You’re 24 and not married yet? Dive into it or it’ll be too late.
What if you’re reluctant to walk into a marriage and wish to bank on a great career ahead or simply need time?
When you’re part of the South Asian community, the subject of marriage starts surfacing in your early 20s. Our community glorifies the concept of early marriage. 24 is considered ideal for girls, while for men even 30 is not late.
The process of finding my knight in shining armor started the moment I hit 24. The simple rationale behind this is that at an early age, there is a pool of options. The numbers, they believe, start dwindling with age.
Society is still warming up to the idea of late marriages. What we fail to acknowledge and accept is that not every woman is all set to embark on the journey of love at the same age, or at all. No two women are the same.
[Read More: Effective Arguments and how They Saved my Marriage]
I am a 24-year-old woman. Most girls at this age either feel unhinged or agitated or have a settled, basically anything at all. In my case, I feel the former. Whatever society thinks about girls is beyond the ken of my mind.
Why is it that our society tries to dictate a woman’s behavior? Why are we expected to fit into neatly shaped molds? Why is the luxury of liberty not bestowed upon girls? Why does society’s gaze turns empathetic if a girl dares to stand alone without a partner?
I have been a girl who dreams of destiny greater than allowed. Society is fine with a girl not rocking at work, but they’re not okay with a girl not honing her culinary skills. Marriage is not the end destination. Some people are willing to take this leap of faith at an early age, however, some struggle to accept responsibilities early.
Throughout my teenage years, I have juggled mental and physical issues. From finding the right man to jumping into toxic relationships to struggling with bad skin to trying to fuel my dreams, life was a rollercoaster. I failed at finding my love, which makes me doubt the existence of love. I expected that the unease would abandon me, but I realized it is sitting right there in the pit of my stomach.
I became hostage to the idea of finding the “The Right One” on my own. My parents, unlike others, have been liberal with me finding my match. The concept of arranged marriages felt repugnant to me. We have a generation gap with our parents. That makes me feel a man chosen by them will not be who I need.
I am not suggesting that I am being coerced into marriage. I have the freedom to do it of my own accord. But the process of arranged marriages feels daunting. Even after years of trying to find my perfect match, I flunked at it miserably. So, how can I expect to fall in love in 3 or 4 meetups? That sounds ridiculous to me.
[Read More: What my Arranged Marriage Taught me About ‘Freedom’ and ‘Choice’]
It doesn’t just end there; I want to be independent. I have dreams that need resilience and a lot of patience. I excelled in my education, and I don’t wish to limit my life to finding love and tying the knot. I still wish to travel and check off things on my bucket list.
It took a long time for women to generate a voice, and now when we have it, we’re not going to stay silent. I wish to shatter ceilings and stay out of the box.
By not agreeing to step into marriage, I am not trying to insinuate that love is bad. The joy of having a shoulder to lean on is unparalleled. That being said, some people need time to heal. Sometimes, there is an amazing life some girls are looking forward to that does not involve marriage.
I wish to write my destiny, no matter how treacherous the path could be. I would rather live with the pain of trying and failing than with the agony of not trying at all. 10 years down the line, I will look back at memories and experiences and not regrets.
I wish to get married when I feel ready for it.