Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Theory On How Everyone Suddenly Found Someone To Get Engaged To

Over the past three months, seven people that I personally know have gotten engaged. Prior to these past three months, I hadn't even been to seven weddings. It is completely out of control.

Not that I didn't expect this exact mass influx of engagements to strike right around the time of my 30th birthday. I've been anticipating it for the whole of my late 20s. Every "older" person I know has warned that the tidal wave begins around 27 and doesn't stop until roughly 35. I'm not surprised by these engagements. I'm also not surprised that people of this (my) age range want to get married. It's time for all that family planning, settling down, forming roots stuff, generally speaking. Yes, there's a whole other conversation about why it's time (part biological clock, part I'm-too-tired-for-this-wild-20s-crap, in my opinion), and yes, it is only time for some people, but bottom line: the next phase of life has begun.

My question is how all these people now getting engaged finally found someone to marry. I was 24 once, and it was BLEAK out there. There were barely legitimate people to wink at on Match.com. How, suddenly, did all those people struggling to find someone worthy of a second date find people to marry within, essentially, three years? Or, maybe more importantly, what happens to a person's dating practices and/or generally personality between 27 and 30 that makes the mass engagement train leave the station?

I have two theories:

1. People Got Out Of Their Own Way

To me this means that whatever was blocking you from meeting the widest range of people possible, starts to melt away. Maybe you were limiting yourself to finance guys from New York? Maybe you were not in any way interested in older guys/younger guys/divorced guys/guys who are losing their hair? Maybe you prioritized your career over everything else? Maybe you only hung out in certain neighborhoods? Maybe you were afraid to admit to people that you're really looking for someone to date?

I don't know what your specific situation is, but mine was that I used to feel being in a relationship would hinder all my other creative/career/personal pursuits. I used to think it would get in the way of everything else I was trying to accomplish in my life. As a result, I kept the more serious guys at bay, until I decided it was time to get out of my own way. Make sense?

2. The Sheer Number of People Looking to Be in Serious Relationships Increased

Dating is a numbers game, and when the numbers increase across the board, so do your overall chances. I'm told that's math. So to play with those numbers: when we were 25, 25% of people in our circle were ready/able/interested in being in a serious relationship. Maybe that increased to 30% when we turned 27? And then at 28 it became 40% I don't know the numbers (or really any numbers), but I know that people I never would have expected to settle down and get engaged are doing so, males and females.

Remember when we were younger, and we used to say, "Mom, I would date someone, but there is literally no one to date!!"We were not wrong. Crazy party girls have taken a chill pill. Professional players have decided to stop their constant games. Men who never would have joined an online dating site have joined, and women who never would have walked up to that guy at a bar are swallowing their pride.

So I guess the way I see it, it's a one-two punch? Step one: people got out of their own ways. Step two: there were more of those people to date.

What's your theory? And/or what part of mine doesn't make sense?


  1. I totally agree with those 2 theories. I also think that as people get older, they are more experienced. Experienced at dating that is. And therefore they have a better idea of what they want in a partner. Someone at 24 may waste a few months with a guy she doesn't really like all that month. When you get older, you're quicker to realize when something isn't going to work out, and you end it sooner.

  2. damn you auto-correct. that was supposed to be "doesn't really like all that much."

  3. The rate at which people in our generation mature increases exponentially from 25-28 when compared to 21-24, or even 18-24. Sure, there is still a bit of a wild side for people past 25 and even past 30, but if you begin dating someone in your mid 20's and it starts getting serious, there's a great chance you will end up getting engaged. Seems to be just the way things work nowadays. Don't forget that once your friends start getting engaged, the pressure kicks in like a hot pizza to the face.

  4. I was completely fascinated by this post. What an excellent analysis! The whole thing of getting out of your own way was eloquent and wise, and a thought to carry into other areas of life, like careers, as well as personal relationships.

  5. I completely agree with this theory 100% and I love your blog!