I grew up like most little girls of this generation (with no shortage Barbie dolls or"Rugrats" episodes). I also started planning my “princess wedding” at a young age, so I was pretty much a pre-pubescent Gen-Y cliché.
I pictured myself wearing a dress that looked like it belonged atop a wedding cake rather than on an actual person. I saw my father walking me down the aisle to my prince charming as guests cried about how beautiful and pure our love was.
But, as I grew older, those dreams got put on the back burner. Now, society favors getting married older — more toward age 30 — than what most of our parents did. I fell into the trend and focused on my professional ambitions rather than romantic ideals. I was content with the notion of establishing myself in solidarity then worrying about my biological clock later.
But, be honest: How many times in the past few years have you balked at your computer screen after seeing notifications of new engagements and marriages? You wonder how they could possibly know that they will love each other for the rest of their lives when you have no idea what you even want for lunch.
How can any of us know what we want in a life partner at such a young age? A partner for your entire life! That just sounds scary and really, really permanent, especially considering the gross guys and psychotic girls out there who are only looking for a “good time.” It’s hard to find someone even worth your precious time, let alone your soulmate.
But, who is anyone to designate the appropriate age to get married? If you find “the one” at age 20, why would you wait 10 years to get married? Well, I was one of the people gaping wildly at my computer screen at those newly engaged couples. Well, until I turned 17 years old, that is.
It sounds a little crazy, considering 17 years old is what I consider to be a child's age. No offense to the teens out there, but in retrospect, 17 years old just sounds so young. However, that classic cliché stands true: When you know, you just know.
When I was 17 years old, I met Sebastian. My friend and I were just looking for a good slice of pizza, when I noticed the guy making pizzas kept staring at me. Every once in a while, I would catch him and we would meet eyes. At that point, he would get embarrassed and look away.
In any other situation, I would have thought him to be a gianttttt creep. But, he was hot, so I didn’t mind the stares. After my friend and I finished, I went to pay the bill when Sebastian smoothly said, “Don’t worry about it” and continued to slide me a piece of paper across the counter.
I took it, totally confused as to why this man gave me a receipt when I obviously didn’t pay. But, the receipt revealed his name, number and a message underneath asking me out to dinner. Once I read it, I did what every other girl would have done: screamed and waited until the next day to call him.
From that day forward, I knew he would be my forever. I know I sound crazy again, but it’s the truth. After only a couple of dates, I pictured my future with him and I saw myself being incredibly happy. I felt absolutely insane. I never felt that way about anyone before, but something about Sebastian was different so I broke down most of my walls and let him in.
We hit a lot of bumps along our five-year journey to today. In fact, we were not on speaking terms for several years. However, both of us never stopped thinking about each other and eventually, we crossed paths again.
My friends all thought I was losing it because I would talk about this guy like we were dating when in reality, we weren’t even speaking. Today, they apologize for judging me to be a psychopath.
Life has a very funny way of working itself out, but this isn't to say that people should rush into marriage because I don't agree with that at all. Marriage is a sacred commitment and is a step that shouldn’t be taken until both parties are ready.
Quite simply, people just need to stop putting an age on when couples should get married.
Of course, the world was a totally different place then, but consider our parents. Some of them got married at age 19 and are still very much in love with one another. Today, we focus more on our careers and which step is next on the ladder to promotion, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Everyone should chase their dreams, but they shouldn’t forget to find love because the most incredible thing about achieving one of your dreams is sharing it with the person who means the most to you.
Love has no age and every day, I am grateful that I walked into that pizza place five years ago.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It