Let’s rip the band-aid off now that we’re on the cusp of engagement season: You’re not going to marry your current significant other. And if you do, you’re most likely making a huge, expensive mistake.
A few of us left for college thinking we could still make things work with our high school sweethearts – the ones who enrolled at some pussified private school, met some theater weirdos, and subsequently swan dove off the cliff of promiscuity, banging every man-bun on the way down to MD 2020-soaked rock bottom. It was probably a dark time, but a blessing. Here’s why:
Our less fortunate brethren made it work for four to seven years. They eschewed bubble parties and pudding wrestling for drab nights on a foam twin bed, binge-watching How I Met Your Mother. Sure, they still got their bi-monthly slice of punani, served on the same, ever-expanding platter, while the rest of us tried, usually in vain, to right-swipe our way into a soft six’s pants, but they stand to lose so much more by popping the question this year.
Welcome to your prime. College is a cheap, sketchy Chinese buffet of prospective love interests and never in your life will you be afforded the opportunity to sample so many flavors of romance. Our locked-down friends missed it, and shit just gets worse from there. Right around the time the chancellor palms you that $100,000 piece of paper, the committed start looking for the real thing. And the next logical step is to sign both names on a lease, get a dog, and start ring shopping. A relationship that survives the test of college is sure to go the distance, right?
Au contraire. Only 17 percent of marriages began as high school or college relationships. For comparison sake, that’s about the same percentage of NASCAR fans who voted for Hillary because Trump promised to build a wall and “a wall is what killed Dale.” Too many guys lack the cajones to pull the plug when/if the doubt creeps in. They cave to the pressure like Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning of a game seven and buy a $5,000 rock, in turn relegating themselves to a lifetime lacking in fulfillment, just because it’s “worked so far.”
At such a point, awkward conversations, a few tears, and a couple nonrefundable deposits are supplanted by lawyers and the scarlet letter that comes with being that guy that married the first girl to embrace his manhood with one of her southern-most orifices. By 26 or 27, about the time that some of us might start to consider giving a serious relationship a whirl, these guys are shackled to a failing marriage, googling attorneys, and wondering what could have been. In so many words, it’s paramount to shop around a little before you commit to one person.
Some of us just can’t escape the siren song of settling down and we can’t blame the youngsters who get bitten by the engagement bug for their flawed way of thinking. We all get dick punched daily with pro-engagement propaganda via Jared commercials during halftime, Pinterest and Instagram shares, as well as other, lesser-known-but-comparably-vacuous articles from female-centric blogs. And it’s the season for locking down significant others, what with the end of Halloween ushering in the 12 weeks of Christmas. It’s even tough for all of us to see our friends’ engagement photos – the ones that make you cringe harder than the thought of a Bill Belichek making smug-yet-softly-taciturn love in a cut-off hoody to a confused little ball boy – and not picture ourselves in what seems like an enviable place, smiling at one another like Chris Christy smiles at a Christy Crème donut, but circumventing that kind of seriousness while in college averts the overwhelming likelihood of being divorced and washed up in our mid-20s with two kids we don’t really like.
It’s essential to date around while you’re in college (and in your early 20s, for that matter) and don’t let anyone pressure you into popping the question before you’re ready to give up on your dreams, buy a used CR-V, and start getting fat. Stay safe this cuffing season and spend your $5,000 on something more responsible – like gambling on college football..