Stop social pressure: “I will do it when I feel ready”
The social context suggests when to make love, when to get married, when to have children, when to do everything. Are we really sure that listening to others is the best way to choose when to do things?
A few years ago I helped a patient who accidentally married. He didn’t want to do it because he felt he wasn’t ready, but his fiancée, family and even friends (many were already married) had convinced him to do it.
He was 30 years old. From a statistical point of view, he was neither too young nor too old to marry. It was average. However, that imposed decision prompted him a few years later to seek help from me.
Biological moments and social moments
The great moments of life are divided between biological and social. Some biological moments are puberty, the discovery of sex, menopause. Some social moments are the achievement of a qualification, marriage, cohabitation.
While some biological moments happen out of our control, all social moments we decide if and when to reach them.
Society today is so free that life can be chosen without paying any attention to any rules.
The risk of doing things without being ready
The boy who had married without wishing him, just for social pressure, had never adapted to his new status.
He wanted to stay out of definitive dynamics (not that marriage is necessarily, but he lived it as an indissoluble bond). His disposition forced him not to close any door behind him. In fact he had already done it because he hadn’t been dating other girls for years, but his engagement worked because in his head he knew that if he wanted he could do it.
From today to tomorrow everything could change. He could return single and start living again as a teenager.
In therapy we had to choose which way to go. Accept his new status and engage in married life or restore the old status and reopen dynamics of freedom and exploration.
He chose the first path and is now a happy dad. But he risked throwing away a portion of life that he loves, the marriage one, for the nostalgia of the old one who loved the same, the adolescent one.
There is no right time
There is no alarm clock that warns you when you need to do something. But people do exist. The choice to change status in life comes from the importance you give to the people around you.
If you want to stay a teenager it means that your friends are probably the most important people you have. If you want to build a family, perhaps the most important person is your partner.
But whoever forces you is wrong. It is right to express your needs, but it is equally important to respect those of others.
Remember that at the end of the jerks that you can receive on one side or the other, the decision is ultimately up to you.