I recently read a blog posted by a fashion blogger asking why she, at age 25 is a “rarity” because she is now the “married friend” at such a young age. Her write-up received many types of responses; from offended singles to content, young, married, “dust-the-haters-off” married folks.
The article got me thinking about my own life as a young single woman because while it started out simply questioning why dynamic, gorgeous, educated women, who seem to have a good head on their shoulders, are not married, it slowly seeped into sounding condescending and very judgemental. It, in actuality, portrayed a rosy hue of superiority by the young marrieds over the unmarried. The question the article asked referred to why the singles have become “the blind leading the blind” when commenting on the topic of marriage; a field they know nothing about. It also said; “Maybe the single life is really that great and fun! I don’t want to believe that either. I have yet to meet anyone who wants to be alone. It’s just not natural”, topping that off with this nugget; “Look, marriage isn’t everything, but it is A LOT. And contrary to belief, as you get older (ladies), it’s much harder to come by.” Not only is a single existence sarcastically made to seem frivolous and pointless, it is also made out to be a human anomaly, which in our present-day, it is not. This last comment insinuates that if you are not married then you have LESS than the A LOT that married people have, and that if you don’t rush against the age-clock, you may never get married.
Now, just to be clear, I actually like this blogger’s blog. However, I firmly believe that while she started a topic that seemed to genuinely question why many more young people are not married and if she is a rarity, she quickly fell into a very judgmental viewpoint against single people. Being single myself, I was a little thrown and like, “What?! Now wait a minute.” The aim of this post is simply to open the floor for discussion around this topic. Is being married young (which in itself is a relative term given that many people say you are as young as you feel, but for the purposes of this post, let’s throw in an approximate 18-30 years of age perhaps) a culture specific thing? By this I mean, would being married young in Africa be viewed as a good thing and be more popular than say in Atlanta, USA where this blogger resides? I personally believe that a lot of factors do play into why people do or do not marry young. For example, religion is an integral part. At a basic human carnal level for example, certain countries and communities are less sexually liberal and do not condone sex before marriage (for example Catholic places such as Italy with its 90% plus practicing believers) and therefore marrying eliminates that problem. (I hasten to add that I realize that sex isn’t the only reason people marry, but it does play a part in the lives of young couples who are madly in love but still wish to respect their religions).