Mr. Perfect Is Out There...

... but he's just hiding from you at the moment.

I don't trust his cheesy little grin...


Someone said this very sentence to me today, and I couldn't help but stare blankly at him in disbelief. Seriously, do people think that the trials of life and love can be appeased by such platitudinous drivel? And we won't even touch the "Mr. Perfect" part of the comment. Maybe in a later post...

I've expressed my distaste of marriage at my age in a few previous posts (the one that's coming to mind at the moment is THIS ONE), but I'm feeling the need to express myself further. Bear with me. And don't worry, the writing exercises will resume tomorrow.

I am 23 years old (due to turn 24 in November), and I have been in 1 serious relationship that lasted 1 and 1/2 years and a few non-serious flings. This does not make me an expert on relationships. In fact, it makes me a novice... or perhaps an expert on being single. I'm ok with this.

What I'm not ok with is this feeling of getting left behind.

Marriage is this huge deal that affects the rest of your life, so why are all of these young people rushing out to get married so early? There's so much I can do with my life as a singleton. I can leave the country on a second's notice, and I don't really have to tell anyone if I don't want to. My family would probably be pissed at me (Stef, you don't have the money to be going overseas!!! Plus, what the hell?? When did you make that decision?), but they'd get over it. But it's different when you're in a relationship. You have to keep the other person's needs in mind, because you aren't just one person anymore. You are now part of a unit, and big decisions like that can only be made with you both weighing in.

But that's not it... Like I said, I'm feeling like I'm this romantically challenged ritard (thanks, The Hangover), and I'm not sure I like it. I want to get married someday. Really. Right now, though? No thanks.



In Teddi's most recent blog post over at She Was Write!, she goes into detail about how being in your 20s is really hard, especially in comparison to the previous years of life, and her post is what inspired this one here (go read it!). Sure, you're growing while you're a teen, and everything seems really dramatic and awful, but in your 20s the growing pains are - at least they seem to be - even more emotional and heart-wrenching. You are finding out who you truly are, forming your political standing outside of your parents' views, and you are, at the end of the day, becoming the person you are going to be for the rest of your life.

So what's with this race to the altar?

For those of you who married young (as in under 25 years old), why did you do it? Was it the right choice, or do you regret getting married so early? This question isn't intended to negate your marriage. If you could have waited and married the same person a few years later would you have done that? Or are you content / pleased with your choice to marry at a young age?

To the late bloomers, why didn't you get married until later in your life? Would you have married that person if you had met them earlier? If you're not married and of the "appropriate age" (whatever that is...), why haven't you joined the horde of folks tying the knot? Would you if you had the opportunity? Or are you like me and holding off for as long as possible?

Is anyone else in the same place as me? Are all of your friends getting married and having kids, thereby leaving you in their proverbial life dust? How are you coping?

I'm fascinated, really, and would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Peace.
Stef.

P.S. I fear I'm going to end up like this:
http://www.wolfescape.com/Humour/NonMedPicts/WaitingForPerfectMan.gif

P.S.S. Oh, mah GAH! You guys are so GREAT! Seriously! I've been so inundated with comments and hellos that I don't know what to do with myself! Keep 'em coming! Like I said, I want to get to know you all! :)

P.S.S.S. Check the top of my blog for two new pages: Stef Sings Opera and Stef Sings Musical Theatre! I am, first and foremost, a singer, and I have a collection of youtube videos that showcase my singing. :) I don't want to name-drop or anything, but I have performed with someone famous as evidenced in the musical theatre clips... teehee Go ahead and take a look already!

Comments

Tempest said…
Hi Stef!

This is my first time reading your blog and I totally agree with this post! Im the same age as you but I turn 24 in september. In one way I do feel a lil like a ritard lol since im not about to head down the aisle or the delivery room like soooo many of my friends but at the end of the day i'm glad that i'm not.(yay! for them though). Its just not my time yet. I'm happy taking my time to enjoy just being me. I take myself out to shop/eat/visit the library/date cool guys casually/ whatever i wanna do whenever i wanna do it. I budget my money however I want and after a long day of work I eat my dinner in bed, watch tv in bed and fall asleep right there. I dont have to worry about disturbing anyone! Its fabulous.

Ne how-here's my shameless plug! lol visit my blog! www.legallysane1.blogspot.com
Nauplion said…
At 67, my life has become so good, so fulfilling, that the marriage at 21 was fine. I cannot imagine not having the three remarkable daughters I achieved. But for most of these 46 years, I thought 21 was too soon. I do know there is not necessarily a right person. Two people make their choices become right by how they are together. The present person, when we chose each other 7 years ago, is clearly the right person. But we needed the lives we had already had to be so clearly right for our old age.
I married at 21 because everyone who was anyone had a diamond engagement ring at graduation. Make yourself into a good and generous human being who is doing work that interests you, and you will find the marriage question fairly simple.
mylaughingblog said…
This is my first time I have visited your site. I found a lot of interesting information in your blog. From the volume of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one! keep up the good work.
Anonymous said…
Stef,

I enjoyed your post and I think you are correct. There is no perfect man...or woman. And there is no reason to rush down the aisle now or ever. I'm almost 54 and have been married twice and I have come to the realization that a relation between two people must be 100% between those two people.

When you prop the relationship up on the legal system and it's jurisdiction over marriage or on the church's narrow view of "marriage", you will be almost certain to fail.

So, my advice, if it's worth anything to you, is to just live a good life and do what you believe to be right, whatever truly makes sense to you. Institutions made up by people are pretty much all meaningless.

At the end of your life the only thing that matters are how you lived your life. Were you loving, kind and compassionate?

Peace to you my friend...

