If I had a dollar for every time I got asked “Why aren’t you married yet?!”, I would be able to buy an entirely new wardrobe and a week’s vacation to the Bahamas. Sometimes I want to give some ridiculous answer like the one above just to ruffle people’s feathers, but then I worry they might take me seriously. Speaking of seriously, I haven’t been 30 for even a month yet and I’ve been asked that question more than I did all of last summer combined…
For any of you single folk out there, maybe you can relate. Maybe you’re a guy and you get asked that question even more than me since it’s your “job” to ask a lady to marry you. If you’re not single, you’ve probably been asked a question that’s similar: Why don’t you have kids yet? Why aren’t you promoted yet? Why aren’t you buying a house yet? The list goes on and on.
It seems the world will never be rid of expectations. As a young single adult in a religion that holds temple marriage as one of the Gold Medals of this life’s Olympics, I’ve had to learn how to take the best nuggets of wisdom from things instead of becoming exasperated by them.
A friend of mine who is serving as a medic in Afghanistan wrote me and asked the same question…
When I turned the question on him, he gave me this response:
“I am not married yet because I am a hopeless romantic. I want my wife to be in love with me and we stay in love the whole time we are married and not wait till I am 60 to fall back in love with each other.”
I don’t know much about fighting in a war. I don’t pretend to know what horrible things this young man sees day-to-day as a medic fighting the war on terrorism. But what I do know is that he must have a better grasp on life and death than I do, and cherish things like love and marriage far more as well.
A sixteen year old version of me would’ve read this young man’s response and been like, “Well duh, like totally you want to be in love, that’s why you get married, helllooooo.” But time, seeing other people’s marriages, and having good and bad experiences within dating has taught the older wiser version of that girl that it isn’t always necessarily the case for a married couple. I don’t want to fake it til I make it then.
A popular thing going around Instagram is asking you to share 5 things someone might not know about you. It’s a neat little game because you get to see how well you do or don’t know someone – but you also have to bear part of your soul. The #1 thing I chose to write was this: My dream come true and greatest fear are one in the same: marriage.
I think a lot of people misunderstand what I mean by that. I’m not afraid of getting married. I CANNOT wait! I’ve dreamt of it everyday since I saw my first picture of a bride and groom kissing outside of the temple. But sometimes I am afraid of the “what if’?”s. Afraid of marrying the wrong man. Afraid of being not that 60-year-old woman who’s trying to fall back in love with her husband or get him to fall back in love with me, but like the 20 or 30 something old women that I see fighting that very thing. I’m afraid I’ll give in and marry just to get people off my back and put that big green check in the box so I can be what people consider a success.
But then I laugh at myself and kick those fears to the curb. There’s a million “what if?’s” to almost every decision we make in this life, and if we spent our time worrying and fretting over those so much that they took control of our lives, we’d be miserable! I know I’m not going to be that stupid girl, not 60 not 35, not ever. I take immense comfort in knowing no matter what question we get asked about not having or doing something yet, we can trust in the Lord and His time – if we trust Him, and act on faith.
I would rather live a thousand lifetimes alone than marry without that so-crazy-in-love-I-can’t-eat-sleep-think-without-you, and I hope we’ll all get to whatever point society expects us to get to on our own terms, at the right time, with the right people, with the end result of JOY. Why else are we here?
So, what’s the question YOU always get asked, and how do you respond?