To all of the people who have sneered at you for being 35 and single.
To all the times you and your husband have been asked why you haven’t had children yet.
To anyone who’s has asked, “What are you waiting for?”
To the straight-up A$$H0L3$ who have told you that “you aren’t getting any younger.”
I’m 24 and actually had someone tell me that I better get moving in reference to boyfriend/marriage/children all wrapped into one.
So what if I like to occasionally bring my best girlfriend as my plus one instead of a guy? She’s fun, she’s amazing to dance with and I love her. I don’t need a male date to make me feel socially appropriate.
Let me be the first to tell you, my friends, you are okay.
Contrary to popular belief, your social clock is not ticking.
If there’s anything that we, as millennials, have done, it’s proven that we are not here to play by the rules. In the best way possible.
Trust me, there are plenty of things about our generation that drive me bonkers, but this is not one of them.
Part of what we’re doing is telling the past that it is just that. The past. We are a new group of minds who are paving the way for a more accepting future.
And it’s freaking awesome.
So first and foremost, I hope you have the self-assurance to smile, nod and then move on from anyone who passes judgement on where you are in your life.
I’ve been hearing a lot of questions that speak to the idea of how to progress a relationship based on social norms.
Things like, “We’ve been together for a year and he doesn’t want to live together yet. I feel like we’re at a point where we should be moving in that direction.”
When you’re asking yourself if a relationship is moving as it should be based on what you’ve seen in the past, you’re asking the wrong question.
There are no rules! There is no should be. There is just you. And your relationship.
If it is important to you that you cohabitate with your partner, then sure, it’s worth having a conversation. But, if you want to live together because you feel it’s appropriate for the amount of time you’ve been dating…then, no. That’s not a good reason.
We can’t force ourselves into situations because we think it’s what we should be doing.
Past societal habits have provided us with a framework that worked for a certain period of time. Men were the prominent financial providers, women were often purposefully married with children by the time they were 22.
It’s no secret that this particular lifestyle is out the door, but yet we try to make pieces of it fit into the new world we’ve created.
Women have opportunities that weren’t available years ago. Getting an education alone is setting us back on what was “normal” in the past. Not to mention a desire to build a career, create financial stability and find our own sense of purpose.
I’ve seen women torn down because they’ve chosen to establish themselves in the work-force before tackling a love life.
And this isn’t to criticize those who DO choose that lifestyle. See, it’s all relative to what you want. Your own personal goals.
Life happens whether we want it to or not. You may have been swept off your feet at 19 and never looked back.
You may have had your first child at 37 and plan to have more.
Good for you! Sincerely.
I just hope we can stop losing confidence in ourselves and our relationships because we feel that we aren’t meeting a societal standard.
The man and woman who are madly in love with each other, but simply don’t want to get married. I support you.
To the same-sex couple who have been waiting decades for the opportunity to get married. I support you.
To the single woman who wants to be a mother, but not a wife. I support you.
To ALL of you who are living your life happily, healthily and YOUR way. I support you.
We are re-defining what it means to be successful and the types of ways we can love.
We have been given an opportunity to amend the future by choosing ourselves in the present.
Don’t apologize for the life you’ve chosen for yourself.
Don’t let anyone try to put your life on a timeline. It doesn’t exist.
There is nothing you should be doing that you haven’t chosen for yourself.
I wish for you the courage to pave your own way and live life only the way you want. You only have one shot at this. Do it your way.
I will leave you with Tennyson’s sweet words, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Sending you love, support, hope, courage and kindness,
Emily Perrott, The Sunflower Child