It’s Not About Waiting To Get Married, It’s About Not Waiting On A Guy To Live

So, my friend Lynds sent me this article called “Delaying Bride-Dom.” I believe she intended for me to relate to it and for it to reinforce my “I’m Single, That’s How I Wanna Be” article.

However, her intention and my reaction hit a fork and went different ways. Let me disclaim: I agree girls should wait to get married and spend their 20s getting to know themselves. They should spend time going to school, traveling, focusing on their careers, becoming self-reliant, working on friendships, spending time with your family, figuring out who you are and what you want.

More after the jump…

But here’s the problem:

I don’t think a girl chooses the wrong guy solely because she’s young. Rather, I think it’s because she’s rushing. It’s convenient to blame it on age. And in theory that makes sense.  The problem is, growing up probably didn’t change them as much as marriage itself did. When she finally realized she deserve more or her life would be better off alone, she starts to focus more on herself, and not on the guy. She starts to get to know who she is and what she wants. But she didn’t do that because she grew up in years. She did that because she stopped focusing on worrying about finding someone, and more on herself, what she wants, deserves and needs. The problem is, until a girl realizes marriage isn’t the answer to happiness, that’s where her focus is going to be. And as long as her focus is on finding a guy, she won’t focus on herself.

And I think the statistic about how if you wait until you’re 25 your likelihood of staying married doubles is hokey. Sure, simply look at the numbers, and that’s what you see. But it’s more accurate to look at the people who got married before 25. The ones who are rushing to get married are the ones who make bad decisions. The problem isn’t so much getting married young as it is the rush to get married, the rush to prove you’re wanted, the rush to have someone all your own, the rush to start a family. Once you knock out the people who rush to the altar, the ones who don’t decide as quickly will of course have made better choices.

Does this mean I think everyone who gets married young will fail? Absolutely not. In fact, I think my sisters (who got married young) have some of the best relationships of any of my friends or family members. I think you CAN find someone when you’re young. And I also think people over 25 can be hasty in choosing a mate as well. If you take the time to honestly look at yourself, look at the life you want, look at the life your potential mate wants, and be honest with each other about the compromises you’re willing and unwilling to make, you can choose a good partner, even if you are 21. Or, on the other hand, say you reach 28 and realize you want to get married before you’re 30, you can choose just as bad of a partner as the girl who’s 21, is looking for unconditional love in her life, so she goes with the first guy who proposes.

The problem isn’t age. The problem is that marriage is a damn accomplishment. It’s NOT an accomplishment. I’m sorry. I mean, yay for you finding someone who will buy you a ring and say he’ll stick by you. That’s not an accomplishment. I’m sorry.

Marriage is work. Two people who love each other, are willing to work, have common ethical and moral beliefs, and all the things everyone says it takes to make a marriage work is work. Being diligent in finding someone who’s right is an accomplishment. But just getting married? Anyone can do that.

And NOT getting married is an accomplishment, too. It’s not a failure to not get married. In fact, I think society would be a lot happier if we stopped getting married and instead just had long-term relationships with each other. But that’s neither here nor there.

Oh, and on a side note, I have never been jealous of a bride. NEVER. I have never wanted a wedding. I have never wanted to pick out a dress or cake or hall or colors. I’ve never wanted to choose between roses and daisies. I’ve never wanted to be the center of attention or get a bunch of gifts I’ll probably never unpack or use. I always felt like the wedding was the work you do as part of the commitment to each other. I am always shocked when girls say they’re jealous.

Bottom line: Telling girls to wait to get married isn’t the answer. I wish more girls would go through their teens and twenties knowing they aren’t going to find the right person. Date? Sure. Seriously? Sure if you find a good guy. But we need to get better at letting the bad ones go and instead go out for drinks with our friends. Enjoy a movie alone at home, or the theater! Go to dinner alone. Travel with other single friends. Spend time with your parents, grandparents, aunts, siblings, nieces, nephews. Instead of acting like one person (a guy) is what life’s about, realize there’s so much more out there. So many experiences, so many things to learn, try and be.

The answer is getting girls to realize there’s more to life than a guy telling her what she thinks she wants to hear. And there’s more to life than taking said guy, putting him atop an overpriced wedding cake in plastic form for the whole world to see he chose you.

The answer is helping girls raise their self-worth. Help them see that a guy doesn’t define them. And a guy choosing them doesn’t give them purpose or make them worthy. They’re wonderful just as they are, alone. A girl doesn’t need a guy to take care of her. Or to make money for her. She doesn’t need him to say he loves her to make her life have meaning. She doesn’t need a guy to want her to be wanted or worthy. There’s a lot of love in the world, and it doesn’t only come in husband form.

