Thu, 03 May 2012 08:40:18 GMT — COLUMBIA (WACH) - Fewer and fewer Americans are tying the knot. In 1982, 44 percent of women were in their first marriage. In 2010 the percent dropped to 36. So where are the wedding bells? "It's something so much more than, 'I'm in love with you, let's get married,'" says Christen Tasevski. Tasevski is one of the nearly 40 percent of women who haven't said "I do." Christen is in her late 20's and has never been married. "This is a decision that will change your life. It can make you or break you," says Tasevski. "And that's why I take it seriously because I don't want to get married and then have it break me." And she's not alone. Angie Labord's story is a bit different. She had the ring and the man, but the timing was all wrong. "I mean I love myself a lot and I love this person, but I love myself a lot more, let's just be honest," Labord laughs. "And when I'm looking down and I'm thinking this could forfeit my future, or at least throw me off track a little bit given the situation... It was just something that was not going to be healthy for me at all." According to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics , the highest percentage of women who have never married was among blacks (55%), followed by U.S.-born hispanics (49%), Asian-Americans (39%) and whites (34%). Laborde says she's not surprised. "Not really, no. I think other races are more open to dating outside of their race," she says. Whether it's catching the latest flick, or even taking a walk in the park, single women say times have changed and they're finding they don't have to have a husband to have a life. "You know, in the 60s that was it. You knew when they were 21, 22, they got married and that was it, that was your career," says Tasevski. "You didn't go out and do all these other things. But I think now we go we get our career, we get our friends and we have family. I have a fantastic support staff. So a marriage is adding to my life; it is not my life." Labord says, "I'm just kind of enjoying where I am and just being able to be free and just live life."
And she's living that life whether the wedding bells are ringing or not.