If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I got married last November. It was a huge moment for both of us, changing our lives forever.
Here’s the thing … I was in no rush to get married. At 29, I was definitely not a “young bride.” While tons of other women I knew were tying the knot by age 25 (or younger), I kept wondering, “Why make such a permanent commitment to someone at such a young age?”
One could argue that Eric and I have been together since June 2007 and have been living together since March 2011. There was obviously a real commitment there, and it was obviously a serious relationship. But there’s a huge difference between dating (even dating and living together) and being married. And I just wasn’t ready to make that jump a few years ago.
So I have to wonder … What’s the rush? Why do so many women feel like they’ll be alone forever if they don’t get married by the time they hit 25?
I obviously don’t have the answer to these questions. And I also obviously know that not everyone feels that way. I mean, I didn’t. I also have friends who are older than I am and single (and okay with that!). But still … Between the ages of 22 and 27, it seemed as though every time I logged in on Facebook someone else was announcing an engagement (or posting something even more terrifying: a pregnancy announcement). It was constantly in my face. And honestly? I kind of started to worry that something was wrong with me. Why didn’t I want those things for myself? Or (even worse) why didn’t the man I love want those things for us?
I know, I know … Those are exactly the kind of thoughts that make women feel like they’re going to be alone forever if they aren’t married (or at least engaged) by the time they’re in their mid-twenties. And yet there I was, thinking those same things even as I questioned what I really wanted. It was confusing, to say the least.
So why am I writing this? Mostly because I’m hoping that maybe someone will come across this blog and feel like they can relate. Because let me tell you something … I wish I had come across something like this when I was having all of those mixed feelings and crazy thoughts. I wish I’d known someone who could say, “Your relationship is your own. Stop comparing it to everyone else’s. That never leads to anything but jealousy and heartache.” I also wish I’d realized when I was much younger and single (before I even knew Eric existed) that it’s okay to be alone. Being single isn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t mean you’re ugly or stupid or a bitch. It means you just haven’t found the right guy. No big deal … He’ll come along when you least expect it.
So here’s my advice to any woman worrying because she hasn’t found “the one”:
Until you find the perfect person for you, enjoy dating. Enjoy your friends and family. Enjoy learning about who you are and what you want. Enjoy living your life doing the things you love to do.
It’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out by the time you decide you might be ready to settle down. But trust me … You actually need to (at least mostly) figure out who you really are and what you really want before you jump into a lifetime commitment with someone else.
Just remember, not everyone has their shit together by the time they’re 25. (I certainly didn’t.) That’s okay. You’ll figure it out eventually.