Thoughts on Marriage.

January 29, 2009

Since all of my classes are 2.5 hours long, professors usually give us a break. Most of my professors are social workers or therapists in the field so our breaks often end up being a good fifteen minutes long because professors are often on the phone speaking with clients or someone from work.

This afternoon during break some of us got on the topic of marriage. As I say this now I suppose it sounds sort of stereotypical considering my classes are often filled exclusively with women ages 23-28. We were all discussing how many of our close friends are or aren’t married. For the most part we were all saying that we knew people our age who were married, but none of our close friends. As the discussion continued, we started talking more about the patterns of marriage and what is the typical age for people to get married. Only one student in the group, age 23, is married. She felt very strongly about the fact that she was married at the “best” age (22) and that the rest of us needed to really start thinking about getting married. It was quite obvious that nearly all of us involved in the conversation were taken by surprise and were trying to be polite while still disagreeing.

Many of us felt that marriage, especially the first year, would be quite difficult while being a full-time student and that we still wanted to become more confident in “who we really are” before trying to make a relationship work with someone else. In class as well as in our internship we are constantly learning and our values and ideals are being tested. We were agreeing with each other that we seem to be in a constant state of change and that to be changing so much while in a relationship would be really exhausting. She just couldn’t see where we were coming from. She kept referring to her dutch reformed values and saying that “all dutch people marry young”. Again it was clear that a lot of us weren’t really buying what she was saying. Others were piping in with references to the success of marriage and how age does or doesn’t play a role. Her final argument was that her parents had married young and therefore it was the norm. While many of us admitted that our parents were already married by the time they were our age, we still felt confident in our desire to not be married now or in the next couple of years.

As the break was ending I realized I had more thoughts floating around in my head. Sure my parents married young and their marriage is the strongest example for me, but I have a hard time finding any similarities to their life then and my life now. We are a different generation with a differet lifestyle. I am a women pursuing a masters degree and a professional life. While this was of course allowed when my parents were my age, it certainly wasn’t the norm. I live in a world of technology and have the ability to be connected almost instantly with many people in my life. While love always feels good, I feel no real void in my life because I’m not married.

I can’t wait for the day that I can be married and start a family, but for now I am more than satisfied with being a student and look forward to learning more about me and my future.

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