‘Tying the knot’ is optional

By The Editorial Board

The topic of marriage is already overwhelming, especially as 18- to 23-year-olds. Watching couples get engaged and begin to organize weddings can create a standard some people never intend, or need, to live up to. As students, we often forget that we are in school for a multitude of reasons, and finding a partner to spend the rest of our lives with doesn’t have to be one of them.

When it comes to sharing each other’s life goals at Baylor, marriage often ranks high on the list. Look, we get it: ring by spring. It’s a real phenomenon here, and that’s OK, but it’s also acceptable for marriage to be absent from your life plan. Marriage isn’t necessary to live a full and successful life.

So don’t stress if you are currently single and concerned about finding a partner in the future, but also don’t stress if it’s just not in the cards for you. Living your life — with or without a partner by your side — is completely fine. It is better to be alone and sure of your choices than to feel like you settled for a lifelong partner who never makes your life as complete as you were expecting them to.

If history and society tell us anything, then finding someone to spend the rest of our lives with is the most crucial thing in life, and if we don’t find them, then we have potentially failed to measure up to the one reason we are here. There are many people in the world who thrive without a partner or kids, proving it is absolutely possible to be happy — and single — later in life.

Marriage does not have to be a life goal; it can be something that comes along the way. As individuals, we should always be focusing on improving ourselves and reaching goals based on our own hard work and growth. It’s OK to desire a partner and a family, but sometimes the idea of it can make us forget there are millions of other things we are in this world for. We can miss out on opportunities by being blinded by social norms, including the ring by spring mentality.

Every person is going through life in their own way. When we are born, we are not given a manuscript instructing the direction of our lives; we each create our own path. It’s normal if life takes us each on a different path, and there should never be shame in making varied choices along the way.

Aside from marriage, people can find companionship in many ways. Whether it is through family or friendships, being single doesn’t immediately make an individual a lonely person; it only means they chose another path in life — and, likely, the best path for them.

So if you are one of the many individuals who isn’t desperate for marriage now, or if you just haven’t given it much thought, it’s completely acceptable to not put it on your to-do list. Take things at your own pace, go through life at your own speed and never settle for something just because you feel obliged to live the “ideal” life.