5 Reasons Why Getting Married Young Rocks


The longer I live, the more I’ve come to realize that most people just don’t think logically & that is why I constantly feel like most people make life way more complicated than it needs to be.  There is nothing about which this is truer than marriage (or relationships in general).  Moreover, our society seems to have swung a bit too far on the pendulum & now often views young marriages as destined to fail.  While I strongly believe in not rushing into marriage, I for one know that I haven’t missed out on a single thing worth having due to getting married at “just” 22.  Often I hear people say “But your 20s are supposed to be for fun!”  And I’ve only read a million articles on the same subject.  The implied “truth” here is that marriage & fun are mutually exclusive.  I for one take real issue with such comments.  My blog isn’t mean to be a research paper so I won’t bother to list my references here, but many research studies have shown that married people have more sex & are happier than their single counterparts, regardless of age (you can use Google too if you want to find these studies).

irritating love cartoon

So today I just want to put together a list of reasons why getting married (relatively) young was perhaps the greatest choice of my life.  (For the purposes of this post, when I refer to marriage I really mean any long-term serious relationship because at the end of the day that’s all marriage really is.)

  1. Because we got married young, my husband & I have quite literally grown up together. Yes, we are the proverbial “high school sweethearts.”  And despite what some may think, we haven’t just stayed together because we didn’t know what anything else was like or that something else (read: someone else) could potentially be better.  We’ve stayed together because we consciously realize that we both got INCREDIBLY lucky in “striking gold” the first time around.   Because of how long we’ve been together, we have a comfort level with each other that is probably a bit ridiculous, but we tell each other all the time how grateful we are that we have a partner with whom we can be so incredibly honest, even when it means telling the other person something they might not want to hear.  true love chickens
  2. Getting married does NOT mean an end to fun. Anyone who says that is clearly married to the wrong person.  In college before we were married but were seriously dating & might as well have been married, we went to parties together, hosted parties together, & went on all kinds of crazy hikes in the wilderness every chance we got.  Getting married has just meant that my husband & I have continued to experience the fun of life together.  We still get to travel & explore the world the way that 20-somethings “ought” to do.  This past Fall we had the time of our lives exploring Yellowstone, Glacier, & Grand Teton National Parks together.  Then we went to Boston for a friend’s wedding & explored that fascinating city together.  In September 2012 we attended Uproar Festival together, & this coming May we are going to another rock festival in Charlotte.  These are just a few examples of the fun we’ve had together over the years.

    My husband & I at Glacier Ntnl Park this past Fall

    My husband & I at Glacier Ntnl Park this past Fall

  3. Married sex is the best sex. Anyone who says differently is obviously married to the wrong person.  End of story.  Think about it scientifically: having sex causes both genders to produce oxytocin, otherwise known as the “love hormone.”  This is the hormone that makes you feel connected (both literally & metaphorically) with your lover.  Who better to share that with than your best friend?  Who better to be adventurous with than the one person you know won’t make fun of you or laugh at your interests?  (Aside from the obvious concerns about pregnancy & STIs, oxytocin & the feelings it produces are exactly why we ought to be so careful about who we choose to sleep with.  It’s clearly not a good idea to end up having feelings of desire & attachment for someone JUST because you’ve slept together.  This is why friends with benefits is pretty much always a recipe for disaster.)  Just to be clear, I think all of this can & does apply to people in long-term committed relationships who for one reason or another aren’t married yet or perhaps never even plan to actually get married but more or less live a “married” lifestyle.  There is really nothing all that special about getting married legally.  It’s the love, friendship, trust, & commitment that is in your hearts that matters most.  And that is exactly what makes married sex the best. he's the one
  4. Getting married young means we have not had to rush into having kids. Since we got married at 22 & 23 years of age respectively we could easily wait 8-10 years before having kids without having any serious concerns about fertility problems.  To be fair, at the time we got married I was reasonably sure I never wanted children, even though my husband was sure I’d change my mind someday.  As it turns out, he was right, & the truth is I’m thinking more & more about becoming a mom with every day that passes.  If we do decide to have kids soon, even though we may still be “young” parents, we’ll have already had over a decade together & a good 4-5 years of marriage before jumping into the parenthood adventure.  I’ve also started to realize that I have the rest of my life to work on my career, but I do NOT have the rest of my life to have kids . . . But that is another post for another day.real act of marriage
  5. Getting married young means we have missed out on the heartaches & tribulations that come with the supposedly fun single lifestyle. Maybe some people actually enjoy one-night stands, but even my husband will freely admit that it’s not something that interests him in the least.  And trust me, my husband isn’t the kind of man to say such things just to appease me.  If he were that kind of man, I wouldn’t have married him!  I do not begrudge others who enjoy the “single lifestyle” in their 20s (or whenever), but I truly believe marriage is more fulfilling & worthwhile in the end.  AND more fun.  I mean what could be more fun than getting to experience all the ups & downs of life with your best friend AND being able to have sex with them any time you like?marriage annoy

Just to be clear, I do not feel sorry for my peers who are in their 20s (or even 30s) & aren’t married.  Everyone’s path in life is (& should be) different, & far be it from me to think my own path is superior just because I chose it.  HOWEVER, please don’t feel sorry for me because I’ve chosen to spend my 20s as “an old married lady.”  If you think my life is boring, that is fine.  Maybe it is.  But I am having a ton of fun living it.

