I recently read a blog entry, by an unmarried teenager, about people being overly opinionated when it comes to the "right" age to get married. I was surprised, and frankly disappointed, in her writing and the arguments she made. Not to mention, she spoke/wrote like my high school students...
I was 22 when I got married. I got a lot of crap for being "too young" and "not ready". No one can tell you if you are ready for marriage. It's something you have to determine for yourself. I believe that there are only 2 opinions that matter in a potential marriage: the would-be bride and the would-be groom. Anyone else is, by definition, an interloper and therefore irrelevant. That does not mean you, as the bride or groom, should ignore any advice you get, especially if it comes from couples that have been married for decades. Chances are, you'll do things differently, the details of situations will not be the same, but the base tenants should be similar.
If you have all of these things and have faith that your partner does as well, then (pardon my language) fuck everyone else and do what feels right to you. Marriage is not, and should never be, about pleasing the world or living up to some perceived image of "happily ever after". It doesn't exist. Marriage is just like any other relationship in your life. You have to work at it every day. Yes, some days are easier than others. Some days you'll sit back and think "is this really what I signed up for? Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with this person?" Then they'll do something to remind you why you fell for them in the first place.
One thing this girl stated in her article was that "age is just a number". To a point, that's true and I agree. "Life experience" carries more weight than "actual years on earth". I had a 4 month period in my life (I refer to it as my "dark age") where I experienced more life than I ever should have. I aged years in that short period. I learned some hard truths and I found out more of who I am than I ever could have without that dark time period.
Yes, I was 22 when I got married. I've been married for nearly 6 years now. We have a wonderful son, a beautiful house, great friends, and fantastic families. Anyone who thought we were too young, has long since shut up about it, and I'm grateful for that.
Here's the thing, "too young" preachers, you aren't going to convince someone to postpone, or outright cancel, their wedding because you rant constantly about it. If they truly are as young and immature as you think they are, they'll just romanticize your criticism (see it as some sort of Romeo and Juliette scenario) and rebel against you. If you're that concerned, have a conversation with them about what they think marriage will be like and how they think it will change things.
No one has the right to tell anyone who or when they can marry. Legally, you have to be an adult, but I don't think that's unreasonable. You can't get married until you can vote and fight for your country. Sounds fair. The rest is 100% up to the couple.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community