Vic
Q @ pornstarsinahearse.blogspot.com said…
You know what, it's funny that I'm a guy and I feel the same way ... like, I'll never meet someone I can stand enough to consider marrying, and be fortunate enough to have her to feel the same. But you're right, there is an undeniable freedom in being single. And just as I've seen many friends get married and start families, and have someone to stay warm with every night, I've also seen some horrible divorces, and break-ups, and deceptions. I have one friend who's been a moral upstanding guy for as long as I've known him now flirting with the idea of cheating because his wife is suddenly more interested in her work than him. I think married or single, everybody has those moments when he or she looks to the other side of the fence and say, "I wish I was there." So, I think I'll just be grateful for where I am today until I meet a Ms. Perfect who makes being single feel like a bad idea. Nice post by the way ... and congrats on the "Blogs of Note" distinction. :) Laaaaaaater
Priscaknits said…
I ran across your blog and felt compelled to share. I guess I consider myself married, but it's a common law thing. I was much the same way as you, and I had a lot of fun in my twenties, and the only reason I even considered marrying my husband after three months of dating, was because I got pregnant. All the sacrifices that we've made for our wonderful daughter have been totally worth it and I would do it all over again. I'm just glad that I did it when I was thirty instead of nineteen. I also tried to settle down before I met my husband, and I have to say, you may not want to pass up a good thing, but don't settle for something you know isn't good either. In sum, enjoy your twenties. Have a good time, even if you do get married. And keep thinking about what you want to do with your life outside of love and family.
theredsky said…
I'm 29 and feeling torn. I have days where I feel ready to get married, and others where I feel scared because it seems like a proper 'grown up' thing to do and I don't want to grow up yet. One thing I do know is that feelings can change a lot, because up till the past year or so I wasn't interested in marriage or kids and now I am. It must be my biological clock, I guess.

Anyway, I enjoyed your post and I loved the picture of the cats!
Sarah said…
This is my first visit to your blog, and this topic caught my attention—mainly because our culture seems so down on the idea of getting married young.

I just turned 23 last month and have been married for a year, so I can’t give you much long-term perspective, but I will tell you that I don’t regret getting married this young at all. I wouldn’t have wanted to wait any longer. I should start by mentioning that we were both committed to waiting for our wedding day and that we weren’t okay with living together before marriage. That said, we had long-distance relationship for several months every year: my husband is from Minnesota, I’m originally from Michigan, and we went to school in Indiana; long distance is not fun, and waiting is hard. But that wasn’t the only reason we got married. We also knew the relationship was right—I knew I loved him and any amount of waiting wouldn’t change that. I recognize that it might sound like we jumped the gun, but since we don’t believe in divorce, we put a lot of thought into our decision.

Getting married right out of college has limited some of our career options, but that’s a sacrifice you have to make if you want a marriage. Marriage involves a lot of sacrifices. (I think this contributes to the high divorce rate because a lot of people don’t realize that and aren’t prepared to do it). But giving up the few things that I could’ve done by myself in order to do everything else with my husband by my side is so worth it.

To be clear, I’m not saying everyone should get married young. The right time is going to be different for different people.
Bruce Henson said…
Greetings Miss Stef. Like you, I too am an aspiring writer (I've been writing for years, but it is my belief that one's abilities can never be perfected, but striving for perfection is sure a lot of fun, albeit hard work). I admire your discipline in pursuing your craft. Regarding this particular article, it is what I would expect a free-thinking 24 year old woman to say. In that regard, it made you predictable. Predictability is never good. I picked up an undertaste of "all men are pigs" sentiment which, if people who agree with you are the target audience you're aiming for, you will do well with them. The older I get the more certain I am of life's uncertainty, people's motives, my own infalibility, and the utter randomness of being. All of which I consider immensely rich fodder for writing. But it is very refreshing to see you capture your thoughts now, because when you are 50, you will be amazed at your own growth. Strive on! And best of luck!
Anonymous said…
I am approaching my 40's rather quickly... about 2 months away. I have been engaged 3 times and recently contemplated engagement for a 4th time. It's amazing how many "perfect" people there can be for you in a lifetime. I am most certain at this point in my life that marriage is not the route for me to take... it actually turns into the demise of my relationships. With that said, everyone is different. You should never compare your life to those of others. If it happens so be it, if it doesn't so be that. The main thing is to be happy with yourself and the way that you live your life. No regrets!
Amie said…
i can really relate to your post today,i am 25 years old and i have been with my boyfriend for 7 years now, can you imagine how many times i get asked "when's the big day" or "hasn't he asked you yet?", when in reality i told him don't bother asking for at least 2 years as i am soooooo not ready!

keep up the good work really enjoying all your post :)

A x
Still Not Jaded said…
I started a blog recently and am just now getting around to reading other people's as well. I have to say I SO GET IT!
I am 29 years old and am single for the first time I am pretty sure since I was allowed to date. I have had a series of long term relationships (the most recent lasted 5.5 years). I am now trying to navigate the single world with little drama and have been failing miserably.
I am going to continue to read your blog. I LOVE hearing other people's opinions about relationships because it is so frigging comforting to know other people see things the way you do.
check out mine if you feel the urge.
Mine is "Still Not Jaded"
Hello Steph, This is my first time reading your blog... found you via Aunt Faith's Crazed Brain.

I married at 19 to a 23 yr old. :)

I have never once regretted getting married young, yes, there were many things I could have done before marriage -- I had already been through a year of college and had joined the military - there maybe could have been more... but I don't regret it. We'll be married 11 years this September, and I love him more every day. We have MANY children, a happy home, and a healthy respect for one another. Marriage isn't easy. No way no how. But if you work through the bad times,the good times are GREAT. :) There may be times when you don't LIKE each other very much, but if you CHOOSE (and it is a choice) you can have a happy marriage. I'm not saying marriage works for everyone, you both must be willing to "deal".. deal with the things you find out about the other that annoy the ever-loving-hell out of you, and deal with becoming an us, instead of just "me". All of marriage, of life, is a choice... do I choose to take him as he is? Or do I choose to cut out? I've never once in the course of our marriage thought about leaving him. There IS NO Mr. Perfect. He doesn't exist. When you feel you are ready, and when you meet someone who's faults you and "deal" with and tolerate well, then take the leap! I hope it works out as well for you as it has for me... I know 52% fail rate is a scary proposition, but you can't go into a marriage thinking... hey, we've got pretty much a 50/50 shot of making it... you gotta both want it, and WORK FOR IT to be a 100% success - success meaning you stay together and are happy (most of the time anyway *wink*).

obviously there are marriages where the "stuff" you find out about each other after the wedding ISN'T something you can "deal" with... I'm fortunate not to be in that group. If you haven't found the one you can "deal" with, then take your affections and run, baby, run. :) alright, I'll take my opinions and go now! Hope my posts helps.
Foxlady1209 said…
Hi, I found this blog through Blogs of Note, and I have to say, I really like your writing style! And I think those exercises are a really nice idea. I want to be a writer, so I think I might start doing them.

