A couple weeks ago, a HuffPost article called “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged When You’re 23” created quite the stir.
Single people like myself instantly clicked on the piece, shared it with all our friends on Facebook and connected with the writer’s perceptions of young marriage. Vanessa Elizabeth, travel blogger at wanderonwards.com, made fun of the very American cliché that young people want to get married so quickly because they want someone to cuddle with. She writes, “It’s cold outside… you want to cuddle and talk about your feelings… life after graduation is a tough transition… so why not just cut to the chase and get married, right?” Elizabeth continues with divorce rate statistics and how marriage is a cop-out for kids who need to “hide behind a significant other” to deal with life’s troubles.
As you could imagine, the young married individuals Elizabeth calls out in this article were not pleased. And they’re right. Reducing someone’s marriage to a cop-out isn’t really an assumption one should make if they aren’t in a serious relationship.
I’ve never had a serious relationship. I don’t even have any prospects. I mean, look at the title of this fucking blog. My singledom is clear. So of course I connect with the girl who sits on her floor eating a jar of Nutella, singing Lady Gaga songs to her dog. It’s who I am, and I’m content with that. And then I see my friends who are so hopelessly in love; engaged or married to someone they know to be “the one.” And that’s rad.
Some marriages don’t work out. Some dream career paths don’t turn out the way we hoped. Either way, we shouldn’t assume the outcome of someone’s life choices, choices made in the name of happiness. Isn’t that what we all want anyways? Happiness? Why would you belittle someone’s lifestyle because it doesn’t fit what you perceive as normal or satisfying? Unless that person is living like an asshole and treating people like shit, then leave it alone. Your judgments mean nothing. We encourage each other’s happiness by saying, “DO YOU” but then tear them down when “doing them” doesn’t meet our criteria.
It’s always cool to meet people just like you, people who get you and live life the way you do. But it’s just as rad seeing someone living completely different and loving life. Being a bold bitch is doing whatever the fuck it is that makes you happy.
It’s OK to be married at 23 and it’s OK not to get married at all, or have kids when you’re 35 without a partner, or travel your whole life without a steady job. Stop worrying about what other people are doing, and respect that they do what makes them happy. If it didn’t make them happy, it’s still not your business. But if that person happens to be a friend, direct them toward the right path for the right reason. Not just because it fits your definition of happy.
xoxo Robby Rob