Marriage in a Peter Pan Era: Are We Ready? Do we really ‘need’ to be?

I was presented with this article after a less-than-comfortable conversation about my age, relationship status, or lack there of, and why I couldn’t just blurt out, ‘I want to get married’.

It’s a good article- I’ll be curious to read the rest of the series. I agree with all the points made in it, and it’s interesting he points out the ‘feelings’ era- it’s absolutely true. (And I am straight up, about to ramble a bit. You were forewarned).

We’re immersed in it. Looking for it. Pining for it. Wanting to feel wanted in truth and honesty. Love. Companionship. Marriage.

Though, this practicality and logic of taking action seems to have been tossed to the wayside in our generation. The logic of knowing what you want and pursuing it- even though you may not, ‘be ready’. In turn many settle into an almost decade long relationships with no promise of a solidified forever future with the person. Because, neither claims to ‘be ready’ or ‘doesn’t want to mess up a good thing’. I don’t understand that portion of people. Why not just get hitched at that point?

Because they want an easy out, ‘in case’ it, after almost a decade, suddenly changes drastically, they’re not legally bound and can leave, no strings attached except for those emotional ones.

And, maybe I mentioned recently to my mom, ‘I’m not ready to get married’. Then this article link appeared in my inbox. This marriage topic, even dating, rather, has been on my mind as I realize more and more, I might just be a rare breed in my social circles; at 28, being a single female(I don’t always seem to think I’m 28- am I trying to channel the Peter Pan syndrome? Eek!)

“I’m not ready to get married” means “I’m not ready to stop being preoccupied with myself,” or, to put it as directly as possible, “I’m not ready to grow up.” (No job on earth makes you grow up like getting married does.)” -Dennis Prager

At work, I’m surrounded by 22–24 year-olds that are single, the others 25 + are dating seriously or already married. My small group of friends, are married, or seriously dating/talking about marriage as well. They seem happy, content, and grown up in their own way- as the article mentions. Hell, even the ‘wild’ one in our friend group found someone to balance her out.

My friend tells me I’m too picky and judgy,in the past. I’ll agree, that was true, but as of later this past year I think I’ve opened up more- yet to no avail. I’ve even taken up a ‘real’ online dating site, and man that produced some great stories, but not-so-great ‘dates’.

And it really throws me into some better memories from relationships past. On random days, I still feel a wave of nostalgia for them (manifesting themselves in dreams and familiar places, smells). I think, more so, the memory of me and him, and lack of any potential prospect lately causes the memories to bubble to the surface. Occasionally I wonder if I let the real deal go all because I was selfish. Other days I think I am quite content being with myself and think I can conquer the world on my own and don’t need anyone but myself.

Then I spiral down the rabbit hole of wondering why I’m feeling more and more, covert/subconscious pressure to find a guy. Where is it coming from? My head. My heart. The media. My social groups. My family. Everywhere? Also, wondering if our age group really has become to ADD with all the apps and options of potential partners- or maybe I’m being cynical? Not quite sure there.

I keep humming to the tune of ‘Hercules’ and ‘December’ by Sara Bareilles as that’s where my mind and heart reside lately these days.

I keep thinking I need to be more for myself before I can be something great for someone else.

My mind, simply put, argues with itself depending on the day.

And quite possibly I’m wrapped in the era of ‘Feelings’

“Finally, this statement reflects another negative trend in society — that of people being guided by feelings rather than by standards or obligations. We live in an Age of Feelings. Aside from the rational and moral problems that derive from being guided by feelings rather than by reason and values, there is one other problem. In life, behavior shapes feelings. Act happy, you’ll become happy. Act like you’re single, you’ll remain single. Act like you’re ready for marriage, you’ll become ready for marriage.” -Dennis Prager​

Or the couple that won’t take the next step of buying a ring because he doesn’t feel financially ready. Per the paragraph about financially not ready to support another human etc. he doesn’t quite grasp that part, though she does and won’t admit it. The talk has moved in circles for years now.

I see it happening around me. I can see I am being selfish, according to this article because I don’t feel that I’ve ‘accomplished’ enough yet to be enough for someone else.

I’m not opposed to marriage. I also realize my age, that college probably was the best time to meet someone, as people only seem to age into their weirdness post-school life(not discluding myself). And people form habits and tend not to stray too far from the comfort of their routines.

I don’t want to settle for someone just because my years on this earth continue to increase. People say you know when you know. Well I’m beginning to wonder how true that conventional wisdom actually is.

And in the wise words of my mother, “You are terrific by yourself, but like the article says, life is better and easier with someone to love.”

One thought on “Marriage in a Peter Pan Era: Are We Ready? Do we really ‘need’ to be?

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