Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Find adventure, Single or Married

When I finally had a good internet connection today and hopped on Facebook, I saw the article, "23 Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You're 23." I decided to take a quick break from exploring temples, riding elephants, and learning to cook here in Thailand to share my thoughts on this topic.

When I saw the article's title, I thought, sure, there are tons of things to do and see at 23. As soon as I made my way past the title and down a couple paragraphs, my blood started to boil. I get the author's intent: there are other things to do with your life in your early 20's other than getting married. Ok, fair enough, not everyone gets married at 23 and that's perfectly fine. But to state that getting married young is a cop-out? I call bullshit on that one.

The author of this article makes several points, the main one being that you miss out on adventure and finding yourself if you get married before 23. She then gives a list of all the things you could be doing instead of getting married. On her list, only 2 things you can't (or shouldn't) do while married. I am pretty certain that marriage doesn't stop me from adopting a pet, doing a pinterest craft, signing up for crossfit, eating an entire jar of Nutella in one sitting, or writing a blog. I can do these things married, engaged, single, old, young, now, later; I don't think it's defined by my relationship status. Do single people think that we married people just sit at home and stare at each other?

The point of this list was to tell the young singles that you must "find yourself" before giving yourself to someone else and that you will not have these opportunities to discover yourself once you "settle down" in marriage. I don't think that you should ever stop discovering yourself, growing, adapting, learning, whether you are married or not. Marriage doesn't mean you have to stay the same person forever and never change. Just as in single life, you can learn news things, see news things, make mistakes, discover the world. Marriage does not mean "settling down" and it certainly doesn't mean giving up opportunities. Sure, there are more compromises to be made, but that doesn't mean you have to stop doing things you love or seeing the world. It just means you have someone to do those things with. Life is an adventure at any age or marital status.

Since my husband and I said "I do" in 2012 at the ripe old age of 21, I have had more fun and adventure than any other stage of life. We didn't stop hanging out with our friends or doing fun things on weekends. We didn't stop chasing our dreams or getting an education. We didn't stop traveling. We didn't stop finding new hobbies. If anything, marriage has helped me discover myself more than being single ever did and has opened up adventures that I never knew were possible.

The article also states that people who get married young do so to "hide behind their significant other instead of dealing with life's highs and lows on their own." You mean to tell me that life all the sudden gets easy when you are married? Yes, hardships are easier to face with someone, but was I coping out? Hell no. Marriage isn't easy and life doesn't turn into rainbows and unicorns as soon as you say I do. Life's ups just seem a bit more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with. Sure, you shouldn't jump into marriage just to have someone to share life with, and yes, some people make the mistake of marrying the wrong person when they are young. At the same time, if you are 100% sure your significant other is the one for you and you are ready for that step, being under 23 shouldn't stop you. There is no set age at which you should get married or any set list of things you have to do before you take that step.

The point of all of this is simple: Each person is dealt a separate hand in life. Some get married young. Some don't find the person they are going to marry until later in life. Some people never get married. There is no rule book saying at what age you should be hitting each milestone in life. Instead of focusing on changing the cards you were given, make the most of them. If you are 23 and married, live life to the fullest and take every opprtunity. If you are 23 and single, do the same! Life is too short, we don't need anyone telling us how our life is supposed to play out.

Rant over, time to go back to my married life, living abroad and riding elephants


  1. Lovely post and well said, we all dealt with separate hand in life. Me at 23 I was ready to get married but I decided to finish uni first then get married and that's my choice just like it was your choice to get married at 21. No one is coping out we just living life. I agree with you 100%.

  2. Oh wow...I read the whole post...and I feel sad, because I feel that that young girl has a very narrow view of marriage and life. Oh wait, I'm 22, I'm probably younger than she is. :P I've been married since I was 19--and for me, I don't think that was a cop out at all. With my husband, I think I have MORE opportunities and freedom to adventure.
    Besides, I think the article is based on false assumptions. She claims that people are getting married at younger and younger ages....and that's simply not true. he average age of first marriage has gone up. 100 years ago, it was MUCH more common for teenagers to get married, because at that time, teenagers were considered adults and quite capable of being married and raising a family. These days, adolescence is so extended by extra years of schooling and society expectations that people aren't even expected to be real adults till they're 30?
    Oh, and in the 3 years I've been married I've traveled to 7 states and 1 foreign country with my husband...finished my last 3 semesters to get my bachelor's degree, gotten a cosmetology license, had articles published in 3 different magazines, had blue, pink, and purple hair, gotten pets, learned to sew my own clothes, and begun the process of moving overseas together.
    It's not that marriage is the be-all and end-all of life. I'm a big believer in that it's extremely possible to live a content and adventurous single life. But man, if you get the chance to be married and do life with a spouse who loves you....why not?

