The Mating Game or the Waiting Game?

Prince William and Kate Middleton are finally engaged after years of dating and speculation.  Kate Middleton earned the nickname “Waity Katie” by the media.  But I don’t know that waiting is so bad when you’re in your 20’s, even if you’re in a serious relationship. One interesting thing I noticed in talking to 40-something women is that many of them who are still happily coupled did meet young…but they didn’t get married right away. Looking back they consider this one of the reasons they’re still together. After all you’re hopefully going to be with this person a lifetime, what’s wrong with taking a little time to get hitched? From the mouths of real women:

Don’t be in a rush. If you are going to get married…wait. I would never want to say don’t fall in love. But if you fall in love when you’re 22, you don’t have to get married when you’re 23. I would have to say getting married a little later is better. You can date, you can work and you can travel. I had worked.  He had worked. We had done stuff.  If you get married at 23 you have no experiences to build on.” — 40-something, wife, mother, Cleveland, OH

For many of these women the waiting wasn’t a push and pull of negotiating the proposal. They knew they wanted to be together but didn’t feel a rush. It’s funny, it’s almost bettter to get married first or last. That means you’re doing it for yourselves rather than because your freinds are doing it!  The upside of waiting is having the freedom to explore your own interests vs only building your interests in tandem with someone.

Give yourself some freedom to have independent lives. We dated since we were 18 but didn’t marry until 30. It wasn’t a plan. It just sort of worked out that way. We lived in separate cities for part of our twenties. I suspect that had we been in each other’s face all the time, it would’ve worked out differently. We didn’t entirely revolve around each other. You have to cultivate independent lives and outside interests. It keeps each other interesting and that makes it more fun to be together. If you don’t have a social life, an intellectual life or some kind of activity that isn’t all about your significant other, it’s really hard to feel that you have a sense of identity.”  — 40-something, wife, working mom, Los Angeles, CA

And lastly, many 40-something women hold onto the belief that men aren’t really able to commit until later in their 20s.

I would say don’t marry a guy under 30 if you hope to grow with them. Date, get engaged, make a serious relationship, do anything but get married. Something happens to men in their late 20s where if they are going to have some sort of epiphany of “oh my god this is all wrong”, that’s when they are going to do it.

So enough judgement on waiting. “Waity Katie” may just be smart Katy. So here is to waiting. And good luck to Kate Middleton and Prince William!

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