Navigating the Four Critical Seasons of Relationship The vast majority of young people will still pass through the key phases of singleness, dating, engagement and marriage in their twenties.Yet they are delaying marriage longer than any generation in human history. For the first time in history, the average age for an American woman having her first child, 26, is younger than the average age of her first marriage, 27. We sit across from one another at the Greasy Spoon diner, reaching over the table to touch hands, caressing thumbs with the tenderness of a violin player. We joke and laugh, we talk, we sit in pure adoration. At the start of it all, the perks of the situation swam happily in my mind. Like most modern women, I felt I only needed a man for one thing, and a coupled lifestyle was not that thing. There would be no awkward morning-afters, no constant phone calls or texts. He loved me and worshipped me and spoke of our future.
The divot in his ring finger catches the light, reminding me of the torture I so often hide when we’re together. Like most everything else in my life, our relationship became punctuated by song lyrics I felt described our situation. I knew what I had to do, as much as I tried to ignore it. The chill had left the air and incoming Spring filled me with the power and motivation to do the hardest thing I knew I needed to do. We spoke sparingly over the next few days and it eventually faded to no communication.
Neither of us would have been patient enough for that!