“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”
Jane Austen, the queen of romantic relationships, speaks this truth in her novel Pride and Prejudice. 203 years later, and her very sentence rings true today. We’re all guilty of it, even if we may not be vocal about it, but we all think about the future. There are countless of self-help books and even blogs dedicated to practicing the mantra of “living in the now.” It can be hard, especially as a college student, to actually “live in the now.” By the time you hit your fourth year you are thrown into job hunting, apartment searching, and daydreaming about the day that you will get to walk around your new city, coffee in hand, and own the world. It’s especially hard to focus on the now when you’re in a relationship. I am guilty of doing this.
My roommates and I were sitting around in our cozy warm-colored living room, curled up with blankets, watching our favorite comedian on Netflix: Iliza Schlesinger (who is only one of the many woman comedians killing the game). In her show, “Freezing Hot,” she talks about a moment when women take Pinterest way too far. She starts off the sketch with a warning to the men in the audience, “…just know that your fiancé has planned your entire life on Pinterest. She planned your wedding, your life, your funeral.” We all laughed along, but in the back of my head all I could think was: Now I need to go make my “For the Future Mr.” Pinterest board private. Because while it’s funny, what makes it hysterical, is that it is absolutely true. But can you really blame us?
Every day I hop on to a social media platform and I see engagement photos and wedding photos left and right; of those the same age and some even younger than me. Sometimes I’ll ask myself, what am I doing wrong? Other times I’ll be asking, should I really be doing all of this at a young age? While Jane Austen’s quote may still be relevant today, we are not in a time period where women are expected to be married before twenty. So instead of jumping from admiration to love, and from love to matrimony, let us linger in love.
Lingering in love takes intentional actions. Just as how we should be intentional with our friends, we should be intentional in our relationships. Relationships are all about choices. If we choose to keep turning our conversations and our thoughts to the future, what conversations and opportunities are we missing out on? So, in your relationship, pry yourself away from that pastel wedding color board on Pinterest and shut down your laptop. The most important action you can take to living in the moment is to be in the moment. Every day that you get to spend some time with your significant other, make sure you really focus. Put down that cellphone, close the laptop, and enjoy each other’s company. Instead of talking about plans for the future, go DO something. Get out there and go on that hike that you’ve been wanting to take, or grab some groceries from the store and make dinner together. Instead of “walking the walk” you need to “talk the talk” in a relationship. You can’t be thinking of future plans if the two of you can’t even enjoy the time you have now.
Lingering in love is especially important for women in our age. We’re young! I know it may not feel that way since Lizzie McGuire came out fifteen years ago and we actually reached “the future” in Back to the Future, but we are. We are in an amazing decade of our lives that is all about self-discovery, building relationships, and making memories. Take the warning from Thirteen Going on Thirty seriously, don’t wish that you were “thirty flirty and thriving,” but instead know what it is like to be a twenty-something in love. There is something special about relationships that are new and exciting. You get to grow together as a couple and you get to tackle each day with a new sense of adventure, even if today’s adventure is making breakfast for dinner or finishing up Making a Murderer on Netflix. As my mother says, “Let things fall into place instead of always worrying about if it will last forever.” So stop planning your wedding and start planning your weekend! Plan dates not save-the-dates, and plan girls night outs instead of bridal showers. Time will catch up with you and push you along to where you need to be, but for now, linger in the love of a twenty-something romance and embrace every moment that you have.