I’m 23-years-old and I have three close friends that are already engaged. It’s something that both excites and terrifies me. I’ve already mentally prepared myself for the inevitable “when are you getting married?” question. Our society seems to have this obnoxious obsession with social norms, and for women especially, many of these norms seem to revolve around glorifying the absence or presence of a diamond on the left finger. As young women, we feel the pressure – whether or not we accept or deny the social norms. They are definitely present.
The unsettling part of all this “social pressure” is what it does to the women who aren’t getting engaged. We judge. We judge with our eyes, we post passive-aggressive social media posts, and we let out malevolent laughs as we imagine the idea of planning a wedding. Rather than be supportive of another woman’s choice to get married at 21 or 23 or 24 or whatever age she may decide, we judge. We think to ourselves “she’s too young, too naïve.”
And once we reach the age of 30, we think to ourselves about those women who remain single, “she’s too picky, will she ever settle down?” We are constantly making judgments based off of social norms. This has to stop. Be nice to your girlfriends. Disagree, but don’t judge. If a woman decides to get married at 23, that’s her decision. If a woman decides to get married at 33, that’s her decision. If a woman chooses to toss out the concept of marriage all together, that is her decision. Forming opinions are healthy and important; throwing them all out there on social media is not. Stop making subtle digs at other women and focus on your own life.
We’re all just trying to make the best out of this short and crazy life. Be supportive. Be open-minded. Be nice.