Sorry my comment has nothing to do with your post... I'm 14 and have never been in a relationship, so I can't really say anything clever or helpful...
Stef-

I too am a first timer to your blog. I am 26 years old and am as single as they come. I am from the south, so most of my childhood friends have been married and have children and several of them have already been divorced. I now live in Denver, Colorado - which is supposedly the most fun place to be single. I am no expert on other cities or states, but I have no desire to get married and I am even scared to death of someone swiping my singledom away from me...especially when I only have a few years left to be completely alone(hopefully).

When I am ready to find someone, I will be able to make a better decision based on who I have become(which is a completely different person than when I was 21-25). I will be able to know I am okay alone and nobody has to swoop in and save me; I am an accomplished grown-up on my own.

You made excellent points. We all may be looking for the perfect man, but we also LOVE to be single and enjoy the freedom that brings. When we are ready, he will come into our lives - and that is because WE were ready to find him. Not because we were fretting in our beds over chocolates watching sappy love stories. True love is real...and it will still be out there when we are 30. :) You go lady!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sarah L. said…
Hi Stef,

Congrats on Blog of Note status! Very cool! This is my second visit. I really appreciate your sense of humor and perspective on life.

As both an early starter and a late bloomer (I'm still deciding) in her 30s I can assure you that WAITING IS THE BEST THING YOU WILL EVER EVER DO. Marriage, frankly, for the unmarried, is overrated, hyped up, and idealized. Being in a committed relationship does not require or necessitate marriage. So, why get the state and the legal system involved if you don't have to? I was married and divorced at your age and now, 10 years later, looking back on that time feels like looking at an entirely different person. I have changed and grown so much.

Stick with your guns on this one, girl. You won't regret it.

P.S. If he's hiding, he's a loser and not worth it. And if he comes out of hiding, you still don't have to marry him right away...or ever. ;)
Teddi Hermes said…
Thanks SO much for the shout out. :-) You know I am in the same boat as you with this perfect man thing....
lalchy said…
hahaha. this is soo true. and last pic is great.

anyway, i really like your blog =)
NotMeAnymore said…
Stef, I'm looking 60 in the face (October) and I married young, at 20. We're still together, started dating when he was 16 and I was 17. Easy? No. Worth it? Mostly. Yes, I gave up a lot of freedom, largely without realizing I was doing it. Yes, I regret that in many ways. However, we've discovered over the years that it's not just me here and him there, but in some way that's really hard to describe, there's a third person in this marriage -- me/him (or him/me) - a blend of the two of us - and we are very different from one another. That third person is what I miss when he's away -- and he's about to be away for the longest time we've ever been apart, going to Afghanistan for 6 months. Callous as it sounds, I can live without him. I'm not so sure how it's going to be without me/him. I have a feeling that's what I'm going to miss most. I won't go all ditzy and say that there's a Mr. Right out there for you (I know there's no Mr. Perfect); there may not be. Sometimes the person we think is Mr/Ms Right turns out to be Mr. Liar, Mr. Drunk, or Mr. Already Married (quoting Jasper Fforde there). I will tell you that you may never be certain that you've found the right person - certainty is such a difficult thing - but I do think that if you ever find someone with whom you have that third person thing happen, age and stage of life and freedom or the lack of it won't matter. (And I say all this despite my own difficulties you might choose to read about in my blog.)
I was checking out the most recent blogs of note and found yours...congrats by the way, that is really fun!

Here is my response to your questions about marriage.

I believe firmly, "to each their own." I was very young when I got married. I got married 9 days before my 19th birthday. I have never regretted it, not once. The funny thing is that I had known my husband for 3 months at the time, yes THREE months.

If I were not married now, and just met this guy, I would have in no way considered marrying him so soon. I was young and a bit innocent to it all. However, my choice of getting married was a good one. We have 2 1/2 beautiful children together. We have been married for nearly 8 years, and I plan on many many more...decades even. He is my best friend (though he is not even close to perfect--neither am I). I love him, and I could not be happier.

What makes my marriage work, and what did make it work when I was so young?... it was thinking about each other before making decisions.

Lastly, we have had our struggles. I have a huge appetite to travel the world. I do not wish that I did that before getting married, because I would much rather do that with my best friend and husband, and We will one day!

That is my two cents! Good luck!

PS There is no such thing as "the perfect man." That will set anyone up for failure.
J@y said…
Hola Stef. I am loving your blog! So glad I found it in blog of notes. I agree that there is no Mr.Perfect or a certain age. For one I never imagined I would find Mr. Right not Mr. Perfect in Costa Rica and two definetly not at 21.In my ideal world I actually wanted to get married in my late twentys. When my husband and I met he told me he wanted to get married in his fortys. I always remind him of that, I think its funny. I was 22 and he 23 when we married.
I'm glad I enjoy the time I was single, I traveled, met so many people, colaborated with a non-profit org, and even learned a little chinese and sign-language. When I least expected my now husband came along and became my best friend and the person I honestly want to spend the rest of my life with.It's not always easy but it's worth it if you find the right person. So don't make it a plan to find love, it will find you. Meanwhile enjoy your life and be happy! Never rush into anything and do something because others do, it's cliche. The end. I enjoyed your post.

P.S I don't trust MR.Perfect either he does have a chessy smile! LOL
Moon Trumpet said…
Hi Stef! What I like most about your blogs, they're so authentic and interesting. Most of all, so fluid.

Please check out my comment at

http://moontrumpet.blogspot.com/2010/08/to-stef-http52weeksofwordageblogspotcom.html
becca said…
just found your blog and love it
Country Girl said…
Hi Stef! Read you on "Blogs of Note" and thought I'd comment (very unlike me). I married at 21, right out of college...that was 19 years ago. I like to think that I would marry the same man if I met him again later, but so much is determined by fate, isn't it? Most of my friends were getting married too, and being bound by religious "obligations" (at the time) to be married before engaging in pursuits that married people do, it was the thing to do. I don't regret it a bit, but there were some really hard times when we were dirt poor (who has money right out of college?). I think it's great that you are giving yourself the opportunity to do the things you want to for yourself before committing to life as a couple. Rock on!
Tonya
Melinda said…
Hi. Did you know you were a "blog of note?" That's how I found you.

