“Happily ever after” only exists in fairy tales.

It doesn’t take long for most adults to realize that the expectations they formed during childhood of fairy tale-like romantic lives were just that – fairy tales. Plenty of people don’t find the relationship they want until much later in life than they expected, if at all. Divorces happen, and are usually ugly and devastating. And every long-term relationship and marriage involves work and compromise.

Yet, the media we consume every day continues to feed us this narrative that without the perfect relationship and family, our lives are incomplete – even as reality continues to show us that not only is that goal difficult to achieve, it’s mostly out of our control. Thanks to the comparison culture created by social media, it’s easy for people who aren’t posting updates about engagement rings, weddings, ultrasounds and kids (mostly women) to feel left out and inadequate. In entertainment news, stories of engagements and pregnancies are always celebrated, while coverage of breakups and singles pushing 40 (again, mostly women) comes across as pitiful and shaming. Even small talk between strangers commonly and inappropriately turns to marriage and kids (believe it or not, I was recently grilled by a dental hygienist about whether or not I was married in our first meeting!)

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to CUTimes.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited CUTimes.com content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical CUTimes.com information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including Law.com and GlobeSt.com.

Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.

More from this author


Credit Union Times

Join Credit Union Times

Don’t miss crucial strategic and tactical information necessary to run your institution and better serve your members. Join Credit Union Times now!

  • Free unlimited access to Credit Union Times' trusted and independent team of experts for extensive industry news, conference coverage, people features, statistical analysis, and regulation and technology updates.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Credit Union Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including TreasuryandRisk.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join Credit Union Times

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.