23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23


As 2013 wraps up, I’ve been noticing more and more people getting engaged and/or married under the age of 23.

I get it.

It’s cold outside… you want to cuddle and talk about your feelings… life after graduation is a tough transition… so why not just cut to the chase and get married, right?  It’s hip. It’s cool. You get to wear clothing that wouldn’t normally be socially acceptable at the dive bar you frequent with the $5 beers.  Eff it. YOLO. YOMO! You only marry once…

Oh wait.

The divorce rate for young couples is more than twice the national average. Divorce is no longer a staple in a midlife crisis, but rather, something that SEVENTEEN Magazine should probably be printing on. Headlines could read,

“How to budget for your prom AND your wedding in the same year!”

“What’s HOT: Kids raising Kids.”

“Why your Mom doesn’t really know what she’s talking about.”

Because at the age of 22, I have no idea who I am, what I’m doing, and who I’ll be doing it with for the next year… let alone for the rest of my life.  And that’s awesome.

Some day, I want to get married too.  I want a floor length dress with a ton of cleavage.  I want it to be in Asia, with Ethiopian food, and a filthy scotch selection to calm my nerves when I inevitably start to panic and hyperventilate.  But WANT and NEED are two entirely different things. I NEED to develop MY dreams and MYSELF before I can truly be the type of woman you WANT to marry.

What inspired me to scribble down my feelings (so many feelings!) is The Facebook.  I’m seeing all of these notifications that “X and Y” have joined in matrimony and instantly, these waves of anxiety start to flow over me.  Should I be thinking about marriage? I’ve never even had a serious boy friend? Is there something wrong with me? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AND WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT IT FOR ALL THESE YEARS!?

But then I look at my life, my relationships, and my future… and I realize that, I’m fucking awesome.  It literally isn’t me, it’s them.

I have begun to notice a common thread amongst all these young unions: inexperience.  Inexperience with dating, traveling, risks, higher education, career direction, SEX, solitude, religious exploration, etc… and it’s insane that I have already experienced more of the world in the last 22 years than my married peers will ever experience in their life.

I can’t help but feel like a lot of these unions are a cop-out.

It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce.

Which could be tomorrow, because the LGTBQ community isn’t ruining the sanctity of marriage, the Kardashian family is.

If your love is truly eternal, what’s the rush? If it’s real, that person will continue to be committed to you 2 months from now, 2 years from now, and 2 decades from now. Grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore. Do. Freaking. Something… other than “settle down” at 23 with a white picket fence.

Because you owe it to yourself.  You are a human being that deserves to thrive inside AND outside of a relationship.

We are not our parent’s generation.  I’m tired of hearing about how “my mom and dad got married young and X, Y and Z” because they were raised with a completely different set of values, priorities, and without the anxieties and adulterous risks that comes with the worldwide web.  I’m speaking directly to the Millennials.

Millennials deserve the opportunity to develop ourselves, alone.

I recognize that my opinion is not going to be popular on The Facebook… especially amongst those who fall into the “under 23” category.  I would be confused if I didn’t receive some sort of online backlash or a loss of friends on The Facebook.  Some how… I will move forward.

But in the words of my 15 year-old sister, “Sorry I’m not sorry.”

Sure.  Some days I wake up and stare at my ceiling thinking: “I’m single as fuck.”  But then I realize that those friends are going to get knocked up and fat soon sssoooo in retrospect, who really is winning here? I’m in China. I’m having the best time of my life. I am responsible for my own happiness.

Please enjoy these 23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you’re 23.

1. Get a passport.

2. Find your “thing.”

3. Make out with a stranger.

4. Adopt a pet.

5. Start a band.

6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too.

7. Get a tattoo. It’s more permanent than a marriage.

8. Explore a new religion.

9. Start a small business.

10.Cut your hair.

11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face.

12. Build something with your hands.

13. Accomplish a Pinterest project.

14. Join the Peace Corps.

15. Disappoint your parents.

16. Watch GIRLS, over and over again.

17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting.

18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places.

