As I get older, I seem to find I meet more and more people that aren’t married though they are around my age or older. I used to think I would be one of those people.
I always expected one day to get married, but though my parents were married young (comparatively to all my friends’ parents) I didn’t think I’d find a partner as soon as I did. Granted, I believed I’d get married young when I was a young teen… My older boyfriend at the time proposed and we were so sure we were in love and would get married once I was legally allowed to.
After being burned by that relationship, however; I found not only was my self-esteem much lower – so much so I found it hard to believe when a guy actually liked me enough to date me; even harder to believe when they said they actually loved me – but I also grew to find that most boys/men I dated were not who I could envision myself being married to in the long run. Yes, it was something I would consider, though I was not one of those ultra-religious kids that would only date with intent to marry… So when I considered it (over a few days or within 5 minutes, ha) and ultimately decided no, that did not stop me from dating them anyway.
I thought it would just take a much longer time to a) find someone I was interested in enough and b) find someone that was interested enough/actually loved me enough to take that step.
The few boys that might have fit into the eventually marriageable box (read “Good Christian Boy” as my teen mind figured I was supposed to eventually marry) found me uninteresting and not able to fit into the even remotely datable box anyway.
At least not til I met Martijn… But by the time we got our shit together and he decided he liked me enough to attempt to pursue something (asking me to marry him after University), he lived in Holland and I had become a standby. I regret not trying harder to spend more time with him while we were still in school together. Then again, he could have tried harder too. He would have known when I was available. His sister was one of my besties, Anneke. But who knows… maybe he didn’t want to try anything serious in high school; maybe he didn’t want to compete with Dan – he would have known about Dan. He would have seen me in the courtyard with Dan… However; Martijn was always held in high esteem in my head… so… competition would not have been difficult for him.
(I’m pretty sure I have written the story of Martijn here before; but it seems I’ve deleted it… So some of my older followers may or may not remember that story… But regardless it’s in my book if you are interested.)
But this post isn’t about Martijn.
I don’t know that I’d actually be happy if I were still single, though sometimes I wish I were for a time. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t gotten married as young as I did so that I would have had more time to experience actual freedom. I’ve never lived fully on my own. I’d hate to say it… But I’m a little jealous of Maja’s poor 20-something stage when she was living on her own and using a bag hanging out her window in Swedish winter as a fridge.
I don’t know how I went from turning down a marriage proposal at 19 (Sven), to accepting one at 20. At least with Martijn, if that had happened, I would have been at least 22 or 23 by the time it would eventually have come to pass.
As it happens, Sven is one that got married old… Almost 40 (39ish?) when he got married a year or so ago (only makes me feel slightly at fault for not accepting his idea of marriage back then). Dane has still never been married and we are 33. Though I know he wishes he was sometimes. I know he wishes he had find the right girl by now and had started a family…
I know a handful of others that are late-20s and 30s still dating around. Maybe I’m happy that’s not the case for me at this stage… But to have had the chance to explore more… at the very least I’d have had more men to write about in this blog 😉 haha
I also wonder if I had still eventually met and ended up with Jason, would we have surpassed all the shit we went through earlier on? Would we have started at a better place?
It’s all in the past now, no need or ability to change it, but I do wonder sometimes… if I knew what I would go through and if I didn’t have expectations about what staying single might mean (erm, being an old maid forevah) would I have gotten married when I was 20? I do think I would still have loved Jason and dated him long term… and maybe still eventually gotten married… Just maybe not yet while I was still a youngin’ Haha. I look at some of the 19/20 year olds I know now and think… Wow. I used to be that young… How was I even ready to get married?
Getting married at a younger age can work… but, damn, it’s hard. Harder than one would expect at that age. Young people in love don’t usually want to hear that, and often just want to move along with their lives… But now that I’m one of the old fogies… I wish I hadn’t been so focused on moving forward and getting older. I wish I hadn’t been so keen to leave Sweden immediately after graduation in favour of starting Uni ASAP. I wish I hadn’t have decided that I should go ahead and get married instead of trying a longer distance relationship, or live-in situation first. (Originally that was our plan for a couple of years out – start living together and then eventually go towards marriage… which would have had me at at least 23 or 24.) Instead, Jason got an early out of the military and got a job long distance …preferring to make it “right” and marry me so that it was appropriate to ask me to move with him. We had only been together for 8 months by the time we got married. Gosh, but… I was 20 and it just felt right.