So many in the U.S. (Gutsy Broads included) are celebrating universal freedom to marry, but I’d also like to take a moment to celebrate its inverse: the freedom NOT to marry.

Take Erin Auerbach, for example. Unmarried at 42, Auerbach is enjoying the hell out of her life.

I love Auerbach’s honest account of what being over 40 and single is like — both the bad and the (mostly) good. She struggles with uncertainty and occasional loneliness — who doesn’t? — but she revels in her freedom and the confidence that comes with maturity:

“So turning 40 gave me a magical gift. The number of f***s I give about what anyone thinks of me has dramatically dropped — as the number of candles on my birthday cake has risen.”

Damn straight. The traditional script for women calls for marriage, kids and a sensible career path. Gutsy Broads don’t follow that script (if it doesn’t suit them). They write their own.

For giggles and inspiration, I put together a slideshow (you can take the broad out of digital journalism, but you can’t take the digital journalism out of the broad) of notable women who never married. Behold!

Love won yesterday, but I’d say more broadly that we’ve expanded the meaning of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in my country — and to me that’s a beautiful thing.

Good Housekeeping is among the Hearst publications participating in a new contributor program (full disclosure: the guy in charge of it is a friend of Gutsy Broads and one of the smartest and coolest people I’ve ever worked with). Auerbach is a promising new voice there, and I can’t wait to read more from her. And Amy Feinstein. And Jill Valentino.

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