Yesterday's to-marry-young-or-not convo sparked the expected comments and controversy.
Some people were offended by the suggestion that independence and a focus on career from 20-28 (or so...) is a mistake. Others supported the argument that marrying young is not a joke or an indicator of future divorce -- it's just a decision of two people who love each other and are ready to commit to that love for life.
The article was trying to make one, simple point: marrying young is not a recipe for divorce. Studies actually show that it can be beneficial. Plus our pre-conceived belief that divorce rates peak in cases of young marriage is statistically incorrect.
But in addition to that one point the article also made another. It suggested that people who wait may find themselves sad and screwed -- in the always a bridesmaid, considering egg-harvesting, feeling like a Cathy comic strip zone.
The whole point of the article was that judgement shouldn't be passed on the idea of marrying young. But in making that argument the author -- whether intentionally or not - judged the decision to wait. This wasn't "the time is right when the time is right for you" advice. It was, "the time is right when you are young." You'll be sorry, it hinted. Some of your friends will get happily married and you'll be devastated, it suggested. Don't think waiting until you're stable will make you a more attractive option, it warned, because it won't.
The reason this article chafes so much is because we don't know if this guy is right or wrong. We don't know if we'll get to 28 and curse the fact that we weren't husband-hunting at 22. We can't predict whether our window of attractiveness is widening or narrowing. I personally couldn't tell you which of my friends' young marriages I believe will succeed or fail.
I worked hard to get myself into the best college I could because it's rooted in fact and history and statistics that a name-brand college education is a strong indicator of success. I moved to a major metropolis because job search sites and industry numbers and tons of data proved this city was the smartest place for me to start my career. I invest in a 401K and go to the gym and keep up with the news because all those things are proven to be smart decisions. My life is governed -- for the most part -- by logic and guarentees.
We know that marriage -- and even serious relationships -- aren't about definites. You can't predict it. You can't force it. You can't talk your way into or out of it. It is a very personal, very individual decision to be ready to even find lasting love, let alone decide you're ready to commit to it.
This article challenges that individual decision. It says, you may think you want to wait and that you have good reasons for waiting but you don't. You may believe that you'll be happier focusing on your career and becoming stable before you really focus on marriage but you won't. You probably think the right person for you will be there when you're your most ready, but they likely won't.
That is hard to swallow. A. because we want to say, "what makes you so sure you're right?!" but more likely B. because we're in no way prepared to answer the response, "well what makes you think you are?