By: Lauren Kochanowski
If you’re in your mid-to-late 20s, you’re likely experiencing a wave of wedding-related Instagram and Facebook posts. First, it’s the “We’re engaged!” photos, which usually include a strategically-placed-yet-meant-to-be-subtle close-up of the ring. Then, those people actually end up getting married. And you’re left thinking, “When did we all get so grown up?”
Especially if you’re single, when friends, acquaintances, and even strangers start pairing off, it can be hard not to panic. Thoughts that’ll cross your mind might include, “Since these people are my age, shouldn’t I have found my soulmate by now?” or “When will I find that person?” And the most anxiety-ridden thought of them all, “What if I never find someone?”
When you start having these thoughts, pause, then take a deep breath and either metaphorically or literally, take a step back. If marriage is something you believe in, it will happen when the timing is right for you. As difficult as it is, it’s important to realize that whatever’s happening in other people’s lives is totally different from what’s happening in your own life. You’re not ready to take that next step yet, and so what? Why are we all in such a rush?
Speaking of rushes, those who rush to walk down the aisle because they feel pressured to are usually the ones who sooner rush to the lawyer’s office, ready to fill out divorce paperwork. Marriage, defined today amongst our generation, is meant to be based on love, and many people seem to forget this concept because they think they’re getting too old, or don’t want to be left behind.
Making the decision to spend your life with one particular person can be exciting, amazing, and truly the experience of a lifetime. But marriage will not complete you. Marriage is not all flowers, Sunday mornings, and grand romantic gestures. Marriage requires hard work. And if you’re not happy with yourself when single, you definitely won’t be happy with yourself when in a committed relationship.
It can be hard not to be bitter when those around you start pairing off. But just because someone is getting married and you’re not doesn’t mean that either one of you is better than the other. All it means is that the events in your life are taking place at different times. And that’s okay. When the timing (and more importantly, the person) is right for you, it’ll happen.
So try your best to hold in those snide remarks when you see (yet another) engagement post. Yes, it still feels like we’re all in high school, a much simpler time when talk of marriage was strictly reserved for Bella Swan and Edward Cullen (though let’s be real, we were all Team Jacob at some point). But the reality is, we have grown up and part of growing up often involves settling down with someone.
Your time will come and when it does, you’ll want people to be happy and support you. And besides, you know what they say about karma. Don’t let news of other people’s lives become the center of your world. Focus on yourself and what makes you happy, and the rest will all fall into place.