Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage… And Then There’s Me

I always laugh at how much this picture relates to my life, especially if you replace “have a baby” with “get married.” And it’s not just my hometown. It’s my college town, too.

In the past two days, four of my friends have gotten married. FOUR. In TWO DAYS. Two of those people were younger than me. (Friends and family, most of you have heard this rant. Leave while you can.) My Facebook is flooded with wedding pictures. Getting married young became a trend (as far as I can tell) while I was in college and it’s left my head spinning. A ton of my friends and acquaintances from both home and school got engaged, and some of them married, while still in college. My sister Allie, who is two years younger than me, has had the same thing happen. It’s gotten to the point where we keep a competitive tally. Collectively, we estimate that we have fifty friends that are either engaged or married, all of them aged between eighteen and twenty-four.

As a twenty-two year old who is chronically single, all of this early marriage business makes me question what I’ve been doing with my life. For the record, I have had one boyfriend.  We dated during my senior year of high school. I did not like being with him, but I spent a good four out of the five months of our relationship convincing myself that, since I’d never been a girlfriend before, I was the problem. (This was an incorrect assumption and to be sure, if I were in the same situation now, I would have a different mindset and we wouldn’t have gone out for nearly as long.) Then I went to a university known for its gay population, enrolling as a theatre major, so you can imagine my prospects. (Ironically, I think the theatre department has more straight guys than any other at my alma mater. Sadly, it’s a small department.)

So maybe it’s not completely my fault. But it’s also true that I haven’t exactly been pursuing guys either. While on the outside I declare that I don’t need a guy and I am an independent and super-busy young woman, on the inside, the truth is that I am very shy and somehow forget how to use my voice when guys are around. This is another reason why I don’t go to parties- I wouldn’t know what to do if approached by someone of the opposite sex. And while I believe one hundred percent that a woman can be independent and super busy and still hold onto a significant other, I’m pretty old fashioned in that I will never do the asking. I don’t think I could ever ask a boy out; at my best friend’s wedding last summer, I wouldn’t even ask a boy to swing dance, even though I really, really wanted to dance.

All of these things add up to me again feeling like the weirdo. I love that all of my friends are finding love and forming lifelong romantic bonds, but I feel a little left out. Then, of course, if one of my friends tries to set me up with someone, I spaz out and screw the whole thing up (see above about my voice loss.) Basically, it feels like I will be stuck in this vicious cycle forever while Facebook keeps track of how many of the people I know are pairing off.

I know I wouldn’t be feeling like this if I were the same age with a host of unattached friends, but that’s not the case. Yet again, I am behind on a trend and both my social and romantic retardation seem to guarantee me a life of watching from the sidelines. I am very, very happy for all of my romantically advanced friends… it’s just that sometimes I like to be one of the cool ones, too.

None of this means I want to rush into marriage or even a relationship. I guess it’s just the feeling that there’s some race going on that I didn’t know had started, and I haven’t even tied my shoes.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 16:20:08

    It didn’t become a trend so much as it is tradition, it has even decreased in the last few years (decade?) as the average marriage age has gone up (baseline being when college wasn’t as common so they got married even younger because what else are you going to do? Work? :p ) Though I will say I seem to have more friends who aren’t jumping on the marriage train than aren’t (you’re not alone, did you notice how many “dates” were at the wedding? Including surprises there were… 5, all but one on Grant’s side, I counted). I would link to an university article about the tradition by spring but they have a quote from me that reads ridiculous and should die, really, really die.

    And look at this way- you can learn from the rest of us what to do and not to do (like standing up to the soon-to-be-mother-in-law and not making a pageant of the rehearsal dinner- that’s a really serious do, still don’t know whyyyyy she wanted flowers, there were antlers in the chandelier).

    Reply

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