Getting Married Is NOT An Accomplishment, Stop Acting Like It Is

Getting Married Is NOT An Accomplishment, Stop Acting Like It Is

The accomplishment lies in truly committing to a marriage and lovingly supporting another person through their life.

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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.

Cover Image Credit:

Jelleke Vanooteghem

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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Stop Assuming Your Queer Friends Are Going To End Up Falling For You

News flash: if you're my friend, the chances of me falling for you are slim to none.

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Ever since I came out my senior year, I've encountered bumps of my friendships due to my sexuality. I think people understand gay, lesbian, and bisexual identities rather well. However, there are other members of the LGBTQ+ community that isn't as understood as well.

I identify as pansexual but start using the term queer. Essentially, I don't have a preference if someone identifies as female or male. When it comes to love and relationships, I care about the quality of the person and if I'm getting the love and respect I deserve.

However, to some of my friends, they seemed to become afraid. They distanced themselves in our friendships in fear I would end up falling for them.

News flash: if you're my friend, the chances of me falling for you are slim to none. You are my friend for a reason. If I liked you, I would honestly be too nervous to talk to you.

It's nice to know to have that kind of self-confidence where you think everyone has a crush on you. That's the attitude to have because you are a pretty great person. However, sorry to break it to you, but you just are not my type.

There is absolutely no reason to cut off a friendship just because you don't understand. Your queer friends would probably like you to ask questions. It can be a sign you care about them and showing support. There is nothing wrong with asking questions either. When you're in class and you don't know anything, then you ask a question. When you are getting to know someone, you ask questions. Even if you knew this person for a while, ask away!

I think there is a stigma of not knowing something and feeling embarrassed. However, it shouldn't be this way. We should embrace the unknown, learn, and grow from it. It's 2019. It's all about being open-minded to differences. We have to do better for the next generation.

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