Why Getting Married Young Didn’t Ruin My Life
Written by Lindsay Ropella
I feel like some people’s motto needs to be, “worry about yourself.” Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and articles talking about why you shouldn’t get married young. Blogs big and small are writing posts with titles like “Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged,” “Why Getting Married in Your 20’s Might Be the Worst Idea Ever,” “10 Reasons Not to Get Married Young” – you get the picture. The majority of these posts are telling girls to “stop settling” and to be “young and crazy” before tying yourself down (basically becoming a boring old wife.)
The funniest part to me is that none of these ladies are writing from experience. If there was an article written by someone who got married young talking about reasons why they now think it was a bad idea, I would put more stake in it. But the majority of the articles I came across are posts by girls in their 20’s who simply aren’t ready to be married yet, so they think no one else should be either.
Now, let me just say that obviously everyone has their own path in life. If you’ve decided that getting married “young” does not jive well with the plans you have for yourself, or if you just don’t feel ready to make a huge commitment like that yet, then good for you! And I mean that wholeheartedly. The people I admire most are those that know what they want and have the confidence to pursue it! I think it’s so admirable that you have taken the time to figure out what makes you happy and are enjoying life!
But you know what? Not everyone’s path is the same. Not everyone wants the same things out of life. I think the majority of us here are wise enough to realize this and to understand that we don’t all have to be cookie-cutter versions of each other. It drives me crazy though when I come across people who judge others and put others down just because their life views may not match up perfectly with their own. Why can’t we all just be happy for each other and rejoice in the fact that even though we may be different, we are truly happy and are doing what feels “right?” Maybe we all need to just start sitting around in friendship circles singing Hakuna Matata or something…
So here I am today to share my perspective – a girl who got married at 22, right after finishing college. I’m certainly not saying that this path is right for everyone, but if you are a girl who read one of those “anti-young-marriage” posts and got a little scared off by it, let me assure you that getting married young didn’t ruin my life. In fact, it’s been everything I ever wanted and more!
9 Reasons Why Getting Married Young Didn’t Ruin My Life
ONE || We know literally everything about each other. Because we got married young, we had a lot of time to get to know each other before things got serious and before talk of marriage ever came into the picture. We were just goofy kids hanging out learning about each other as friends. There was no pressure to DTR (define the relationship) or decide if he or she was “the one.” We had nothing but time on our side. Not that this is always the case, but I know when people are older they often date with a “timeline” in the back of their minds and I think sometimes that a timeline and a shorter dating period can hinder the ability to get to know every detail about the other person.
TWO || Most of our “firsts” have been with each other. Because we didn’t date a bunch of people in our late teens and 20’s, many of our life experiences have been with each other. Now I’m not just talking about physical stuff (although most of those firsts have been shared with each other as well, which probably is TMI but also pretty cool if you think about it), but just our everyday growing up experiences too. We were together on the first day of high school, the first day of college, the first time we got our driver’s license (and could drive with one other passenger ONLY), our first drink, the first time we dealt with real family problems…it was all shared. I think sharing these experiences has brought us closer because instead of just sharing stories from our past, we actually lived them out together.
THREE || We are dependent on each other. I know that may sound like a bad thing, so let me explain. Eric and I aren’t dependent on each other in the sense that we fall apart and can’t function if the other person isn’t there. But we do rely on each other and feel like a team. We constantly check in with each other, do things together, and don’t necessarily enjoy time apart. I think that sometimes if a person is on their own too long, they can learn to become completely independent of others and have a hard time joining lives and relying on their partner once they get married. Getting married young has taught me a level of selflessness I’m not sure I would have learned if I had gotten married later in life.
FOUR || We save money. Practically, getting married younger has, in the long run, saved us money. We didn’t have to pay two leases, purchase two dining tables, two couches, deal with two electric bills, you get the picture. Eric and I have purchased everything together down to our shared computer (yea, we need to get another one soon) and it has not only saved us money, but been a bonding experience in budgeting our finances as well.
FIVE || We get to be “wild and crazy” together. I know one of the biggest arguments for not getting married young is the fact that you have to settle down and get your life together. SO NOT TRUE. Eric and I bought a house and got a puppy because those were things we wanted and that made us happy, but if we had not done either of those things and still lived in our apartment, we could up and do/move/travel wherever we wanted. There would be nothing more to tie us down than any single person would have to deal with, except we would have the added benefit of doing it together.
SIX || We are prepared to grow and change together. One thing I hear the most when people talk about the negatives of getting married young is the fact that you still have so much growing up to do, how do you know who you will want as a spouse down the line and how do you know you will still be a match for each other when you are older? Honestly? This is a valid point. Yes – I’m not going to be the same person at 32 that I was at 22. But here’s my response…do people stop growing and changing once they hit 30? Are people the same at 42 and even 62 that they were at 32? I don’t think so. No matter when you get married you will never stop changing and you are never guaranteed that you and your spouse will perfectly mesh on every topic and every situation for the rest of your lives – that’s why I don’t believe in “the one.” But I think getting married at a younger age prepares us for those changes even more because we know they are going to happen, so we just have to decide to be that much more committed to each other for the rest of our lives.
SEVEN || We don’t feel like we just “settled” for each other. One person wrote in her article that she thought people got married young basically because there was nothing good on TV…that young people just get married because they are bored and want something to do. Eric and I got married young for one simple reason – we know we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives. If anything, because we were so young we knew that we still had plenty of time to date other people before having to quick “settle down” with someone before reaching the big 3-0 (that’s when people start to freak out, isn’t it? No? I don’t know..). And actually, at one point in college we did try breaking up to date other people; but it only lasted a month at most – we just knew we had found the person we were going to marry and so continuing to date just seemed wrong.
EIGHT || We have time on our side. One of the best things about getting married young, in my opinion, is just all the opportunities you have available to you simply because of time – opportunities all the money in the world couldn’t buy. We had time to decide where we wanted to live and settle down, we have lots of time to travel and do things together before having kids, we have almost our whole lives together to establish traditions and make memories.
NINE || We have learned to roll with the punches together. Let’s face it – when you are right out of college you are pretty much broke. And being broke sucks. But for some reason, being broke together isn’t so bad. Sitting on the floor in the dark eating pizza with your husband or wife turns a sad and lonely evening into an exciting camp-out. Life isn’t always easy, especially when you are first learning to figure it out, but doing it with a partner in crime makes it a little bit easier and a lot more enjoyable.
So tell me — what are your thoughts on getting married young? How old were you when you got married? Let me know in the comments below!