I heard somewhere that if you have a desire in your heart to find someone, then there’s someone out there for you. And in the meantime, there’s a lot of life to live, a lot of fun things to do, a lot of laughs to be had. And you can do that without a guy. I promise.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kim on June 18, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Great article! I definitely agree with what you’ve said… But one thing that stuck out the most to me was the part about not being jealous of another bride. Seriously, I don’t ever remember being jealous of other brides either. I NEVER dreamed (or planned) what my dress would look like, or what colors we would chose or what the hall would look like or how everything would be planned for a wedding.. And I of course dreaded the showers and being the center of attention. Maybe this is somehow in how we grew up and the fact that we were raised to understand that we don’t need anyone to make us more worthy. I don’t know, but either way… I am SOOOO glad Mom is so good at this wedding stuff and was able to make our wedding so beautiful!

    I honestly do believe that everything was just perfect for our wedding and I don’t think it would have been so perfect had it been planned out years in advance. I think it made it even better that I had no idea what type of dress or flowers or colors I really wanted until the days I picked them out… Kind of like Rocky! I didn’t have any ideas about the guy I would marry (or if I would get married)… But just like going into the bridal store and picking out a dress and knowing it was the one when I saw it(same goes for the flowers/colors/etc.), I seriously felt the same way about Rocky..

    Reply

  2. The only thing I think about with my wedding, if I have one, is the food. But I pretty much think about food all the time. I’ve never thought of a dress or any of that. And am not envious of anyone who does that. But I WOULD help them pick food if they asked. Mostly so I could sample. Or so I could have something super-delicious at the wedding. I’m hungry…. 🙂

    And I think I’d rather just have a party with lots of good food. Not necessarily a wedding. But how often do you get to have a party with 150 of your closest friends? Never. So a wedding’s the only way I could think of having something that big food-wise.

    I’ve been watching Say Yes to the Dress on Netflix, and those girls. Sheesh. They want to be princesses for a day. Or never are happy with a dress. Or whatever. It’s insane. I love that Randy dude on that show, though. He’s hilarious. Love him. I could never work in a bridal store.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Amy on June 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I came across your blog when looking for the article this posting is actually in response to and felt compelled to respond.

    You make many good points – I too wish women in general had more self-worth and didn’t look to a man for affirmation or ‘completion.’ In my 20s, I had no interest in checking the ‘Marriage’ box on my life’s To Do list, but still had a number of friends take the plunge. Some are still married and some are divorced, all for various reasons. Theirs are individual and unique stories.

    But when you speak in generalities, the ‘Delaying Bride-Dom’ article isn’t that far off (from my POV, mind you). I agree with your point that it isn’t a particular age that makes it ‘OK’ to get married, but I believe there is a level of emotional maturity that is required to help make this decision, which typically does come with age. I know that had I married my college boyfriend or even the guy I dated throughout my 20s, we would be divorced today, or in an extremely loveless, unhappy marriage. I was not emotionally ready to share my life at that level, but luckily I knew I wasn’t. Many people – both men and women – don’t recognize this and make poor life choices.

    As much as we want woman to feel and be independent, the reality is many do not. Right or wrong, women are still (again, as a whole) socialized to want to get married. To find their soul mate. To plan the perfect wedding. To have and raise children. And what’s wrong with wanting that, really? Nothing. The choice to do these things is not wrong; it’s that some believe they should do it, or that something is wrong if they don’t do it. And that’s the part in which I take issue. As you said, there’s a lot of love in the world, and it doesn’t just come in husband form.

    I too was never envious of brides. I did not have my wedding planned since I was 15. I didn’t have my perfect groom picked out and I hadn’t chosen my future children’s names. It wasn’t something that I thought I wanted. However having just married two months ago at age 38, I can say without a doubt that waiting until I was older, when I better understood the decision I was making, makes me truly appreciate the groom I have (perfect for me), the wedding I got to plan (food was the hardest, cake was the most fun) and the marriage we will have. Still not ready for the part about the baby names though. 🙂

    Reply

    • You make a lot of great points, and I totally agree! The only thing I was trying to say is age, alone, is not the problem. But you’re absolutely right. The older we get, the better decisions we make, the more life experiences we have to draw on, and most importantly, we get away from those college boyfriends we thought we were in love with and start to see the bigger picture in choosing a mate.

      Regardless of my age, if I feel like I’m not complete and NEED to be married, I will make a bad decision choosing a husband.

      Congratulations on finding a great guy, and making it through the planning of a wedding (I can’t even imagine!). And best wishes to you as you build your new lives together!

      Reply

  4. Posted by Amy on June 21, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I 100% agree with you – your posting just struck a chord with me so wanted to join in the conversation. If a girl doesn’t feel complete with herself then she will not be complete with her husband either. I have a friend who still just wants to be taken care of and be ‘A Lady Who Lunches’ and is just waiting around for her husband to show up. Drives me crazy! 🙂

    I’ve read the rest of our blog – love it. And you’re right — Jesse James is such a jerk!

    Reply

    • Haha! Thanks, Amy! I appreciate it.

      And I’d like to be a lady who lunches… Not necessarily and waits on her husband, but that life sounds kind of relaxing. So I can’t completely blame her. 😉

      Reply

  5. Posted by Candi on April 23, 2011 at 1:45 am

    This post was brilliantly articulated. Thank you!

    Reply

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