19. Sign up for CrossFit.

20. Hangout naked in front of a window.

21. Write your feelings down in a blog.

22. Be selfish.

23. Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Year.

… because at the end of the day, I just gotta wander onwards. Wishing everyone whiskey and wanderlust during the holidays.


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3,961 thoughts on “23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23

  1. I want to share a personal testimony of how i was helped by Prophet Dibia to get my marriage back. My husband changed and left me after all we had done together. i told the prophet and he helped me get my husband back, now i am the happiest woman in the world. You can also share your problems with the Prophet, i can assure you that he can solve whatever problems you might be facing. Here is his email: spirituallove@hotmail. com

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  4. Lol this post was written by a new found feminist. I find this post absurd for a few reasons

    ● its great that you had an emphiany about doing more fulfilling things in life but that doesnt mean others did not accomplish these things much earlier in their lives before you. Even so why can’t you do these things when your married?

    ●this post is clearly intent for those you think your above of, this doesnt mean you can diagnose the ‘needs’ for all under 23 year olds.

    ●Highlighting SEX clearly indicates that your not on the receiving end of consistent pleasure and respect from a male counterpart. Hence the ‘need’ you Its ok to be forever alone but dont condone others who are genuinely happy to ditch what they desire because you know how life ‘goes’

    ● your list can be done married or not. With your bestfriend, sisters, cousins, by yourself who cares ? Your mother, your grandmother can’t do these things even with being married and with a naive child such as yourself?

    ● stating that your married friends are going to become fat so lol you win is straight malice.

    ●your “single as fuck” because your malicious and narcissistic. Your not even happy for the people you know that are married, this post just bitches negatively to highlight how much better you are than others. If you were truly happy you would write about why no one wants to marry you before you turn 23. Wait because your narcissistic and this is the downfall of marriages of the “young couples today” all about me, me , ME. Not wanting to work cohesively together to ascertain all these things together. I feel sorry for you if you can’t ‘have a life’ during marriage.

    ● as for all the divorcees praising this article because of their own personal bitterness, each to their own poor judgements.

    So ‘YOLO’ all you want but it’s clear you don’t have the authentic wisdom to douse the ‘needs’ of others. I appreciate the value your trying to place upon your readers but its shit talk like this that ruins marriages bitches get crazy like “ohh I never went to china because I married before I turned 23. Yolo divorce time because I want to go to china alone” said no one ever…

  5. Somebody’s a little bitter. (hint: it’s the author)
    It’s not marriage that ends the young, wild and free life; it’s kids.

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  9. Well…. I will be honest with you. There is no specific age as to when to get married that is why I find it absurd when you talk about those who got married below the bracket of 23 years old. I have seen couples who got married at 18 and have lasted 4 decades as compared to those who got married at 32.
    The 23 things you listed as your to do list with all due respect they are absurd. I mean seriously try make a stranger uncomfortable in a public place goodness you should have done that when you were 10 years old. The part that made me want to stop reading the rest of your article was try dating 2 guys at the same time……….seriously are you kidding at 23 years old you still want to experiment shit???? Instead of thinking of getting into a serious relationship you are thinking of hanging out naked on a window…. I think you are an attention seeker.
    Sweetheart your priorities are twisted there is nothing beautiful like sharing all the crazy things with the one you love. That every vacation, every road trip, every cake that you cook he is there cheering you all the way. You sign up for karaoke night show up sing Celine Dion Song and go off tune and he is the only man who stands up to clap for you. And when you are having a bad day he reminds you of all the stupid things you have done together.
    You are a bitter woman, angry and you feel left behind, I have felt that before but then I have faced my ghost and made peace with my demons. Finally content I have changed my attitude so now ………….I love seeing happy couples all around me. I love seeing them smile at each other holding hands. Love seeing those stolen kisses and moments of pure warm embrace with numerous hugs been exchanged. I love seeing couples exchange gifts at restaurants, share a meal on a single plate and drink from the same straw. I love seeing couples walking to church together on Sunday mornings and subsequently worshiping God in some sort of unison. I love them not because I am dating, but because I have learnt to rejoice with others when they are rejoicing and not to envy or compare or sneer with contempt or out of jealousy.
    I have also learnt to encourage those who are struggling, those who are fighting to get what they want. Those who have lost hope, with those who were once great, I have learnt to empathize and not speak ill of, saying how they lost their niche….. But most importantly I have learnt to wait because as fruits come in their destined season so does life
    I am 24 years old and single and it sucks but not like fuck ………..I as single because somewhere down the line I made a mistake and at other times it was not my mistake. Every day I am improving, so instead of me sitting down and coming up with a pathetic to do list HELL NO I am improving me, working on me, being the great woman, achieving my destiny. Praying that I will meet him, so that when I am having such hard time writing my Thesis paper and my lecture keeps getting on my nerves he will encourage me and go like babe you can do it.

