Friday Feature: When Will You “I Do?”

by A.J. Washington

Don’t laugh when I tell you this, but as a junior in college, I thought I would married by the time I was 25. I know, laugh it up. Some of my closest girlfriends would jokingly poke fun at me because they thought my plans were ridiculous.

image from cccgreeley.org

As a child, I was brainwashed by my parents’ circumstances– my future husband and I would meet and fall deeply in love in college, have children, and live happily ever after as my parents had. But just as the seasons do, the times have changed.

Black women are several times less likely to be married than their white counterparts, 50 percent of all marriages are headed for divorce, and don’t get me started on the broken and single-parent homes in the black community.

All of these things (and a number of conversations I’ve had recently), have all drawn me to wonder, when (if ever) do men want to start settling down?

I was talking to a friend of mine, and he told me that he didn’t want to have a “committed relationship” (not marriage) until he had a home, and the ability to provide for himself and his significant other. Another gave me a list of things he wanted by 30, and marriage nor a relationship made the cut.

Fellas, I’m trying to rush you, I’m really not, BUT is having a home and financial stability an excuse to buy more time, because you’re afraid? Afraid that your life will be over as soon as you utter “I do?” Afraid that you’ll miss out on something better if you’re committed to someone else? Afraid you’ll fail at being a good husband and father?

A number of men feel as though they are being hastened to do something before they actually are. Most women do want to get married, but not tomorrow (or the day after that). In fact, we do want to take to slow, get to know you, and then see what happens down the line.

Men, the key is to find that person who understands and possibly wants the same things at the same time you do. Don’t give her a title or commitment until you’re ready, otherwise a broken-heart and resentment is inevitable.  And finally, contrary to what Bey said, if you LOVE her and can’t see your life without her- then put a ring on it.

For those of you wondering, I no longer am counting on being married by 25; at this rate, I’ll be blessed to meet him by then. Are my questions valid? I’m 22 now, and waiting another 8 years to start a marriage and family is unreal.

Is 30 really the new 20? If it is, then what’s the new 30? Is it 40? Is that how long it’ll take? You tell me.

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3 Comments

  1. I used to think the same way. I wanted 25 to be the age I was married, by 27 have a child. But I think now 30 is the new 20. Now, most people arent finish with college until 22-23, add on grad school 24-25. So by the time people finish school , mature, and get past all the distractions, they are 30-32 before serious relationships begin to occur.

  2. “Fellas, I’m trying to rush you, I’m really not, BUT is having a home and financial stability an excuse to buy more time, because you’re afraid? Afraid that your life will be over as soon as you utter “I do?” Afraid that you’ll miss out on something better if you’re committed to someone else? Afraid you’ll fail at being a good husband and father?”

    I don’t agree with some of these statements. In fact, I don’t agree with the majority of this article. No offense to the author. Not all men seek out to buy more time for wanting a home and having financial stability. For me, it has more so to do with independence and equality. When I enter a relationship, I want to be able to show to MYSELF that I’m capable of providing maintaining who I am without the dependency of someone else to contribute with me. You can’t just enter into a relationship without knowing your own habits and the habits of the person your with. As for the issues of commitment and being tied down, it’s not even about that. Some men just prefer to be single because they’re just not in a rush to marry someone. There is no timeline when it comes to love, it’s either there or it isn’t. A large majority of men and women don’t enter into a relationship well into their late 30s or early 40s. Society has placed this stigma where it’s not acceptable to be without a partner at certain age. I disagree with that. I may have things planned out first, before I feel that I want slow down and say, okay, it’s time to talk about marriage and kids. Yes, life doesn’t go as we plan it to, because really it’s in God’s hands, but you can’t expect a man to rush into a commitment if he’s not ready for it. Some men are even just as fickle about finding a partner as women are, and that’s one of the reasons we can’t get it right. There are standards and limitations unitl we feel that we’ve had that exact match. For me, I don’t have to have every single criteria matched with my standards. I can take the good with the bad vice versa. We need to come out of this mindset of limits and live for ourselves instead of other people.

  3. hey ash, swinging by to show my support. Now on to your article…Girl…I can’t put a time on when men are more likely to settle down. I can write an entire thesis on this.The painful reality is that many don’t want to be married first of all. What are the advantages when women are willingly to play “wifey” anyway. Marriage holds VERY little appeal to many in this generation. People feel that their 20s are for having fun (i.e. casual sex, dating, etc).

    I applaud your friend who stated that he needed to be financially capable of a supporting a family. This is what a man who is marriage material thinks about. How can I support my family? What if something happens and he is the sole bread winner, but cannot support his family? This is a valid reason to put off marriage because finances will tear a marriage apart. I don’t think its because he’s afraid. Men and women these days are trying to builld careers before embarking on establishing a family. This is not big mama’s generation.

    What’s for you is for you. Now just keep your eyes open for marriage minded men.

    Tie


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