there’s more than one way to be happy
December 27, 2022 at 11:40 AM(Has been updated 12:15 pm)
When I was younger, I wanted to do all the big things in life at the same time as my childhood friend. After all, we grew up together, went to school together, found love together, partyed together, graduated together. Why.
Of course, looking back, we see how naive this worldview is. Something happens in your twenties and life branches like the branches of a tree. Some people move abroad or to another city for work, travel, settle down with school boyfriends, or complete Tinder on their own. increase.
Yet I think we still have a hard time really accepting the idea that each person’s romantic timeline looks different. – Changing jobs, changing jobs, quitting corporate competition to open a yoga studio in Costa Rica – but our romantic timelines seem wide open for public scrutiny.
When I was 28 and ended a five-year relationship, I felt a big part of me was a failure. Many of my friends were happily settled, and suddenly I felt like a game of snakes and ladders that had fallen to the bottom the whole time.
There is an unspoken pressure to follow a set romantic formula. Dating in your early 20s, meeting your “guy” in a few years, getting married by 30, and having some kids by 33…remember that’s not the only way.
This implicit pressure can make women feel bad about themselves if they haven’t achieved such milestones by a certain age, or if they haven’t really followed the formula. There is beauty in celebrating different approaches rather than practicing .
Earlier this month, I married a man who moved to New York after four months of knowing me. After sharing my story in this newspaper, dozens of women reached out to me and shared stories of their rare and beautiful encounters.
A woman told me how the devastating impact of losing her roommate in a car accident made her want to live a more fulfilling life. She downloaded her dating app, went on her first date and fell madly in love, and her couple quickly moved on. Through all the “steps” she has never been happier.
Another woman told me she had met someone during lockdown and within 4 months they were engaged and expecting.
I realized how many people are afraid to share such love stories, for fear of being judged or criticized by others.
I have been personally very lucky in that my friends and family have been very supportive of my life choices. My best friend’s reaction to my pregnancy was, “Oh, this is what you look like.” We got engaged within a week and married a month later. They were happily married for 25 years.
It’s important to have different stories and messages about romance around you. I fear that with the advent of social media, we have become even more homogenous beings, each trying to imitate the other in the way they create and present their lives. But given our lives outside the Instagram grid, trying to imitate other people’s romantic stories doesn’t really help, does it? Maybe you’re in your 30s and want to trek across Nepal or go on big adventures by yourself? Can you do it?
There is more than one way to be happy.
I happened to find true happiness in life with other people. It wouldn’t be for anyone. It was as if I had stopped living for a moment, but when I met him, I finally breathed a sigh of relief. Don’t check off just to achieve romantic goals until you meet someone who makes you feel that way. Focus on yourself, enjoy your alone time, and build a life you truly love.