3 Reasons I’m Ashamed of My Generation


A couple months ago I wrote a post entitled Six Reasons Why I’m Proud of My Generation (https://athicketofmusingsblog.com/2014/02/02/6-reasons-why-im-proud-of-my-generation).  To my surprise, it’s become one of my most popular posts to date.  And I still mean every single word that I wrote in that post.  However, lately I’ve been unable to ignore some of the things about my generation (basically people between the ages of 15 & 30) of which I am ashamed.  Or perhaps it would be more correct to say things that really frustrate me about my generation.  In any case today I will possibly (ok, probably) sound like a grumpy old lady but I really could not care less.  I’m slowly coming to peace with the fact that I am indeed old at heart & there is nothing much I can (or should) do about it.millennial

These are in no particular order.

  1. MUSIC. First off, I do realize that not all modern music is aimed at my generation, but I think it’s fair to say that most of it is.  However, I don’t know how else to put this other than that turning on the radio nowadays makes my ears bleed.  I literally want to shoot the radio because everything on it sounds so BAD.  Almost every song I hear is inane, stupid, vapid, & redundant.  As in singers quite literally repeat the exact same words or phrases over & over & over.  Not to mention popular music (& even country music) is nothing more than an endless stream of partying/drinking songs.  There is a time & place for such music but it should NOT be the mainstay of our musical diet as it has sadly become.  I’ll be the first to admit that some of these songs are indeed catchy, but I’ll also be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a musical snob (&, no, I’m not sorry for that) in that I believe music should be more than just a catchy tune that makes you feel good for a few minutes.  Perhaps even more revolting is the overuse of auto-tuning & other such musical Photoshop.  Eric Church said it best in his usual slightly crass but undeniably brilliant way: “It’s a little bit shallower than it was a few years ago — it’s ‘Let’s drink, forget our worries, beach, bonfire, lake.’ When something’s working, everybody falls into a pattern. One thing I miss is turning on the radio & just having a song punch me in the gut &, as a songwriter, knock me on my ass. And I think we could use more of that.”  Yes, Mr. Church, we certainly could.  And that’s just one reason I have an entire post on here dedicated to his talent (https://athicketofmusingsblog.com/2014/02/25/why-eric-church-might-be-the-musical-genius-of-the-21st-century/).  eric church outsiders quoteFurthermore, what happened to rock & roll being the anthem of young people?  There are still tons of great rock & metal bands, but many of them are seriously struggling to survive.  Rock radio is basically dead with most rock stations playing either classic rock (90’s & older) or this new-age hipster pop-rock that makes me want to puke (not necessarily because it’s all bad but because it’s replacing the REAL rock & roll that ought to be played on these stations).  At every rock concert I’ve attended I’ve been surprised at how many people are in their late 30’s & older.  While I find it admirable that these folks are still going to rock concerts, I can’t help but wonder where all the young folks are.  Oh wait, that’s right; they’re all listening to Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, & Pitbull.

 

  1. RELATIONSHIPS. Let me preface this part by saying that there are several things in regard to relationships of which I am actually very proud of my generation.  These include our ability to transcend gender roles & our acceptance of inter-racial or cross-cultural relationships.  I consider these to be huge milestones for our society & I’m proud to be part of a generation that is making these ideals come to life.  However, I am also frustrated at the state of far too many relationships in my generation.  Far too many of us are so afraid of commitment, or so afraid of being “tied down,” that we’re incapable of ever defining our relationships at all.  Then of course there are the inevitable “hook-ups” that everyone agrees always end badly & yet no one wants to be the “prude” who suggests that maybe sleeping with strangers (or near-strangers), particularly while drunk, really IS a bad idea. hook up culture I so often find myself wanting to scream at the masses: “Get yourselves together, people!”  It’s not that I think my generation is any more “slutty” (I hate that word but can’t think of anything better at present) than any other generation.  We probably aren’t.  But we could certainly stand to have a bit more honesty in our relationships.  If we want a casual “friends with benefits” relationship, then we should have the guts to say so.  And if we want a more serious relationship, we should have the guts to say that too.  We should also realize that there is really no such thing as uncomplicated sex.  All sex is complicated.  But probably the least complicated sex is that between two loving adults.  I’m not sure why that’s so hard to understand.  Additionally, both girls & guys of our generation need to have the self-respect to only accept a partner who truly respects us as a friend, a lover, & a human being.  We need to realize that putting up with anything less sends the message that such behavior is ok.  We also need to grow up & realize that real life isn’t a fairy tale & wanting to wake up beside someone is just as important as wanting to go to bed with them.  Basically I’m tired of hearing people complain about the lack of nice guys (& girls) when so much of the time these very same people are never honest about what they actually want out of a relationship & then are surprised when they don’t get it.

