a bunch of v-day-related ranting

Oh, February 14th.  Seems like just last year I was thinking, Ahhh, but I won’t be alone next Valentines Day.

Ooops.  Wrong again!

Sometimes I can sound a little bitter about being single, but I actually don’t always hate it.  I can be super selfish with my time, go to Barnes & Noble whenever I want, buy whatever I want.  I can drop everything and go to California for a weekend.  I don’t have to cook for anyone.  More time for ministry over the years.  And, though this might sound strange, years of watching friends marry and be married has taught me a ton about what I want in a husband, in a marriage, even in a wedding ceremony.

But good old V-Day.  It’s never very fun to be single on Valentines Day.

I have nothing against Valentines Day.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with choosing a day to make a big deal out of love.  I don’t really care about the commercialism even.  I think, if you’re blessed enough to have someone you love, you should celebrate your relationship every day.  But why not make a big fuss over it one day a year?  Sometimes it seems like the couples who don’t celebrate V-Day are trying to make a statement I don’t exactly understand.

I was talking to a friend the other day about how I’m glad I didn’t marry young.  It’s true, even though at the time, it was all that I wanted.  I think students at Christian colleges get married way too young; the culture expects and demands it.  It’s not their fault.  They feel ready, and hey, maybe some are.  But I know I am so much wiser now, healthier now, Jackie-er now than I was ten years ago.  I have been forced to learn and do things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.  I know every facet of my identity in a much clearer way– heck, when I was in college, I was only starting to tiptoe into those waters!

I’m not saying college students shouldn’t get married or that it’s bad to marry young.  Well, maybe I am, a little.  Let’s be honest, there’s no formula to these things.  (Although I will say that almost every failed marriage I’ve seen has come from couples who married pretty young.)

Meh, I’m going to get myself in trouble on my blog.  On Valentines Day.  Listen, don’t yell at me too much.  Remember that I am all alone and show me grace.

I still love love.


Ahhh, but I won’t be alone next Valentines Day …





30 thoughts on “a bunch of v-day-related ranting

  1. I don’t think this is offensive at all. I agree with you, completely. I’ve never wanted to get married young because I think I realized early on that there’s so much more life to live while you’re single, and that’s beautiful. You have a gift (and a gift for words as well). Thanks for being a figure I will always look up to (:

    • I would argue against your statement that there is more life to live when you are single. In a marriage, as the old saying goes, “Joy is doubled and pain is halved.” At least ideally that’s how marriage should be. I used to think just like you, until I met the love of my life and have since made 2 more loves of my life. Now, THAT’s beautiful. 😀

      • I think it’s wrong to say that either way has more joy. It’s all about where God has us at which times of our lives. I’d hate for someone to suggest that married people have a fuller life than I have as a single person, or vice versa. God just has different joys for different people at different stages. In all cases, he is good.

      • You may be right, Jackie. It is also wrong to say there is more life to live as a single person….That is what prompted my comment in the defense of marriage.

      • 😀 Right back at ya! :p Is it funny that I am uber aware of my grammer when writing to a writer? ;p LOL

  2. I love that – you’re more “Jackie-er” now!! Ha ha. You know that really is true. I feel like at the age of 44 I’m only just now coming into to my own, so to speak. I did get married very young – a week after my 19th birthday. Though I’m extremely happily married, I wouldn’t recommend getting married that young. We certainly had a lot of growing pains throughout the years, but thankfully, we were committed to each other and to the Lord, so that kept us on the path, even when we didn’t feel like staying there. We also grew together, rather than apart. But that took a lot of intentional work and effort. It sure was worth it, though!!!

    I admit, I don’t get couples who don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day either.

  3. I met the love of my life in high school and got married soon after. She is my best friend and has been there thru thick and very thin. Wouldn’t be where i am today without her. That being said the last 16yrs have been anything but easy. The good thing was is that we waited to have children. I was ready to be a husband not a father. We however do not celebrate valentines day haven’t for many years. Its not a statement we just find it unnecessary. We say happy valentines love you and go about our day.

  4. The reason “almost every failed marriage [you’ve] seen has come from couples who married pretty young” is because any of your peers who are getting married older (like in their early to mid 30’s), are just getting married now! Wait 10 more years and I’m sure the failed marriages/ages will balance out. Correlation does not mean causation.

    Marriage is hard work, no matter what time of life you get married in. If you’re waiting to feel ready or to be wiser or healthier, you never will get married. There is not a perfect age to get married. I’m sure, married or not, every 32 year old can look back and say they have grown and changed since graduating from college. Some people know what they want in a marriage partner at 22, and they get married to that person. And that’s good. Don’t hate!

    Sometimes the best and hardest part about being married is being sanctified to be made less selfish. So, no. Married people can’t be selfish with their time, money or travel, etc. like someone who is single. But they are being sanctified by it, just as you are being sanctified by being alone on Valentines Day. Both need grace. Both are hard.

