How many times have you heard that question directed to you, female reader? Male reader, how about you? I can almost guarantee that females have heard it way, way more.
I am 22 years old. Many of my girlfriends are in their early twenties. Why is it expected of us to get married and pop out a couple of kids before the age of 30? Caitlin, Jen, her mom, and I discussed this today. In previous generations (even my parents’ generation), it was still socially expected to get married in your twenties and have a couple of children. I’m fortunate enough to live in an era where it isn’t necessarily expected of you.
However, I still run across this problem a lot – people (particularly older people, like my parent’s friends) ask me quite often if I have a boyfriend (such is the life, being young and female). When I say no, they ask why not. I usually answer something along the lines of how my standards are high, and list off some of my standards – I want them to be financially independent, a good sense of humor that matches my own, attractive (preferably Jewish, I have this thing for Jewish boys), and especially, I need him to not feel the need to call me all the time and check up on me. Also, he has to watch sports. That’s when the questioner tells me that I need to lower my standards.
Excuse me. Why do I have to lower my standards? Just so I can get married and fulfill my social requirements? I don’t think so. My stepmom is 40 or something, and she’s been married to my dad for 4 years. This is her first marriage. I respect her tremendously for wanting to be financially independent, in a secure career, and a homeowner before marrying.
In short, marrying just because you’re expected to? Is stupid. Don’t do it.