I am 26 and not ready for marriage or babies. If you’re in your mid-20’s and someone is telling you that it’s time to settle down and/or have children, this is what should be done.
- Look them dead in the eye.
- Say, “Bye Felicia!”
- Move on with your life, girl!
Ok, maybe that’s not how you should handle it. Instead, try this approach.
“Figure out who you are separate from your family, and the man or woman you’re in a relationship with. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self because with that, you can do anything else.” – Angelina Jolie
I remember when I first read this quote. Nothing extravagant. No fancy words. I simply saw it as advice from one human being to another; advice that this human being (me) truly needed at the time. Honestly, this is advice that I still need and continue to reflect on.
Right now, at the mere age of 26, many of my thoughts are related to the future and what’s to come. Will I get married soon? How old will I be? Will I actually get married? Are my standards too high? Is there something wrong with me? Am I looking in the wrong places? Should I stop looking? What about my career? What do I want to do with my life? Do I want kids? I don’t want kids. Ok, now I want three kids! Am I living my life right? Am I ready to be with someone else?
Unfortunately, as I troll through my Facebook friends’ pages all I see is engagements, marriages, pregnancies, births, families, job offers, work promotions, etc. It’s hard not to think, “What am I doing wrong?” Like, seriously, how am I still single? Why am I still single?
Oh and you know what doesn’t help is that according to the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs, the average age that people get married in the U.S is 27.9! That doesn’t give a sister much time at all.
Oh and you know what else? I found an article called “32 Shocking Divorce Statistics” and it had this wonderful information to share. “In America, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds. That’s nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces a year.” Now, this was back in 2012 so I can only imagine what the divorce rates are now. All the more reason to take my time to make the best decision the first time around… because there will be absolutely no divorce sweetie. ‘Til death do us part!
Ultimately, for me it comes down to this. Do I love myself enough to allow someone else to love me? For me, the answer is “NO.” I think a lot of people would say, “Yes, of course I love myself.” I mean, how could one not love him/herself? You’re you. Who could ever love you more than you love yourself? The answer: No one. At least not another person on this earth’s surface.
Ask yourself “Am I choosing out of love or am I settling out of loneliness.” If I settled at this very moment it would most certainly be out of loneliness. Do yourself these four favors before you settle down.
- Figure out who you are separate from your family.
- Figure out who you are separate from the man or woman you’re in a relationship with.
- Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone.
- Find a sense of self.
You see, it’s not that I don’t love myself. I do, I really do. The problem is that there are so many parts of myself that I do not love. And although I don’t expect to be perfect, if I’m going to give myself to someone else, I want to give him the very best version of me that I possibly can.
I find that so many women (and men) take on these roles in life much before they are ready for them. Rather it be the title of mother or wife, there are tons of women my age who just were not ready. Now, of course most would never admit that they got married too early or had a baby too young. It’s just always a blessing.
However, I personally would like my blessing to come at the right time. Not randomly, or unplanned. That’s just me. All about having plans. Some people say that this is one of my shortcomings. I, alternatively, believe that having plans and goals is a necessity. I don’t mean this to say that I want to plan the very day that I’m ready for marriage or that once I am ready to have a child I will plan the exact day that we conceive. What I mean to say is that I do not want to put myself in a situation that I’m not ready for.
Take a moment to indulge in story time with me:
Once upon a time there was this young man that I was absolutely in love with. He was my best friend. I spent almost every single day of my life with him for more than three years. He was the one. No one could love me better or more than he could. Along the way, our relationship hit some speed bumps… I mean major speed bumps. Like ones that put a complete dent or hole in your tire and prevent all chances of moving forward. The relationship ended. It hurt A LOT! I not only lost my boyfriend, but my best friend and the person that I thought would be my husband. And one of the hardest things that any human being could ever have to do is watch the person that they thought they’d spend the rest of their life with put their all into trying to spend the rest of their life with someone else.
The moral of that story is that unfortunately I just was not ready. No matter how deeply in love I thought I was there were still so many parts of myself that I did not love. There were so many flaws within myself that needed to be addressed and adjusted before attempting to share myself with someone else. There were still so many things that I had not figured out… too many things that I just was not ready to address or share with anyone. To this day there are still so many things that I have not figured out. I don’t regret that relationship. What I regret is not giving him the very best version of myself that I could.
Whenever I get married and decide whether to have children, I want to do it confidently with no regrets or reservations. No hesitations whatsoever. I want my future husband to know that he knows me almost as well as I know myself. I want him to feel confident that when I am handed over to him in marriage and I take on his last name that he is receiving the very best of me. I still won’t be perfect by any means. The goal is not perfection. The goal is 100% self-appreciation and knowledge of self. The truest love you’ll ever find is self-love. Find it first.