peer advice, support, inspiration
Q:How old should you be when you get matched? I have a lot of friends who are getting matched or trying to get matched, and my parents have started asking me if there’s anyone I’m interested in. I feel like I’m mature and I think I’m ready to be in a relationship, but for some reason I’m hesitating. I feel pressure from my parents and all of my friends who are making the leap. What should I do?
Thanks for the great question! There are a lot of things to consider when deciding when you should start the matching process; and it’s ultimately going to be different for everyone. However, I think it’s better to wait until you’re older. Shoot for twenty-five! If you’re sixteen or seventeen and you’re thinking about going to the Blessing, it’s not even a question: just don’t do it. Parents, please don’t support your kids going to the Blessing at sixteen or seventeen.
In the Unification Church people start to wonder what’s wrong if you’re not married by twenty-one; but twenty-one is so young! At twenty-one, you’ve hardly finished maturing physically – and you’re probably not stable financially or emotionally either. Don’t get matched just because you want someone to make you happy, because your parents want you to, or because it’s what everyone else is doing. There’s a lot of social pressure telling you that you need to be in a relationship RIGHT NOW. But it’s good being single! The First Great Blessing comes before the second. When you are single you get to pursue your interests and education, develop your personality and friendships, and find out what you love. Of course you continue to do grow when you are matched and blessed, but being in a relationship can get in the way of your personal growth and development.
Although they don’t regret being married, many of my friends who were matched and blessed young wish they had waited until they were older; they wish they could have had more time to develop themselves and pursue opportunities without having to consider another person. I thought it would have been really cool to work on a fishing boat in Alaska or teach English in a foreign country after graduating; since I was recently matched, however, my priority became developing my new relationship, and so I moved to California instead.
If you’ve never lived on your own or taken care of yourself, it will be challenging to take care of another person. However, if you’ve taken the time to develop yourself – if you are happy and whole on your own – then you will have much more to give in a relationship. Take time to develop yourself outside of your parents’ house and outside of gap year programs like GPA and NGA. Find out who you are and own your decision to be matched.
The average marriage age in America is twenty-eight, by the way.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before starting the matching process:
How well can you take care of yourself?
Have you lived on your own and out of your parents’ home (not on GPA/NGA)?
Do you know how to cook, clean, shop for groceries, pay bills?
Do you know how to handle emotional stress?
Do you have a healthy support system, a regular spiritual practice?
Why are you making this decision?
Who is telling you that you should be matched right now?
Are you ready for a lifelong commitment?
What do you want to do with your life?
How much time do you have for a relationship right now?
How would being in a relationship affect your life path?
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Come back on Monday for an article on the topic of “I’m matched… but am I ready to go to this Upcoming Blessing?!” We’ve collected advice from young blessed couples and we are finally ready to share some of their great advice with YOU. Receive email updates by following our blog… Just enter your email address and click on the “follow” button on the top of the right hand panel.
~ Matching Mentor