The article below articulates my thoughts on marriage and long-term relationships. Our choice of a life partner is the biggest decision we will ever make and as such, we should choose carefully, not hastily. Furthermore, our goal should not be to get married before our biological clock runs out of time, but to marry the right person. We should take our time; there is no need to rush.
My boyfriend and I are approaching our 2 year anniversary and I just turned 30 years old. I understand why so many relatives and friends are becoming increasingly more curious about when will tie the knot. As my elder no-nonsense cousin so eloquently stated during the early stages of my boyfriend and my relationship, “You’re not 19. What are his intentions?” It’s a valid question for me to consider.
I believe people are asking from a sincere place. They genuinely want me to be happy and they believe that marriage is one way to achieve happiness. They also want to make sure that I do it fast before time runs out and I can no longer give birth to babies. Many unmarried women in their mid-forties, who were focused on their career in their early thirties, regret the fact that they did not settle down earlier. Perhaps they want to ensure that I do not make the same mistake.
I get it.
But what I don’t understand is how some people feel the need to pressure you into making such a huge decision. We all know what pressure sounds like from our loved ones:
- When are you getting married? (asked each time you see her/him)
- When will I have a grandchild?
- My son needs a playmate. Please tell me you’re going to have children next year.
- You’re not getting any younger. You don’t want a high-risk pregnancy, do you?
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:
Have you ever been asked an offensive question? You reserved judgment on the person because you knew that it was not their intention to hurt you. In response to the question, did you mutter something under your breath and change the subject? Or did you simply look at them as though they had grown a third eyeball and walk away?
We have all been asked a question like this before and for us 20-somethings, we are not immune to such questions. In fact, I believe we are on the receiving end of these questions more than others. Here are a list of questions and comments that make me cringe each time I hear it. Continue reading