So, who got the watch and who got the ring this Christmas?

Photo by Tiffany Bailey

Photo by Tiffany Bailey

It seems like there’s been a clear divide this Christmas between those who have been waiting eagerly for their other half to wrap up their sparkling Michael Kors watch, or those who have had the surprise of finding an engagement ring under the tree. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been packed with people who were showing off their rings with excitement, or those who just had to tell the world that “the boy done good” in getting them the watch with the most bling on the market.

It’s not that I’m jealous in any way, it’s just that I am amazed by the sheer numbers of people who have been overwhelmed by these rather underwhelming gifts. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but for the girls who have requested a Michael Kors watch, it is time to get some taste and to stop following the crowd. But that is not what is bothering me, I’m more concerned about the countless girls who have become engaged this Christmas when they are only in their early twenties!

Society seems to have gone full circle, from years ago when girls were married off when they were teenagers and thought to be on the shelf beyond their 30’s, to the era of independent women putting their careers ahead of their love lives, back to young marriage – but this time through choice. So, what has caused this? What is pushing these young women to get engaged at 23 before they have had a chance to see the world, before they have really established their careers or even discovered who they really are?

Of course, there is always the chance that these young women really are “the marrying kind” and have just always dreamt of marrying the man of their dreams, settling down and having a family – but there are several of these girls, who I have known for years, who once dreamt of a career and moving away or travelling the world. It leaves me wondering if in fact they have just taken a look at the world around them and taken the easy route by settling. It’s a sad thought, that these girls might be sacrificing their own hopes and dreams for the easy route simply because they have taken a good look at the world around them and have seen the bad. They’ve spotted the recession, the lack of jobs, the redundancies, the terrorism and the horrifying things happening around them instead of seeing the beauty and excitement of exploring the world, finding yourself and having adventures.

I just don’t understand the rush to settle down and have children when you are still just a child yourself – I have my life pretty together with a career plan, a long-term boyfriend and plans for the future – yet none of them include engagement rings, children or mortgages. I see the world as an open book with opportunities to travel, work abroad and develop my career before I think about settling down. In a world where those with children and mortgages are struggling to make ends meet, where people are losing their jobs or failing to even find work and support their families, why would you want to thrust yourself into adulthood prematurely?

What is the rush? If you really love someone and genuinely believe you will be together forever, why hurtle into marriage when you can enjoy living life and having amazing experiences together rather than  having a wedding that you could be paying off for a long time? There are just so many amazing things you could be doing with your twenties and I firmly believe that marriage is for your thirties.

You could head off to Thailand or Australia at a moment’s notice, do work experience or placements, up sticks and move across the country to start a new life, retrain in something new, have a one-night stand, share a house with five other people, live on your own, quit your job and go on a massive party holiday with your mates, tour the US with no money, work abroad, buy a car, go off and find yourself or whatever you want! I’m happy for my friends who have married young or recently become engaged, because for some it has been vital to their circumstances and they really have been in love and ready to settle down. But for others, I can’t help but wonder is it just the ‘safe’ option? And will these people spend their lives wondering, what if?

6 responses to “So, who got the watch and who got the ring this Christmas?

  1. They say youth is wasted on the young!! There’s a grain of truth in every profound statement… xxx

  2. I got engaged in the summer as a 24 year old but I don’t necessarily believe that age is an issue. It is a personal preference – I had been with my partner for 5 years before he proposed to me. I agree there isn’t a rush; we aren’t getting married until next year to make sure that we don’t start our married lives in debt. We’ve travelled and explored, and I really couldn’t think of someone better to do it with! However I do think that Christmas proposals are completely cheesy – it isn’t supposed to be a present it is a massive life decision 🙂

    • Congratulations on your engagement! I agree, if you have been with someone from a young age and are sure it is what you want then that is great, but I’m just a bit concerned about those who I know are sacrificing their hopes and dreams by taking the easy option. It’s great to know that you and your partner fiancé have not got in the way of each other’s plans and have still accomplished everything before rushing into anything. And you’re so right – Christmas proposals are wayyy too cheesy! xx

  3. For me I just see so many people rushing into marriage and children because it’s the ‘grown up’ thing to do…but those years pre sleep deprivation are so vital..once you have beings to look after, you realise how selfless you have to be..you stop coming first – you can’t juggle everything, something has to give..so just enjoy whilst you can. xxxxx

    • Well said – I just wonder how people can hope to raise their own children to be healthy, well-rounded, worldly and settled individuals if they have never experienced anything outside of what they grew up with themselves. It is so important to experience something outside of the bubble that we grow up in in order to really discover ourselves and that is so important before we start trying to lay out a life for ourselves, our other half and children – perhaps this is why so many children are so lost and uncentered – because they have learnt from the parents who are exactly the same! Thanks for your comments xxx

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