Relationships Circa Age 30

Mark Morford has a great column this week about getting to be a certain age and not being married. He had me until the last few paragraphs, to which I reacted with horror, but now I’m beginning to wonder if he’s not onto something. Regardless, there are a lot of statements made that completely resonated with me:

For every happily married couple I know (and I do know a few), there are three more who are confused and tense and battling all sorts of doubt and crisis and regret. For every wedding announcement, there are two more separations. For every guy I know who’s tremendously happy to be settled, there’s another who wishes he could’ve had “just one more year” of unbridled freedom.

This is one of those truths that so seldom gets acknowledged in our culture. We really have some unfortunately high expectations about marriage and happiness in this country. Probably because we watch too many movies that set us up for unrealistic expectations (see Klosterman, Chuck: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs Page 1 at Google Books).

5 thoughts on “Relationships Circa Age 30”

  1. Yeah, I don’t think that I buy his conclusion, either. ๐Ÿ™‚ I argue, though, that it’s because that people forget that they’re supposed to continue to grow after marriage—that it’s another step and not an endpoint.

    Of course, I’m 28 and single. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. People have always looked askew at Ben and I for marrying so young, but why would it have made a difference if we lived together for the first five years before getting hitched? We knew we wanted to be with each other, and that whether we met at 20, 30, or 40, we still would have married each other. Is every moment together ecstatic? Of course not.

    So I’ve always thought that the pressure to marry within a certain age is incredibly arbitrary. It’s true that I don’t think there’s just a one-to-one ratio soulmate for everyone in the world, but there is logically a small subset of people that would work for each person. Based on luck and coincidence, we run into these people by accident, whether it’s a love-at-first-sight thing, or we finally notice that we’re actually in love with one of our good friends. Why is it expected that this has to happen before 30, 40, 50, 60? The usual argument is kids, but society is rapidly changing on that account, too. I have a lot of friends that have discovered their baby hunger is mostly social conditioning, and that they have really fulfilling lives without kids. A lot of people would look at them as selfish and that they’re depriving themselves of some “fundamental happiness,” but what does that say about infertile people or people who can’t afford to adopt? Are their lives a shadow of what they could have been? Does this relegate them to being socially and emotionally handicapped? Nope. It’s just a different life.

    All that to say, people shouldn’t worry too much about what the norm is.

  3. Pingback: relationship

Comments are closed.