But you asked for reasons... I got married at 20. I was "in love" with "Mr. Right." That's pretty much it. We've been married for 13 years (14 in March).

In that time, yes, I have regretted getting married so early, and if I could have married him 5 years later, I would have waited. Would I go back and do it again? Absolutely not. Has it always been easy peasy? Absolutely not.

We have had so many struggles in our relationship, we have gone through so many bumps in our road, but we have stayed committed to each other. That's the key, I think. The level of dedication you can give to one person. Marriage is very hard work, and it takes both of you working. If you can't give that to one person, then you aren't ready, if it's 18, 25, 35, or 75.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. It's good to meet you, and I plan on coming back. Have a good day.

Hugs,
Melinda
Anonymous said…
I love being single. In fact, dreaming of getting married at anytime in my life, would be more like a nightmare. but you stole my idea! jk :P (i plan to write about singleness in my blog post today. something i thought about yesterday. could hardly sleep i had so many thoughts on the matter). hilarious pic by the way. i has a singleness. peace.
Mama said…
Hiiii! I just want to say Im always looking forward to read your blogs.
Ive just start blogging myself, but Ive been lurking around reading for a while.. lol
Ill be back here on your blog again.

Thanx to you for blogging! :-)
Francesca said…
Hello!

First time reader, and I adored this post. I agree hole-heartedly with you Stef. As nice as having someone to fall asleep with every night and the constant companionsip would be, the freedom of singlehood is too good to pass up at such a young age (22). The companionship is what good friends are for sometimes anyway, haha.

The call of my big warm bed, and a night of peace with a delicious book is too strong. Personally, I feel I haven't experienced enough to tie myself down. Marriage is a two person life. Where's the fun in the need to plan every moment to accomodate each other.

Not to bash marriage either (some people I know are perfectly happy, and live for eachother; almost as if they were born to BE married), but why live another persons life when you've barely lived your own.

That's my rant in reply to yours, hahaha. Thanks for the commenting experience. :)

Keep Smiling,
Francesca
smilebigfrancesca.blogspot.com
Nikolas said…
hi I'm from Brazil and wanted to congratulate you for your blog and taking advantage of this opportunity wish you visit my
http://world-allife.blogspot.com/
Jill Eileen said…
Hi, Stef! I started following you this week (congrats on being a blog of note!) and totally agree with you about this issue!

I got married last summer; I was 27. It totally changes your life, and while I love my husband and love being married to him, I'm entirely thankful that I had my early 20s to be single and figure out more of who I am and what I want from my life. I was able to move to another state, without a job, and not feel responsible for someone else. I was able to travel on a whim and not worry about someone else's needs when the bank account got low.

When I was dating my now husband, I had a lot of people tell me that I should break up with him if he didn't "100% meet my list". Most of these people were people who married when they were 25 or younger (in many cases they were only 20!). I can't imagine anyone who would meet every possible item that I'd had on my list, and my husband is actually a lot different than the type of guy I'd imagined myself with. But, he makes me a better person and has encouraged me to grow in ways that my "type" never would have.

Anyway, I'm excited to read more of your blog!
The Tiff said…
I found you via Blogs of Note and am now following you. Your blog is so pretty...it makes me very happy. And great mission statement, by the way; my blog started off as a reading/writing blog, but has undergone a Madonna-esque reinvention (so I can say whatever I want, basically). Glad to be following you, keep up the great work!

- Tiff
http://zenalicious.blogspot.com
Blessed Rain said…
I married at age 22 (almost 23). Would I go back and wait more - no.
Why?
I married a 27 year old man that had already lived on his own for ten years and was ready to be a husband and father. (we had known each other 3 years by the day I walked down the aisle.)
I fully enjoyed my single days, my BFF and I danced, played and didn't waste one second.
We had one friend that stayed the "lone wolf" that "finally" married at age 29 (two years ago).
Also I had my first born at the age of 24 and my mother was able to enjoy, hug and be apart of her life for one year before I lost my mother.
I needed her help and guidance through her first year and I really wish I still had her.

What really was the main reason I married when I did - I found the right man for me.
Now Mr. Perfect does exist just not in the way most people think. He is not perfect and I would hate him if he was since I am not perfect. He is however perfect for me!

I didn't plan to marry young, I didn't want to marry before 25 but I really didn't have any reason to put off my life with the man I wanted - especially since I was a good girl.
Chris said…
Hi Stef

I really like your style - your writing is well beyond that which your tender age and experience would suggest - keep it up!

Marriage smarriage......it'll happen for you when it does. Our choice was to go early -18/21- and my first wife is still holding office. The kids have all flown. And we wouldn't have it any other way.
The 30+ childless and unmarried experts on marriage and parenting would say different......bah humbug to them I say! :-)

Chris
naoma* said…
This is the first time I've ever seen your blog and the funny thing is, is that I have been bogging my mind with the same question. I am 22 and I am in a serious relationship and I'm growing more scared of it everyday. He's slightly older, about to be 25, and I am so scared that once he turns 25 he's going to be like "I have to get married" and I will simply say "No!" because I am a wander. I don't want to be tied down and just like you said we are just now discovering who the hell we are.. we aren't some super mature, great high end paying employees. Most of us in our early twenties haven't even finished school! And most of us have changed our major like 4 times because we think your major is the most important decision! Anyway.. I am with you.. Hold out and keep your liberty and travel the world because you wont be able to do it later on! Enjoy everyday!
First, I found you on the Blog of Note...congrats. Second, I am married. I am older too, 54 years old, and I've been married for 34 years, happily I might add. I was married at the very, very young age of 19. Since I am 54 that puts me in the era of people getting married young. Times are different and I applaud young people for waiting and finding what they want and who they are, but don't wait too long as you may get too set in your ways and not want to share life with someone. When I was young it was the only thing I knew, to graduate high school, get married and have kids. I sometimes think it might have been nice to go to college at a younger age (went when my girls were young) but really I would not change a thing. Our oldest daughter (31) has been married for 2 years now and was never going to get married. Surprise, surprise you never know when the one and only will drop in front of you and sweep you off your feet. It happened to her. Really, it is all in what YOU want out of life. Have fun and don't rush, it may not be right for you. Marriage is wonderful but it is not easy. It takes a lot of work, honesty, trust, and you become each others best friend. Could go on but need to stop preaching. Thanks Carla
Anonymous said…
Marrying young is a good idea because let's face it...you want to have sex before you are 30 don't you? Every time you have sex with someone you are giving away an important part of yourself. Whether you want to admit it or not, everyone knows it is true. But making a commitment to ONE person, and loving ONE person helps to keep you whole and happy.

