I finished whatever I was doing and IMed her back, “I’m all ears. What’s up?”
I will be 29 next week. Can you believe it? She writes. I am nowhere near married!
My friend is a beautiful woman with a high-paying job in corporate America. She lives in a nice condo in the posh side of Atlanta and drives a luxurious vehicle that her father gave her as Christmas present when she relocated to Atlanta from Boston 3 years ago. She’s got it all – volunteers each Wednesday at a local school, travels each year to an exotic country, and is heavily involved in various professional associations in her field.
“My life is not going as I planned. My boyfriend and I broke up six months ago. I don’t think we’ll get back together. And even if I meet someone next week, I still won’t have enough time to plan a wedding and get married before next March.”
“I hear you. Marriage at 30 has been your dream and now, you don’t think it will happen.” I typed.
“Yes!” She wrote.
We IMed back and forth for the next hour and a half until she got called away from her desk and had to get back to work.
While I understood my friend’s sentiments, I did not feel as pressed about getting married by age 30 as she does. Sure she’s one year older than me. I may feel like her when I’m her age; but I doubt it. Here’s why:
A years ago, I went through a phase where I was depressed because my career wasn’t panning out as I wanted, my relationships with men weren’t going as I planned. The more of my time, resources, and emotions I invested in these relationships, the more I would be let down because he still did not get his act together. I recently realized, that no matter what life may bring me, I was going to enjoy it. Whether I get married at 30 or later, I’m not going to be concerned because there is nothing I can do about meeting the man of my dreams.
Sure, I can meet some guy at a local bar tomorrow and convince myself that he is my Prince Charming when it is obvious that he isn’t. Five kids by five different women, divorced, and drinks way too much. Later, when my marriage is failing, I’ll blame myself for settling and not going after the man that I truly want.
But I refuse to do that.
As I think more about this issue – the pressure to get married at 30 – is just ridiculous.
Like my friend who is in her mid-thirties once said to me, “It’s like some women believe that the gates of hell are going to open up and snatch them up if they are unmarried on their 30th birthday. Doesn’t make sense to me.”
My sentiments exactly. Here’s why I think it’s ridiculous to feel pressured to get married at age 30.
1) You cannot control your future husband.
Let’s face it. Men mature later than women. Some of my male friends in their mid 30’s still don’t have their life together. Not judging, I’m just saying. If you’re dating a man and he has a lot of potential but he’s not tapping into it just yet. I cannot control him. I can only control me. So why should I feel pressured because He sits around all day playing games on his iPhone instead of getting his finances in order? Men feel like they are invincible. It takes a harsh reality before they realize, “Oh wow! Life is short. I can’t bum around in my undies till noon and hit the bar every weekend to pick up girls anymore.”
I choose to enjoy the ride. I’m in Atlanta today, Alabama tomorrow. Exploring my hobbies, hanging out with friends, blogging. Planning trips to Dubai. This is the life. And I do have children – three boys and two girls. My nieces and nephews are great for when I want to be a nurturing mother, but they don’t belong to me. I can give them back on Saturday night.
2) Thirty is the new 20.
I don’t know about you but my 20-s has been one neverending roller-coaster ride. Low self-esteem plus a harsh economy and bad relationships are not a good combination. The ups and downs in this decade feels like an extended adolescence instead of adulthood. Seriously, I can’t wait until I turn 30. Hopefully by then, I will not give a flying fruit about what people think of me. There’s a certain air about women in their 30’s that I hope to get one day. It’s confidence with a mixture of swag, that very few women in their 20’s possess. And you’re wiser in your 30’s. You don’t get played as much by people when you’re older.
3) I am doing everything in my power to attract a mate.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not overly anxious about meeting him but there are a few things that I do to make sure that I’m ready for when my husband decides to make an appearance in my life. First, I look nice. I get my hair done, try out new hairstyles, buy nice clothes. Wear a smile and maintain a positive attitude. Second, I have interests and hobbies outside the house that I indulge in. Third, I am open to new relationships. Fourth, I work on my personal baggage. Fifth, trying to get my finances in order.
In order to get what you want, you have to be what you want. I am what I want and I am having fun in the process.
4) It’s society’s problem not mine.
I’m fine. But it bothers people (who don’t know me) when I tell them I’m in my late 20’s and happily single. Especially men. They do the what’s-wrong-with-you face. They ask follow-up questions like, why are you not married? It’s almost as if they believe that there is some gross flaw that I have that is deterring a man from proposing to me. Silly.
I will get married when I feel it is appropriate time for me. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy single womanhood to the absolute fullest.