Last week, I was interviewed by a dynamic young woman, Julie Miller, who has a blog targeted to women in their 20s, called Life2PointOh. She asked me what advice I would give to 20-something year old women who are contemplating marriage and kids…or not. Here's the interview:
Life2PointOh: When you were in your 20s, what were your thoughts on marriage for yourself?
Eleanore Wells: I recall being very confused because, while I loved having a boyfriend, the concept of "the rest of my life" was one I couldn't grasp, and I was a little embarrassed because I seemed to be the only girl who felt that way. Marriage seemed really hard and kind of boring to me then (and now). I also felt that marriage would stifle me. I have a strong, independent spirit and, back then (the 1970s), it seemed that women had to give up so much of themselves in order to have a "good" marriage. (I think that has softened a bit nowadays). In addition, I was drawn to guys who probably wouldn't make great husbands. Not necessarily bad boys, but I would date guys who were independent, spontaneous, exciting. These are very fun qualities when dating, but probably don't make for a very stable home life. In my 20s, I don't think I ever voiced out loud that I would never get married; it was more of a "gee, I dunno".
Life2PointOh: What advice do you have for women in their 20s who don't think they want to get married or have kids?
EW: I would say to remain open. Marriage and kids are good things, though they're not for everybody. You may change your mind…you may not. I think it's hard to be sure about many things in one's 20s, and this is one of them. Clearly, if you're not absolutely sure you want to get married or have kids then you shouldn't do it. If you change your mind, you should be clear you're doing it for the right reasons and not because of outside pressure.
Life2PointOh: What advice do you have for single girls in their 20s who are worried they won't find the right person to get married to?
EW: I'd say stop worrying. It's not attractive and it sometimes draws the wrong person to you. Concentrate on what's good about your life and stop focusing on what's missing. Think about building a nice life for yourself. Read more…