I was replying to my sister's blog post about men putting off marriage and it became so long that I decided to make it a blog post.
Here's her post entitled Men and Marriage
As a rare case of a female who didn't want to marry, I feel I understand the male perspective to a degree in this case. For me, I wanted to do the things I wanted to do (before I got married), which over the course of the years meant getting a graduate degree and moving to a place I wanted to live (New York City). It meant having the fun I wanted to have while I was young and single. Yes, there was also fear involved of what I thought marriage meant (being with someone not as cool as me forever - Ha! Ha!), but honestly it was driven more by a fear of things changing in a way that I didn't think I would like - that would make me have to make "sacrifices" or basically making me be less selfish and I simply didn't want to not think about myself.
In hindsight, that's an honest look at my motivations in not wanting to marry. I mean I was a nice friendly person, but I just had these hangups about marriage. I didn't think I could love someone as much as I needed to, and in a way that was true because all I ever had to think about before was myself - I didn't rely on anyone else (besides my parents and siblings) for things and didn't think I needed to rely on anyone else for my own happiness. For so long I was happy as a clam and I felt fine. Why change a good thing? Marriage seemed to be harder than it was worth. It took me some time to figure out how much I, Lexia, could love another human and gasp, even need another human in my life (besides my family). What I've learned now is that you don't lose yourself being married. Settling down is a non-existant reality. It's actually more fun to have someone to share your days/nights with. Financially I'm in a better situation because of it (the opposite of what I thought would happen). I don't even apply my grad degree that much anymore - so the things that once seemed so important are no longer as vital to me now (and not because I'm married, but because our interests in life evolve over time).
I understand that it takes some men (and a few woman) time to figure this out and get to the point where they're actually capable of marrying and have a desire to do so. We're all on our own time line; however, I think that the prophet and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are trying to help us come to those realization sooner rather than later by addressing it and helping us take an inward look at ourselves so that we can make the choices we need to make in order to have the most happiness in life. When we're honest with ourselves it can spare a lot of heartache and wasted time. They point this out in ourselves to help us get on with the more important things in our lives - the things we don't always see as important when we should. I know I don't always see the big picture and get caught up in the details of the daily grind of the now in life; but if you believe in a prophet and God, then who has a better idea of what the big picture looks like than that of the prophet and God.
Now, with that said, I also have my own theories about how we as a society are delaying marriage and extending our "youth" due to the nature of staying in school longer, graduate degrees becoming more common (because bachelor's degrees are now the norm), racking up debt and relying on parents for assistance later in life, marriage and children no longer being as important to society in many ways, health and life expectancy lasting longer thereby extending our youthful years from 20 to 30 and middle aged starting at 50 and 60, and a whole slew of other things not even mentioned. Sigh...regardless, we have to take inventory on why it is we do the things we do and consider whether or not our choices fall in line with where our priorities should be. And if for some reason they are not properly aligned, then we need to be daring enough to make them be so.
I'm not saying you can marry anyone and live a happy life and be fine so marry just to be married. No. But you have to be actively doing things to meet that person who can change your life for the better. You have to try to be open to things you think you may not like (not just physical appearances, but your expectations of people in general, of your definition of marriage, of your priorities shifting in life, etc.).
On that note, I would like to end by saying I'm so glad I was wrong about marriage and what I thought I needed in life. I have so much more joy now than I ever thought I could have in life and a huge part of that was admitting I was wrong in certain ways, trusting and having faith in the big picture ideas, and opening myself up to someone who is so loving, so generous, so funny, so short, so patient, so talented, so EVERYTHING that if I wasn't careful enough I might have missed it due to a different agenda. Adam is so important to me, so much so that I can't imagine life without him. He once said something along the lines of how he doesn't remember his life very well before me - almost like we've always known each other. It does feel like that now and it's a good feeling, a better feeling than I thought it would be...and not so scary after all.
The thing that keeps going through my mind while writing this is something else Adam said when we were considering getting married. We had an interesting engagement (if you can even call it that), but I won't get into the details of our dating history. I will say that I was the one with reservations about getting married. I was the one holding us back - not the lead boy as in classic 1980s movies. What he said was so jarring and simple and profound to me that it just made my mind stop. I was so impressed by his inspired words. He basically said that we would be blessed by the decision to marry. That he, Adam, and I, Lexia, together would BENEFIT from getting married. To me that meant our lives would improve, not fall back or behind or change in some way that would make me regret the decision. I would be better off married and so I am and I never would have thought that before. Anyway, I think that's exactly what the prophet is trying to say. That we will be blessed by marriage in ways we can't understand, in ways we can understand, and that we have to have a little faith (or a lot in my case) that things will work out when we're making the right choices, the good choices, the most scary of all choices. It's easy to do bad, it's hard to do good. And Adam is sooooo good. :) I love you honeyface. Without you I never would have discovered so many things about myself...not to mention I might have never found my favorite place on earth...that lodge in the Adirondacks!