I would say that a good 85%, I'm tempted to say 90%, of my closest friends are married (their spouses are included in that, because of that whole "what's yours is mine" thing - They inherit me as a best friend, yes inherit, not just acquire) And most of them are around my age, if not younger. Some have been married for 6 years or so and have kids, yes plural. So, if it looks a little weird for me to be saying, "I feel a little behind in life" at the age of 25; when you are surrounded with those stats, its hard not to feel that way sometimes.
So why take such a public stance on how I feel about this matter? Well, because.... I can. I have watched and experienced numerous failed/successful relationships (obviously mine have mostly failed) enough to have formed an opinion. Is it biased? Well, yes, but what opinion isn't.
Singledom - Such a wonderful, yet horrific place. It is the best of times; it is the worst of times. You don't have to constantly check in with anyone; You don't have that one person who is always concerned with where you are. Your money is your own money; You don't have anyone to buy gifts for. When you are sad and angry, you can be left alone; When you are sad and angry, there is no one there to comfort you. When something awesome happens, you can go out and celebrate however you want; but you have no one to share in your joy. Now of course there are family members and friends, but I am more specifically honing in on being single versus having a partner.
Truly, even though I sound bitter, I personally have enjoyed being single, even through all the "When's it your turn"'s and being the bridesmaid (9 times), and watching all of my closest friends marry off. I have enjoyed being single because I know that marriage is hard work and it scares the freakin crap out of me. While my biggest drama is having to put my dog to sleep and that Internet Guy (yes, there is one, don't judge me) hasn't written me back yet, they are worrying about mortgage payments and feeding their children.
I have loved the single life because it has allowed me to experience so many things. I have moved away from home to a scary foreign place and it became a second home to me. I can pick up on a weekend and go wherever I want(mostly). I have met so many people and made dozens of cherished friendships that could have been missed had I been tied down in a relationship or marriage. I came to learn who I am. Who I am. Not, who I am around Paul or Jared. Who I am and what I know and believe.
Its that knowledge of knowing who you are and what you want is the thing that concerns me about people who get married so young. Don't get me wrong, I know that people can get married young and live happily ever after for 80 years or whatever, but I can imagine it was pretty freakin hard work. Its just I have also seen a lot of friends divorce soon after marriage, at a young age. I know there are A LOT of things that factor into a divorce, but I truly think the root of them is, immaturity (because that leads to selfishness, lying, failure to take responsibility, etc.).
When we (I ask collectively) decide to get married at a young age, are we really doing the right thing if we are rushing into something with the wrong motives, or the wrong ideas? Do we really know who we are and what we are committing ourselves too? I think if you can ask yourself those questions and be freaked out of your mind, but still willing to trudge through them with your beloved, then I say go for it, I fully support you. But if there is any hesitation or concerns, I am not saying, "Don't get married" I am just saying, take a step back and work out the kinks before you submit yourself blindly to it, because then the nagging torture will creep up on you when the honeymoon phase is over.
Its true I admit it, sometimes being single sucks horridly. You go through phases of being bitter and ditching your coupled friends because its just too hard to be around them. You go through phases of finding an awesome new group of single friends to hang out with. The independence and freedom that comes from being single is liberating. There are so many ups and downs of being single. Sooner or later, the new group of single friends starts to segregate into couples and once again, you find yourself back to being with couples again. It makes you start to think, "Wow, all of these people are finding that one person that they want to share the rest of their life with." And as you lose more friends to coupledom, and experience more and more disappointing dates, it starts to dawn on you, "Well, they like me enough to share their weekends and food with, but not enough to share the rest of their life with me." This is something that I think most single people face.So, what is it? What is that special thing that makes people settle down and get married, or pursue relationships? Because I know very well that you can be attracted to someone, get along perfectly with them, have common goals/interests, and everything seems to fit, but for whatever reason, it doesn't work out. Well, obviously I don't know. Otherwise I wouldn't be writing this. This phenomena of falling in love is extremely fascinating, and annoyingly frustrating. I know that when you do find the person you love, it is something special and amazing. I look forward to it, but until then, I guess I will continue to love/hate being single and trudge through the trepidatious wilderness that is dating.