Just Because I’m A Strong, Independent Woman Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Want To Achieve Traditional Milestones

I love being a strong, independent woman, but that doesn’t mean I’m against traditional values—namely, finding a great guy, having an amazing wedding, and eventually having kids. Yes, I want those things, but those desires don’t define who I am. Why can’t I have it all?

I’m looking for “The One” but I’m not putting my life on hold for him.

Yes, I might picture myself meeting a man that I’ll want to marry one day but I’m certainly not sitting around, twiddling my thumbs while I wait. I enjoy taking care of myself mentally and physically, spending time with family, traveling, going out with friends, and kicking butt on projects for work. Trying to date or—gasp—even imagining my future with someone doesn’t mean my entire day is spent obsessing over my future husband. Assuming otherwise is ridiculous.

When I meet the right guy, I want to marry him… but not right away.

I’ve always imagined that I’d eventually get married, but I’m not the type of person who is about to jump right into anything. When I meet “The One,” I might know right away or I might need some time to figure it out. Even if I do know he’s the person I want to spend my life with, what’s the rush to tie the knot? We’ll need time to get to know each other before we decide to make a decision like that because, no, I’m not so desperate to get married that I’ll jump into something willy-nilly.

Finding your life partner doesn’t mean you ditch your friends.

With the right guy, nothing major should change. “The One” isn’t going to stop me from going to the movies alone or staying late at work because he gets that I have my own life. This goes double when it comes to my friends. They’re my greatest support system. Finding the right guy or even putting a ring on my finger doesn’t mean that my relationship with my friends is going to change in the least bit. They’re way too important to me to sacrifice for anyone or anything.

I’ll always need my own space.

Literally and metaphorically. Although I’d like to move in with my future fiance before we get married (I personally think that’s very important), I love living alone. Truthfully, I’ll probably miss it a little bit when I do move in with my partner. Even if/when I do share an apartment with my S.O., it doesn’t mean I’ll be spending 100 percent of my time with him. I love taking myself out to lunch, going on solo bike rides through the park, and going on single movie dates. I’m not going to stop doing those things because I’m in a committed relationship.

I want that big white wedding.

What’s so wrong about dreaming of a big white wedding? I want to wear a wedding dress and take that walk down the aisle—sue me! I want to throw a big party for all our friends and family to celebrate the decision we’ve made together and I’m not going to apologize for it. I understand that some wedding traditions (and the principal of marriage, to be honest) have some outdated, even sexist, undertones. My partner and I will undoubtedly be making our wedding special for us and no one else, without necessarily worrying about tradition.

Nope, I don’t plan on breaking the bank for said wedding.

That being said, it’s still possible to get married without dropping $50K. I’m very much a saver; I keep my saving account well-groomed, I care very much about my 401K, and I have big plans for my money. I’m not going to be throwing it all down the drain for some over-the-top wedding that will put me in debt. Have a little faith, people.

Just because I want to get married doesn’t mean I plan on giving up my career.

This is a big one. If I share with people that I’m interested in getting married one day (in the weird circumstance that this somehow comes up?), I tend to get the same reaction from people: “What about your career?” I find this so insulting. What about my career? The last time I checked, saying “I do” doesn’t make it illegal to work. This isn’t The Handmaid’s Tale—I’m going to sign a piece of paper, throw a party with my fiance, and then go back to EXACTLY THE WAY THINGS WERE.

It’s patronizing to think that by wanting to get married, I’m allowing myself to be “owned” by a man.

Like I mentioned before, I understand the sexist origins of marriage. I also understand that this isn’t 1437. When I meet the right guy, we’ll be agreeing together that we want to be joined in marriage. It might be for personal, religious, or financial reasons. Maybe a little bit of everything! Whatever it is, it’ll be our decision to make. Assuming that I’m falling blindly into a sexist, abusive relationship is straight-up rude. I’m a smart person, I think I can evaluate a situation and make my own decision.

Yes, I want kids, but I have things to do first.

Having kids is hopefully in my life plan; being a mother is something I’ve always wanted to do. However, I also understand that having kids completely changes your life. Before taking on that epic commitment, there are a lot of things I want to do. I have many more crazy nights ahead of me and plenty of epic trips to take. Those things come first for me, so popping out kids, as much as I do want to start a family someday, is just going to have to wait.

After having kids, I have no intention to stop working.

Once my husband and I decide that we’re ready to have kids, let me be very clear about one thing: I have NO intention of permanently quitting my job. I work very hard because I love what I do, and my job is a part of my life that I cherish very much. Having kids will obviously put a strain on my husband’s and my own work/life balance, but I’ll be damned before I quit my job to play housewife.

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