- 5 years ago
Did any of you ladies grow up with a clear idea in mind of what your life would look like when you got to be a certain age? Did you also look at happily married relatives or older friends and calmly smile to yourself that one day (a very specific one at that), it’ll be your turn?
I realize 25 may not be *that age* for a lot of people here (the U.S.), but it certainly is where I come from (Russia). In fact, when I spoke with my grandma on the phone the other day (my 25th birthday, as it happens), all the well-wishing was tempered with a tone of genuine concern: “a s lichnom?”/ “how are things in your personal life?”
You see, in Russia, most girls are already married with children at 25. My cousin’s wife, for instance, is a few months younger than me and already has two kids. In fact, it is still considered in Russia that a woman is in her prime childbearing years ages 19 to 25, past which point you are more or less officially considered “starorodiashaia” / “an older mother”.
So where does that leave me?
Without projecting too much Russia onto myself, I have begun to feel the pressure of … my culture, traditions? call it what you will.. to get a move on some of the things I’ve always dreamed of: a committed relationship with the man I love and want to love forever, and (hopefully) a happy, healthy family.
Well, as I told my grandma in trying to reassure her, I at least found the man! He is wonderful and I never really have any doubts about him being the one, just the occasional impatient “can I really deal with him being so …(insert random minor annoyance).. forever?”
Unfortunately, for the rest of the situation, my wonderful man is not a Russian man familiar with the timeline expectations of my culture.
Rather, he’s a perfectly innocent 24 year old (!!) American boy who, hopefully not entirely due to my pressuring, is trying hard to grow up faster than many of his friends that are still financially dependant on their parents and spend their days getting high/playing video games . Not that there’s anything wrong with that. All I’m saying is we come from very different places in terms of cultural expecations of what people do at what age..
Another point to think about is how much of our expectations are really our own and how much of them are just culture? I have had the opportunity, since I’ve left my family, to see how other people live and to ask myself whether I really want a family so young (for the West).. It seems like I really do! But what of SO? It seems from what he’s been telling me and his actions over the last year that he really would like to mature a bit beyond the expectations of his immediate family and friends.. But I really don’t want to feel like I’m forcing him!
Are any other bees in my position? Are you and your SO on different timelines culturally and/or personally? And how do you untangle the two and make both people happy in the end?
Sorry this was a tad lengthy.. I just really felt like sharing and would love to hear your opinions!