I’m just about 26, that age when you get invited to a lot of weddings. I’m at that age when older family members start poking you in the ribs and raising their eyebrows when the word wedding comes up, no matter the context. I’m at that age when people actually start discussing the concept of a “biological time clock,” as if it had any real relevance to you; and, yes, that topic generally leads to a discussion of your marital status.
And I’m all like, hold the phone! Does ANYONE realize that I am WAY TOO YOUNG to get MARRIED?
While I’ve come to expect evidence of new nuptials sprouting like weeds on my Facebook, the first thought that comes to mind when I see pictures of the ring is: bad idea. Hello?! Why are you getting married in your 20s? You’ve been out of college, what, 5 years? That means you’ve probably known this guy only about 3 of them. Honey pie, he’s practically a stranger. Unless you’ve been dating since college, which is sweet and all, but that means it’s likely you haven’t experienced dating enough to truly know what you want in a partner. This is a bad idea. Long inner monologue short: this might end in divorce.
And I think that is because my parents are divorced.
See, to us sad little product-of-a-broken-home kids, marriage is a lot more than a YouTube worthy proposal or a zombie themed wedding (OMG, how cool would that be?); it’s even more than beautiful vows and the promise of forever. To a 20-something like me, marriage is a legal contract. We understand it is actually a contract stating that you will be committed to your spouse personally, domestically, financially and sexually (mmmhmmm). And it is binding. When legally binding contracts are broken, it’s just plain ol’ messy. Dividing mutual assets? Messy. Who gets the dog? Heartbreaking. Oh, and if you have kids, you can expect they will inevitably blame you and the divorce for all of their weird social anxieties and personality quirks (or, at the very least, they’ll pretend that they blame you to pad their wallet). That will not be enjoyable for either of you.
To me, personally, there are like a bazillion things to consider when choosing a life partner. For starters, there’s the pretty basic stuff like what kinds of genetic disorders run in their family or do they want to raise their kids in the weird town that they grew up in? Does this person have good credit and will they still be saying interesting and/or entertaining things when we’re old and smelly? Is Jesus their homie? Are they cool with adopting a dog from the shelter because it deserves a good home? How much will this person care if/when I stop shaving my legs and plucking the one super angry black hair that appears on my upper lip? Sure, I over think the entire process, but with a divorce rate so staggering, is it crazy to propose that we consider our proposals a little more considerately?
While preparing this article, I took a survey of my married 20-something friends, and off the top of my head, I could think of seven couples that I am acquainted with personally enough to decipher whether or not their parents are still together. And, drum roll please (badadadadadadad): only one-half of one of these couples comes from a broken home. Obviously this means that of the 20-somethings marriages I know, there is no real connection to divorce. And obviously I can say this because I reached this conclusion with science.
But, seriously. All kidding aside, if you are one of the lucky bitches with parents that are somehow still in love, maybe you will get married young because that’s just what you do. Maybe you won’t over think it because you recognize what that forever kind of love looks like. So you trust your gut, and you feel your way through it. After all, that’s how you live life fully: you share it with another person who promises to love you when you’re up or down, insecure or absurdly confident, beautiful or ugly, right or wrong, for better or worse, until the day you die.
If you’re a cold-hearted, product-of-a-broken home kid like me, you too dream of such a life and intend to nab it if fate is kind. I’ll even admit that a twinge of jealousy shoots down my spine when I think about how easy it must be to live without any great fear of what happens when things go wrong. When your brain is convinced that life is one giant obstacle course riddled with booby traps, trusting your heart is no simple task. It’s not like you can just jump on the Internet and order up the perfect life partner with an unlimited emotional warranty and money-back guarantee (wait, can you do that?). Sheesh! How can anyone truly trust themselves to make a decision of that magnitude?
I’m just about 26. I’m at that age when I actually do give a damn about all this whether I broadcast it or not. So perhaps the question is: are we still too young to get married, or are we getting too old to over think it?
Thank you NeatoShop for the image!
Kirsten is an LA-based writer, actor and all around slave to the entertainment industry. Most days she can be found drinking way too much coffee, playing one of three songs she knows on the ukulele, and genuinely over-thinking every interaction she has with every other human being she encounters. You can read more about her silly adventures at https://loveandadd.com/blog, or follow her on twitter @KirstenKnisely.
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