I’m 18-years old sitting in my room after another long, hard day in high school. It hadn’t been a particularly cheerful, and I find myself getting settled into one of my moods. So I do what I always do when the depression comes on. I lock myself in my room with the blinds shut and turn on one of my favorite movies, “Persuasion” (a book by the great Jane Austen made into a movie). I’m immediately pulled from the world I’m in, into a simpler, more refined world. The smiles and curtsies alongside the dry humor as a contradiction is all I need to satisfy my need for a suspenseful, dramatic movie. I admire Anne because of her dedication to her family, and her willingness to maintain a decent attitude despite their superficial and frivolous nature. She even manages to hold it together when the love of her life returns, and she’s unsure of where she stands with him because of a decision she made years ago. I say to myself, “I wish I could be more like Anne”. Less dramatic and more content, so I make a pact with myself to do so. I notice, yet, that even though Anne has many finer qualities, she is swallowed into the expectation that society at that time had set before her. Marriage. She is disappointed that she is 27-years old and has no accolades or fortune to offer her family. As she goes into doubting herself, I struggle within my own mind to understand the importance of marriage at that time. I think about my own future, where I want to be, what job I’ll have, where I’ll live. I think about when I’ll meet my future husband. And I think about it happening when I’m at least 25. I realize then that I’m putting the same pressure on myself that Anne is putting on herself. Then I wonder if it’s right for me to think this way, or if it’s been put in my head by society that this is the way things should be.

      I believe that nowadays, the pressure is on women AND men alike to settle down quickly. I would say it’s more so women that feel the pressure, because we’re the ones who are going to have the children. It’s amazing how unfulfilled you can make someone sound if they are unmarried with no children. Then come the helpful friends (who sometimes mean no harm, I know because I was one of them) that try to set you up time and time again. You get you’re hopes up, only to be let down once again, and then you just want to be left alone. In an article I was reading the other day by Gallup (a company focused on building good analytics, 59% of millennials since 2014 have never been married. It’s implied that the reason is because most of them are waiting until a later age. I believe that this is the best way to go. In my opinion, you can gather more knowledge about what you want in your husband/wife, and you can do some of the things you’ve never done before. You have to find yourself before you can have anything to offer anyone. But some people say that this is a bad thing. Some call this new knowledge “tragic” and say that there will be regret in the end. I heavily disagree. I believe that if you’ve found the right person, the person God wants you to be with and the one who brings you closer to Him, you’ve got it made. Go ahead and talk about marriage. Plant the wedding. Put on the matching outfits. Good for you! But only do it if you’re stable within yourself, stable in your relationship with God, and stable financially. Talk about any concerns you might have with your significant other, and come up with a plan. You don’t want to be one of those people that realizes they married a complete stranger for the wrong reasons. NEVER rush in without knowing all the facts first.

       My personal preference, at this time in my life, is to stay close to God and find out more about who I am. I just got myself out of a very sticky, heartbreaking situation, and I’m no where near ready to give my heart to another man. I’m not going to rush into a relationship just to avoid being lonely on Valentine’s Day, or just because somebody comments about my clock ticking. I actually went out on a date with my grandma this past Valentine’s day and had a lot of fun. Basically, we just wanted to celebrate together instead of moping around at home all day. So I have it set in my mind, that if ever I get married, I want to do things right. The way God would have me do it. Even if I’m called an old maid. As I’ve written about in a past article, “This One’s Not As Good…” Jacob waited 7 years to marry Rachel, and then he was tricked, so he had to wait another 7 years. (Genesis 29:20-30) That man was put through the ringer. So just because you see your friends hoping in and out of relationships, doesn’t mean you have to do the same. I am very lucky to have known people who engrained the importance of waiting in my life. They’re lives have been an example to me in more ways than one, and I’m so grateful that I no longer think of being 27-years old as being without hope.

       Now I’m 23-years old. I still watch “Persuasion” on occasion and cry at the end every time Anne gets everything she ever desired. I watch sappy wedding videos on YouTube because I love to see people happy. I smile at the deep affection in their eyes, because I know I’ve loved someone like that before. It’s enough for me, even if it didn’t work out, because I became more of the person I am today. I love the way I’m growing a little bit in the right direction every single day, and when I’m older with gray hair, I’m still going to be the same vibrant, spontaneous, young woman on the inside. Single or not. My reason for writing this is to convince all of you to do the same. Don’t be ashamed if you’re not seeing anyone right now or even close to that. Get yourself together first and follow the path God has set before you. He truly is faithful to do everything He said He would. If you have experiences of your own about being married at a young age or being single at an older age and some of the pressures you’ve felt, feel free to comment down below. I am so interested in hearing someone’s else point-of-view. And as always, I’m so grateful for those of you who have stayed with me on my journey. I appreciate the support from the bottom of my heart. Have an amazing day, and be confident about where you are in life.