marriage isn’t the end.

I recently read a blog post about things you can do instead of getting engaged. I started reading with a positive feeling – but that quickly changed. The post was a bit pompous and rude. I was engaged when I was 21 and married not that long after I turned 22. And my life isn’t over.

One thing she said that really irked me was that she had done more in her 22 years of life than married friends ever would. I’m pretty sure no. I’ve been to 21 countries, traveling mostly alone or with 1-3 friends (or Rambo). I’ve met and made friends with countless people who were like-minded wayfarers and locals. I’ve learned (or at least learned words and phrases) of at least a half dozen languages. I’ve been to universities and churches that are older than my own country.

Since Rambo and I started dating we’ve been to 5 countries (2 of which were post-marriage). We have 0 babies (and don’t plan on any for a while yet). Since getting engaged, I’ve finished university (with honors), gotten 3 jobs, quit 3 jobs and applied for a visa to move to Scotland.

While Rambo is “legally obligated to support” me financially, he doesn’t actually pay for my life. I am fully able to work and provide for myself – and I do. What I do have is a best friend that does everything with me. Maybe you’re luckier than me and your best friend lives nearby, but I haven’t had that for a long time. C and Little J live really far from me and so our friendship is sustained mostly via facebook, texts, Skype and precious few days together. I go to movies and dinner alone or with my mom more often than anything else. With Rambo, I have a dinner date and a movie date and a traveling partner. I love to travel (luckily, so does Rambo) and so we make time and budget for that. If you love something, it doesn’t have to die when you join in holy matrimony.

I don’t understand why there is this feeling around marriage that life ends. Or that marriage = babies. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

There is no textbook requirement of you’ve dated for x number of years and so now you must become engaged and then married. Had life worked out differently for Rambo and me, we probably would not have gotten engaged/married so soon. Every relationship is different and you have to do what works for you. No one knows what happens behind closed doors (either figuratively or literally) in your relationship, nor should they. C told me once of her boyfriend at the time seeing another girl, and that almost permanently colored my opinion of him.

Moral of my story here is do whatever you want. You don’t need to feel bad about being single. You don’t have to get engaged by a certain point in your life. It isn’t necessary for you to be married by a certain age. If you get married at 18, great! If you get married at 80, great! Be with people you love. Being married doesn’t make you less important than when you were single. I lovedoesn’t have to die when you join in holy matrimony.

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