Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Oh, You're Not Married?"

The idea that LDS young adults are marriage hungry is a popular belief. We get married as young as possible after short courtships and even shorter engagements. The whole process is supposedly rushed and immediate and slightly impulsive. Supposedly.

So, I decided somewhere around 9 (I don't know what kind of kid I was, don't ask) that I would break the mold and be older when I got married. And when I say older, I mean over 20. Because, at the time, being over 20 definitely meant older. I reached the golden age of 20 and scoffed at the idea that I thought it'd be a challenge to not be married by then. At 21 I was going on a mission, 22 on a mission, and then yesterday I turned 23. Still single, and still wondering when this age thing happened.

Maybe I'm in denial, but I don't feel like I would naturally be concerned about getting married. It'll come when it comes- I'm confident he's out there doing whatever, like me, and our paths will cross eventually. However, outside sources make it nearly impossible for the thought to escape my mind and it seems to be... not the primary source of my concern, but still fairly frequent. It is me, or the people that bring it up? I blame them.

I decided to write this post because the topic is inevitable. Every interview I've had with a church leader in the recent past, the leader has "reassured" me that, "he's out there somewhere." This consolation has been unsolicited, by the way.

I think that's my thing- where did all this sympathy come from? I think most would admit it's slightly unnerving when people start patting your shoulder, offering comforting/wise words, or telling you not to worry, you're great and have lots going for you! I keep wanting to respond, "Really, I'm fine! I... (how can I convince them I'm not bothered?) I am ok!" But I feel like that only invites more sympathy.

So, this main topic of LDS young adult conversation leads me to this- be it self-inflicted or caused by the comments of others, I guess I really would like to get married soon. Am I the product of a marriage hungry culture? Maybe. However, as unfounded as I think pressuring young 20-somethings to be married may be, I also don't place myself in the category of those who are anti-marriage simply to rebel against something. I guess I'm in the middle. Me getting married isn't a desperate mission, but I also don't see myself dating for any other reason.

Also, as a side note, it sure would be convenient to be done with the "just friends" dilemma (you know, where you wish someone would consider you as more than a friend, meanwhile hoping someone else knows you will never be more than friends. There is no winning, in my experience)

Ah Provo. Good night!

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting to read your account from the other side of the spectrum. As an aging bachelor in our culture - 28 makes me practically ancient - all I ever get asked is, "Are you dating anyone?" And then when the answer is negative and the interviewer knows I'm not getting married any time soon, they give me that disappointed shake of the head and the stern admonition to not shirk my responsibility.

    For what it's worth, I think the perception that there are so many young single adults because people are choosing to not get married as a rebellion or are afraid of commitment or growing up applies to a tiny percentage of us unmarried folk out there. Like less than 5% or something like that. I've yet to come across any peers or acquaintances that do not want to get married soon.