By Beth Winze
The first time I told someone, I had no intention or future thought of getting married or having kids I got a blank stare. Like I had tripped over a plug in their mind that disconnected them from what I had just said. I shuffled my feet around for a second feeling uncomfortable waves roll between us. “Okay then.” was all they said back.
At the age of sixteen I wanted nothing more than to plan my future wedding. What flowers I would choose, the color of the bridesmaid dresses, the songs to dance to, the venue to have it at – all I needed was _________ (insert husband’s name here). I grew up around girls who pinned our weddings away on Pinterest when we got together and dreamt about wife and motherhood.
Somewhere along the way I fell in love with the idea of marriage and motherhood and fell out of love with myself. I was massively unhappy when my friend got a new boyfriend and yes (even at seventeen) started seeing my friends settle down with their future spouses. All throughout high school I struggled with being single to the point where I thought something was seriously wrong with me. I was told repeatedly that the right guy was out there for me, and God was preparing him, but it felt more like a pat on the head to an upset child, a band-aid covering a bullet hole. It hurt and I allowed my obsession to find someone control the majority of my high school life. I became terrified of being the single girl who would eventually become the dateless woman. And in my mind, at that point, there was something horrific with that.
Now I’m in college. The prime time for the dating pool to be jumped right into. Males are more mature, and you refer to them more as men than boys. Along with college comes the engagement posts you see on Facebook (or pregnancy) if they’re starting early. I see something like this at least once a month through mutual friends and the surprising thing is, my mentality has taken a complete change.
I’ve had several opportunities to mix and mingle with men my age and learn more about them. Interests are different and often times I find them asking me what I want in my future. I tell them that after graduation I have plans to move to NYC and climb the job ladder quickly. I have an idea of what I want for my life and for some reason that doesn’t have a wedding ring or a wedding planner in it.
Society pushes marriage and family into the face of most people. There is nothing wrong with either of these things at all. I think marriage and starting families are beautiful things, but I also believe that I’m not ready for that. As much as my sixteen-year-old self craved that future, the now twenty-year-old me is busy falling in love with myself, my major and my friends to be worried about finding someone to settle down with permanently.
I have set massive goals for myself that I want to be able to accomplish on my own – traveling more, moving to a massive city, holding a job in the career path that I am happy with. I guess some people could see this as selfish or the lonely life, but honestly, I am 100% happy about it. Learning to love myself and everything that comes with being a college student is an amazing experience that I don’t want to cut short. I want to be able to complete the goals I set and not have to worry about making sure that someone else is okay with it.
No, I’m not swearing off marriage or motherhood by any means, but for now, I am okay without a ring on my left hand or a wedding planner in my purse. For some reason, when people hear this from me it comes as a shock and they tell me that the perfect guy is out there. If he is, that’s fantastic, but if he’s not, I refuse to lay my hopes in another person to bring me happiness. I don’t need another person to complete me, I need to complete myself.
…..now that I’m at the end of my post I feel like I had a massive purpose for writing this. But as most of my posts, my train of thoughts derailed awhile ago. I guess if there’s one takeaway, it’s this. Don’t force yourself to believe that to be complete you have to get married and have a family at a young age. Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself and get to know and fall in love with you. I’m sure getting to fall asleep next to someone you love every night is a beautiful thing, but ultimately you have to love going to bed every night with the person you are individually.