I’d like to respond to a recent blog that’s gone viral. The very insightful list of things to do before getting engaged. I have read other responses to this already but I promise mine will be a little different. I just want to touch on a few of her key points. Not all 23 of them, just the ones that really bothered me.
If you have not read the blog post yet, here it is: “ 23 THINGS TO DO INSTEAD OF GETTING ENGAGED BEFORE YOU’RE 23”
The first point I want to address:
“Because at the age of 22, I have no idea who I am, what I’m doing, and who I’ll be doing it with for the next year… let alone for the rest of my life. And that’s awesome.”
Speak for yourself, not every other 22 year-old in the world. I’m 22 and I’ve known who I am for quite some time. At 14 I did not say to myself “I’ll get married by the time I’m 25” or “I won’t get married till I’m 30”. And during college my thought process was the same: that I would get married whenever the right person came into my life. And he happened to come into mine at a young age. So be it. The fact that you don’t know yourself and still need time to explore who you are does not mean that every other early 20 year old has the same issues as you.
The second point:
“I have begun to notice a common thread amongst all these young unions: inexperience. Inexperience with dating, traveling, risks, higher education, career direction, SEX, solitude, religious exploration, etc…”
This “common thread” is not attached to me. Maybe you should take a second look at your facebook friends and see what kind of people you associate with. I have more experience in a lot of those areas such as traveling, risks, career direction, and religious exploration than some 50 year-olds I know (who, by the way, have been happily married for 35+ years! So obviously their lack of experience didn’t cause their almost guaranteed divorce). Saying that people should be more experienced in SEX is really not good advice. Eventually you’ll have to sit down with the guy who finally does propose to you and tell him your numbers. That is not going to be a fun conversation. Instead you could get more experienced sexually with your life long partner without the concerns about who they’ve slept with, whether they’ve been tested lately, or what you’d have to do if you accidently got pregnant.
And as for the list of 23 things… I just wanted to comment on a few with a little better advice:
2. Find your “thing.”
How about find multiple “things”. Who’s to say there’s only 1 out there for you. Or better yet, who’s to say you haven’t found your “thing” yet? I’ve found multiple things in my mere 22 years and none of them have anything to do with whether or not I should be married.
3. Make out with a stranger.
Or don’t. You don’t know if that stranger has a wife, or if that stranger is your sister’s new boyfriend that you haven’t met yet, or a million other awful scenarios that could come from that one small action.
8. Explore a new religion.
Sure, explore religion. But if you’re already religious and you’ve made your mind up that your religion is right for you, then you should MASTER your religion. Learn every aspect of your own religion because there are probably a million things you don’t know about it, and haven’t ever considered. Master your religion, than “explore” the others.
9. Start a small business.
Start a small business if you have the financial support and a business savvy partner, because starting a small business in your early 20’s could be a sure fire way to ruin your credit, which is something you have to spend a lot more time fixing than you did ruining.
11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face.
This is just gross. And reveals what a shallow person you really are. Before you do this, think about explaining yourself to the one person that comes along that you fall in love with. When you get to the point in a relationship when you want to share all, and think about how he or she may think differently of you when you explain this situation and that you did it “just to do it”. You were an adult when you did it, not an adolescent, or a confused pubescent teenager. Everyone has to take responsibility for their life at some point. Is this really worth it?
15. Disappoint your parents.
If you’re an adult in your 20’s and you still want to disappoint your parents, this is a problem. This is the point in your life when you should start regretting all the times that you’ve already disappointed them, start apologizing for all your selfish and bad decisions, and start building a better relationship with them. By now you should have grown up and realized that they have great advice to give because they’ve lived through most of what you’re going through and lived a lot longer than you. Your 20’s are not when you start disappointing your parents, it’s when you start a friendship with them.
16. Watch GIRLS, over and over again.
If you like soap operas, sure watch one. OR… you could watch an educational miniseries, endless documentaries on Netflix, read a book. OMG I’m totally saying you should like watch something, like educational, and not like mind numbing!
17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting.
That’s nasty. Instead, think about the fact that you’re getting older and that your body is changing, and you can’t eat what you used to be able to eat. Start looking into healthy recipes, have some dark chocolate, and don’t make yourself sick eating an entire jar of anything by yourself.
18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places.
Again, you’re an adult or you’re on your way to becoming one… Depending on how you plan to do this, the consequences could be severe, and I don’t think your parents will be bailing you out, you’re not a minor anymore.
20. Hang out naked in front of a window.
And end up on the news talking about how you don’t know why your creepy neighbor thought you were interested in him, you certainly weren’t sending any mixed signals!
22. Be selfish.
You spend your entire adolescence being selfish, immature, and completely ignorant to anyone else’s feelings. If anything, this is the time in your life to start realizing how your actions affect other people and start caring about it. My advice would be, become a little more selfless.
And this my friends, is my two cents…
But who am I? A girl who will be 23 in March and have my first wedding anniversary in May. Because of this one decision I must be naive and inexperienced. My college degree is useless, and all the places I’ve traveled mean nothing, because I married young… I’d like to give a big thumbs up to all the twenty somethings that think this is good, sound advice and who will try to do all 23 things. Enjoy being a selfish, dissapointing, permiscuous girl sitting naked in your window, watching soap operas, eating nutella, and being alone. Sounds like I’ll really be missing out. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to meet you in China because I’ll be celebrating my first anniversary in St. Lucia with my amazing husband. But I’m sure I’ll be there wishing I wouldn’t have gotten married so young.
Enjoy your 2014!