It feels like every time I log on to Facebook, another friend from high school is engaged, married or pregnant. Meanwhile, I have a 500 square foot apartment and a dog. AND I LOVE IT. I don’t want to get engaged, I don’t want a hashtag and I definitely don’t want an expensive wedding. At least not right now. I’m in my early twenties and I cannot understand how anyone could possibly advise anyone gets married this young. I haven’t done anything yet! How am I supposed to “settle down” when I haven’t even gotten in the game?
1. Because you don’t know what you want.
How do you know you won’t wake up in two years and hate the face looking back at you? Maybe you never will know that for sure. However, I think we are all definitely making the least informed decisions at this point in our lives. I don’t know what I want! I can barely decide on a color for my nails much less a life partner.
2. Because you don’t want to give up your bed.
One of my greatest joys in life is my queen size bed all to myself (and my dog). Having the ability to completely sprawl my 5’2 body across said mattress is pure bliss. I don’t want to share! Even when I do have company, I can’t wait for them to leave. Getting married means they never leave. I’ll pass.
3. Or, pick up after someone else.
I am an organized messy person. As in, my mess is organized and I don’t need someone else’s mess coming into my mess and ruining it. You have to share everything including chores. Right now, I do everything on my terms. Dirty dishes in the sink? Sure, I’ll get to it next week when I finish binging on Scandal. Marriage, as far as I know, doesn’t really work like that.
4. Because you haven’t dated enough.
I’ve been in one actual, serious relationship and a lot of “I don’t really know what this is” relationships. I’ve been on more first dates than I can count and yet, I don’t think I’ve dated enough. I still don’t know exactly what I want in a partner. I just know everything thus far is a no. I think the only way to find out is well, dating more.
5. Because you need to learn to be independent.
One of the most important things to me in this life is being independent. I don’t want to rely on anyone for anything. Sometimes you have to, but I want to be able to lead a life on my own and I don’t think getting married in your 20’s helps you achieve that. You won’t have the opportunity to mess up on your own and figure out how to fix it.
6. Because you’ll have to compromise.
Do want to decorate your entire apartment with posters of Rihanna? In a marriage, you’ll have to compromise with your partner and probably settle for maybe one poster and not 10. I mean, I know this isn’t the biggest issue, but the time for you to do literally *whatever* you want in life with little consequences is limited. Why end that earlier than you need to?
7. Because you should be selfish during this time in your life.
All of this is to say that I’m probably pretty selfish right now. I care most about myself because no one else is going to take the time to care about my life. Not to say I’m a monster who doesn’t care about other people, but your twenties are naturally a selfish time.
8. Because it could take the focus away from your goals.
Say you get an offer for your dream job across the country. If you’re single, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be on the next plane out. If you’re married, however, you have another person’s life to consider. You’ll have to compromise. Once you’re older, you’d be presumably further along in your career and more established. This kind of thing is probably less likely to happen.
9. Because weddings are expensive AF.
Aside from all of the personal reasons, what about the financial reasons? Weddings are expensive AF. Millennials are barely able to move out of their parent’s house. The average cost of a wedding is $35,329 and the class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. You do the math here, guys.
10. Because you’re still finding yourself.
I’m just now learning who I am and the kind of person I want to be. I believe ~finding yourself~ is a lifelong journey, but your twenties are an important time to figure these things out. Trying to find yourself with someone else sounds a lot more difficult. Having to balance the person you’ve committed to with the person you’re trying to become is an act I don’t want to have to perfect.
11. And, let’s face it, divorce is no fun.
I can barely keep a plant alive, much less a marriage. Plus, the facts don’t lie, people! Divorce rates are high and the likelihood of your marriage lasting is slim. About 40 to 50% of married couples in the United States get divorced, according to the American Psychological Association. And the younger you are, the more likely it won’t last.
A 2015 study suggests the best ages for people to have a long, successful marriage is between 28 and 32. I’m not saying we should all never get married. Although if you choose to do so, it’s totally cool. I am saying that we shouldn’t give in to societal pressure to tie the knot and that focusing on yourself is just as, if not more important than a wedding hashtag and a lifetime commitment. So, if anything, maybe try holding out a bit longer before you say “I do.”