I am at the point in my life in which friends are getting married and having kids. It's exciting to witness the changes in their lives. I truly believe getting married is one of the most brilliant and wonderful things you can do, and people who get married definitely need support. We aren't meant to be in marriage alone. We need to be really careful about how we approach marriage, though.

Sometimes people praise those who are getting married like they've accomplished this major life goal.

Sometimes people care more about my friends' relationships than educational and career achievements. In the Midwest especially, there's a somewhat of a culture in which something must be wrong with you if you're not married by a certain age. There's nothing wrong with you if you're not married at some point in your early or mid-twenties.

Getting married gives you some sort of social capital or status. I don't think someone deserves "congratulations" because they decide to get married. It takes time and effort to find the right person, and a marriage should only occur when two people are ready to make a serious promise to each other.

Here's the thing - anyone can just go and get married. The accomplishment lies in truly committing to a marriage and lovingly supporting another person through their life. I can't even comprehend how much effort and investment is present in maintaining a marital relationship.

I do want to get married, but I think my accomplishments in life are present in my education and the way I'm impacting people positively around me.

I want to have a nice wedding, but the focus needs to be on the relationship afterward.

If I get married, it will be one of the most important things I do. I will make a sacred promise to a person to stand with them forever. That's no small thing. However, getting married is not the accomplishment. Marriage is not some prize that we're supposed to chase after. Marriage is only meaningful if it's secure and good. Let's focus on cheering each other on in life and validate people for more than just getting married.