The holidays. The time of year when my cynicism comes out. I’m sure you have noticed a theme on my blog of my distaste for all things romantic love. I just don’t see the point. I do plan to one day find a man I can tolerate and settle down in a mutual partnership involving rings, a fancy dress, and a nice yearly tax break (potentially followed by the whole concept of multiplication to create more tax breaks in the form of offspring). However I am quite content to continue to live my life fully ignorant of this concept of love.
At 22 years old I am in no way shape or form ready for a family. My potential suitors are for the most part still working their way through college or swimming in debt (and yours are too). As college students we are at an age where the emotional center of our brain is fully developed, yet we are still a few years shy of the full development of the logical-reasoning center. We have the rest of our lives to become financially stable, pay off our student loans, and give our men the chance to afford a ring that looks slightly more expensive than something you would have gotten out of a gum ball machine at the grocery store. So why are women saying yes to these men? Why are we letting men lay claim to us so young? Why are we worrying about getting our MRS degree and starting a family before we finish our BS degree (I’m looking at all you women you are majoring in impressive degree fields while maintaining long term committed relationships with men going nowhere, not the women who grew up wanting nothing other than to be a stay at home mom).
If you have spent much time on the internet today I am sure you have been bombarded with the same photos I have. Adorable couples, a bit too young, surrounded by family, and full of #FutureMrs___. You are my friends. I love you all to death. I love weddings. I don’t love that you are getting married. Like I said before if your man is too broke to afford a respectable, photo worthy engagement ring, he is too broke to pay off his student loans, too broke to afford the wedding you want (and your guests deserve), and too broke to afford the divorce I will be expected to council you through in 2-5 years.
We are millennials. We are suppose to be redefining the world to become a better place. We were expected to solve climate change, recycle, revitalize the economy, end world hunger, save the world, and instead we are getting married before we are old enough to legally drink. Take a step back for a moment and then I dare you to tell me that is actually what you want. Married people are far less likely to return to school to continue their education. Married people are far less likely to take risks that will help them get ahead in their career fields for fear of causing harm to their spouse or children.
We are living in a dog eat dog world and those of you who are getting distracted by getting engaged at 19 are bowing out of the ring early and leaving the success to the rest of us. Honestly I shouldn’t care. I should be okay with the idea that men and women are diving out of the competition for grad school and PhD programs left and right, but the problem is deeper than that. Over half of marriages in the United States end in Divorce, that statistic is not new. Neither is the news that divorce rate are on the rise. To be honest I don’t care that people are in failing relationships (tons of people are in failing relationships). I care that people are in costly failing unions.
The failure of a long term relationship comes with trauma to all involved. The failure of a marriage comes with more. One of the top reasons for divorce is the way couples handle financial difficulty, so why on earth are you trying to start a marriage when neither of you are financially stable? Divorce isn’t free. So add those legal fees to the student loans you haven’t finished paying off, the engagement ring you financed, or the loan you took out on your wedding that wasn’t quite perfect. Millennials walk around on a daily basis talking about how much smarter we are than our parents, about how we are going to be the ones to save the world. So why are you digging yourself a bigger hole?
I’m not saying to break up with your long term significant other. I am saying don’t make too many life altering decisions around them until you have finished and paid for your education. When you finish your BS degree don’t apply to one grad school and only one grad school simply because your significant other hasn’t finished their undergrad yet, or because your significant other is going to a particular grad school. Choose a grad school that will help you, with your degree. Strive to be the person that changes the world.
If all this love stuff everyone keeps talking about is actually a thing than why are you so afraid of loosing them? Will they not love and respect you enough to want you to be the best at what you want to do with your life? Will they not be there for you after you are done chasing your dreams? If not maybe that is the real reason your young marriage is going to end in divorce. Regardless, my money is on him being the one smart enough to end it, because god knows you were the one pressuring him into starting it. By the way, that cheep ring he spent all summer working his ass off for, it’s hideous in comparison to what his second wife is going to see.