This wonderful article, Do Not Marry Before Age 30, pretty much sums up how I feel about marriage.
Sure, you might blame me for copping out, telling me that I could only feel this way because I wasn’t lucky enough to find true love and get married in my 20s. Others however may feel that my joy is premature since at my early 30s, I still am not yet married despite already being blissfully happy with someone.
But it’s true. In hindsight, I’m SO SO glad I didn’t get married to Michan, Mark, a couple of Michaels, Trader, and all the guys I’ve previously dated.
For one, there was a reason that I’m no longer with them. And despite my overanalysis, these reasoning still stands.
For Michan for example, he just wasn’t ready to be an adult yet. He was always jumping from one endeavor to the other. Never really settling down in anything.
When I met him, he was an unemployed high school graduate whose work experienced was to be a waiter in a large hotel. He later on became a ramen chef, and the last I heard, was doing acupuncture in Japan. In his mid-30s, I’m not really sure he’s completely satisfied with what he’s doing and is still looking for the next big thing.
Mark on the other hand was 18 years older than me.
He was very nice and was similar to me in so many ways. Out of all my ex-relationships, Mark was the only guy I wished I could’ve married when I was then 26 years old.
Then again, it still didn’t change that we had an 18 year gap. And that 18 year gap would’ve taken a toll on our relationship when we reached our old age. Imagine having to take care of your almost senior-aged husband when you’re still in your prime 40s.
He is now happily married to someone else closer to his own age and I am happy for him.
Michael moreover was unavailable. Sexy as hell, or at least, I thought so, but yeah. He was unavailable. So let’s just leave it at that.
Trader on the other hand, couldn’t really make me laugh. I’d have to admit, I was a bit bored in this relationship. I somehow stayed because he was a nice guy but I don’t think I thoroughly enjoyed the experienced.
There were some good days however. Trader was super duper smart and he moved me to get deeper into finance. Weekends were spent watching movies and reading finance books together. He also liked to travel which I appreciated.
Still, it didn’t really change the fact that Trader was also low energy and we were two completely different people. In the end, there was a third-party from his side and so far, he was the only guy who betrayed me, betrayed me.
I’ve forgiven Trader already, but boy, did I dodge a bullet from that one. Phew!
I think I’m at the age where people are concerned whether I would really get married or not. Do you remember just how worried people were when I said I started dating Boyfriend? They wanted to ensure that he was totally serious about me despite early days.
Who can blame them?
While in Hong Kong and Taiwan, people didn’t start getting married until they reached their late 20s or early 30s, here in the Philippines, if you weren’t yet married at that time, there was something seriously wrong with you.
That is because the average age for a first marriage in the Philippines is 25.8 years old. And that’s for men. For women, people were married (most likely because of an unexpected pregnancy) by the age of 20.
By the age of 29 years old, over 3/4 of the population had been married!
So at the age of 24, that’s when everyone starts getting married. You’ll see most of your friends, classmates and colleagues throwing bachelor/ette parties, engagements and getting hitched. You cannot imagine just how tired of going to weddings one can be in her mid- to late-20s. Everyone was just getting married.
Once you reach your 30s, people start to wonder. Why is this woman unmarried yet? What is wrong with her? And what about her biological clock?
As for me, I remained blissfully unaffected.
And who can blame me since I lived overseas for almost a decade.
While my friends were getting hitched, having babies, and some have their marriages getting annuled, I was traveling around the world, dating a lot of eligible and not so eligible men, and having the time of my life.
While people were planning their weddings, I was planning my trips to Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Iceland, United Kingdom, Spain, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Italy.
While people were monogamously dating their boyfriends since college, I was hopping from one guy to the other, trying to get to know them and most importantly, trying to get to know me and what I liked.
Sure, most were jerks, but hey, I did collect some pretty cool dating stories from my past and realized what were the things that were important to me. At least I know now not only what I wanted, but what I didn’t want.
I remembered kissing a super cute smoker before. Yuck! It tasted like you were licking an ashtray.
I went out with a guy who was married before. Never going there again. It wasn’t the moral issue that I couldn’t stand – for some reason, I didn’t empathize with the wife. But it was more about me being possessive and not wanting to be with someone who couldn’t be completely mine.
I went out with a boss. Couldn’t really deal being his servant and secretary. Despite his high post, he was quite useless with everything else.
I remembered going out with a blonde surfer dude. He really cared for me, but it was hard to have a relationship with someone who lived continents away and only wanted to surf in Hawaii.
I also learned a lot about myself.
For one, I realized just how much of a bitch I can be to guys and just how unrealistic my standards were for them. Relationships are all about give and take, and I could never understand how anyone could’ve tolerated the selfish me me me (Trader did for 2.5 years).
Two, I realized just how important values and commonalities are. That relationships are beyond just the two of you, and more about how you would want your future to be. The fact that I dated Trader who wanted me to stay at home and have his babies made me realize that I wasn’t cut out for complete domesticity even if a guy was offering me the world at my feet.
Three, I realized that it’s great not to settle. That the right one is just out there if you continue keeping the faith and get yourself out there. You cannot imagine just how many experiences I was willing to try just for a good story. People are still surprised on how gung-ho I can be on blind dates and speed dating. I did meet my Boyfriend online via eharmony.com. It just shows the possibilities are endless if you are open to it.
So in the end, it’s true.
I am glad I didn’t marry earlier.
I am glad that I gave myself the time and opportunity to spread my wings and discover much about myself.
I am glad that I remained unattached and unmarried until I met my current Boyfriend, with whom I am so happy with (let’s not be premature – we don’t know where this is going yet).
I am glad I kept the faith and kept on pushing myself out there despite the disappointed.
And I hope you are happy you didn’t get married earlier as well. Kudos to those who are happily married with children, but hey, being single wasn’t too bad either.
Have a great week ahead!