Don't Be Worried About Not Being Engaged By The End Of College — You Have So Much Time
Have you ever heard anyone say that women go to college to get an MRS degree? That is, to become a ~Mrs.~ Same. And it's utter bullsh*t. College is a time for education, exploration, and testing your body's limits to see just how long you can run on black coffee and Saltines during finals week. Snagging a "ring by spring" shouldn't be your top priority. So, if you're currently experiencing the fever dream that is senior spring and worried about not being engaged by the time graduation rolls around — stop stressing, sister!
Easier said than done, I know. But seriously, you guys. There is absolutely no rush. (I mean, there's sorority recruitment. But that's a very different kind of rush.)
In a 2013 report from the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project — aptly titled "Knot Yet: The Benefits and Cost of Delayed Marriage in America" — research revealed that the average age at which women get married has hit an all-time high at 27 (29 for men), a number that was only expected to increase in the coming years. Across the pond, wedding planning site Bridebook.co.uk concluded that most women didn't drop their single lady status until they were nearly 31 (Meghan Markle is 36, BTW!).
In other words, the majority of women are waiting six to 10 years between tossing mortar board caps at commencement and a bouquet on their wedding day. And it makes total sense. Here are five great reasons to stop sweating over a prospective wedding while you're in college — because trust me, you have so much time.
1. Your relationship is going to grow and change after college.
College is like adulthood with training wheels. Yes, you are living on your own. Yes, you are largely responsible for managing your own schedule, preparing your own meals, and keeping that orchid in your room alive. But — in most cases — college also comes with safety nets and built-in social circles that the so-called "real world" does not.
"Yes, but, what does that have to do with my relationship?" I'm glad you asked.
The truth is, it's virtually impossible to know what your relationship will be like outside of college right now. That's not to say that it won't be wonderful and strong — perhaps even better than it is now — but it's just... kind of an unknown.
No one will dub you an "Old Maid" if you and your partner hold off on tying the knot for a few years, so take the time to see what your relationship is like outside the walls of your university.
2. You're still changing SO much.
I've only been out of college for three years. But I can tell you, hand-on-heart, that I have changed more in these last three years than at any other point or period in my life.
I often wonder what my past self might think of my current self — would be even get along? TBD. But the point is, now is a time of major change and growth and opportunity. Oh, and did you know that your brain isn't even fully developed until you reach your mid-20s? I know.
Even if you and your partner get on swimmingly right now, there's no way to know if they'll get along with your future self. So maybe give yourselves a little more time to develop before entering into a legal, binding union (one that you might be second guessing in a few years).
3. The later in life you get married, the less likely you are to get divorced.
Statistically speaking, the longer you wait to get married, the greater the odds are that your marriage will last.
According to San Diego-based law firm Wilkinson and Finkbeiner, "60 percent of couples married between the age of 20 -25 will end in divorce," and "those who wait to marry until they are over 25 years old are 24 percent less likely to get divorced. Likely for the reasons listed above.
All good things take time, marriages included.
4. Weddings Are Freaking Expensive.
Did I mention that weddings are also insanely expensive? In a 2014 survey conducted by The Knot, it was reported that the average American weddings costs approximately $31,213. And that's not including the honeymoon. Which, BTW, is not an easy expense to cover on an entry-level salary.
There's no harm in taking the time to establish your career and build up some savings before dropping five figures on a party, right? Right.
5. The World Is Your Oyster!
I say this a lot, but it's true: The world is your oyster! Especially when you're a recent college grad.
You get to decide which jobs to pursue, which cities you'd like to call home, which photos you'd like to feature on your new gallery wall. And you get to make those decisions for you, and only you.
Marriage is a wonderful thing, but it also means tying your life to another person's — considering their wants and needs before making any major decision. Your first few years out of college are one of the only chunks of time during which you get to be totally selfish and call the shots. So call them!
Now is your time to shine. The wedding bells can wait.