Dear Marcie,

I'm 26, unmarried, no kids, and I am not even sure what I want to do with the rest of my life. I am envious of those people that knew what their calling was as soon as they got out of high school or finished college, but I just haven't found myself there yet. What really bothers me the most is the constant questions about marriage and kids. I feel like I am still young and how can I commit to marriage or start having children when nothing else in my life is quite figured out? What is the typical age for marriage and children these days & should I feel pressure to settle down?

Unwed and clueless

 

Dear Unwed:

When and IF you “tie the knot” and accept the sides that come with that particular entree, you should be making a decision to get married, and not feel like you are surrendering.  More often than not, rash decisions based on nothing more than feelings or designed to mute nagging family and friends, have led to disaster.  Look no further than the growing divorce rate and the effect on children caught in the crossfire.  You seem to fault yourself for what you don’t know.  Conversely, I applaud you for recognizing that you are not ready for a life others seem eager to push you into.

Newsflash: You are already on the right track.  Take some classes, work for a few years, volunteer at a shelter, travel.  The experience, maturity and self-confidence you develop will only help you make better decisions and will attract the same type. Accept nothing less of yourself than the person you’d be willing to marry.  Whether to marry and who you marry is an individual decision. Only you will know when the Jello has set, when you’ve found someone who makes you pace in anticipation when they’re gone, who you want to visit new places with, and who you can't picture leaving your life and want to grow old with.  Whatever the age, make sure you trust yourself enough to know who you are, as well as the person you are offering your life to.