Yesterday I read about an app that predicts the age you should get married. It counts up what percentage of your friends are married and their average age. The people sharing it on Facebook were mostly having fun with it and posting their “countdown” in jest. But it just goes to show how we are still so aware of marriage and timelines (and how Facebook can magnify it). The 40-somethings I talk to all want to tell 20-somethings to throw away the timeline. Don’t angst over being married by a certain age, don’t panic when your friends start getting married…and whatever you do…don’t get married because you feel like you should!
As this woman shares…it’s not a “thing to do”…or as I like to say, it’s a choice, not a rite of passage. On breaking off a wedding at age 26 and what she knows now:
I really cared about “J” and I didn’t want us to get down the road and go through with it and know that it wasn’t going to work out. He eventually would have been miserable with me because—I wasn’t the person he wanted me to be. Nobody wants to do it. It’s painful. But it’s only painful for a short amount of time, as opposed to being in pain for a long time …and ending up in divorce.
Now I’ve been married and divorced. And I don’t know if I recommend getting married anymore. I mean, I believe in marriage and I love marriage. I think it’s great but I think sometimes people get married because they think it’s the thing to do. It’s the convention. Everybody does it. You see it romanticizing movies. We see everything like that and it’s fantastic. But there’s no law that says we can’t have a committed relationship and have a beautiful life with someone without being married.”
– 40-something, happily unmarried in a relationship