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  13. Wow. I am engaged and 25 and can honestly say you have some serious growing up to do. Your mindset is your own keep your thoughts to yourself if they’re this offensive! While I have traveled the world, grown my career and lived alone, I never ever ever make others feel lesser for not doing this same. Your suggestions are idiotic. How about “help people in need” and “care for family” “grow your career”. Ruined my day to read this sad attempt knock off of a refinery 29 post.

  14. I like the core sentiment of this post! Always remember to live! However it’s important to remember everyone’s journey is different and it’s better to ‘run your own race’ than waste your time trying to trip others up on theirs.
    I’m 33 this year and still learning and loving life. I don’t think it matters what age you are when you get engaged as long as you (deep down in your soul) love the other person – not just the idea of being in love/engaged/planning a wedding/making multiple pinterest boards about your dream wedding. Also remember relationships are hard work – you won’t always like the one you love but you should always love them and vice versa – I see too many people (of all ages) who give up because it’s just too difficult or they don’t want to have honest conversations.

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  23. Wow. You sound like a self absorbed little twit. Who are you to tell others how to live their lives? And really? Two timing people and hurting them for your own enjoyment? That’s f’d up.

  24. This is the most idiotic blog post I’ve ever read. Not to mention you picked the trashiest things to choose to do. Just because you’re happy with living in Neverland and making dumb decisions at a too-old-to-do-so age doesn’t mean everyone is. I get that being young and dumb is part of living but to be condescending to those who choose to grow up after college is completely immature. I understand that 23 seems young to you, but you are going to regret not making moves to get your life rolling, and I’m not talking about marriage. I’m talking about growing up and moving on from college life. It seems like it’s about time for you, and this blog post is proof.

  25. Wow… and this is EXACTLY WHY the divorce rate is so incredibly high. Because idiots like you are emerging everywhere at an alarming and disturbing rate. You are a classic description of today’s generation: you still have no clue who you are or what you want and you have already gone to college. It’s scary, and sad. Of course you don’t want to get married, and guaranteed no one wants to marry you, because you are in no way interested in, or capable of, taking on a responsibility for anyone else… You have enough trouble dealing with your own self, and all of your incessantly overwhelming amount of feelings. You likely wear yourself out daily all on your own without having to deal with trying to be in a relationship with another person. #thestruggle #singlegirlproblems #letmetakeaselfieforever Here’s my take on your ridiculous list:

    1. Get a passport – Yeah, I did that at 16. Thanks.

    2. Find your “thing.” – What does this even mean? Ugh. I know who I am. And as I get older, “things” will change.

    3. Make out with a stranger – Yeah…it’s called high school. This is really kind of just straight up irresponsible if you are still doing this after college…

    4. Adopt a pet – Check. Turns out though, you can still do this AND get married. I know right? Weird.

    5. Start a band – Um, maybe I’m not into that? Not everyone is artistically inclined. And again, guess what, marriage doesn’t stop a person from doing such a thing.

    6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too. – I’ve been making cakes and eating them since I was a child. In fact, I now have even more fun making them for my significant other. BAZINGA.

    7. Get a tattoo. It’s more permanent than a marriage. – Disgusting. No tramp stamps for me thanks. Besides, tattoos are a dime a dozen these days. I’m actually a more unique person for not having any.

    8. Explore a new religion. – No need, like I said before. I know who I am and Who my God is, and who I am in Him, more importantly.

