There’s an article floating around social media written by a 20-something explaining her take on what life should be about at her age instead of marriage. It includes a list of things you should do instead of getting married. 19 of the things on her list are things you can still do after you’re married and as one rebuttal wrote, are sometimes more fun when done with your spouse. You could also do the other 4 things while married but 3 of those are things only people with a lack of respect for themselves and others would do. The last is.. well, not everyone cares about your trip to the Philippines for Chinese New Year.
Another nice response was written by a single 20-something and included a list of things that were a lot less self serving, but still, things that you can do while being married. It seems to me that if it’s so important to stay single in your twenties, you should list things that you can only do while single.
This year, my husband and I will celebrate 13 years of marriage. I’m getting pretty close to having been married more years than I was single as I was only 18 years old when we said our vows. Have I ever felt regret for having married so young? Oh yeah. Have I ever daydreamed about things I could do if I didn’t have a spouse and a family? You betchya. Would I suggest other people get married so young? Probably not. Is my life somehow less fulfilled because I chose to get married young? Not in my opinion.
And that’s the point. This whole thing is completely subjective. Most of the things on all of these lists I wouldn’t have done nor would ever do with a lifetime of singleness. But that’s me. Just because I disagree with the way someone else sees it, doesn’t give me the right to say “you’re doing it wrong” and be arrogant about it.
I have a friend who is in her 20’s that is pregnant with her and her husband’s fourth child. She is ANNOYINGLY happy. Every other post on her facebook wall reminds me of the junk inside my head that keeps me from loving my life the way she does hers. I could list person after person that live happy, fulfilled lives who got married when they were young. I’m quite satisfied with the fact that by the time I’m 40, I’ll be looking forward to grandkids instead of still raising my own little ones.
Everyone has varying cycles of happiness and unhappiness regardless of age and marital status. None of us have the rules for how our lives should be at any age. No matter which path you choose, you won’t want to do everything alone. So pick a friend, maybe marry that friend, and enjoy the journey of life.
Here is a list of things that I’ve done since getting married at the age of 18. Most of them are adaptations of things on the other lists I’ve mentioned.
- Traveled to many fun places with my spouse/family and alone
- Learned/Taught myself a new skill … created my own business .. and made a lasting career out of it and then also taught others how to do it
- Disappointed my parents (did I mention I was 18 when I got married?) over and over again
- Eaten a full container of some not-so-healthy food in one sitting
- Joined a fitness trend
- Walked around my house naked
- Adopted several pets
- Taken my parents out to nice dinners multiple times
- Wrote my thoughts down in my blog. Duh.
- Cut my hair (it was waist length my whole life until a few months after getting married)
- Built lots of things with my hands
- Made strangers feel uncomfortable in public places
- Have always been and will always be selfish
- Found my “thing”
- Re-read books
- Paid off debt
- Spoken in front of large crowds
- And the coolest thing I’ll have ever done: Co-created 4 new human beings (all before having turned 23)