It amazes me how often the subject of Starter Marriages comes up. I’ve thought about it a lot recently, coming on the 10th anniversary of writing the book. It was about this time 11 years ago that I began to circulate a book proposal on the subject, in the wake of my own Starter Marriage.
And just today, I got an email from a reader who added this interesting Millennial, social-networking twist: Apparently, Facebook peer pressure adds to the urge to marry young and big. As the reader wrote me in her note:
I am really happy that a friend of mine recommended your book Starter Marriage to me. Websites like Facebook add to that frenzy of engagements you described. Since I am 27, I guess I am caught in that frenzy – where if you are getting engaged you are a superstar with people lavishing your wall with attention and where if you are single, you feel barren, not part of a whole.
Prior to reading your book, I broke up with a boyfriend who I really thought was going to be “the one”. I walked away because I thought to myself after all the hoggle boggle of ceremonies is over, am I just happy with this person sitting on the couch, enjoying the mundaneness of everyday life. We actually had some serious personality conflicts that could not be ironed out in the short run, let alone in a legally committed long run. So I walked away.
Fortunately, I realized this before I suffered some real consequences of moving in my stuff or having to move back in with my parents. But unfortunately, the universe hasn’t brought along anyone new and this slew of engagements on facebook is like a mirror, constantly patronizing my ego, where I can’t help but think ‘hey, i could of had that too.”
However, I refuse to let fear drive my decisions and I am really glad you wrote your book and I read it. It made me see that I did make the right decision. And the stories of the people you interviewed who went into a marriage thinking ‘what if i don’t find someone else better’ – that type of thinking – haunted me the same way for months before we broke up.
And in other Starter Marriage headlines, apparently there’s a story up on the new Divorce section of the Huffington Post called “Second Time’s the Charm: the Case for the Starter Marriage”