I learn from my mothers mistakes and from the lives of other couples I've witnessed. both are equally important to me, but I would focus on my education and career as a priority over relationships. relationships come and go, but having something of your own is indispensable. its a matter of not only survival, but fulfillment and searching for that which makes you happy. when relationships are the main priority, that's an easy ticket to "i loved him too much to do what I wanted and ended up with a baby, just working any job to get by and pay for the diapers" - ville.
on the other hand, you could just be alone forever. a lot of women would rather be in a relationship and either a housewife or working a job just for the money, and not really building a career, over being alone and not having a significant other to come home to.
i personally would rather be alone and happy with my career than happy with my relationship, but not have a career. its just a personal decision. some women are happier in that life that revolves around family, but I know that I never could be. there's a thirst inside me for my dreams and accomplishing what pushes me forward, and a relationship doesn't fill that.
im intelligent enough to know that for me, education and career come first. I'm young but I know what I want out of life and looking to the mistakes that I see women make around me, in my parents relationships, etc. helps me see what I want to avoid.
and my mom has built a career but being married and having kids too early (26), coupled with her own inner demons, kept her from being fulfilled. as a result she has to work to get by. she has a family to support so she works like a dog. she absolutely hates her job, isn't satisfied with her marriage any longer, and has very little of a social life. she's making the steps to transform things around, but she's open with me about the fact that having me and being with my dad eventually made accomplishing her goals much harder. she can't take jobs where she can travel, or get low income, etc. because she has us. she loves me, but love is only part of the picture, it can't make you completely happy. you need something of your own, something beyond kin to make you want to wake up. love is not enough for everyone, definitely not for me.
so, I learn from my mother. she's everything I want to be, and nothing, all at the same time.
the answer is different for each girl. one of my friends got married last year when we were sophomores in college. I would never have done that. it seems a bit stupid to me if I'm being honest, it was her first boyfriend and everything, but I figure she will have to learn from her own mistakes. or maybe its not a mistake at all, maybe its right for her. I remember asking her if she wanted to take this great internship abroad. she said no, she'll look for something that may not be as good, but is closer to home. I simply asked, "Why?"
"because I just can't leave my husband, I'm married now."