fairytale tequila

  1. DRINKING. I grew up in a family & a church who believed that all alcohol is bad all the time.  When I became an adult, I realized I didn’t agree with this view of the world because frankly I find it illogical.  But I also discovered that I really don’t like the feeling of being drunk.  Both physically & mentally, it is just not a pleasant feeling for me.  (A little tipsy is ok, just to be clear, but not actually drunk.)  Despite what the majority of the world experiences, alcohol really doesn’t help me relax.  (Trust me, sometimes I wish it did.)  Not to mention I still can’t understand why anyone would willingly sign up for a hangover.  To me this is just common sense.  party cultureTo be clear, I don’t judge those who truly enjoy getting drunk.  As long as you are responsible about it (don’t drive & have someone to watch over you to make sure you don’t do anything too stupid), I seriously don’t think less of people who enjoy getting a little more than tipsy once in a while.  But it really shouldn’t be the foundation of your lifestyle.  When I meet someone & all they can talk about is how much they can’t wait to get drunk this weekend, or how wasted they were last night, or if every story they tell involves being drunk, I can’t help but want to scream “Don’t you realize there’s more to life than getting wasted?!”  I know I must sound like a judgmental prick right now, but seriously I have to wonder if all of these people really enjoy getting drunk as much as they say they do, or if they just do it because it’s the cool thing to do.  Maybe I am just weird (ok, I am definitely weird), but I really can & often do have a great time with my friends without drinking anything at all or while drinking only in moderation (say one or two drinks).  I also much prefer drinking at home (or at a friend’s house) because it’s just way more comfortable.  If this makes me old & boring, I really don’t care because it also means I have a lot more money in my bank account because I’m not blowing it on overpriced drinks at bars every weekend.  End of story.

Anyone else under 30 understand what I’m saying here?  I know many of my friends do, & I am so incredibly thankful for y’all because you enrich my life in so many ways & remind me that I’m not totally insane.  Like I said earlier, I really hate to sound like an old grump but somebody has to do it, right?

10 Ways to Simplify Relationships


Perhaps it’s because my husband is traveling for his job but I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about relationships & how people tend to make them way more complicated than they need to be.  May I be the first to admit this includes myself sometimes, lest I should sound like I’m implying that I’m some kind of relationship guru which I clearly am not?  I’m not even sure such a thing exists.  Anyhow, I’ve been slacking off on my blog posts this week, which might seem like a sign that I’ve run out of ideas, but what it actually means is that I’ve been overwhelmed by ideas, yet haven’t been able to light on any of them.  In any case I’ve decided to compile a list of ways to simplify relationships & thus simplify life.  Here we go.