    Just because the Lord did not have marriage for you at 22, does not mean that other people, who were given that, at that age, were pressured into it by their culture or college or were walking into marriage blindly or foolishly. You may be glad you didn’t marry young. But some people are glad they did.

    If you love love, then love people who are in love. Don’t hate on married’s, because life isn’t easier on the other side. It’s still life, and it’s still hard. No matter how old or how what your married status is. Everyone is just trying to celebrate a holiday with the people that they love. Hope you’re doing the same. Embrace it. Have a great Valentines Day!

    • I’m not hating on anyone! 🙂

      And I’m not just referring to peers who are married … I’m referring to all people I know who are married, which is quite a large sampling, friend.

      Sorry you misinterpreted my post.

    • Also, not sure if we actually know each other or not, but in case you didn’t know, I work at a Christian university, where the culture is what prompted this post. 🙂

      Thanks for your comments! Appreciate the discussion!

    • Okay, for someone who actually knows Jackie, my turn.

      As one of her friends who has married young and is still happy, she’s always been more than supportive. However, she just knows how people can shift and change from where they were at that age. She has been nothing but supportive of our marriage and knows that ours will last.

      However, it is true that a lot of times when people marry young they don’t know who they are yet. Settle down. It’s not every young marriage, but it does happen. It’s great that you have a strong marriage that started young, so do I. But that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of young people do not have successful marriages.

  5. The cultural shift in marrying age has only been a recent one, starting with an increase in the 90’s when there was a shift to putting career first for both men and women. Few people in other generational categories got married in their 30’s or 40’s, unless they were divorced or widowed. So most people that you know that are divorced were probably married young, because everyone used to be married young! Currently, our culture is at the highest rate of singles in their 30’s than ever before and the marrying age is the highest it’s ever been, with women at an average 29 and men at 31. So in 15 or 20 years, there will be a lot more divorces from couples who got married older. That’s all I’m saying.

    • This friend has some great points!! This being said, I don’t think either of you is hating on anyone. I think it’s hard for people who are not married to understand what it is like when you just KNOW and don’t want to wait to start your life together. And vice versa, its hard for married people to see where they other side is coming from because we are partial to marriage 🙂
      JLS, you are by no means a hater on marriage, or young marriages, or anyone, I know that 🙂 As someone who got married “young” (22) I have to say that it has been one of our greatest joys to change and grow together. We did not know fully who we were then as well as we do now, but that was half the adventure! 😀 We often say, “hey remember when we were so young and stupid and decided to___________”

  6. Just so you know, I wasn’t offended by the post at all, but as half of a couple who doesn’t celebrate V-day:
    Honestly, V-day is more of a stress to us than a celebration. You have to fight massive crowds of PDA couples to get into any sort of restaurant, you feel obligated to buy things for your significant other, and if you don’t do something “extra,” you’re not loving your partner correctly on the day when you definitely should. People can celebrate, and I don’t care about that. But there’s so many do’s and don’ts that it makes celebrating that love almost legalistic. And to be honest, I love doing extra things for my husband when it’s my own idea, not someone else’s idea of what love should look like on a certain day. Just my ranting thoughts. 🙂

  7. I wasn’t offended at all by your post. I see where you’re coming from. I didn’t marry young, and I’m glad I didn’t, because I would not have made a very good choice then.I had a romanticized view of love. I didn’t think highly enough of myself to choose someone who would respect me and love me for who I was.

    I try to show my husband that I love him every day. But it’s nice to have a special day to give each other cards and go out to eat and enjoy each other’s company.

  8. Wow, jackie, you definitely have a discussion going. I was young, also, wouldn’t change it for a minute but do see your point!! and I would love for you to great married and have many babies, but no pressure! ha!!!

  9. Whew, that post caused quite a vibrant discussion! That said, I agree with all that you wrote, Jackie. I have days where I am SO HAPPY TO BE SINGLE. But then there are “trigger days”–like Valentine’s day or seeing ANOTHER couple get engaged on Facebook or reading a Melina Marchetta book or just needing to be held–when I get really despondent. There’s a family at church who is so sweet, and one of their children is having severe health problems. Mom’s comment to me was, “At least you don’t have to deal with that right now.” It was meant to be encouraging (it was a bad singleness day for me), but I still felt like saying at least they have each other to get through it–I feel like my hardships would be easier to endure if I had someone to lean on. But by the same turn, I know I’m not at a place where I could endure such a test as a sick child; there is SO MUCH I still have to learn about God, myself, relationships… Not that I have to know all of that before I can enter a relationship, but I think it will make a future relationship a bit easier. Even more importantly, I already have Someone to lean on, and He reminds me of that every single day if I pay attention. Thank you for blogging about this!!!

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