What's The Rush?

I’ve noticed recently that, in all the conversations I’ve had with people who have been married for anywhere between 10 to 50 years, I’ve never heard a single one of them say they wish they had gotten married earlier. I have, however, heard a number of these people say they wish they hadn’t gotten married so soon. These sentiments have come from people who are extremely happy in their marriage, those who are miserable and those who are somewhere in between. Many express regrets. They feel they missed being young and discovering their own lives before permanently becoming a part of someone else’s. Maybe it’s just because of where I am in my life and these people are trying to make me feel better given everything that has happened in the past year and a half, but I doubt it.

So I guess my question is why are we still feeling the need to quickly find our prince charming before time runs out? I am 24 years old and, at times, I feel overwhelmed with pressure to find “the one.” It’s ridiculous, but that proverbial clock seems to be ticking even for someone as young as I am. We get it from books, movies, music, television and our own social circles. I live in a town where the entire population is made up of college students or married couples. With the exception of the interns and my boss, I will soon be the only unmarried person in my office. That wouldn’t be so unnerving if everyone I worked with was in their 30s and 40s but half of the staff is under the age of 27. Even in my young professionals group, singles are in the minority. Why are there still places in modern America where it feels like it is wrong to be single past the age of 25?

I’m not completely down on young marriages. There are those lucky few who truly find their soul mates at a young age. I just attended my cousin’s wedding this past weekend and I honestly believe she married her best friend. But I don’t think that we can look at these exceptions as the rule. If we do, we run the risk of falling apart under unrealistic expectations or rushing into marriages that may or may not be what we really want.