No--you can't just go to Europe without having to answer to someone if your married. But seriously, even young unmarried people have no excuse for being so selfish that they don't want to think of other people.

Selfish people are lonely unhappy people.
BlueJay said…
Hey Stef,

This is my first time reading an official blog anyway, and not a youtube video comment. Interestingly enough Im a guy, (with a girlfriend that I love very much) no pun intended. But Im 26 this past June and We talk about marriage all the time..and honestly i feel like if you're not ready, ur not ready! Who's to say what age is appropriate for you to be married. I feel like when the time is right, then do it...if u have to think about it and kinda screw up your face like ----eeehhh..then maybe u shouldn't..lol... but seriously as cliche as the saying sounds.... its the truth "Mr right" is out there...happy trails ;)
Skyla said…
Agreeeeee! I like the whole "An expert at being single" it made me laugh. I might steal that for my blog :)
I was married twice, once at 18 against my better judgement, wrong reason. Second time at 32 because I thought he was my best bet at that age. We had dated 11 yrs, married another 11...he passed away. Mr Right I don't know, but he was my best friend for life. I believe it is best to wait until one has lived on their own and knows what they want.
I like your blog...intriquing idea.
Peace, Leyla
Kat said…
I enjoyed your post! So many of my friends and I are experiencing the awkward transition out of college and the "good old days." most of them are filling the time with boyfriends and soon-to-be husbands while I'm still trying to figure who the heck I am and what I'm supposed to be doing. It's nice to know I'm not alone!
Allie, Dearest said…
Oh my gosh. I got to the end of the post and saw that ridiculously funny skeleton cartoon and knew I HAD to comment.

I'm of the appropriate age (31, almost 32). Single women younger than me will say that I'm waaaay past it and the single women older than me will be forced to comment that "I'm still young yet."

I feel left in the dust. The very thing I worried about at 23 years old was that I would sabotage later happiness by developing myself and my personal life. So I put that on hold for a number of years. Now, I worry that, you can guess it, by not developing myself earlier, I might have sabotaged later happiness! Singleness is such a Catch-22.

Sure I'm happy day-to-day. But if I spend too long in Williams-Sonoma and start thinking of cooking for someone besides myself, or if I accidentally wander into the baby department of some store while looking for the greeting card section to buy another couple a Happy Wedding Day card, then I feel the longings and the pangs that are normal for a single woman. I try to remember the fact that for good or for ill, I just haven't found anyone yet who likes me as much or more as I like them. Until then, all my ideas about whether or not I would want to be in a relationship are harmful speculation at best and the seeds of unkempt cynicism, at worst.

Your blog is wonderful, keep writing!

-Allie
Stef,

I am young, under 25, but I decided that there is no "Mr. Perfect." Everyone has flaws... I would just like the sort of flaws I can live with! Yes, I, like you, relate to that skeleton on the bench...

~The Pink Transforming Gnome
Stef,

First, I must say I enjoy your blog. Second, I too am puzzled by young married couples springing up all around me. I'll be 23 in October and I feel like I haven't grown up yet. Maybe there are lot of people out there who are much more mature and ready for marriage than I am, though. Maybe not. I think it's annoying that people seem to think if you date someone longer than a few months and are over the age of 20, the big day is right around the corner.
Furthermore, young married couples' greatest joy is talking to other couples about marriage. About a month ago, an annoying newlywed asked me, "So when you gonna get married?" I might mention that she married her husband after dating for six months and they are now in the midst of divorce. I replied, "I'm gonna take my time and see if we can get along while living together, first." Booyah!
Amy said…
I married at 18, Stef, almost exactly one month after graduating high school. Why? Because I was 18, in love, and utterly convinced of my goals and plans in life. I knew everything, of course! Today I am 25, I have been married for 6 years and I don’t regret the choices I have made. At the risk of sounding like I swallowed a guidebook to self-fulfillment, the choices I have made have brought to where I am. Even when we nearly got divorced during year 2 I never regretted jumping in. If I had waited to marry my husband for a year or two, we probably never would have at all. I would have taken my life in another direction. But we did, and I am content and pleased.

Also, forget about Mr. Perfect; he doesn’t exist. Period. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.
Hariklia said…
I could not have married my future husband at 24, because he was only 14 at the time! We didn’t meet until I was 34, and pretty much resigned to a carefree single life. I’d never been desperate to marry, but did sometimes wonder if there was something wrong with me. My advice from the grand old age of 50 is, it’s never about something lacking in you. You are who you are, and when the time is right and he or she appears, you will know.
I do sometimes think too much mental energy is wasted by people beating themselves up about these things. I did it too.
Enjoy your youth and how gorgeous you are, Stef. I wish I had, back when I was 15kg lighter and thought myself fat; and when I was quite cute, but worried 'am I not pretty enough?'
On my blog (hariklia-what-she-said.blogspot.com), I document my life from the current perspective; posting diary entries and other pieces of writing from the past 40 years. Some of it makes me totally cringe!
BTW My husband and I have been together for 16 years and have a gorgeous 9 year old daughter. I’m glad I was a late bloomer. I had a fun and protracted youth (when I wasn’t worrying about being left on the shelf)!
Jessica chan said…
Dear Stef,

I am nearly the same age as you (24 in December) and I'm not really in the same boat as you but I think it might be its sister ship or something...I recently ended a 4 year relationship with a man I continually insisted I would marry. We had plans of moving in together, when we were to be engaged and we had a dog for Pete's sake!

My friends and family, the supportive bunch that they are, smiled and nodded but were having secret conversations with each other about how they knew he wasn't the right one. Well, eventually I realized it too and so we broke up.

