… I wonder about this misogynistic idea we’ve been instilling in young women in recent generations; the notion that in order to experience life they must date multiple partners and have “fun” in their youth [20 something] before committing to marriage. And by what does “fun” imply? Is this giving verbal and societal permission for young ladies to behave promiscuously? It would certainly seem to imply that this is acceptable behavior, even expected.
Upon learning that my seventeen year old cousin received a promise ring from her 18 year old boyfriend the family has been speculating about these two and what their future plans hold. Her parents are very prayerful Christians and they have been praying about their daughter’s relationships since she hit puberty. Her mom confided in me that if they did indeed get married she would be at peace with the decision because the young man is also devoutly Christian. If my little cousin got married at 18 I would honestly celebrate the occasion with her.
Some in our family have said if he proposed they would empathically be against it and try to talk them out of it. The argument being she is too young and hasn’t experienced enough. When probed about what they mean by “experience” I get the same vague answers about hanging out with friends, traveling and having a good time. Funny, I don’t recall your social life ending because you are married or suddenly being prohibited from leaving the country.
They can’t fathom that a young woman would choose to be in a loving self sacrificing, and edifying relationship, such as marriage instead of dating multiple boys. I choose to live out my twenty’s in that manner, proudly proclaiming marriage was nothing more than a piece of paper. I gave up my high school sweet heart when I left for college because I felt I needed to “experience” more out of life before accepting his proposal. All I "experienced" was superficial romances that led to heart ache and left me not wiser, only tired and bitter. Bitter at twenty five! I know! If I ever have a daughter I plan to be earnest and frank with her about this feminist fallacy pervasive in our society. Hopefully, I can save her the pain.
This idea of holding off marriage until we’ve become worldlier is really a recent phenomenon. I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all that since we’ve begun waiting to marry later in life that divorce rates have soared. Women are on contraception making hormonally bad choices for mates and then finding themselves past their prime and scurrying to marry whatever is left available or the first men who would have them. Historically, men and women married as teenagers. My grandparents married out of high school as I am sure many of yours did.
It just frustrates me to no end to hear family members talk about this sweet young lady in such a manner, even suggesting she behave like a tramp in order to find self fulfillment.
Readers, what are your thoughts on young marriages? I am totally off base here?