Monday, March 7, 2011

Marriage: What Are We Waiting For?

I was talking with my grandparents last night, and we were discussing how it seems the current trend is to get married at much older ages than back in their time.  They were saying that men need to step up to the plate and stop waiting for the perfect time to get married because that “perfect” time will never come.  There are always going to be money constraints, there are always going to be problems at your job, there are always going to be issues with your family—so if you are waiting for those things to go away or get better, you will be waiting for a while.

Now this perspective is coming from two people who were married at very young ages, 19 and 21, respectively. My grandma didn’t have anything to bring to the table and my grandfather didn’t expect her to. My grandma also wasn’t looking for my grandfather to be rich; she was just looking for someone with stability. They were each looking for someone who would be a good man of the house and mother for the children—and they found that in each other.

Today, that just doesn’t seem like enough—it doesn’t seem like enough to be a wonderful mom, you also must have money or interests of your own. It doesn’t seem like enough to be the bread winner; you must also be a caring and supportive friend. Where we’ve evolved as a society, seems to be toward the “better,” but it begs the question: why are people still getting divorced so much if people are waiting for the perfect relationships? Maybe we are looking for the wrong things? Is our constant striving for perfection hindering our need to be or feel settled? 

Maybe waiting for perfection to get married or getting divorced because you don’t have perfection is a negative consequence of the current societal trend.  Our current society tells us that we can have the world, we can do it all and we cannot settle for anything else that excellence. All these things are wonderful attitudes to have, but they may be giving us a warped perspective of what a good relationship should be. 

Should we continue to wait for the perfect situation before we get married or should we do like my grandparents did and not strive for perfection, but strive for permanence?

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