Now I'm in another very serious relationship but before you go and think "Oh she's one of THOSE girls...", I'm really not. This one is different and my friends and family can feel it too. It's difficult to explain and I never believed that the feeling was real, but I'm telling you it is. We aren't going to get married any time soon as I'm living in Japan for work right now and he's just beginning his training for OCS for the military, but I feel like it'll happen.

My advice to you is to not feel the pressure of our peers. I have so many friends that are engaged/married/pregnant/etc and at first I felt left behind (which is probably why I made such specific plans with the ex), but now that I'm with someone I feel like I can actually be with forever, I don't feel the pressure anymore. I'm just enjoying it.

Good luck, Stef! Keep writing!

~Jessica
adreamygal said…
Hi , first time here ...Well I am 22 and agree to your every word .. Being single has more advantages compared to being committed ..But since I hail from India , marriage is not our choice , but a decision that though we really don't want to ( I mean not at this point of time ) yet we are forced to ...Of course , we don't know who that Mr.X would be , and he maybe the 'Prince charming' yet , a corner of the heart , we do regret the decision ( or rather forceful acceptance ? )
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jnana said…
I don't agree with you! Marriage brings opportunities. Plus, if you really want to be in a relationship, it's going to be richer and happier when you're committed and ready to share your life with each other. And it's human nature to be attracted to the opposite sex and want to be in relation with them.
Harriett Starr said…
Wait til you get to your thirties....then you'll know what desperation really feels like!!

http://downandoutinprimrosehill.blogspot.com/2010/06/i-met-up-with-fellow-actress-last-week.html
I totally agree with you. What I don't understand is why people put a time limit on the age of getting married. It is like women are not supposed to have hopes and dreams, but once you get married and realize you have to change those dreams, it's too late. I think that is why the divorce rate is s high. We as women are almost expected to be married by a certian age, have children etc...

Great post.

Wendy Crowe
Anonymous said…
Steph,

I was twenty-five when I met the man of my dreams. We wed two years later. Love happens when it happens and there's no rushing it. For some it comes quickly and others it takes it good old time in arriving, just try to focus on living the best possible life you can while remaining true to who you are....and love will come when you least expect it.

However, it doesn't hurt to close your eyes and project out into the Universe the knowledge that your heart is open to love...that way the Heaven's will know that when they finally get around to sending it your way, it'll have a soft place to land.

Lovely writings of a lovely life. You are already truly blessed.

L.T. Schulte
AKA: (Serial Room Arranger)
Bridget said…
Hi Steph,

This is my first time visiting your blog. I'm actually new to this blogging scene. I just wanted to let you know that I'm 21 years old and I can't wait to be married. Although I'd like to wait until I'm out of college, I've been in a relationship for 2 years and I know that this is exactly what I want. I'm lucky to have found someone who has the same outlook as I do. I think the main reason why I'm so eagre is because I'm anxious to just settle down and get my life started. I'd like to be married for a few years before children come into the picture but I'd like to have kids earlier than 30. So if I'm married at 24 lets say, by 26 I'm ready to have kids and I still have a chance at being that cool young mom who can relate to her children.

I guess that's all for now.

I think you're a great writer. I'm a journalist and I really like the way your blog flows.

Take Care,

- Bridget
Dawn Marie said…
Wow, I so understand where you are coming from. I'm married now, I was married at 29, to the man I fell in love with at 16, it took us a while to figure it all out. We floated in and out of each others lives for years, sometimes we stayed together longer than other times when all we did was a passing hello. I wanted to be married to him by 25 or 26, I was not ready earlier than that. But it did not happen that way, he felt that he needed to have a career, or a stable job, he's so practical. It was good for us to wait in every way except when it came to having children. That did not happen in my time frame either, it seems these things never do. I'm staring into the upper 30's now and I'm a little freaked out that in the 4 years of trying nothing has happened. There are pros and con's to huge life altering decisions. Don't worry about it until you find that one person you just can't imagine living without, until then enjoy your single life. you can't force meeting someone that you want to live with forever, so why stress about it? I would have married earlier, but we would have had other challenges, different things to work through. But those will come no matter when or who you marry.
Nicolle Howard said…
Hi,
In my life I found that Mr Perfect doesn't exist. I did find a Mr. You Might Do. I looked at his qualities and character. Are they the traits I can live with and like in him. What about the flaws. Can I live with those flaws? and of course the big question was Am I willing to change who I am? When you live with someone for a long time in marriage you start to take on some of there characteristics and traits and start to become like the other person. Are those the traits and qualities you would want in your life. As for the divorce rate the biggest thing I can say is to keep the communication channels open, talk to each other and never go to bed angry at each other.
RTPOT said…
Fantastic blog. I feel exactly the same about marriage and babies, and its weird the judgement that complete strangers give you for not being married and having babies. At christmas my grandmother was in the hospital and one of nurses asked me if I had my own family. At first I thought she ment if my parents were still around cause I was the only member of my immediate family who was able to visit. Nope she ment where was my husband baby. When I told her no she asked how old was then procedded to tell me that she had a daughter of the same age married with a baby as if to say the clock is ticking.
Anonymous said…
Hello,
I haven't read all the comments, but i will give you only 1 advice: in terms of love, do not take any advice from anyone...

At your age, I was thinking/feeling exactly like you, except that i never had (at that time) a serious relationship. Then, 2 to 3 months before my 25th birthday I realized that I actually didn't want to be in a serious relationship.
At my pace, I changed or I grew up or I got mature, I really don't know what word to use, and now it's been 3 years that I'm in a very serious relationship.
I found MY perfect man, he's not perfect, and this is what makes him so special.
By the way, i discovered your blog today, I like it.
And I'm 28 since last month, I met MY man in a period i decided i didn't want to date with any guys anymore.
After my 25th birthday, I met him again (we were in the same Uni), and exactly 2 weeks after this same birthday we fell in love (this is the short version of the story).

And yes, we will marry. When? In the future, at our pace.
Hello! I am an almost 27 yr old recently divorced woman. I was married at 22 and divorced at 26. I think that what I learned from the experience is that I had no idea who I truly was at 26... I'm barely beginning to grasp that now. I definitely married too young, but I don't regret the decision. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that isn't sure they're in it for life, but I value the lessons I learned through the experiences I was exposed to. Now that I'm not married anymore, I do feel kind of out of the loop. Most of my friends are married with kids and it seems like people have kids and wed younger and younger these days. I'm in a committed and happy relationship that wow's me everyday in all the right ways. What my past has taught me? I can simply enjoy life without trying to reach all the milestones others set out for us. I'm happier now that when I was married, and much more in love. Marriage is a piece of paper - oh yeah, and its a hell of a process to get out... something people should consider when jumping the broomstick.

