The initial post by “Lemonadish” is interesting in several levels. There’s some truth what Apollos says about moving on to someone else but on the other hand, the context today is vastly changed for the worst and perhaps she has someone she can work with here. Please forgive my lengthy and somewhat rambling response but I’d like to say all this and here goes.
The secularlized social landscape is sadly so far from the days when one did not cycle through several serious mates before “deciding to marry.” I’m someone (now in early 40s and happily married) who views with some regret how our era’s “anything goes” society did not value an early marriage when I was in my 20s and 30s,
There is a perpetuation of this notion that there is a “perfect” mate out there - never mind how we guys end up a bit distorted views of possible mates thanks to a one-dimensional culture that celebrates the “super-model” look and celebrity “hotties” as opposed to a more complex view that would account for non-sexualized love; loyalty, potential as a spouse and ultimately mother of your children, etc.
Take it from someone with a lot of “mileage” on him and a litany of serious relationships that I don’t necessarily made me any richer as it led me down a sinful path in my some 25 years removed from the Church. The girl I fell in love with age 19 (and I know her today as a friend who I catch with on occasion) in another era she would be now my wife going on now over two decades.
There was a lot of heartache to be had in having absorbed a societal message of “go slow” ; don’t get “tied down,” as well as the modern exagerated immaturity of men in their 20s. Thi (and not-coincidentally having parents who stopped going to church after my confirmation) led me down a very long path I don’t wish on anyone but I ultimately pulled out of it and not with all bad memories but certainly a sense that my children should not go down a meandering, non-challent path in search of their eventual spouse.
I ended up graced with a wonderful wife and children but I still think there is a lot of wreckage in the way we encourage this notion of one’s 20s being “young.” That’s an adult. Time was a man came back from a war (think WWI or WWII) and got a job and “settled down.”
We don’t encourage that anymore - society at large, that is.Now we have the casualization of everything , down to the point where I have a 30–year old cousin (a child of a 1970’s divorce that tore apart a Catholic household) who just had a child apparently (that’s good she had it, mind you)…who apparently isn’t married…and has a live-in boyfriend, apparently “the father.” Sadly enough, I see her getting the equivalent of high-fives on Facebook from older cousins who should know better.
Likewise my 30-year old Catholic niece (also a daughter of an early '80s divorce of her Catholic mother -my sister- and father) who also became an unwed mother two years ago…feeling no need to “get married yet”…(they did baptize the child)…who (surprise!) is now alone because the guy ran off when times got tough… Absent the solidity of marriage, it’s so much easier for the man to run off and even marriage can be broken like a cracker these days. .As columinist Georgie Ann Geyer recently wrote in an op-ed on the rise of unmarried mothers, “where is the shame?.”
So to the last point by RascalKing, I don’t think it’s too young to think about marriage. For many generations, it was quite normal to marry at age 20, if not before as a teen. Even today, you can see some marvelous 60th anniversarys of (often Catholic) married couples but of course this was in the context of a more traditional culture, both within the Catholic world and the nation at large.
Will we ever put that genie back in the bottle? We now see the ill fruits (divorce, abortion, marrage being “optional”; confused gender roles, a "pornified culture,"etc.) of the baby-boomer laxity towards all traditions. I pray we can turn it around. My hope is that such destructiveness becomes obviously a bad path and ulitimatelys omehow rewards traditional behavior and I’ve seen a few signs of this, too.
As a final footnote, a woman’s fertility goes down markedly by the age of 30. How is 20 somehow such “too young” to start a family? Not in nature historically. It seems to me the world of freezing embryos and having a kid “when you’re ready” is linked to this idea that 20 is “too young” and that the man and woman should maximize their career earning potential before having kids, etc.
That all said, Lemonadish will have to monitor this closely. Apollos might be right. I hope not.