You know how every person has a mini-me? That one person who reminds you of yourself at a younger age? Well, I found mine. And, just like me, she’s smart, witty, beautiful, and strong. She is SO much like me, that she has the same outlook on men that I had 10 years ago. I would argue that this is fine, because at the age of 22 or so you dont really need to focus on getting married. However, what scares me is the fact that- just like me- she’ll continue with that mindset well into her late 20’s and early 30’s.
I should be happy that young girls are waiting until they come into their own before settling down. However, having done that myself, I know it is not always fun and games. There exists a fine line between independence and isolation. I was a dry-run; it had some bumps along the way but I survived. And because I am here, alive and well, I am able to relay some advice upon the young women just starting their journey.
This is my advice to the younger generation:
I know it seems so amazing to be single. And most of the time it is. However, two things will always haunt you. One is your family. They will constantly bring up your status and wonder what is wrong with you. They will set you up endlessly against your wishes. They will yell, cry, and taunt in an effort to get you to meet someone and JUST GET MARRIED! Try and stay strong. Find some hobbies, because more than likely your married friends will have little time for you. Take up writing (like I have lol).
The second thing that will haunt you are the “what if’s?” You will wonder about the guys you never gave a chance to, as well as the ones you dismissed because you were too busy becoming an independent woman. You will mourn loves lost, and remember the one who treated you the best, but you pushed him away because you felt you were too young for love. You will regret the decision to “see what else is out there.” Because trust me, ten years later there isn’t a much better selection. It gets harder to find someone who you see youself with. It may seem like you are being pickier, but really the pool has just gotten smaller, and there are a lot less fish to choose from. When that happens, you feel lost and hopeless, and give up…..yet again.
People will constantly ask you why you are not married. If you say “it just never felt right” you will be looked at like a mutant with two heads. I wish someone had been there to talk me through my fears and tell me it would all be okay. I just feel like I never knew what the right way was to love, and be loved. Because of this, I always carried a fear of relationships inside. This made it very hard for me to build a bond with anyone beyond friendship. Now that I have realized all this, I am working on it. And contrary to what people say, I know that it’s too late.
It’s a vicious cycle. And a hard decision. Do you enjoy your youth and cast off men while you build yourself into a one-woman powerhouse, or do you succumb to the fear of ending up 35 and alone by choosing the lesser of the evils and marry now? I can’t honestly tell you which one is right. I do not regret one moment of the past ten years. All my experiences have shaped me into the woman I am today. And while I did experience pain, it was well worth it. I am happy I never sacrificed myself to marriage, because I know I wouldn’t have been happy.
Whether or not you should do the same is up to you. I just want you to know what is waiting for you when you turn 30. It’s not always better on your own.