I remember talking to a young Filipina who must have been around 20-21 years old and asking her if she was still going to school or working (I actually thought she was 16-18 years old) and she said “no, I work to support my husband and my child in the Philippines”.
A lot of Filipinos get married and have children pretty soon in life. I know a lot of buntis or pregnant 18-25 year old Filipinas and a lot of very young Filipino couples who have kids before they even get adequate qualifications and a proper job.
I am not judging anybody, I just want to share my thoughts on the subject because I am an advocate of strategic thinking and moves.
I think one of the best strategic moves I have made in my life was my decision to take my time before getting married.
I got married at age 36 and I don’t regret at all waiting that long.
Few months ago I went through the Facebook profiles of some of the girls I was badly in love with when I was a teen-ager, and even in my early 20’s, and, by observing the stuff they post, I realized that the kind of person I am now, my top values and priorities, has absolutely nothing to do with what these women have become and marrying one of them 30 years ago or so would certainly have turned out to be a disaster.
What this tells me is that when I was too young my emotions were too wishy-washy and I was definitely not in the position to choose a person for life.
Also, I would have missed out on a lot of amazing trips around the world and adventures that have enriched my life beyond measure and that I could hardly have made had I chosen to be married (let alone having kids) in my early 20’s.
It is true that I still travel as a married person, and I have been to the Philippines a few times with my wife, and to a couple of more countries as well, but I used to travel abroad up to three times a year before getting married while now it only happens once in a while and, while in the Philippines, my wife is more inclined to visit friends and relatives than to go on some adventure.
I would have also missed out on the opportunity to have a meaningful share in an international volunteer work that I did for years that has also added meaning to my life while now I have to work secularly a lot more.
I would also have missed out on the opportunity to come up with a crystal clear life purpose and find out what my life is about. Figuring it out years down the road when you work hard and have kids is tricky to do and exposes one to the danger that husband and wife who got married too soon discover a life purpose and adopt a set of values that are entirely different than that of their spouse, so I think it is better to be in a relationship with a person who has already found out who he or she is and what he or she wants out of life. When you are too young your core ideas and values are too fuzzy.
On top of that I am in an interracial marriage which requires long years of groping for a bridge and, therefore, requires a lot of emotional intelligence and maturity to cope with culture-shock and I am sure that in my early 20’s I was just not prepared for those challenges.
I think that waiting until I was 36 to get married has definitely been a wise move.