Sunday, December 12, 2010

Discourage Marriage?

I don't know if it's crossed your mind, but in most romance novels (of any type), the hero - or main hero - is usually an older man. In the past decade, most heroines are also edging upward in age. Late twenties and even into their thirties, if not older. I like this facet of romance. I wish this were truly the way in real life sometimes, too. With age comes wisdom.

As I grew up, my mother constantly told me not to hurry to the alter. Live life, she'd tell me. Enjoy being single. Date. Be free to do what you want to do. And I did. I didn't tie the knot until I was thirty, and I have her encouragement to thank. I'm glad I had those years to have heart-loves and heartaches, and at times, just a hell of a good time. Now my life is settled and most of my *ahem* "single" enjoyment comes from the words I read or write, but that's okay with me. Been there, done that, ya know.

I'm not saying that people who choose to marry young are wrong. I know several couples, even some of my relatives, who chose to marry right out of high school and seem to have happy marriages. Inwardly though, I shed a silent tear for them. It's a personal hang-up, I know. Everyone is different. Still, I cannot help but believe a person has to have time by themselves, to find themselves, if you will, before committing to another.

I take this so much to heart that I've even begun to instill this credo in my own children. I've told them all they are not to wed before they are thirty, at least. They're like, "okay, Mom." But last night, the four of us sat in one of their bedrooms laughing uproariously (me especially), because I suppose some of what I instill is hitting home. Each one of them shared with me why they weren't getting married: because their wives wouldn't let them play video games all the time or buy a certain "toy" they wanted or wouldn't let them do this or that. Through chuckles (they did get animated and were quite the exaggerators), I did amend that one day they would want to be married, but that yes, they would definitely want to do X and Y first, because with marriage comes change. In a marriage, you do have to think of others first. There's nothing wrong with that, but I believe if you haven't had the opportunity to think of yourself first, as a relative carefree single individual, then it makes life extremely hard to share with someone else all the time. 

So am I against marriage as a whole, of course not. I'm just saying that it's okay to wait. Like the words we pen and we read, the right commitment is out there. If it's meant to be, it will be. Even if it takes time.  

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