Sunday, November 3, 2013

Settling Is a Four-Letter Word (And Rhymes With Duck No)

I am 28 and not married. This does not bother me. My Facebook wall is plastered with engagement photos, baby pictures and a slew of wedding-themed-events, all signifying that my generation is officially in the throes of adulthood. I am not there and that's okay. 

I think marriage is a beautiful thing. The idea of finding a person that truly makes your life better, supports you constantly and is generally considered to be an awesome-good-time is a great idea. But that’s what it is: an idea.

If marriage were truly about “the person” then everyone wouldn’t get married at the same age. We’d get married when we found “the one”. Not “the one that happened to ask me out when I was 27, my career was slightly more stable and I no longer wanted to dance on tables at clubs just to end my night with a pity BJ.”

Which is why I think settling is a horrible, terrible and frightening phenomenon. I say phenomenon because I'm pretty sure about 75% of the people getting married are somehow settling. Where’d I get that number? I made it up using fake math. 

You see, roughly 50% of U.S. marriages end in divorce and about 50% of people who ARE still married are unhappy. Or I so I assume from their general, depressed demeanor when talking about their significant others. Theses humans, as I like to call them, are depressed because they chose eternity with someone they don't actually like. And they did it because society (i.e. Facebook) told them to get married in their 20's. Otherwise they'll be forced to hit the big 3-0 as complete failures at life. Which leaves an entire generation in a state of panic. Panicked by the thought of being alone. 

I get it, biology plays a role. More than one person has suggested freezing my eggs. To which I say, “Shut up my eggs are awesome where they are and I don’t have $18,000 to blow on the assumption that I’ll be a spinster.” I understand that marriage in your 20’s or early 30’s makes more sense for family and kids and blah, blah, blah. But why get stuck in a marriage with a partner you’re not exactly keen on? When did it become okay to look the other way because “So what he robbed a liquor store or two?” Wouldn’t you rather be alone than stuck in a marriage that feels lonely?

I would.

Growing up we think about the people we want to spend our time with. People who make us laugh, people who make us feel good, people who support us. This is how we make our friends. We make lovers by adding attraction. Sex. Sex. And more sex.

But by the time we start to hit 30, all those things we wanted begin to fade. It’s no longer about being around someone that gives us butterflies and makes the day a little brighter. It becomes all about “not being alone.” Marriage shouldn’t be a solution to loneliness. Just as a pregnancy shouldn’t be a solution to a loveless marriage. Instead of finding someone to fit the institution, we should think about only using the institution IF we find the person.

I know what I want. I want to be with someone who can tell inappropriate jokes, wants to catch a plane at a moment's notice, reads actual literature, can and will dance in his living room, is just as comfortable in a bar with peanuts on the floor as a lounge with velvet ropes and can make light of any situation, but has my back when I need it most. 

I want someone who is looking for adventure, gets bored and wants to fix it, not wallow in it. Someone who's ambitious, creative, smart-as-hell, sings in the car, debates anything and everything, is loving, kind, caring AND looks great in a tux – but can rock a hoodie just as well. 

I know that if I am not with THAT person who gives me goose bumps … gives me a reason to get up and get out of bed in the morning … and truly wants to be with me because he likes hanging out with me, I will not say “I do”, because frankly, I don’t.