I’ve always felt pretty old. Physically I look like I should still be in middle school, but mentally I’m more toward middle aged. When I was younger and even now, I struggle at times relating to others my own age. But there’s one aspect of being older that still is hard for me to comprehend.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a wedding, a pretty normal moment. But that same day, two of my classmates from high school were also getting married. The same age as me, falling in love and tying the knot. A very romantic concept. But keeping my age in mind, the concept is quite intimidating.
While having children is something I’ve always been on the fence on, I always knew I wanted to get married. The idea of sharing my life with somebody else has always been a goal. Even with my extended time as a single lady, I knew how much I valued marriage. Despite seeing my friends’ parents splitting up, I always admired my own parents for staying together for the long haul. Even on harder days, they always told my brother and I that marriage is a long-term, sacred commitment. I may be very liberal on most aspects of life, I still value the traditions behind marriage.
Which is why it still freaks me out, even though generations before me easily got married even younger than 19. Modern society doesn’t really support a younger marriage. Your 20’s are for partying it up and going to college and traveling, and marriage doesn’t fit well into that equation. With marriage, you assume you settle down, start a family, the whole shebang.
Marriage thus far as felt like an intangible thing far off in the distance. Just a goal for the future that I’ll worry about later when the time comes. But will I know when that time will come? When will I actually be ready? Will it fit into my career-oriented plans, or will those change entirely? Of course we can’t predict the future, when you throw something else in the mix, it makes planning that much harder. With marriage, the assumption is that you get hitched and you’re theoretically glued together for life. But why can’t you still travel and discover new experiences, whether it’s alone or together? Then that would probably bring about the point of getting married or not, just a legal document to sign to make things official.
When other people my age think of marriage, they probably don’t even consider it as an option anymore. Weddings are expensive. Why get married when you can just live together and basically “do marriage” without the official steps? All valid points, but for me, they aren’t necessarily realistic. Marriage just seems like a natural step rather than staying stagnant in a long-term relationship. If you want to be together for the long haul and it feels right, why not?
Wanting marriage isn’t just for the fancy ceremony part, the gifts and the vacation. I just love the concept of it. Two people choosing to spend their lives together, through thick and thin, good times and bad, you have a partner through life, a built-in best friend. Which of course I love my friends, but I have always enjoyed the idea of having a significant other in that position beyond a best friend, that you make each other better people. Admittedly, I’m prone to romanticizing things, but I still see marriage as a natural step, even in today’s terms of relationships. But I’m also old-fashioned in some regards, despite my liberal views in basically every other area.
Everyone is different, and that’s a-okay. I just don’t want to lose the value of marriage. Especially with divorce rates as they are, with a wide range of rushing into things or never actually reaching the point of marriage, we’re left questioning if marriage can even fit into the equation of a modern relationship. My liberal, independent, but old soul refuses to believe marriage isn’t practical anymore. If it’s something you’re interested in, go for it. Don’t let current trends discourage you. But also be realistic in realizing marriage is much more than sharing a last name with somebody else. It requires work. And to me, this work is worth it.
The concept that people younger than myself or even my own age are dabbling into this next step in life. That leaves me wondering if and when I’ll know if I’m ready for that step, too. I feel crazy even trying to think that far ahead, but I can’t help it. For most people my age, just the mention of the word results in an often negative reaction. But for me, it’s more of a curiosity, not necessarily a reasonable step right now, but in the future, absolutely. The difference I see in marriage compared to others is that I don’t see it as a way of holding me back from my goals. Might those goals change to think of someone else? Inevitably. But I want to travel with a life partner. Have a dog family. Go on adventures. Make memories together. Rather than holding myself back, marriage is a guaranteed partner to share all of these goals with. Despite how much I love solitude and independence and I need it to function, no matter what I might do throughout my days, I want to come home to somebody that feels like home.
I’m sure some people out there will think I’m a tad crazy for today’s post. But I’ve always been thinking far ahead beyond my current situation. Not the best habit at times, but it makes me exciting for the potential ahead. And if you’re like me, know that your goals are still relevant, and somebody out there is going to fill that role you picture.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie