Post # 1
My fiance and I started dating when we were 15 and got engaged when we were 19/20. We will both be 21 by our wedding in September. Personally, I don’t see that as being all that young. FI has a steady job as a soldier and police officer, and I will finish up my degree in December. I feel like we have been very responsible and have done everything the “traditional way.” But still we always have to listen to judgmental comments by family or others. We recently went to my cousin’s wedding, and my extended family either ignored our engagement, or the ones that did congratulate us would give a half-hearted “congratulations” and then ask us why we don’t wait a while or just live together first. I find it seriously offensive. Yes, we are young, but we have been committed to each other for 6 years! My sister got married when she was 23, and she had people coming up to her at her bachelorette party and asking her if she is sure she is ready to get married. I just cannot believe how rude some people are. Have any other brides in their early 20s had to deal with this? What do you say to people who are so blatantly judgmental?
Post # 4
People are waiting longer and longer to get married so now it’s the norm to wait until your 30’s. A generation earlier, getting married in your 20’s was the norm.
Personally, I don’t judge. And as for the people who are making comments? Ignore them.
Post # 2
KristenD9: In my opinion, it is young, becuase I know how “grown up” and “mature” I thought I was at 21 (I’m 25 now, so not that long ago). Having steady jobs doesn’t mean you aren’t young. I know people my age who have held full-time, well-paying jobs for years but have the maturity of 16 year olds.
BUT, that being said, I would never make comments or judge you. I hope you and your FI grow together and that you are marrying for the right reasons and I wish you the best of luck. But numbers don’t lie (well, not most of the time) and the probability of divorce decreases as the age of the bride and groom at time of marriage increases.
The comments can be rude, but I think they have your best interest at heart even though they don’t communicate it that way.
Post # 3
KristenD9: There is no excuse for people to be rude, but in many people’s experience young marriages don’t last “these days”. So they don’t invest all that much emotion or excitement into the couple’s relationship. Not to say that you won’t, I know a couple that got married at 20 and are still together 3 years later (not that it’s a lot, but it’s more recen than *great grandparents* staying together – it was a different time).
I get where you’re coming from, I’ve been with my FI since 16 and will be 25 on our wedding day. I would’ve marrie him at 21. Hell I would’ve married him at 16 lol.
Basically people will judge based on THEIR experiences (maybe they themselves were married young and divorced by 22 – I know a few of those) so try not to take it personally.
There were complete strangers at my friend’s bachelorette yelling “Don’t do it! Don’t get married!” Like wth? Clearly THEY are bitter and it had nothing to do with her.
Post # 5
KristenD9: I think what MichiganGirl24 said is what lots of people are thinking. That they remember when THEY were young, they were not ready for such a committment. They may also think of their partner at that time and imagining if they married them and how wrong that would be (in my case, it certainly would be). And honestly they have good reason to think that way a bit…they are older/wiser. They can reflect on that time while you can’t do that yet. And lots of my friends who married at that age are going through divorces now so maybe they are trying to protect you?
Then again, once you’re an adult who’s to say what is best for you? I think you will have to deal with these comments and try to let them roll off your back. They likely won’t change their mind — time alone will prove to them you are cut out for it and as you know, no way to speed that up! Sounds like this kind of comments/disapproval goes with the territory.
Post # 6
I don’t think it’s that young. We got engaged at 19/21 but we really haven’t gotten any young comments because it’s the typical age for people in my area. FSIL got married last year at 23 and got tons of “about times” and “what took so long”. I’d just ignore it. There’s no reason you need to defend being engaged or getting married because of your age. The problem today is people divorcing for stupid reasons like “falling out of love”, BS. As long as the couple promises to make it work through thick and thin without considering divorce I don’t see an issue. Growing together as a couple I feel makes for a much stronger bond than “finding yourself” before marriage. Once we’re married there is no me and you, everything is us as it should be.
Post # 8
Where I’m from a LOT of people get married at 21-23… and I’d say almost 70% of people I know who married at that age are now divorced and many of them on their second marriage. So yeah, if I ran into you on the street and you told me you were getting married I’d think in my head “Wow that’s so young!” but I’d never say it. No one can know your relationship except you guys.
But it’s also a lot about maturity, willingness to make it work, and a committment to working out the married, I think that’s great! I would have loved to have meet my fiance at 16 and married him at 21 🙂
Post # 7
KristenD9: First of all, the importance you place on doing things traditionally worries me! Do things your own way, traditions don’t always exist for any sort of good reason, or if they did often the reason is no longer relevant. People will judge you for getting married too young, too old, without enough financial stability, with an age difference between partners, with second and third marriages etc. People will always judge. Its them putting their own insecurities/fears about life and relationships on any canvas they can reach, in this case you.
