You can remember the day you bought it: Your perfect skirt — slender at the waist, a light caress at your hips, the perfect flow that extends just above the tip of your knees. And then one day, you slip on that perfect skirt only to discover that the elastic has stretched, the waistband is now double your size.

How did that happen? Did your 300-pound, cross-dressing neighbor raid your closet? Not likely. Elastic becomes brittle over time. The internal fibers break as they age. It’s a phenomenon called molecular degeneration.

We’re not immune to the process. We’re victims of molecular degeneration too. Over time, our elasticity wears out. Where once we were resilient, now we are brittle and frail. Where once we bounced back, now we lie around like deformed rubber bands. And I’m not talking about collagen…although obviously that wears out too. (Thankfully they have injections.) I’m talking about our emotional elasticity…our hearts.

When I was younger, I never spent more than three weeks single. A knight in shining armor was always there to anoint me his princess. I was not particularly picky. I dated cokeheads, potheads, probably some methheads…as long as they were hot and fun, I didn’t really discriminate.

Marriage was not on my mind, but it was also not NOT on my mind. I’ve always wanted to be married. But when I was younger, it was a matter of course. Meaning…of course I would get married some day.

I watch my very young girlfriends date. They date A LOT. They are ALWAYS dating. I watch my older girlfriends — the ones who have never been married (divorcees are a whole other phenomenon). These never-been-married older women don’t date so much. Very rarely.

There are many hypotheses:

1.) The younger girls get more action because they are hotter.

Mmmmm…no. I can bust that myth. My older girlfriends can fry chicken on their abs and melt butter with their smiles. Their bodies are hot and their minds are even hotter. I once dressed my early-twenties friend and my early-forties friend in thongs and made them stand side by side. My older friend’s ass won hands down.

2.) The younger girls translate to more time and less pressure.

This is true. When dating a younger girl the man has more time to fuck around…figure his life out. And when he gets it together and realizes he doesn’t want that girl anymore, he hasn’t stolen away years that she can’t get back. She has many more years to freely putter away on another lost boy. (If you are in your early twenties and reading this please DO NOT putter away your years. 30 is not the new 20 and it will sneak up on you and kick you in the ass and you will freak because you have figured none of your shit out.)

But both these theories are based on the decisions and needs of men, as if they were the ones steering the dating ship. These theories are flawed at the core because the decision not to date belongs entirely to the woman.

Older women don’t date as much not because they are wallflowers. Older women don’t date as much because they only have so much elasticity left…and hopefully they are using it wisely. They don’t have any more room for Mr. Right Now. Granted, they go through phases. They may decide to bang a guy in his beat up Buick or date a lost boy for a few weeks, but ultimately they get bored, feel empty and re-enter the land of celibacy. They focus on themselves instead. They are, in effect, saving themselves for marriage…or at the very least for long-lasting companionship.

I realize, even though I don’t fall into the “older woman” category…at least not yet…that I, too, am saving myself for marriage. If I can’t see myself possibly spending the rest of my life with someone, then I don’t date him. It’s a waste of my time. I would rather blog. I would rather pine after the Beast on CW’s Beauty and the Beast. I would rather do a show, film a commercial, volunteer at an animal shelter than go on a date with someone who will never be my mate. And that makes me wonder, why? Why in the world do I want to get married?

Is it because that’s what’s been ingrained in me? No! I really, really want to be married, and not because society gives the green light. I want to be married because I want to be claimed. I want to belong to someone. Before my elastic wears out.

I’ve toyed with the idea of letting go of the desire for marriage. Cuddling up to a life of multiple lovers. Not one who has to satisfy for a lifetime, but many that can satisfy for months or years at a time. People who’ve tried on — and eventually outgrown — marriage may say it’s overrated — that the single life, or a series of monogamous relationships, is the way to go. These words of caution fall on deaf ears when a girl has her heart set on walking down the aisle or getting hitched at City Hall. We will have to validate the truth of these claims firsthand before we buy into them. Living a life full of ones versus my just one would feel like a lie…for me at least. To make it work I would have to replace my elastic with something more lasting…plastic, metal, silicone. But until my elastic finally goes kaput, I’m going to keep stretching. Hopefully, someone catches me before my band completely breaks.

And to all you older women out there who have never been married…just so you know…you’re doing good. Studies have shown that the most successful marriages are the ones between people older than 35. In fact, wait until you’re in your fifties and you’re pretty much guaranteed a long-lasting, divorce-free marriage. So give yourself a bit more time. I’m certain you have plenty of elasticity left.

Written by Amy
I am a film, TV and voiceover actress and a fiction and nonfiction writer. You've seen and heard me on television, movies, radio ads and video games. I'm the author of 5 books and counting, and my award-winning short stories have been featured in acclaimed literary journals.

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