Recently, I’ve accompanied my mom on a trip to our local nursery where she had been going for several years. She started talking to the owner, with whom she has grown to be friendly with (which comes with the territory when you’ve been going to the same place for several years now). The two discussed work, parents, and then went onto children. It was then my mother said something interesting.
Now, let me give you a little background information so I don’t leave you in the cold. They were talking about how one of the owner’s children went down to Florida for a bit. He was 25, and is looking for work.
Here’s what my mom said: “At 25, you and I were trying to get married. Now, at their age, that’s the furthest thing from their mind.”
I began to think about it. I am 23, and will turn 24 next month. While I am in a relationship, getting married is something that I’m not ready for at this moment. I still want to be established, and I want to pay my car off. And, most of the people I talk to are in the same boat. My friends are in their late 20s, and many of them don’t have engagement or wedding rings on their fingers.
Let’s take a look at the generation before us — our parents. My mom got married at 28, while my father was 23. Now, that’s not so much of an uncommon thing, but back then that was a much bigger deal.
With that being said, I have a friend who got married at 21. When I first heard that they wanted to get married, I started screaming at them. What about finishing college? What about getting a good job, a place to live, etc.?
It was then my friend reminded me about the meaning of love.
But, with that being said, what happens if someone wants to get married in their younger years? Now, it’s being seen more and more crazy to get married before you get a diploma. Why do people have to endure being criticized for that, when they are simply doing what’s best for them. That’s an entirely different conversation altogether.
However, I do think that while love is an important factor in relationships, more and more millennials are looking to be established. You know, have a steady job, savings, etc. Our generation — despite the weight of student loans — is the first with the majority to graduate with Bachelor’s and even Master’s degrees. My mom didn’t finish college, and I don’t know if my dad even went. That education opens far too many doors and opens up a significant amount of opportunity than ever before, such as studying abroad and internships.
Also, our generation is the first where both men and women have solid careers. In our parents’ generation, that wasn’t the case. One of the biggest changes, by far, is the opportunities for women opened up by feminism. Women were expected to maintain a caregiver role with the man provided. Now, both parents are providing — or dad is the one who chooses to stay home.
It’s kind of interesting how things change in the span of 30 years, if you ask me. However, with that being said, while I still want to maintain a lively and successful career, I still also aspire to wear a white gown and have a family. But, just not right now.