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For many women in their 30s, the pressure to get married can be intense. Julie says she isn't feeling that pressure as much anymore. "My original goal was to meet a man, have a family just like I grew up in," she says. "But it just doesn't seem to be going that way."

As a single mom, Amy says the pressure comes from people who feel like something must be missing in her life. "People see me as a single mom [as if] that's something wrong. 'Oh, you poor thing. You'll find somebody.' People will do that kind of thing because they don't feel like it's acceptable, or that you can't do it on your own," she says.

DeChane takes a more relaxed approach. "I am prepared to go with the flow as far as children and marriage are concerned," she says. "I was raised in a family where a number of people, even married relatives, have chosen not to have children. So it's never been the expectation that you have to get married, that you have to have children. It's really more being who you are and having a happy life. That's the focus for me."
FROM: Thirty-Something in America
Published on January 25, 2007