On my mom’s side, my great-grandmother got married to my great-grandfather when she was seventeen. My grandma married my grandpa when she was eighteen, and my mom was the same age when she married my dad. So, as the only girl, being the huge romantic dreamer that I am, I always thought I would get married young. Somewhere around eighteen or nineteen. I always thought “Well, three generations before me have gotten married around that age, it’s gotta happen to me!”
And my great-grandma was on my grandpa’s side anyway, so technically… not the right generation line.
Anyway. When eighteen came and went without a hint of Mr. Right, I was disappointed, but I could deal with it. When 19 passed me by, I got slightly depressed, but y’know… life happens. 20 came along, and I started to have nights where I’d be in tears of longing for the day to come when I would get married and quit being alone. So by the time I turned 21, as you can probably imagine, I was with the other single friends of mine who got sad at weddings, slightly blue on Valentine’s Day, and were generally just wasting time being sad about being single.
Something happened, though. Somewhere around August of last year, after a few unsuccessful months of trying to convince myself that it was okay to be single, I was trying to encourage a friend of mine in that same area. I explained to him that my life doesn’t revolve around having a boyfriend, and that it’s not something to be ashamed of. That I shouldn’t need anyone but God to be happy, ever. That my life didn’t depend on romantic relationships.
And I started to believe it. In telling him what I’d been trying to convince myself of, I found peace. I no longer ached to have a guy in my life. Following that conversation with him, I found that I no longer laid awake at night wishing and longing and crying wasted tears for something that I was too impatient to wait for. I no longer felt as though I was dropping the ball in being unmarried when most of my female predecessors had tied the knot at relatively young ages.
It also opened my eyes to a world of possibilities around me- things I can do now that I may not be able to do once I marry. Things I want to do before I get married. Things I’m praying God will let me do before He introduces Mr. Right into my life. It’s weird to think about, that I’m actually asking God to postpone my marriage a few years… but it’s peaceful. It’s kind of funny to me, knowing how anxious I was from the age of sixteen up.
I’ve dreamed of marriage and babies since the first time I held a babydoll. I am one of those girls who started planning her wedding at age five. And just because I am now content to be single and rather excited to do a few things before I get married doesn’t mean that I’ve quit planning. I still want marriage and babies and a home. I still dream of my wedding day, of meeting Mr. Right, of having kids and raising them with my perfect man. But it’s no longer a burden on my heart. It’s no longer tinged with sadness and tears, but excitement and peace.
Where I used to be slightly embarrassed that I had never dated, that I had never been kissed, I am now unfazed by the fact. I don’t care that people know I’m a virgin (proud to be!), that I’ve only ever been asked out by a drugged-up construction worker who shouted it at me from a window in an unfinished house. (While I was in my car, no less) Because you know… I am all the wiser for having never dated. I’ve got much less heartbreak in my past because of it. I’ve got so many memories I can make only with my Mr. Right, memories that would turn out to be regretted with anyone else.
There’s so much more of me that only he will know, which just makes him that much more special to me. He’ll be the only keeper of my deepest secrets. The only lover I’ll ever have. The only man to own the key to my heart. The only memory I’ll ever have of a kiss. I’ll never have the regrets of giving my heart or my body to someone else, because he will be the only one.
My mom used to tell me it was okay if I got married later. My aunt didn’t marry until she was 27. My dad’s mom didn’t marry until she was 26. I’d listen to her say this, and despair. 26 and 27 were so old!
Yet now here I am, almost 22, and I can see that she was right. It’s okay. I’m okay with it. I’d actually encourage any young woman who is like I was to calm down and quit worrying. You’re still young. There are so many things you can do as a single person that you may never be able to do once you’re married. It’s given me more confidence in who I am now that I no longer “need” Mr. Right to make me happy.
But y’know… that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t hurry his butt up anyway. 😉