The Single Girl's Guide to Being Okay with Saying No to Marriage in Her 20s
We all want love. Why wouldn’t we? Love is comfort. Love is inspiration. Love is magic. Real love makes you feel like you can do anything and everything and even if you fail you know you’ll be okay because that person’s love will soothe the pain away. I guess that’s why love can make you do some crazy things.
Like, getting married. Yes, I said it. At my ripe 25 (well, nearly 26 in two days) I am starting to feel like marriage is a crazy idea that I just can’t envision for myself…not quite yet anyways.
Now before you start throwing tomatoes at me (why would you have a tomato to throw anyways?) let me explain: I do think I want to get married one day. I definitely want a partnership that will sustain throughout my adult life. I also think marriage is beautiful if you find the right person to go on that journey with you.
But here’s why I think it’s crazy: I’m seeing more and more of my friends post online their baby announcements, or their engagement announcements, or their “look at us we’re so in love we’re definitely getting married soon” announcements.
And that’s all great, but we’re so young. Like, ya’ll, being a 20-something means you’re still a little baby in the world’s eyes. We’ve gone through only a quarter of our lives and barely even know who we are. How are we supposed to intelligently and correctly choose someone else to be our other half if we don’t have our own half figured out yet?
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because I’m not in the place in my life yet that marriage makes sense because there’s no serious boyfriend in sight. Or maybe it’s because I can’t imagine sharing my space with someone. Or maybe it’s because I truly don’t have much to offer in a marriage, let alone a long-term relationship right now.
I used to feel like there was something wrong with me. Why don’t I have this burning desire to find someone that I can actually see myself marrying sooner than later?
And don’t even get me started about feeling awkward when most of your friends are in relationships and the marriage conversation comes up, and you’re left sitting there feeling like a complete and total outsider. And then you get the questions like, "So are you and so and so still dating? How’s that going? Is it getting serious?" As if to bait me into becoming more like them, more future focused, more marriage centered.
I’ve just come to the realization that I’m nowhere like that. Not at all. And it’s not only because I’m not currently in a committed, monogamous, relationship. It's because of my mindset.
I always was the girl who talked about babies and marriage when I got into a relationship. Not in a serious way, but more of a playful, pillow talk, what if kind of way. But now that I'm coming into an age where this can easily all become a reality, my conversations of marriage and kids have ended. I have chosen to completely, 100% shut it down.
It's not that I have a fear of commitment in the sense of being faithful to someone long term, but rather at this time in my life I am incapable of imagining attaching myself to someone for the rest of my life. I can't see it or even understand the depth of what that responsibility entails.
Though it would be nice to come home and have someone there, or have someone to share a meal with or watch TV on the couch with, I don't want someone in my space 24/7. I don't want to combine our things or assets. I will one day, but right now I just don't. There's a level of selflessness you have to reach and I'm just not there yet, and that's okay.
#LifeLessonLearned: It's okay to not want the same things that your friends want. It's okay to want to just do your own thing, be your own person, and take care of your own self. It's okay to want to find love and be in love without taking it one step further. It's okay to stop forcing the conversation of marriage if you know your heart and mind really aren't into it...right now.
This doesn't mean that you and I will always feel this way. In fact, because we are so young and part of a generation that changes our minds so quickly, I'm sure our view on marriage will evolve. And that's okay, too.
Choosing to say no to marriage in our 20s isn't about being a rebel or trying to be different. It's about listening to our hearts and figuring out what we truly want. It's about being comfortable in who we are and confident enough to say it's just not right for me, right now.
And when we do get into a relationship that looks like its going somewhere, then let's give ourselves permission to enjoy the ride without automatically jumping to the "when should we get engaged" stage. We have time, a lot of time (God willing) to figure all this stuff out.
Breathe easy knowing that you're a 20-something, single, independent woman choosing to shut down the conversation of marriage for now, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
xo always, RAE
psssst. The Single Girls Guide is becoming a series! I'll update ya once there's more :)