  3. Thank you for writing this! I saw that same article and it pissed me off for all of the same reasons you listed. While I got married at 25, I've had lots of "friends" that are single/in relationships that say it's ridiculous to get married now/what's the rush/your life is now so boring and it drives me crazy. I wish I could email this post to every single one of them haha okay rant over! Have a happy new year!

  4. I actually just read that and was annoyed too. Now not because I'm married because I'm totally not, but just the way that she approached it. I think she was trying to say that we shouldn't feel pressured to get married when it seems as if ALL of our friends are! I mean I have at least 6 friends that are either already married or engaged, then at least that many that will be engaged within the next year! And I just graduated high school this last year! I don't like the way she wrote it at all, but I think that it could've been a really good article.

  5. I read this list yesterday and I got really annoyed by it. I'm not married, but I have been in a committed relationship for 3 years. I'm only 24, but marriage is a topic that comes up with us often. I've never felt held back by my relationship, and I feel like people who haven't found love look down on those who have. Like you said, it's not like I've stopped living just because I'm in a committed relationship. We still have separate friendship circles, and we don't hang out with just people who are in committed relationships. We have our own lives. If anything, being in a relationship has been more beneficial to my wannabe adventurous lifestyle because I always have someone that I can convince to go do crazy things with me. I hate when people think that getting married or being in a relationship is a hindrance. It's really not, and I feel like I've learned so much about myself by falling in love.

  6. I read that post and while I think it was supposed to inspire the singles, it infuriated the non-singles. I get that the author's intent was to inspire adventure, but ANYONE can be adventurous. It may be a little easier for singles but that doesn't stop the married folks! EVERYONE should have an adventure!

    And while we're on a rant, I saw last week a popular blogger posted on Twitter "Getting married at 22 is like leaving the party at 9 pm." I'm not even married and that Tweet made me upset!

  7. I can't even begin to say how angry that article made me -- I've seen it all over Facebook but just now took the time to read it in it's entirety. I went to college in the south, where most of my friends got married right after we graduated. When I moved back to New York, I was feeling the pressure to "find someone" and "settle down." Everyone around me (up north) made it sound like life was over once you get married. That you could never do fun things, that a night out with the girls would be a thing of the past, and you had to give up all of your dreams for the future. However, after taking multiple girls trips with my MARRIED girlfriends, and watching them develop into confident, charitable, amazing people, I was certainly given a reality check. I can totally understand where some of these thoughts come from (especially as a single woman), but I truly believe that they have not opened their minds to the world around them. My only conclusion is that she had to have come from a family (or have friends) who have been in awful relationships!

    Okay, my rant is over now!

  8. Love this! I agree with all of it. Since my husband and I married (also at 21), I have gotten my bachelor's degree, master's degree, dream job, and started a blog! Meanwhile, he has had four promotions, two deployments, and we're about to venture to our second duty station! All of this was with my husband and best friend with me every step of the way and I don't feel like I "settled" at all. I always love reading your blog :)

  9. I love this. I think so many people get caught up thinking it has to happen for them right away and if it doesn't, they're doomed. When in reality God has the perfect plan and we should be thankful for that!

  10. I love this post, your reaction is spot on. (I hope you are having fun on your vaca) But I got married at 19 and feel like I have found myself more because I live a life that forces me to be strong and discover confidence in situations when my spouse is away. But in no way for me was marriage a cop out, I love being married and have for the last 7 years. I think if you find the right person you can both thrive in the world!!

  11. Totally… Marriage as a cop-out? Really? Good post. I've been reading your blog for awhile now, and I always looks forward to your posts.

  12. I totally agree with you. I was soo mad the whole time I was reading that. I don't understand why she thinks you can't do fun things like that if you're married. Ugh. If anything, all of that is much more exciting if you're married because you can share it with someone you love!

  13. I hate these bologna articles too. Marriage is one of the hardest, biggest commitments there is to make. Nick and I are also set on exploring and growing and doing new things, but together. I would be just fine as a single woman, but that's not where my life took me, and it doesn't mean I'm chained to my kitchen with a limit list.

  14. I love this post, very truthful and honest, and everyone has their own opinions. I don't look down on people who get married at a "younger" age than others. Everyone matures at different times in their lives.

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  16. I like your title Find adventure, Single or Married. Are you kidding me let me know something. What do you think who is living the more adventurous life the person who is married or who is single.
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  17. I think we were facing the same problem regarding to the internet speed. If someone is doing the professional work on internet and the internet will become slow how much it can irritate a person.


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