Not saying it is a bad thing, but it does seem rather peculiar to me. I have several cousins from the south and for all of them it seems like if you aren\’t married by 25 you\’re an old maid. You know the saying \”ring by spring\” to refer to the spring semester of a girl\’s senior year of college. well, at least in my experience that has totally panned out. I, being a non-southerner, don\’t quite understand the mentality. If you love someone, I don\’t see why waiting a couple of years or so to tie the knot will change anything. But then again, I subscribe to a different viewpoint. IF you answer that it\’s societal expectations or societal pressure, I agree, but I\’m looking for something a little deeper than that. For example, do you think that in southern society people are expected to be married before they can be viewed as full-fledged adults? Do you think that even though statistics show that pre-marital sex is just as common in the south as anywhere else in the nation, that the public disavowal of \”pre-marital relations\” pushes couples to tie the knot so as not to arise the suspicion of others? Or do you think in part it has to do with the economic convenience of marriage?
Or the desire to begin procreating at an earlier age? These are just suggestions. I am really at a loss on the subject!
I knew at least a few people expected we wouldnБt go through with it; my own father, just a month shy of the wedding, asked whether Бthis thing was for realБ before he paid the final deposit on the reception venue. What he said was harsh, yes, but by that point, IБd already endured two years of rude questions and backhanded compliments, and nothing could shock me. I was numb. (Plus, I was grateful that my father was generous enough to help pay for our wedding, since my fiancц and I definitely couldn\’t foot the bill all on our own. ) One time, I was at a party and found myself chatting with two guys. Though the conversation couldnБt have lasted more than a few moments, I overheard someone behind us whispering loudly about whether Бan engaged person should be acting like that. Б To this day, IБm not sure why this person cared what I was doing (I didnБt know her), but her comment embarrassed me so much that I excused myself and went home. I knew I wasnБt doing anything wrong Б obviously, we can all talk to whomever we want, married or otherwise.
But at the time, there was a part of me that felt like I deserved all the ridicule, because I was doing something that pretty much everyone mocks. To combat all the confusion and pent-up anger I was feeling at the time, I went comically and cruelly out of my way to prove my independence. At this point in our relationship, my fiancц and I were doing long-distance while he attended pharmacy school two hours away. Most couples hate long-distance; I loved it, because I didnБt have to try so hard to prove that we each did our own thing. When he offered to make the drive so we could spend ValentineБs Day together, I told him I already had plans with my friend Emma. If he called while I was out with friends, IБd let it go to voicemail and just text him goodnight instead. Before you start questioning my maturity here, let me point out that when your relationship is on the receiving end of that many bad vibes, itБs bound to mess with your head. As you can probably guess, my actions caused some problems between us. But my groom-to-be and I worked through them because weБve learned to give one another the benefit of the doubt, weБre willing to make changes if itБs for the good of our relationship, and, among other things, we really, really love each other.
People often suggest that we Бmissed outБ on certain things by getting married so young, which I have never understood. IБm generally a curious and adventurous person whoБs up for trying new things; so is my now-husband, which is part of the reason I married him. The idea that either of us wouldnБt do something we wanted to do Б travel, take a major career leap, move to a new city Б because of our marriage is ridiculous and, frankly, insulting. ItБs also been said that getting married in your early 20s is a bad idea because youБre still Бfinding yourself,Б which IБll admit is half true. You are still finding yourself, but that could be said about any age because, as humans, we never stop evolving. The concern here neednБt be whether you or your partner will change from the person you were on your wedding day Б that will happen no matter what, regardless of how old you are when you say БI do. Б The real challenge, in any marriage, is committing to nurturing your relationship as both people grow and progress.
That requires some work, yes, but I think marrying young actually makes it easier, because we havenБt yet become set in our ways. Maybe this sounds naцve (another perk of marrying young! ), but IБve found that when two people want the best for each other, you figure out a way to do the things that make you both happy. I turned 29 a couple months ago, and while there are a few things about the end of my 20s that IБm currently mourning, finally reaching an age at which I no longer have to deal with people commenting on my marital status isnБt one of them. Now I can mention my husband or the fact that IБm married without any of the anxiety I once felt; my only regret is that it should have always been this way. Because there is no timeline that dictates Бsow your oats here,Б Бdiscover yourself here,Б Бreach this salary here,Б Бget married hereБ Б those sorts of deadlines are all arbitrary and, anyway, love doesnБt care about your plans. Sometimes the Real Deal comes along a little sooner than expected. And if that happens, we should all be open to it.