Here’s What You Need To Know If You Have A Marriage Deadline

Some women have timelines in their heads about what their life should be like, especially at which point they should be married. The problem is that doing this can add lots of unnecessary stress to dating and life in general. Here are 12 reasons why you should toss the deadline right now and just relax.

  1. You can’t put a deadline on love. You can’t expect that love has to make its presence known in your life by a certain month or year. Even if you declare that you want to be married by 30, you can’t always get what you want. Sometimes that turns out to be a blessing in disguise.
  2. You don’t have an expiry date. Ask your friend to tell you if there’s an expiry date on the back of your neck. Obviously there isn’t, so why are you treating yourself like a loaf of bread or carton of milk? When you give yourself a marriage deadline, you’re really saying that you have a certain time by which you’ll expire as a single woman. That’s BS. You never expire and acting like you do is an insult to yourself.
  3. You can’t control life. What’s the saying? “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry? In other words, the more you try to make your plans work, the more obsessed you become about them, stressing yourself out and basically ensuring that they’ll all go wrong. It’s really not worth it. You want to get married by 30, but don’t give yourself a heart attack by then. No goal or deadline should take you to such unhealthy lengths.
  4. You shouldn’t want a deadline kind of love. Do you really want the kind of perfectly packaged love that arrives on your doorstep and fulfills your deadline? Is that what love and marriage is really about, just reaching a certain date? That’s boring. Love and life are so much more exciting than that, so be open to their possibilities.
  5. You risk settling. If you’re so focused on finding the right person by a certain age, you risk settling for whoever comes along by then. But what if the perfect person was a month or year, or even five years, beyond that deadline? They are worth waiting for. Besides, being alone and single is always better than settling for someone you don’t really love.
  6. You don’t have to buy into the pressure. There’s so much pressure on women to get married, as you know if you let older relatives ask you how you are. Within seconds, they’ll want to know when you’re walking down the aisle. It’s rubbish. By not conforming to the pressure, you can live a life you want. Hey, there’s enough stress out there. You don’t need to put more on your shoulders.
  7. You’re worth more than a marriage proposal. Yeah, marriage proposals can be lovely, just like meeting your soulmate. They’re not something that defines you or gives you greater worth. You’re worth so much more than being someone’s wife. In fact, that term can feel quite restrictive at times!
  8. You shouldn’t blot out other goals. Marriage is just one thing that can happen to you. But it’s certainly not an achievement. There are many other paths you can take and choices you can make. There are many cool things you can do, and you don’t need a marriage proposal or husband to enable you to do them.
  9. It’s not a race or competition. It sometimes feels like everyone’s getting married. Everyone, except you. But life is not a race to the finish line. It’s also not a competition you should have with your friends or acquaintances. Besides, once people get married, it ends up being a race towards the divorce line, with so many marriages heading that way these days. So keep things in perspective. Is the race worth finishing? Maybe not.
  10. Everyone’s life story is different. Someone might meet their soulmate at the age of 23, while another might meet their soulmate at the age of 50 or older. There’s no set plan, so don’t try to restrict yourself or think you have to fit into a box. There is no box!
  11. You shouldn’t dedicate so much time to one thing. It’s fine to want to meet someone and get married, but it shouldn’t take up all of your brain space. What about finding your purpose and meaning? What about being your own soulmate?
  12. Love is something that will surprise you. It might sound a bit trite, but love will often surprise you. You might, for example, meet someone when you least expect it. Or meet the person you never dreamed of being with. Since you can’t control what love does, that should make you surrender to it. Let it do its thing. See what happens when you stop worrying about love so much. And while it’s doing that, you should live your life because it’s running away from you this very minute. It would be sad to watch it waste away because you thought marriage would make it better. Only you can make it better.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.