Entering our fourth semester in university, I met some of my friends from high school. As expected, some of them have decided to get married. For a woman like me marriage is such a big deal, I want forever or never. When I mention this to them, they all said, they were just being “realistic”. I dream of someday being in a stable marriage, while my friends told me they get married for financial reasons, or because their partners love them so much, or because they want the blessings of their families. When I ask them what about their individual happiness, they couldn’t give me a straight answer.
I’m worried, Madge.
I think I have come to a point that I believe that marriage is unnecessary. The guy I love has a different vision than me about marriage and family, while the “stabile” guy that I want as a partner don’t attract me. Do you think I can stay this way and not become “realistic” like my friends?
Is love just a utopian concept, while marriage is an earthly matter?
First of all, I don’t mean to sound patronizing, or at least like a cliché old fart, when I say this: You’re too young to be worrying about marriage. Seriously! I heard about the millennials getting married earlier, and it is a pretty disturbing trend to me as well as some fellow millennials like you, as this piece shows. So, you’re not the only one bothered by it.
When you say you’re “worried”, however, I’m not really sure what you’re worried about. Is it the fact that you don’t have the same perspectives as your friends who marry young? Is it because you believe marriage is unnecessary? Is it because you’re not attracted to a man who you believe share your values, while you’re in love with someone who has a totally different view on marriage from you? I honestly can’t tell.
What I can tell you, however, is that to really look at these questions that you’re asking and think about why it matters to you? Why does it matter that you don’t share your friends’ perspective on relationship and marriage? Why does it matter that you would turn out like them?
Would you stay this way and not turn “realistic” as your friends? I certainly hope so. I think that just by having concerns about this issue shows that you are different than them, that you have a more independent mind and that you aim for something larger in life than just getting married early like your friends.
Now, like I said, marriage should not be a major concern for you right now. You should think about what you want to do in life, how to get the best out of your academic years, and what steps you should take to pursue the professional career that you want in life. You should think about meeting interesting and kind people, building relationships with people who matter to you.
Is love just a utopian concept and marriage a lesser and more earthly matter?
Oh, honey, love is not utopia. Love is beautiful and ugly, and exhilarating and maddening, and comforting and insecurity-inducing. It’s profound and banal too. Love is all those things, but a utopian concept it’s not. Love is a matter of the heart, but it’s also very worldly, just like marriage. They both require an unbelievable amount of hard work. The only difference is that one is legally sanctioned, and the other is what marriage should contain.
Take it from someone who’s been in love with the same person for almost two decades, and been married to him for more than half of those time.
I don’t know if these answer your questions, but I hope I give you at least a bit of comfort, knowing that your concerns, while valid, might not be as frightening as it seems to you now.
Best of luck,