Remember the time when you were at your good friend’s wedding then you got the typical statement from the bride [or the groom] saying: “Hope your turn is after me”. Or even worse: “Can’t wait for your turn.” Ouch!
First of all, it is rude. Second of all, it is none of anyone’s business and the last one is that no one can tell someone else what to do. Sometimes some people just have to bite their tongue for sensitive topics because they will never know how the receiver takes the message. I think this statement is the start of the peer pressure about impulsive marriage.
Specifically, in Indonesia, numbers of people get anxious when they have not yet tied the knot in their 20s. Not about they are afraid of ending up alone in this peculiar universe but more of those talks at countless wedding receptions they attend. Besides those talks given by their married or almost married or just-married friends. People (especially ladies) who are still single in, let’s say, their 27 will be suggested to hurriedly get married. Why? Because if they don’t they will be haunted by the chance of challenging pregnancy or challenging dates. For men, they will be considered having commitment issues or some financial hardships.
One time, I was in a reunion with my former colleagues. After not being around for a few months, some of my colleagues had already set their wedding dates. I was surprised as last time I knew they were still single. But we were actually that close so I did not ask them much. One of them, then, asked me who my current partner was. I told him I was not seeing anybody but did not explain it why because I did not feel like I had to. Yet, he did not stop there. He ambushed me with advice saying that I had to think about the future, not to be picky of whom I would end up with, suggesting me that a lady who is already at her late 20s has to think about getting married soon as it is not good for a lady to get married later.
I raised my eyebrow and told him that I was fortunate not to live in Jakarta anymore and live in Bali because Jakarta is full of people like him who is close-minded then ignored any conversation he tried to make with me.
Did it bother me? OF COURSE. Not because I felt less of myself but because I had to face such a rude person who couldn’t mind his own business. To get married or to not is someone’s choice. It is a big life decision. Not like him who probably just wants the label of being someone’s husband, I want to have a quality relationship which by all means not to rush myself picking a guy and arranging a public wedding ceremony where many guests I don’t recognize. I want a marriage, not a wedding. It is not for everyone maybe, I know, but please do not advise someone things you don’t understand. Especially if that someone is not close to you. Don’t even think about giving such life advice.
I’m very disappointed by these kinds of people and at the same time sorry for them. These shallow people do not have any idea how marriage is not the final season, the happy ending stage of a relationship. It takes so many things to make it last. Maybe some people can argue that if a marriage does not work, they have the divorce button. So perhaps this thought supports their [impulsive] decision. But can you imagine if all married people ponder this way so why bother getting married? It will not be special anymore, no? And to top it all, marriage is not a competition. You are not better than them because of pointing out a thing they do not have yet. It is not a prayer you wish to your friend, it is a brag. If you want to utter a prayer, bless them with joy and happiness for whatever decision they make.
The thing is [with all due respect] getting married is very very super personal issue no outsiders can bug, suggest or worst, question someone. IT IS A HUGE LIFE-CHANGING DECISION. Eventually to get married or not is nobody’s business. Stop creating an urban legend about being single. There is nothing wrong with a 30-year-old single woman who wants to focus on her career more than finding 'The One'. It does not mean no one wants to take her or she is not attractive or something bad with her personality. It means that she can take good care of herself by being a single, independent woman. As well as 40-year-old single man. He probably has things to consider before settling down with someone. Maybe he is just not ready yet so he does not want to be a jerk. It is not that he has some problem with commitment or even financial statement.
Look, everyone has their own pace on everything including getting married. Be a good friend and leave your single friend alone.
Illustration by @maria_alathea