Kourtney Kardashian’s Engagement Shows Us That You Can Wait Till Your 40s To Get Married To The Right Guy

As women we often put ourselves under immense pressure to tick a load of boxes by certain ages, especially when it comes to relationships and family. Kourtney’s recent engagement shows us why slow and steady might be a better shout, says Rose Stokes.

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker engagement

by Rose Stokes |

I don’t know about you but when I was a kid I had a very rigid timeline in my head of when I would achieve certain life milestones. First serious boyfriend at sixteen, married by 25, kids by 28, happily ever after for every year after that. Even writing this down today, as a 34-year-old unmarried woman who has yet to have children — and who is very happy with their life choices — I still find it hard sometimes to push away the creeping doubts that occasionally seep in about whether I’ve failed society’s big test by taking so long to find the relationship and living situation that’s right for me.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan though, does it? But that doesn’t have to mean you’ll sacrifice years of happiness in order to follow the path ahead of you either. Or that you’ll miss your chance at happily ever after for that matter.

Just ask Kourtney Kardashian who, at the age of 42, has just announced her engagement to Travis Barker, the drummer of Blink 182. Kourtney, who was previously part of a very on-again and off-again relationship with media personality Scott Disick that spanned over a decade and with whom she shares three children, has not been married before.

On Sunday evening, the reality star posted a set of photos of the proposal, which took at a five-star hotel in Montecito, California, simply captioned ‘forever.’ And while cynics might think that the pair — who have only been officially linked for nine months — might be rushing things, as someone who didn’t meet their person until they were 33, I can confidently say that dating when you are older carries a whole host of different rules. First among them is that when you are confident about who you are and what you want, knowing when something feels right is much easier and quicker to discern — especially if, say, at least some of your courtship has taken place while you’ve been forced to spend more time locked up at home.

From the position of someone who has eschewed pressure to stay in the wrong relationship simply because it conforms to a certain timeline, I have to say I find Kourtney’s story refreshing. When her ex Scott proposed, Kourtney said ‘no,’ probably knowing somewhere within her that the relationship wasn’t capable of lasting forever.

Instead, she chose to wait, and to prioritise her children, while maintaining a good relationship with their father until the right opportunity arose — maybe she never thought it would, or maybe that simply wasn’t her priority.

But since Travis and Kourtney (nicknamed Kravis by their family) have been together, it is clear that it’s a relationship moving with the speed and confidence of two people who are certain of what they want in life — and certain of who they want to spend it with.

From personal experience I know it can be hard to choose a different path when the one in front of you is more socially acceptable. In my case, that meant detonating a relationship when everyone around me was settling down, simply because I knew there was no possibility of me being happy if I stayed. For Kourtney this might have meant waiting and watching her friends and sisters walk down the aisle while she remained single in the marital sense.

Of course we have no way of knowing if marriage is something Kourtney has ever aspired to, but the fact that she has so quickly leapt into it in her forties suggests that maybe she was just waiting for the right person.

In a world that continues to value women based on their relationships to men, Kourtney’s attempts to carve out her own path feel refreshing. So often in the world of celebrity (and otherwise) we see young women rush into marriages and familial situations caving to the sheer pressure to conform with a wider social narrative that feels pretty outdated for most people today. Knowing that in the US almost 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce or separation — and the traumatic impact that this can have on the individuals involved, their families and any children — waiting until you’re older doesn’t just seem sensible, it is smart, too.

We all change so much as we age, and those relationships capable of going the distance are the ones that allow enough space and flexibility for each individual to explore who they are and where they are headed. But there’s another option too; if you’re not sure about what you want, waiting until you are is totally valid. Kourtney’s story shows that the pay-off can be huge.

For many women, the thirties can be the most transformative and elucidating time, but they can also be full of pressure, depending on any personal and professional goals you want to achieve. It’s for this reason that author Nell Frizzell so adeptly refers to this time as the Panic Years.

But what if, instead of panicking, you choose to just wait and see? From my experience and that of many people I know, there’s nothing wrong with taking your time to figure things out. And once you are full of that knowledge, you are much more capable of making better decisions about with whom and how you want to spend your life.

Kourtney shows us that you don’t have to buckle under the pressure to get married, and that waiting until you’re in your forties, fifties or even eighties is a totally legitimate life choice. Also legitimate is getting married, changing your mind, divorcing and choosing something better or different (see Adele’s recent track Easy on Me). Also legitimate is never getting married in the first place! Life is about learning at the end of the day and reserving the right to change your mind. It can be hard to dodge the strong social narratives we all feel pressure to conform to, but as Kourtney demonstrates, the pay-off can be huge!

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