Last weekend was incredible. I spent Saturday celebrating one of my favorite couples at their wedding in Richmond. I really needed a break from the work/school grind and it was a great opportunity to see my close friends from college and let loose a little. The drive home in the morning had me thinking a lot about the weddings I have coming up in the next year and the relationships in my life (you know-just general car ride musings).
I’ve hit that age where all my friends start coupling off and freaking out about getting married but I don’t get it. I’m obviously very happy for my friends who have found great relationships but on the other hand, I also know a few people who have gotten divorced already and I’ve watched how heart-wrenching and emotionally exhausting that is.
I also know several people who are getting married because they feel like its expected of them and I just don’t understand why. I can definitely see that a lot of people feel pressure from their families to settle down but I don’t understand why we put that pressure on our loved ones in the first place. I stumbled upon this article recently and I thought it was really cool how this woman threw herself a wedding because she doesn’t plan to get married and she wanted to celebrate her commitment to her loved ones (and celebrate own life and her accomplishments).
While I would love to get married one day, I’m left wondering about why there’s this huge rush or timeline. Isn’t marriage supposed to be about your actual relationship, not just all of the life milestones? Shouldn’t it center around the fact that you’ve found someone you want to completely intertwine your life with? I know this isn’t a new phenomenon but because I’m getting to the point where all my friends are coupling off I’m noticing it more. I’ve found that a lot of people my age are staying in relationships because they’re afraid to be alone even though they may not be compatible with their significant other and that’s what really makes me sad.
As someone who has spent most of her life single, I see things from a totally different perspective. I love being in a relationship and sharing my life with someone but I also don’t think that there should be any fear or pressure to move things along before the time is right. I understand the feeling of wanting companionship but its so important not to lose sight of yourself first. The first criteria when you start to date someone shouldn’t be “how soon will we start a family together?”
I noticed this recently in my own life. I found a totally incredible person that I enjoyed spending time with and really felt a connection with. However, both of our lives are crazy at the moment and I honestly just can’t imagine trying to get to know someone while also working nightshifts, starting graduate school, and trying to take care of myself all at the same time. Part of me (ok a lot of me) was bummed that it didn’t work out but I actually found that going to this particular wedding and seeing what a relationship is supposed to look like made me that much more ok with the situation (the fact that it was my choice didn’t hurt either).
I genuinely don’t have anything against young people getting married, I just find myself worried that there is too much pressure to settle down with the first person who comes along and that we are often expected to put off other ambitions in order to start that family dynamic. True, you can definitely balance career and relationships but it’s very difficult to do (especially if you haven’t already partnered off with someone when your career starts to pick up).