Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why I'm Glad I... ignored all those other articles online about getting married at a specific age and did whatever the heck I wanted

I know you've seen the post that's floating around called "23 Things To Do Before You Get Engaged at 23." If you haven't somehow, you can read it here. Of course, there were people who agreed and people who didn't. Rebuttals started popping up. People got offended. Arguments ensued on nearly every social media platform. This article came out over a month ago, but for some reason, it's been making the rounds on my Facebook in the last week, so it's been on my mind.

Obviously, this is hardly a new topic. Kate Middleton earned the nickname "Waity Kaity" when she waited a few years before she married Prince William. People defended her, saying that she is right to wait so long. There are articles about it all: I'm glad I got married young, I'm glad I waited, I'm glad I got divorced, I'm glad I lived with my partner before marriage, You should NEVER live with someone before marriage, I'm glad I never got married at all. People have OPINIONS, y'all. And they can't wait to defend them on the internet.

My question to every single one of these people is: why? Why do you feel like you need to defend your life choices to a bunch of yoyos on the internet? Why do you feel like every article about someone doing something differently than you is a direct attack worthy of a rebuttal? Whooooo caaaaares?

There are always going to be people who do things differently than you, both on the internet and in real life. My junior year of college, my best friend Jenna and I couldn't have been in more different places in life - she was getting married and committing to one person for the rest of her life, and I was regularly rolling into our apartment on Sunday mornings with my heels in my hand. Do you know how much time we spent hashing out our differences with each other? Exactly zero minutes.

All of these pieces have some good points. If there are goals you want to accomplish in your life before you get married, you SHOULD work to accomplish those goals. But goals are goals, no matter who you may, or may not, be married to. If you're in a relationship that is over, you SHOULD take steps to end it if you want to end it. (Easier said than done, of course.) There are benefits to getting married young, and there are benefits to waiting. You can argue any side of anything.

Just because it worked for one person doesn't mean it will work for the next, and to me, that's the major flaw in most of these articles. Statistically, the divorce rate IS higher when you get married when you're young. There will always be people who aren't one of those statistics, but you can't deny that the statistics are there. As Garrett would say: math doesn't lie. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but that's a decision you make that's yours, not someone else's.

I've gotten flack about my relationship. People have said that I'm too young, that Garrett is too old, that we should wait, that I should have never started a long distance relationship in the first place. And yeah, I probably wouldn't recommend that someone else get engaged to someone that lives four hours away because yeah, it was pretty freakin' hard, but ultimately, you make your own choices. Your choices are yours, not other people's.

The point of all this is: stop trying to justify your choices online. No one knows what's best for you except you. As long as you're confident in your own choices, everything will fall in line. And if it doesn't? You know, that's okay too.

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Rachel said...

I HATE those articles. There's always the people who are pro-marriage at 23 and then those who are anti-marriage at 23. And they just keep fighting with one another and writing more counter-argument articles to piss one another off. ENOUGH!

My biggest problem is the nasty titles they make , like "XX Things Everyone Should Do Besides Get Married" like.... LOL

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

A person has do what is right for them everyone is different and that means what is right for one may not be right for someone else.

Laura Maas said...

I love this. I have a post on this topic in the works as well.


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