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WHO to Love, Not WHEN to Love

As you scroll down your Facebook timeline, scan your Twitter feed and flip through your favorite magazine, articles discussing marriage and relationships are inevitable. Titles range from: “Why Millennials are Waiting to Get Married” to “10 Awesome Perks of Getting Married Really Young” — and these articles spew off reason after reason to either wait to get married or to tie the knot young. Yes it’s true — both sides make valid points, but in the end, I feel they’re missing just one thing.

Advocates of waiting until you’re out of your 20s and well out of college offer the argument that, as a human being, you change and evolve so much in your mid 20s that it is a death wish not to wait until you’re out of these pivotal years to settle down with a significant other. They preach that you should have your own career and an independent life before you even think about finding that ‘special someone’. These authors tend to paint the picture that those who are married young will become stuck in a ’50s-like marriage which is the lifestyle of our grandmothers — and educated and successful women should not fall into this trap. Their suggestion is to wait until everything else in your life is together to find a husband — the best course of action for any practical woman to take.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have those who advocate through articles the idea of getting married young. Most of these writers themselves have committed their lives to another and said those famous words “I do” at a young age. Yes, they do agree that there are challenges (like any relationship), but the benefit of going through life’s growing pains with someone by their side creates a strong bond that others are missing out on. These love stories revolve around couples that have been together since high school or early college and do not have to worry about the relationship and ‘life’ baggage that partners bring later in life. This idealistic point of view talks of true love and overcoming all obstacles with a faithful partner by your side, but tends to skim over the true challenges of going through life constantly concerned about another person.

My question for these magazines, bloggers, authors and our society as a whole is, why have we become a generation obsessed with when we should settle down, rather than with who we should settle down? Think about it! We have become so obsessed with creating the perfect timing that we forget to remember that life is a cruel ‘broad’ who does not give two sh*ts about what our ‘plans’ are. It does not matter if you meet the man you end up marrying at 18 or even at 30 — if he is not right for you, a failed marriage does not discriminate based on age.

My advice to women (and men) out there is to start thinking about the person you want to be with, rather than when in your life you want to be with them. Start asking yourself: What kind of qualities do they have? What are their goals? Do we have the same values? This is what we should be asking ourselves. When we find that person who fits the mold of who we want our significant other to be, we should hold on to them regardless of our age or chapter in life. If two people really love each other, it does not matter at what age you settle down. The point I am trying to make is, we need to stop planning our lives so much and learn to recognize what we have in front of us. Don’t feel pressured to achieve all of your goals before working another person into your life if you’ve met the right one. And don’t feel the need to settle down young with just anyone if they’re not going to be the one to stick with you through the hard times. Accept the fact that good things are worth waiting for.

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Olivia Angel

Cincinnati

Communication and PR major at the University of Cincinnati. Split my time between my sorority and modeling in NYC and Chicago
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