--L
December said…
I think you're a wonderful writer and kudos to you for bravely getting out there!

As to you topic - Mr. Perfect, marriage, etc...

All of our life is a learning process. We come in with our perceptions and expectations and if we're open to receiving the truth, we can go out transformed, being who we were intended to be from the start.
Anonymous said…
I got married when I was 19 years old and to top it off, we had only been dating for eight weeks. Crazy? Yes! Eight years and three kids later and I really wish I would have waited. I love my children and my husband deeply, but I regret not finishing my college degree and establishing my own persona before I got married. Now I'm finally working towards finishing school via online classes, but it's slow going because of the other demands on my time.
If I went back in time and waited, I know I wouldn't have married the same man either. I love him dearly, but after we got married we discovered that we are as different as day and night and that has made for some big challenges in our relationship.
I think it's great that you're taking your time, just make sure you keep an open mind while you're at it and things will work out when they're right for you.
Love your blog!
SariBelle said…
Hey Stef,

This is my first timme reading your blog. I looked because of the writing element but found this post an interesting surprise!

I too am 23. I have been with my boyfriend and have no plan to be married any time soon (neither does he, luckily.. because that could be awkward!).

The way I like to put it is: We will get married when it no longer seems weird to us when our friends our age are also getting married.

Who knows how far away that could be?!
Christine said…
Hi Stef,,beautiful. I am a mother of 2 boys..single might I add and they have autism. The latter aside, I spend much of my time pressed against my cell phone encouraging my younger girlfriends to wait. At 39, I have more freedom and have experienced much happiness now that I am divorced. It may be due to my particular circumstances and the blend (or not) of the personalities involved, but I am happy none the less.
I grew up wanting nothing but to be a mother-and here I am but without the picket fence. :)
Please take your time and enjoy your life. The "right" guy or "right" moment will happen. ..and if YOU're somebody's love of their life believe me he will not let you get away.

Love your post...keep it up.

Christine
The only reason I can think of for getting married young is to have a bunch of kids. That was never a priority for me. I love children, but my family stays fertile way past the usual age, and I always preferred the idea of adoption anyway, so that took a lot of pressure off.

I travelled. Lived abroad. Set up businesses. Had adventures. Educated myself. I LOVED being single, and never felt I needed a bloke to 'complete' me. I'm enough on my own. Some days I'm too much.

One day, I decided it might be fun to get married. I grabbed my coat, went to the nearest bar, and married the first chap who caught my attention. Honestly. We moved in together that week. He'd just finished university. He phoned his family on the other side of the country to say he wouldn't be back. That was that. Love at first sight. Utterly stunning, wonderful, fascinating man. I was 29, he was 22. We have virtually nothing in common, so I never get bored. We've been together 8 years now and I love him more every day. Absolutely adore being married to him. Glad I refused to settle for so long, and that I was so impulsive when it counted.

Live your life. Maybe you'll marry. Maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have kids. Maybe you won't. Maybe you'll become a world famous singer, writer and actress. Maybe you'll devote your life to rescuing dolphins. Who knows? Life's an adventure. There is no Mr Perfect. There is no perfect life. That's what makes it all so thrilling.

Rebecca
Yvonne Michelle said…
Hi Stef,

I just started my own blog because I, like you, felt no need to get married at 24. Now, I am 29 (yipes) and thought that I had FINALLY found Mr. Perfect--or Mr. Almost Perfect. Looking back, he was more like, Mr. Will Have To Do Because I'm Too Old To Find Someone Better.

Anyway, he actually took me to get an engagement ring and even had it sized to fit my finger. He was planning on proposing very soon and we were in love. Well, at least, we thought we were. Last week, however, he dumped me. No one--not even his friends--saw this coming.

As you might imagine, thinking that you're in love and going to have a future with someone one day and then getting dumped by him the next is tough. So, I started blogging about it. While exploring blogger.com, I saw your blog and liked what I read thus far.

Keep on blogging!
Yvonne :)
Shruthi said…
Hey!
I ran into this blog while browsing Blogger for 'Blogs of Note'... glad I stopped by! :)

this post in particular has a lot of significance for me... I turn 26 in November and I'm in India, in this part of the world, I am over the hill! It's so annoying. The girls I studied with now have two children... by June 2011 four of my best friends are getting hitched... I feel like my life's just begun and I'm being asked to settle down... but I don't think I want to, yet...

I could go on... in fact, I've just started writing about it in my blog (shhpadywriting.blogspot.com) [sorry, had to do some plugging!]
Mandy said…
I got married a month before my 24th birthday. I'm 30 now and I think I got married at the perfect time. I would not have gotten married any earlier or later in life. I think it all depends on you & your significant other's maturity and compatibility. My husband & I have the same goals in life and are very supportive of each other. We've been through some really hard times but we would have had other trials if we hadn't married too. Long story, short...If you aren't ready for the responsibility, you need to wait.
Gee said…
Hey there,

I am a new blogger, but it was suggested I take a look at your site (you must feel very chuffed - hoping my blog will someday make an impact).

ANYWAY. I am a fan of this post and want to say good on you for waiting.

In my opinion there is not a "right time" to do anything in this world, everything is subjective and we should do what we want when we feel the time is right, not because of social pressures - I mean, this is 2010, is it not?!

I am in my twenties, single and although I would love to have some romance, I certainly am not ready for marriage.

Georgia.

http://geerobson-aspiringtobe.blogspot.com
Chicklet27 said…
I'm going to make this short and sweet. Married my three year relationship (first one) while I was still a senior in high school, divorced a year and a half later, then after another three year relationship (back to back w/no dating in between) I married my second husband and was with him for sixteen years (13 married) I met him when I was 20 and I am now 45, will be 46 next month, we are such good friends but because I never had a single life, I never got out and dated I felt that not only did I marry too early but, because I didn't have my single time to figure out who I am/was is merely the honestly truth as to why neither marriage worked. Now I am engaged again and set to marry this coming Feb 2011 but feel it is right this time as I have had 9 years (in april) of being single and I made up for every day I wasn't before my marriages. This one is the right one and the one that will last. I don't wish my daughter to get married until she is close to thirty or ready for a family. Rushing into it because it's what everyone does or expects is totally way off base from what you young girls (and guys) need. I have faith that when you are ready you will know and until then eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy life every day like it's your last.

