There seems to be an influx of young, attractive, intelligent people getting it into their heads that if they haven’t met the person they want to marry by 25 they’re doomed to die alone. I don’t understand or condone this mentality. The amount of friends that I have who are legitimately concerned that since they are currently single they will remain in a perpetual state of bachelorhood and inevitably die alone is both staggering and disheartening. Maybe don’t go buying all those cats to accompany you in your eternal isolation just yet.
I have an inordinate amount of friends who have online dating profiles, and that makes about as much sense to me as electing to wear sweatpants in public. Tinder is one thing (I guess), but a full on profile dedicated to the sole purpose of finding a mate when you’re anything other than a 55 year old divorcée is ridiculous. Granted, I know couples my age who have met online and are blissfully happy – I never suggested the two are mutually exclusive. I also understand that approaching someone at a bar isn’t the most fun or productive way to land a date. My issue isn’t with the concept of “online dating” proper, but rather it’s the fear-driven profile creation that leaves me shaking my head.
Our generation has collectively put so much pressure on ourselves to have our lives figured out by 30, so it’s no wonder we’re all terrified when we find ourselves not already married with children and a mortgage. With the divorce rate being what it is, I don’t know why any of us are in a rush to be engaged in our twenties (it’s okay if you are – don’t send me hate mail). Literally half of all relationships fail. HALF! That’s an insane number. That means that out of the 5 or so happily married couples I currently count as friends, at least two will ultimately end up divorced – and that conservative estimate alone breaks my heart. That’s not me being cynical either, those are empirical facts: statistics that don’t account for separated, estranged, or unhappy couples, mind you. I’m not here to besmirch the idea of marriage; I’m simply saying it’s not something we need to rush into when we’re still babies ourselves.
The chances of making it as a married couple increase exponentially the older you are when you tie the knot. You have a better understanding of who you are as a person, what your deal-breakers are, and who you want your partner to be. As someone who had a live-in boyfriend for five years, I can say that being in a serious relationship at a young age is not conducive to growing as a person. Get the casual sex, awkward dating experiences and mountains of heartbreak out of the way when you’re young. Not only will you have a better understanding of who you are both in and out of a relationship, but you’ll also never have to wonder what it would be like to have a slutty phase (which I would recommend everyone have while you’re still young, by the way).
Being ready to settle down and rushing because you’re terrified that you won’t ever get the chance to are two vastly different things. The chances of you legitimately never finding anyone are pretty damn slim. Love doesn’t run on a schedule, so don’t force it to. If you’re still single when you’re 30 you’re probably more likely to find your happily ever after than your already married friends (sorrynotsorry). The thought of having anything about my life at 25 being a permanent fixture for the rest of it is a tiny bit terrifying, so I’m in no rush to attach that moniker to another human being.
So before you begin accumulating your army of cats, take a deep breath and think about what it is you’re actually afraid of. I can promise you that being in an unhappy relationship is far, far worse than not being in one at all.
You should also never underestimate the pure joy of eating pizza in bed in your underwear completely undisturbed.