    9. Start a small business. – Not everyone is an entrepreneur, and you what, THAT’S OK.

    10.Cut your hair. – Yeah, every few months or so. Most people do this so they don’t look homeless. Marriage or no marriage, this is general hygiene.

    11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face. – Uh, yeah, that’s a terrible idea… Again, taking it back to high school… You really should have learned your lesson by now with this situation. Grow the eff up.

    12. Build something with your hands. – Check. But building something with someone else is WAY more fun than doing it alone. Just ask, oh, anyone.

    13. Accomplish a Pinterest project. – Check. I’m pretty sure everyone who has discovered Pinterest has already done this.

    14. Join the Peace Corps. – Again, not for everyone. Also, I am pretty sure you could do this AND be married.

    15. Disappoint your parents. – How is this GOOD advice?? If you haven’t done something to disappoint your parents by age 23, they are either dead, don’t give a crap about you, or you are a robot. However, this should never be anyone’s GOAL who has good respectable parents.

    16. Watch GIRLS, over and over again. – Or better yet, get a job, and I don’t know, a life maybe? Staying at home watching a show all alone, over and over implies some very loserly qualities.

    17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting. – Wait, what about getting fat like your married friends?

    18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places. – It’s much easier to do this by simply making out with your boyfriend or husband. ;)

    19. Sign up for CrossFit. – NO. CrossFit is for idiots. …which explains why you would advise this. >facepalm<

    20. Hangout naked in front of a window. – Or better yet, hang out naked… with your husband… at the breakfast table! Yeah, that's sounds way more fun. And also not creepy.

    21. Write your feelings down in a blog. – Clearly, I'm doing that. Oh, wives and husbands have feelings too, in case you were wondering. And lots of them have their own blogs that can actually be quite interesting.

    22. Be selfish. – This is why you will be single for the rest of your life. Also, selfish people probably don't do too well in the Peace Corps.

    23. Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Year. – Why? So I can watch you party alone and enjoy your singleness? No thanks. I'd rather go to Hawaii with my boyfriend. Oh wait, I already did that.

  26. I find it interesting that the author thinks that somehow having a marriage relationship and having an interesting life at a young age are mutually exclusive. I married at 19 and I have absolutely no regrets about. Yes, I did get divorced at 28 but it wasn’t the age at issue. There were other factors. MOST of the people I know who married young (between 16 and 25) did just fine, and quite a few of them are still married happily to the same person. It’s not the chronological age, it’s the maturity and that’s not always one and the same.

  27. What’s really sad is that while you’re typing “it’s not me, it’s them,” what you’re making extremely evident to the rest of the world is that it totally is you. You may say that you don’t care about being unmarried at your age, it’s really obvious by this and other posts that you’re really unhappy being single. This is a textbook case of lashing out at others who are happy to make yourself feel better about being unhappy. I will pray for you.

  28. Ok so heres my issue with this…I am 17 and I’ve done most of these and the ones I havent are the ones I can do while married. I am happily engaged to a girl that when we share our story I have been through more with than most couples near their death bed. This list is absolutely false because none of these are exxperiences that are necessarily better than marriage. I am a 17 year old man that can honestly say the greatest joy in my life is my fiance. And you should really learn that you cannot judge the failure of others based on your own inadequacies, it just doesnt work that way. If you want to know the reason young marriages dont work its because of the people running around saying its impossible, when youre filled with nothing but doubt from the people around you and let it get to you you will inevitably fail. The reason these marriages fail at such a high rate is because of people like you, you are the problem not the ones marrying young. They have a right to be happy with whomever makes them happy and people like you really should respect that just because you cant do something doesnt mean noone can and try to stop pressuring them, because guess what, if people were supportive and actually gave these couples help instead of telling them its bound to fail then these marriages would succeed. More people need to learn to fix thing instead of giving up and when someone does nothing but tell them it wont work instead of teaching them how to make it work, then they will fail..focus on helping people instead of tearing them down and you will be one step closer to being a good human being and possibly be able to examine yourself and be able to better yourself.

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