Marriage is personal choice, but should never be taken lightly

As my 20s hit me with full force, I realize that the number of engaged and married couples I know now has increased about tenfold, and I even know a handful of newborn babies now. I tear up a little thinking about how I’ve grown up with each and every one of them, whether it was in elementary school or my freshman year of college. I “like” all of their Facebook statuses and pictures, and I’m never alone in wanting to share in their happiness.
But world peace could be brought to this planet, and you’d still meet the cynics.
The cynics say these people are too young, too inexperienced, too immature to know who they want to spend their lives with or that they even want to be with one person forever.
Okay, sure, life experience is intended to bring forth maturity, but I’ve met my fair share of wise nine-year-olds and narrow-minded 50-year-olds, so I can’t say that better decision-making necessarily comes with age.
The cynics ask, if the biological clocks aren’t ticking, what could the rush possibly be?
If someone gets married as a commitment to having children, but not as a commitment to having a life with a significant other, then he or she is doing it wrong.
The cynics say rushed and youthful life partnerships destroy the sanctity of marriage. Some go on to say that same-sex relationships should and will never be acknowledged by God, the government or even humanity.
….No. The sanctity of marriage in the United States was not destroyed when the first couple that was “too young” got married or when two members of the same gender decided that their love was strong enough for a life together. The sanctity of marriage was destroyed when Kim Kardashian got both married and divorced in a span of 72 days, and our generation called it entertainment.
But then again, when did it become the whole world’s authority and responsibility to tell everyone else when and where and how and at what age and with which gender and through what wedding registry to get married? If two people are in love, committed to spending the rest of their lives together, through the best of times and the worst of times, how does anyone else come into that picture and tell them they’re wrong?
Finding this kind of cynicism and desire to define marriage and lifelong partnerships in the U.S. has been fascinating. Coming from the ethnic background of India, where arranged marriages are historically the norm and where it was always (and sometimes still is) the parents’ way or the highway when it came to relationships, I am always appalled to find the masses trying to dictate what marriage should be for others in what is supposed to be a progressive and individualistic country.
I’m not saying that marriage right here, right now is for everyone. It most certainly isn’t for me because 1) well, I’m single, so there’s that, and 2) I can barely make a firm decision on what to eat for dinner, so I can’t imagine any alternate universe in which I am emotionally mature enough to be sure of the rest of my life at the age of 21.
But finally, the cynics insist that 20-somethings should live it up and grow through their experiences, and the only relationship status for living it up is “single and ready to mingle.”
I like to think that I’ll never stop growing as a person, so if we were all to wait until we were done growing, no one would ever be ready to get married.