An article in Marie Claire discusses the dilemma that women today face: marriage and children vs having a career. Though some women manage to have both, others struggle with the timing. Women are attending college and persuing careers in record numbers, and many feel that their success in life is determined by their career. It has now become the norm for women to seek careers; it is becoming increasingly rare to find women whose primary interest is getting married and settling down with a family at a young age. According to an article written by Hannah Seligson, “The median age for a first marriage is the highest it’s ever been in the United States, and couples are dating for longer periods of time. No one wants to give ultimatums, but no one wants to waste years, either. Women used to offer up their virginity; now it’s their time that is the most precious conjugal commodity of the 21st century. How long should you wait? And when does waiting become foolish?”
Though it may sound glib, I tend to think that the age to marry is different for every woman. I’ve been in a relationship for nearly three years, and, while I’ve heard people talk about how they would like to experience being single while they are young, I disagree. I don’t regret the last three years of my life, because they are the happiest I’ve ever been. I was single my freshman year in college, and didn’t enjoy it. Being in a relationship hasn’t held me back at all; my boyfriend and I have traveled, persued careers, explored our interests, and maintained healthy relationships with our friends during our relationship. I understand that some women crave independence and cannot feel self-sufficient while in a relationship; however, I tend to think some woman my age also feel that they “should” be single in their 20s, to fulfill what’s now sociologically expected of them. I, myself, have often wondered why I don’t find myself craving a Carrie Bradshaw-esque lifestyle; the truth is, I would much prefer a laid-back atmosphere surrounded by my boyfriend and close friends, rather than go to a trendy club just to be “seen.” I’ve had friends who really like the guys that they’ve been casually dating, but feel that they don’t want to get into a relationship because they feel like they should be single, rather than that they actually want to be single. I also have friends who actually enjoy being single, and I’m fine with that. I think it’s always better to follow your heart than follow some arbitrary guidelines defined by modern society. So if you like being in a relationship, that’s great! If you want to date for 10 years before getting married, go for it! If you want to be single forever, and never get married, I say, congratulations on knowing what you want out of life! Do what feels right to you, because everyone is different. To quote Jersey Shore, as I often do in situations of dire uncertainty: “Do you.”
What do you think?