Dating post-college should be viewed the same as your work experience post-college. No matter how much experience you think you had prior to graduating, employers view you as a clean slate the minute you receive that diploma. Just because I was at my current place of employment for two years before graduating, I am still considered to have only a year of experience in my field (and not three, which you’d think I should have) because I have only been working there a year since graduation. That, my friends, is exactly how dating in our generation needs to be viewed.
If you’re dating the same guy you’ve been with all throughout college, post-graduation should be considered the true beginning of your relationship. Besides the insane statistics out there about getting married before the age of 23 (check out the last chart in this report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics if you think I’m blowing smoke up your ass), combined with the already unbelievably high divorce rate in general… I don’t know why anyone would want to rush into marriage so soon anyway.
I see so many girls give their boyfriends ultimatums, because, let’s say, they have been dating for 4+ years and, since both are now college graduates, the next logical step is engagement. Anything else would be a waste of time in these girls’ eyes. And the guys give in, because even though they do not want to get married, they don’t actually want to lose the girl either. Reality check, ladies: no one wins when you present an ultimatum.
But, as the story goes, the hints are dropped, and if the guy doesn’t reciprocate, the ultimatum is given. And he gets the ring, probably plans a really cute way to ask too. It will be an amazing story to tell all of your friends. Then it begins: from that point on it becomes all about the female. It starts with her ring, her engagement party, and then goes to her wedding registry, her bridal shower, her color scheme, her grand plans, her perfect wedding day. All the focus seems to be concentrated on one day, for a commitment that will (hopefully) last a lifetime.
When I was younger, I used to feel really bad for my mom. Her and my dad got married in my grandparent’s house, with a few witnesses and a justice of the peace. She couldn’t get married to him in a church because it was my dad’s second marriage, and back then churches were dicks about things like that. And even though it was my dad’s second marriage, it was my mom’s first… but she never got to have her fairytale wedding. Now I’m starting to realize that may not be such a bad idea after all, when all is said and done. Our generation puts so much emphasis on the engagement and the wedding day rather than the actual marriage– the actual commitment of spending the rest of your life with another person is lost in a sea of flowers, dresses, menus and venues.
Honestly, this is the ultimate Post-Grad Problem.