Not Too Young

I would like to rant vent about my peers for a moment… Let me start by saying, it is in no way our right to judge the life decisions of our peers, especially without examining our own decisions first.

I’m getting pretty sick and tired of all of the crap commentary I’m reading from people in their 20s about getting married. I’m talking about the people who apparently think I was out of my mind for getting married soon after college.

Everyone in my age group (let’s say ages 20-25, I’m not going to cover a whole generation) are in totally different places in their lives. There’s everything from people who started working straight out of high school, to people working toward a degree and college grads with and without jobs then there are people in grad school. Some of us are married, some engaged, dating or single. Some are even parents. And we’re all about the same age.

I can understand that it’s tough to no longer have a mirrored life to your peers. For the first time, many of us are looking at a future that is not already planned for us. The education system and our parents had planned our lives up until a certain point. Now, we’re scattering to different lives. Mine includes a husband, a career and a home. No one seems to fault us 20-somethings for starting careers and moving out of our parents’ houses but people love to judge the relationship decisions.

After nearly three years of dating, Brad proposed to me. We spent almost two more years engaged and planning for our lives together. We waited until we had finished college to get married. There was no shotgun or citizenship involved. We planned this, we cultivated a relationship and we made choices. Getting married at 22 is not right for everyone, but it is right for some. Brad and I have been in a relationship longer than some longer-married couples have even known each other.

I would have preferred to marry Brad earlier and I joke with him that we could have sat together at graduation had we gotten married sooner (and my degree would have the same name on it that I am building my career with). But we made choices, we made plans, we weren’t rash or immature about anything. The majority of young newlyweds and nearlyweds that I know have similar situations.

Words Hurt

Before you open your mouth and say that any of your peers are “too young to get married” take a second and evaluate what you’re really thinking. Some people get married too young, some people have kids before they’re ready, but unless you know the intimate details of their relationships, you can’t judge that for certain.

I believe that these judgmental statement usually come from jealousy or disappointment. Our lives don’t happen at the same time and there’s no reason to demean your “friends” and their choices because you wanted your lives to follow the same track. When young couples are planning their lives together, they want their friends to share in the joy, why is it so hard for people to be happy for someone who is traveling a different path?

This post was drafted quite some time ago and not published because I thought I might be seeing things that weren’t there. But over the past few months, I see that it’s not just me experiencing this issue. The average age for people to get married may be around 27, but it’s not a requirement that people wait until age 27 to get married.


6 thoughts on “Not Too Young

  1. sorry you are feeling this way :(. My husband and I were engaged when I was 23 and married when I was 25, so not super young, but definitely the first among our friends. We started dating when I was 19 and now I am 32 (eek)

    If this helps, now that we are in our 30’s, everyone else seems to have “caught up” and that kind of stuff doesn’t matter anymore. It seemed like such a big deal then, though. Being in your 20’s is a lot about drama – even if you are not necessarily the dramatic one, there’s a lot of tension and drama in your 20’s as everyone struggles in their own way with defining themselves and growing up.

  2. You are preaching to the choir here 🙂

    I think there is a difference between being young and “too young.” Yes, at 23, I was a young bride. But “too young” is only loosely related to age in my book — if someone is an emotionally immature person, I don’t care how many years they’ve been drawing breath, they’re too young to get married.

    I think couples who have a solid foundation together, understanding hearts, a firm commitment to marriage, and perpetual senses of humor are off to the best possible start in married life, regardless of age.

  3. Preach it sista! I got married at 24 and people think I’m nuts. I’ve been friends with my hubs since 8th grade, and we just never decided to date until our senior year of college! Here’s my advice – You create your own happiness, so don’t let others take it from you. Especially by their ill-thought out words. I would venture to say many people are secretly envious that your life is going so well, while theirs may not seem to be in comparison. Sadly for most people its easier to be jealous or hurtful than it is to share in one-others’ joy. One day, the people who doubted you will look back in awe when you prove that you wont be just another marriage/divorce statistic! 🙂

  4. I think a lot of people look at age before looking at a couple’s story and history. A lot of people who know me and my fiancee well had the reaction of “finally!” when we got engaged. However, before that, people who didn’t know us so well would give judging looks when I’d talk about life choices I’d made WITH him, in what was in OUR best interest, rather than by being completely selfish and acting on every impulsive urge I’ve ever had to travel or do something crazy, as though someone who is 20, 21, or 22 shouldn’t allow themselves the joy of choosing a companion to SHARE life with (even though we’ve been together for nearly seven years, and as you said, that’s longer than some people who are married have even KNOWN each other!). People look at us with those judging eyes of “you’re so young” then get a look of shock on their faces when we tell them we’ve been together nearly seven years (I’ve seen the cartoon buggy eyes), as though people so young couldn’t be committed enough to something to make it work. (Have you seen the meme circulating on Facebook yet? It’s an old couple walking together one says “How did we manage to stay together 65 years” when the other says “We were born at a time when if something was broke, we tried to fix it, not throw it away…”)

    By the time we get married we won’t be extremely young (we’ll be 24), but I think those of us that have entered into relationships with the right one at a young age (regardless of what the exact relationship status is) get judged because those before us have made rash decisions and have regrets. Even if it were the wrong decision, it’s our own lives to learn that. Life can be challenging enough without people judging or disapproving what I think is the most important decision of our lives (second to having children of course).

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