Dear Steve and Lynelle,

I am a single 25-year-old woman. I have a good job, a nice apartment and am at the point in my life I feel I may be able to buy my own house in the next few months. My problem? Every time I go out with my friends or go to family functions, all I hear is, “Have you met someone yet?” I’m getting sick of explaining that I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. I am currently dating, but am not seriously involved. I don’t like to even mention I am seeing someone because my friends and family will ask to meet them and then drive them away with talk of marriage and commitment. I am happy and I don’t understand why other people don’t believe me. How do I make my friends and family realize I don’t need to be in a relationship to feel complete?

Steve: I could write a book about this. You just have to be firm to these busybodies that marriage is not for you at this point in your life. This is such a personal decision, and has such a lasting impact on your life, that rushing into a marriage to placate the harpies would be a big mistake.

Admittedly, a century ago you’d be an old maid at 25, but women didn’t have the opportunities they have now in the world of work. There is much more mobility available and that means an endless procession of new people to meet. I would encourage to keep doing what you’re doing. It seems to be a good fit for you if you’re happy.

To the people who keep pushing marriage on you, politely tell them to butt out no matter who they are. If you find someone and see marriage down the road, fine. But don’t be in any hurry. What you might get into could be a serious jolt to a woman who enjoys making her own decisions. But that’s another column.

Lynelle: I completely agree with Steve. As a single 24-year-old woman I can relate. Although it’s not constant pressure, when I would show up without a man to family functions, like you, I was often questioned and it even got to the point that I would have to think through witty answers beforehand to prepare. When I did come with a man on my arm I was constantly bombarded with questions of when we would be married.

No matter how much pressure your family and friends put on you, you have to remember to stay in line with what’s best for you. Don’t let them make you start questioning your own happiness. You are young, single and this is a perfect time to date around and really just have fun. Eventually you will meet the right guy and want to settle into marriage, but don’t rush.

Ultimately, you are lucky to have friends and family who care about you, but like Steve said, I would politely tell them to mind their own business.

I believe a good relationship comes from two healthy people who are first of all happy with their own lives and secondly comfortable alone. A mate should enhance your life, not be the source of all your happiness. It sounds as though you are well-balanced and taking your time to find the right person. If more people would take their time and really think before getting married, maybe our divorce rate wouldn’t be so high.

Steve and Lynelle want to give you advice! They are always looking for good questions to answer, so pass on your drama, dating disasters, relationship woes and any problems that come your way. Write to them at or send a letter to them at 1133 Jackson St., Anderson, IN 46016. Too frustrated to write? Call Steve at (765) 640-4863 or Lynelle at (765) 640-4847. Advice columnists Steve Dick and Lynelle Miller bring unique perspectives to your problems each Tuesday. Steve, 53, is married with a son and lives in Muncie. Lynelle, 24, is living the single life in Anderson.

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