It happened- the day I dreaded ever since I was old enough to realize what marriage was and that I was expected to get married one day. My uncle sat down with me and asked,
“What kind of boy do you want to marry? I’ll start looking.”
“Marriage? I’ll get married at 40.”
“Stop being stupid, who do you want to marry?”
And with 22 years of life under my belt I got up and left in a huff like the child/young adult that I am. Because 22 years old is far too young for me to decide who I want to marry, despite the fact that I have been conditioned to believe that 23 years old is the ideal marrying age. I commented on a blog post written by Christena Cleveland (who is awesome by the way!) about singleness. I shared my frustrations about being encouraged to marry so early, to which Cleveland commented, “Actually, getting married so young isn’t the norm, in general. It’s just the norm in conservative Christian circles. Nationwide, the average age for marriage for women is 27, and it’s much, much higher in many cities.” Although I should have known 23 is a young age to get married- it was a relief to be reaffirmed in the idea that I’m not insane to want to wait.
Before I begin listing the reasons why I have no intention of getting married so young, I must acknowledge that I know my family’s attempts to find me a husband are rooted in love. My parents think me getting married at 23 is my best chance at a good life because that’s the choice they made.
1. Even my brain isn’t fully developed.
Research has shown that adults process events using logic whereas teens process events using emotion. Other sources suggest that the “age” your brain is developed can vary from person to person. My brain may not be fully developed until I am 25 years old. Why would I make a life altering choice before then? A lot of research has also shown that getting married between the age of 25-30 is somewhat of a “sweet spot” and the likelihood of divorce is less. Of course when God is in the picture statistics and research doesn’t matter. But I don’t sense God telling me to get married, so why rush it?
2. I want to figure out some stuff.
I’m not sure who I am just yet. Do I want to continue my blog and Youtube channel in the future? How can I glorify God with my life choices?
I’m just starting out my career and I want time to establish myself as a teacher. My mentor once told our class that before having kids you should be established in a career for 5 years. Before getting married I want to feel like an adult and part of being an adult to me means financial flexibility.
I would want to pay for my own wedding, I would need savings for that. I’m not sure what I want from my life down the line- do I want to live in the northeast forever? How important is traveling to me? I need to figure some things about myself before making a life changing decision.
3. I don’t want to get married for my parents or culture.
I don’t have any desire to get married right now. If I were to look for a husband, it would be because I want to please my parents. As much as I love my family, I don’t want to make choices based on obligation.
4. I’d rather be alone than marry the wrong person.
I remember I once had to stay with someone who needed help but would not let me go. That day was one of the worst days of my life (slight exaggeration) and taught me it’s better to not marry than marry the wrong person. Being near and around someone you don’t like sucks- so why rush something as important as marriage unless you know who you would like to marry and have confirmation from God?
If you have chosen to get married early- this post isn’t an attack on you. This blog post is why I personally would not want to get married right now although I have the opportunity to get married through an arranged marriage. The reasons that resonate with me may not be something you need to even consider.
Keeping in mind everything I’ve said about marriage I feel like I should add that I do want to get married, have kids and live in a house with a white picket fence (or a tiny apartment in the city, tomato, tomato). I just want to be in a different place emotionally, mentally and most of all spiritually. I would want God guiding me and telling me what to do. And as I embrace singleness for some time longer, I must also accept the questions and unsolicited advice I will receive. But if anyone else is waiting like me, let’s embrace singleness for the time being and marriage when it comes.