Lori
elimar licos said…
could we rephrase it to : "Miss Perfect is out there" ?

married at early age, 21, then split up after 4 years of struggle. errrr i hate it whenever i remember those undone petty clashes that almost occupied our 4 years space. too bad, divorce don't have any chance in our country. turning 29 now and living on emotional misery but the road of life is long way to go, and i have to go on with my journey. journey of meeting "miss perfect". being "perfect" doesn't mean meeting your standards, nor impressing you all the times. perfect would be perfect if there's a pleasant harmony on dealing every clashes both will go through, and every joy both will share.

mr. and miss perfect is really out there.. walking a journey too. wait and time will lead you to that perfect one. and enjoy your journey, we can only pass through one life. let's make it worth to be remembered.
Stef-

I just think that people want to make sure they are marrying the right person. My brother is 26 now and I'm pretty sure he knows who he will settle down with, yet he wants to wait until his job is more secure and has more money put away.

I don't remember where I read it but I always heard its a good idea to wait until 27-28 so you know who you are then. That being said, if I ever met the right one, I wouldn't wait until that age just to do so. Also, I heard its a good idea to marry someone and not have kids for a year. I think thats probably a good idea as well.

-college guy
Sarah said…
Hi Stef,

I know im kinda too little you could say to write to this. Im only 17 but iv been with a person for over a year now and I couldnt imagine living without him. But at the same time not having him would give me the chance to do whatever I want like you said!!! I think its better to have someone who is understanding and will let you do stuff you want (in good turms). It gives you the feeling of someone loving you when you need it but that you can do other stuff too(:

But i feel the right time to get married is whenever you and that other feel that time is right. For some people they like to start early like my mother. And some arnt for getting married at all "my sister" haha(: So its just up to the person i think.

If your having a hard time finding the right person thats when you need to really think if "right then and there" is the right time and if so then its adventure time for you! Just think of it as a fun time for yourself to do the quest of a man and not of "when will i find him!". Thats what my mom tells me and it sounds good to me too!
Stef,
I totally understand where your coming from. I have always been the single friend most of the time. So when I got into a relationship I found it a bit weird as to why my friends at times could be so judgement. But at 22 I always ask those friends always in and out of relationships if they are getting married anytime soon and they always say not right now. They too secretly, even if they don't want to admit it, aren't ready and don't want that type of commitment just yet.

Although I do like to share my life with people who have a genuine interest in it. I like being single for now, no rush to tie the knot. Life is about making yourself happy and if you can't make yourself happy then there isn't any point on dragging someone down the aisle. With that being said I just started my first blog, I decided to move 2,340 miles to another state, another time zone, and hopefully another (happier) life.
@College Guy - A great idea: Wait to have kids. Get to know your partner, experience your bonding without added stress of tiny humans. I fully support this statement.

L

http://asithappens10.blogspot.com/
The Irish Bard said…
Hey Stef,

I am 31 years old and mother to my two best friends... granted I can't exactly confide my deepest darkest secrets to them though my 13 year old daughter knows quite a bit about my past adventures since she has a good solid head on her shoulders! I was married at 17 and gave birth to my daughter just after turning 18. We didn't choose to get married because of the child, however. We truly felt that we were in the strongest kind of love and couldn't live without each other. Almost 10 years later, I filed for divorce. I am vehement in my opinion of marrying so young.

But let me preface my explanation with this: I do not regret getting married when I did. My beautiful children are with me as a result. Also, I LIKE the person I have become and having dredged through the hardest times in my life whilst married helped to form me as a woman.

With that said,I have no doubt that we were in love. I have no doubt that we always loved each other. But love doesn't make a marriage. I LOVE my best friends, I have LOVE for my not-so-best friends. Love is an emotion that allows us closeness with someone or something outside ourselves.

At 17 and 18, we were completely unprepared for marriage let alone a family. You could not PAY me to go back through my teenage years OR my twenties. It has only been in the past year that I have truly felt comfortable in my own skin. And even now, I don't know if I would be "ready" (if there really is such a thing)to be married. Even knowing what I do of the dynamics of a marital relationship and all that entails.

Sooooo.... in a nutshell... EVERYONE should wait until they're 45 to get married!!!!! :D
yakfactorial said…
This is ridiculous. You are in no way a ritard or behind or ANYTHING for not being married yet. you are not even ONE QUARTER of a century old yet. Your life is so long and so far ahead of you. Be exactly who you want to be, and say "go fuck yourselves" to anyone who tells you otherwise, or that you need.... oh god forbid..... a MAN to do so.
Beks said…
What insight Stef. I agree with you 100%. In my 20's I was out & about, traveling the world, experiencing different places, people and cultures. I was 34 when I got married (am now 36.) We've been together 5 years - and we're still not "settled" per se, as my hubby's work has us moving all around the world-wonderful! So I say, enjoy your 20's full-on, there's plenty of time to find yourself and find a life partner in crime;)
Keep blogging! Do you have anymore articles similar to this?
Anonymous said…
"Mr. Perfect Is Out There...
... but he's just hiding from you at the moment." All men have to say when they read that statement is goooood luck and you'll need all the luck you can get lol. Actually luck wouldn't even help and it's called fantasy vs reality.

Fantasy is women constantly waiting for the Mr. Perfect and he's instantly going to just show up at your front door, sweep her off her feet, he has the white horse right outside and he's going to sweep her off her feet and they are going to ride into the sunset. Oh yeah and he's let's see at least about 10 feet tall (now her new minimum height requirement, he has the pearly bright white teeth, the perfect abs and he never had to work out a day in his life his abs just poof instantly developed, and lastly he has millions upon millions of dollars)she want's to be able to sit on her ass and have the "worry free life". Um yeah keep dreaming and when she wakes up she'll be like 70 and everyone has passed her lol.

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