  1. Be honest about what you want out of a relationship from the very beginning.  If you want a friends with benefits type of arrangement, say so.  If someone tells you that’s what they want & you aren’t truly in agreement, for the love of YOURSELF, say so.  Don’t pretend to be ok with something you aren’t & then be surprised when it doesn’t work out later.  On the other hand if you’re serious about a relationship, say so.  I’m not advocating proposing marriage on a first date, but don’t be afraid to say you’re serious.  And don’t be afraid to say no to someone who is serious about you if you truly don’t reciprocate.  Again, pretending never ends well.  Have enough self-respect to be honest about your feelings & goals from square one.  This leads right into number two.
  2. Give respect.  Get respect.  It really is that simple.  Don’t play mind games with anyone.  Don’t “test” someone by asking to spend time with an ex or some childish prank like that, just to see how they react.  Just be forthright and respectful.  Treat the other person the way you want to be treated.  Don’t expect special treatment because of your gender or anything else.  Be an adult.
  3. Don’t place unrealistic expectations on your partner (or yourself).  Getting married or being in any serious relationship doesn’t mean you sign away your humanity.  Regardless of your gender, you will inevitably still be attracted to other people, & that doesn’t lessen the love you feel for your partner.  It’s just part of being a human being.  Just be cognizant of it & know your limits.  Don’t be one of those childish people who expects their partner to suddenly think they are the only sexy person on planet Earth.  That just screams of insecurity.  Just let out all of your sexual energy on each other & you’ll be just fine.
  4. Never stop getting to know your partner.  After you’ve been together a long time, it’s so easy to think you’ve already figured someone out & to stop putting in the time to really understand each other because you think you already know it all.  Trust me, I know.  My husband & I had been together almost a decade by the time we got married.  But I’m still pleasantly surprised to find out that we don’t know everything about each other.  There is always more to learn & that’s part of what makes a relationship fun.  As an addendum, if your relationship is right, marriage shouldn’t change things very much because the relationship was already there.
  5. Don’t make someone a priority who doesn’t do the same for you.  If a guy likes you, he WILL call you back.  And vice versa.  Someone who cares for you & respects you WILL make time for you, WILL get to know you, & will even make time for your friends & family because they know those people are important to you.  They WILL support your dreams & goals in life & will in fact expect you to have dreams & goals.
  6. Don’t over-analyze or make up excuses for bad behavior.  If someone treats you poorly, do yourself the justice of walking awayThe Perks of Being a Wallflower got it right: we accept the love we think we deserve.  If you find that your partners are always treating you badly, think about what that says about how you view yourself.  I’m not excusing bad behavior.  I’m just saying don’t expect someone to change.  If they really love you, they’ll treat you right from the beginning.  Where’s the motivation to change for the better if you’re always there “rewarding” them even when they treat you like crap?  Sorry if that’s blunt, but relationships can be messy.  It’s all this silly beating around the bush nonsense that makes them so much more complicated than they need to be.
  7. Realize that deep down we are all still pretty primal.  This is why no matter how unfair it is women are judged much more harshly for their sexual decisions than men.  Is it fair?  No.  But biologically it actually DOES make sense.  (We’re the ones who can get pregnant so it makes sense that biologically we’d be inclined to be a bit more discriminating about our partners.)  No matter how enlightened & empowered we are, we women ARE more sexually vulnerable whether we like it or not.  This doesn’t excuse bad behavior on the part of men.  No way.  I’m not saying we can’t rise above our “animal instincts.”  Men are perfectly capable of being committed & faithful, as are women.  I’m just saying that we need to realize why men think the way they do & why women think the way they do.
  8. This one is crucial but is really hard to put into words.  Look for the guy or girl who is good in all the right ways & bad in all the right ways.  I don’t know how to write this out, but you probably know what I mean.  As with everything in life, it’s all about balance & moderation.  James M Sama wrote a fabulous blog post about this idea, & there is no way I can say it as well as he did so I’m just going to leave you the link to his brilliant article: http://jamesmsama.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/the-difference-between-a-bad-boy-and-a-jerk/
  9. Don’t feel the need to spend every single second together.  A truly great relationship will give you the confidence to be alone sometimes.  Or to be apart & know that things are still going to be ok.  If your partner wants a day or two to spend with their friends or family without you, let them.  Couples who really trust each other don’t feel the need to be together 24/7.  You were a person before you met your partner & you’re still your own person even with them.  Don’t forget that.
  10. This one is a big one & might cause some controversy but I’m going to write it anyway because I truly believe it . . . Give up on the idea that there is only ONE RIGHT PERSON for you.  The older I get the more I believe that there is a right TYPE for everyone & that you may very well meet several people in your life with whom you could be very happy in a relationship.  Notice I didn’t say anyone will be PERFECT for you.  There is no Mr. or Mrs. Perfect because human beings are inherently flawed.  But there are plenty of great people out there, a few of whom might be wonderful matches for you.  When you find one, be smart enough to go after them.  When you’ve got one, hold onto them.  Someone else may cross your path who might also be a great match but don’t ruin what you’ve already got on a chance at something else.  I’m a big believer in science & logic so I wish I could say there was a scientific way to KNOW when you’ve met one of these RIGHT people, but there isn’t.  You just know.  I always remember hearing that as a kid & thinking it was ridiculous.  But it’s so true.  You know when you meet a friend & you just know right off that you really “click” & that this person is going to be a friend for life?  It’s very much like that.  As I’ve said many times before, relationships are really just friendships with a bit of amplification so to speak.

Well, I hope you have found this list intriguing.  As I said, I’m no relationship guru or expert by any means.  I’m just trying to spread a little logic & wisdom into the very chaotic world of relationships that exists in our society.  I’m by no means 100% faithful to all of these tenets at all times, but I do try my best & in writing this I have renewed my devotion to putting these ideas into place in my own marriage.  I hope perhaps you too have found a little inspiration.  I truly believe simplifying relationships can actually make them deeper & more fulfilling.  The simple life really is the best.  Cheers!