Being married doesn’t make you more legit than being single anywhere else in the world besides government.

The ceremony of a white dress,exchanging vows, and family gathered around will endure as a capstone in the evolution of our lives. However, some of us who have not yet had the experience of getting and being married feel like we are failing at life.

I’m going to out myself on this one and say that having made it to 38 years old without children, student loan debt, or a husband feels like both an accomplishment and like a failure. I’m like a virgin in the dating market, but I’ve been touched many, many times. Yet, no one has ever stuck around long enough to take the long walk down the aisle.

And I know I’m not alone. In fact, I’m guessing that there are a few other relationship therapists out there giving advice to couples about how to have a healthy relationship who have also never been married. We teach what we need to learn; each with our unique perspective.

So, to the point of married people getting tax breaks and access in hospitals, legislation is slow moving and oftentimes antiquated. Thanks to “The Gays” some structures have changed when it comes to permissions partners are given. But, I’m not a lawmaker and I don’t know much about that world. But, what I do know is the often devastating impact mental isolation can have on individuals who buy into the notion that they are less-than because they are single.

Don’t get me wrong, being single is isolating. The lone-wolves of this world have found a way to diminish feelings of discomfort by being hyper-independent. And as a recovering lone-wolf I will say, the hurt is still there.

Sleeping alone is great when it’s a rare occasion. But, when a whole decade goes by of sporadically sharing a bed with quasi-boyfriends and poor excuses for a lay, you just want to lay down and die. Eating out because it’s easier than cooking for yourself can be parlayed into the whimsical hobbie of being a “Foodie”. But, when you can’t work of the extra pounds or pay off the credit card bill from always going out as not just a source of sustenance but to curb loneliness, it can feel like living in an abyss. Interacting with artificial intelligence on dating sights to try to match you with someone with actual intelligence can make masturbation seem like the only smart thing to do.

There a lot of things we can do to distract ourselves from the terror “Dying alone.” Some people even beat death to the punch and become nihilists, goths, or republicans. Even democrats band together to try and make meaning of this life. But, government and political parties aside, what is it about being single that feel like shit?

Let’s just take a moment and have a collective sigh around the fact that even though there are good things about being single, it still feels like shit. I don’t want to be single. I want to have a partner that helps me grow our dreams. I want to give up the hunt for sex and just have sex with the person I like a lot. I want to go do things with someone who I trust and who makes me laugh. And while all directions point to self-love and being the person you want to be with, I have spent years cultivating better versions with me only to end up with me. It feels like shit.

You know why? Because every day we wake up to a rejecting world that delivers the message, you are special but not that special. Just think about the name of the industry that has supplanted organized religion as the bastion of salvation–self-help. It is organized around entropy. We are trained to reject ourselves and save ourselves at the same time.

We need relationships and we need to know, in a world of 8-billion people, how to have a successful and sustainable life-long relationship with a partner. In my years on this earth, I have learned a simple truth: When you ask for an outcome you get a process first. For the majority of inhabitants on this earth participating in a peaceful and healthy relationship is possible. But, it won’t happen for everyone in the same decade, at the same stage of life, contingent on the same socioeconomic status or geographic placement.

Some people will find the love of their life at 50 after three divorces and recovering from a drug addiction. Other people will get married out of high-school and die together never knowing what sex with another human felt like. A lot of us will have two or three significant relationships but spend most of our life being single. Those of us with pets may find that relationship more gratifying than with humans. Then there are the deviants whose function on this earth is to murder, rape, and terrorize. There are all different dimensions of relationship ranging from the emotionally sound to the pathologically mentally ill.

The mechanics of relationship most often displayed on in our culture are a mix of mental disorders and sensationalized drama. “Cut a bitch” is an actual phrase people use to express themselves when they feel their needs are going unmet.

There will be a level of life we settle in at and occupy for the majority of our lives. We can continue to change and grow if doing so is a priority. The only advice I can give to anyone is to take care of what is in front of you. If you reach a point in your life where you feel unsatisfied or even just disgusted by how things have been, then invest your time into making thing how you wish them to be. But, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. It won’t get you anywhere but upset, angry, and depressed.

Being single and being married both have their moments of bliss. But, if you compare one to the other both can feel like shit. So, as the saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” Assess where you are, examine the choices that got you there, and if you want something different then find the person or system that can help create that for you by education on how. Learning soothes the ache of comparison and that’s legit!