Many women, including me, have been groomed for marriage from moment we emerged from womb. After my daughters were born, I can't tell you how many people told my husband, "Hey, that's two weddings you have to pay for, Buddy."
(His response? "I'm really more concerned about paying for their educations.")
I probably don't have to tell you that pressure intensifies once a girl's friends start getting married. Then, all of a sudden, every well-meaning aunt, brother-in-law, and clerk at 7-11 want to know when she's going to find a man and follow suit.
What often happens next is that a nice young woman starts feeling heat. She gets desperate. She focuses less on what she wants out of life and more on size of diamond she wants in her engagement ring. Instead of enjoying dates and really getting to know a guy, she only wants to know whether he's man who'll make all her little girl dreams come true by asking her to marry him.
Eventually, somebody shows up with a ring, and she starts auditioning wedding bands. She obsesses over whether hunter green tablecloth is superior to buttercup yellow for reception. She plans a honeymoon with strategic precision of a military invasion.
But she's neglected to do most important thing, which is to ask herself if she really wants to spend rest of her life with guy in question.
Lest you think I exaggerate, a very good friend of mine spent Saturday night crying because her husband (the one who came with 2-carat diamond in a platinum setting, college degree, well-paying job, and 4-bedroom house) would not allow her to go out with girls, even though he knew she'd had plans to do so for five weeks. Turns out, he didn't feel like watching their four children, even though he regularly leaves her with them to go away for weekends with his pals.
Another friend who fell for fairy tale and woke up in dungeon recently got divorced. Her husband also provided a blinding gemstone and an excellent salary. He came from a "good family" and right religious background. He kept a photo of my friend on his desk at his prestigious firm, where she was not allowed to visit because he feared she would embarrass him (trust me, she wouldn't). He complained that her breasts were distracting and insisted she have them surgically reduced. He informed her that if she gained a single pound over 125, their marriage was over.