I do worry about the fact that you haven’t lived together yet. I personally do not believe age is an issue as long as both parties are consenting adults, but I am firmly in the camp of living together, balancing life together, and learning each others quirks and fantasies before linking yourselves together financially. If there’s something lurking in that person’s closet that only shows itself on the homefront, I’d want to know. The best example of this being a bee who married her “dream husband” who she thought she “knew so well” only to find out after the honeymoon that he had a intense interest in the Adult Baby fantasy lifestyle which included diapering and defecating [in the diaper]. Obviously this is an extreme case but it does highlight the distinction between dating someone, however seriously, and living together and dealing with life as a completely unified team.
For the record, I am also a young bride to be. I’m currently 20, and we will be 21/22 respectively at the time of our wedding next May. However, we’ve been living together for 3 years, balancing a combined budget, putting our own way through university, and maintaining A averages all the while. We are already dealing with life on a unified front and I think that at whatever age, that is key.
Post # 9
OP, there is no excuse whatsoever for people to be rude or dismissive about your relationship. I think these people probably mean well but you are both adults and it is really not for them to dictate when you will or won’t get married.
It seems a lot more common for people to wait a bit nowadays than it was in my grandparents/great grandparents era but that doesn’t mean one way is more ‘right’ than the other. It just means it’s more unusual now so I guess the raised eyebrows probably come with the territory to some degree!
Personally, I would never have dreamed about marriage in my early 20’s but that’s just me (i’ll be 32). Your decision to get married so young is between you and your FI and is not really anyone else’s business.
Good luck to you 🙂
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2013 - A court...
I got married at 19 (20 now :p) & it’s more uncommon. & still pretty young IMO. I think early 20s is pretty young, though if I knew someone around my age also getting married I wouldn’t say that since I wouldn’t want that said to me.
I’ve never gotten any rude comments, people gave asked if we were serious & we simply said yes. In our case we wanted to live together furst so we could save up for a decent wedding but my parents are traditional so we did a court wedding. I know I could’ve just moved out but it’s something that was really important to them. At first they were hmmm… Reluctant? I suppose but then stuff happened so they preferred me to be married :p
probaBly easier said but ignore the rude comments.
Post # 11
MrsN14: That is exactly how I feel. I think that a lot of people at our age go into marriage thinking, “Well, if this doesn’t work out we can just get divorced.” But we have an understanding that this is it for us. If I did not have absolute confidence that we will be together for life, then I would not have said yes.
PenultimateWhisk: I don’t think that there is anything wrong with choosing to live together before marriage, but because of our faith, we know that it isn’t right for us. We share the same values, so I am way more excited to live together than I am concerned about it
Post # 12
I think that it’s horrible that people are actually saying this to your face. But I’m sure it’s comming from a place of love and concern.
I would never say it to someone’s face, but from my experience young marriages just dont last. Every single marriage, that I know of, that happened to people of my generation (I’m 43) or younger that got married before 23 are all now divorced…every single one. The ones who dated in HS and College but waited to get married at 24+ (most got married at 26-28), are all still married (going on 15-20 years).
There is a reason that there is a term called “Starter Marriage”. It’s not that you dont love each other or are compatible now or are mature. It’s that your brain is still growing. You wont be a completely fully formed adult until you are 25. A lot of things change internally during your early 20’s. You wont be the same person in a few years.
(And as a side note–the divorce rate in the military is very high, especially enlisted-alomst twice as high as officers!)
Make sure you do things to keep you marriage strong. Read the books by John Gottman to learn how to be realistic and communicate in marriage. Also read Love Languages. Give each other freedom to explore interests (not sexual) or travel away from each other. You want you marriage to be a home base and soft place to fall, not a prison.
Post # 13
OP, I feel for you. I haven’t received any comments personally (in fact many people have told us that we’re lucky to have found each other so young!!) but I do know that some people are unbelievably rude to younger brides.
Believe me when I say that a lot of people are pushing their own fears, experiences and judgements on you. Sometimes people can have legitimate concerns, like you not being stable or not feeling you’re able to handle it, but you can always tell the difference between those who are attacking for no reason and those who have real concerns that come from a place of love.
You should always listen to people’s legitimate concerns, but for those people throwing statistics at you, just remember – like water off a duck’s back! YOU have faith in your relationship, and YOU know that you’re going to do all you possibly can to have a long and happy marriage. And whether or not that marriage works out isn’t going to be down to some statistics. Don’t let them get to you. 🙂
And congratulations on your engagement!!!
Post # 14
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. It is too young in most cases. I don’t think there are many exceptions to the rule, but I’m always the type to give the benefit of the doubt. I’m sorry more people don’t respond that way. Time to prove them wrong!
Post # 15
People should not be outwardly rude to you. However, I feel that others are entitled to their own opinions. If other people are not over the moon happy about your engagement, they shouldn’t have to act crazy excited for you. I was not at all happy when my friend got engaged to her now husband, but I congratulated her anyway. However, if she asked my opinion I wouldn’t have lied to her…
Your engagement and marriage is about you and your FI, not the approval of others. If you feel that you will be happy then get married and f*** what others think.