viable priority right now. There may come a time when I am ready to "settle down" (as defined by, have a permanent roommate, become a mother, raise children, etc.), but right now I am not interested. What specifically am I not interested in? I am not interested in considering another person before I apply for a professional opportunity, such as a Fellowship abroad. I am not interested in considering another person when I am asked to come speak at an international conference in Korea. I am not interested in being vulnerable right now. I am not interested in getting pregnant or being pressured to start a family. I am not interested in downplaying my accomplishments in order to nurture patriarchy or male ego. I am sure many people would read the above as, “I am too selfish to….” – But I disagree. Marriage should never be taken lightly. And I take it very seriously and believe it deserves time, commitment and investment. All of which I am not willing to give right now.”

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Job: Actress - “I got engaged at 17, but that marriage never came to fruition (in hindsight, this was a blessing).  In my mid-20’s I realized that I knew a lot of unmarried women and they (well most of them) weren’t man-haters, they weren’t “unattractive”, nor were they lesbians – which is the narrative that often follows women of a certain age who have never been married.  To me, they seemed happier and more fulfilled than most of the married women that I knew, so I began to take a close look at my “desire” to get married. That examination led me to the realization that I never actually WANTED to get married, it was just something that I felt like I was supposed to do.  A rite of passage into TRUE adulthood.  The natural progression of a SERIOUS romantic relationship. And since I live in a country where I have a choice, I chose to opt out.  I didn’t opt out of love or out of serious romantic relationships or even being “the belle of the ball” from time to time - I opted out of the tradition that qualifies the union of two people by fluffy white dresses, big pretty rocks, and pieces of paper.”

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