“Strangers See My Ring and Shake Their Heads”
By: Priscilla De Silva
Every girl dreams of meeting the right guy and getting married. As a child, I would always envision that I would be 30 years old getting married and having the dream life. Little did I know, I would be meeting my future husband a whole lot sooner. I found the one, my prince charming, and on my birthday February 19, 2015, he proposed with a beautiful ring.
I was in bliss and couldn’t wait to tell everyone. When the announcement of my engagement arrived, it was met with a lot of hostility that I couldn’t comprehend. Strangers would see my ring and shake their heads. Family members would ask, “Is that real? How old are you? You will regret it later.” It did not occur to me, until my mother asked if I was sure about getting married so young, that it was because of my age.
I was 19 and I was told that I was too young to understand marriage.
The stigmatization of young marriages is growing more common with every year that passes. Today, marriage is seen as something you do when you are done living your life and as my mother puts it, “when you are done sowing your oats.”
With the liberation of women and the increase of people getting an education, being single is now considered being “free,” whereas having a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse, is now denounced.
According to the the U.S Census Bureau, the average age a woman gets married is 27 and the average age for a man is 29, and as the data showed, that number is increasing every year.
Many women, who through the modernization of society and the inequalities they struggle with, feel that they must accomplish the world before they “tie the knot.” The word “domestication” takes on a whole new meaning for the working women of today.
The media has a big influence on the negativity that surrounds young marriage.
In movies, there’s the adulterous wife who dreams of what her life would be if she didn’t marry straight out of highschool, and the workaholic husband who comes home and doesn’t want to deal with the kids they had too young.
Stories are always about divorces and never celebrate marriages that are strong and lasting, and in response tell younger generations that marriage is a waste of time. With so many choices from open relationships to friends-with-benefits, the pros of being married in a simple monogamous relationship has become lost in translation.
The opinions that people felt they needed to express to me became overwhelming, and I often found myself feeling embarrassed about my upcoming wedding. I would often opt out of using the word husband or fiance in order to avoid the negative comments of strangers, and would over-emphasize my responsibilities as an adult as a defense mechanism.
I am now 21 years old and after a long engagement, the wedding is fast approaching. I can’t help but feel some resentment toward myself for letting the marriage shaming go on for as long as it did.
OPINIONS ARE JUST OPINIONS! You learn to be grateful for the people who love you and want the best for you, but in the end the only person that can speak on your behalf is you.
So the overall question is, “When is it the right time to get married?” And the answer is simple, there is no right answer. There is also no wrong answer. It is just about listening to your gut.
Marriage should not be seen as an ending, but a very bright beginning.
I am still choosing to rock out in my twenties. I want to see the world. The only difference is that he will be there by my side, holding my hair on those bad nights of too many margaritas and eating pizza together at midnight.
The timeline of life is not concrete and should not be placed in a box, because in the end the true goal is to look back and know that you were truly happy.
Categories: Sex and Relationships