(Closed) Am I too young to be married?

posted 11 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 17
14181 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Well, while I do think 21 is a young number, I also know people who have gotten married at 16, 18, and 19 and are still happily married.

That being said, take an honest look at yourself and what you think you are ready for. There is a big maturity change that comes after graduating college, which you are likely to undergo in a year or so I’d say.

I’d also say the fact that everyone else’s opinions about you being too young have influenced you greatly. Enough that you have come to an anonymous board to ask us for our opinion, even though we don’t know you or your Fiance. I’d say that this could mean something…what that *is*, I don’t know. Maybe this means you should wait a year for your maturity to catch up. I know at 21 I was easily influenced. And now, I know how to appropriately handle peoples’ negative comments and not take them to heart because I KNOW my relationship.

That being said, if YOU think it is too young, what is the harm in waiting another year or two? IF that is how you feel. If not, then go on with your choices, but prepare yourself for the particular challenges that being 21 years old and married has. Personally, I noticed a huge difference in myself between 21 and 23. At 21, I think i would have fought more with my now-FI and sabotaged myself a little more. My maturity has grown enormously and I think more like an adult than someone in their early 20’s. But then again, that could just be life experiences talking. Sometimes I think, at 23, I am too young to get married but i ALSO know how I feel. But age is a number. next thing you know, you are "too old" or like someone else said, "too poor" or whatever!!!!! Do what is right by you and your Fiance, but I don’t see how waiting ONE more year could hurt…or even TWO. You will learn a lot about yourself and you will still BE with your Fiance. You’re still with the one you love. Good luck, I can only imagine that this is a difficult situation. Make sure you are marrying for the right reasons, too.

Post # 18
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Age is a common factor to consider in the whole equation of marriage, but I think the numbers themselves are much less important than other details that age may play apart in, like your maturity and life goals.

Fiance and I are both 23, will be 24 when we’re married. We started dating right after high school as well, so our relationship has been a long term one, but we’re still considered young for our circle/culture to be married. Did I want to marry him when I was 21? Hell yeah! We knew in our hearts that was where our relationship was going and that we wanted to spend the rest of lives together. Should I have married him at 21? No. We both still had some growing up to do and needed to be more stable in our life paths/goals, and that’s entirely possible to do while still being together. At 21, you and your Fiance are probably at that juncture, almost done with college and wanting to figure out things will work out beyond that and together. I would hope that you’ve sat down and discussed seriously what your future plans are in terms of things like career, finances, post-grad schooling, where you want to settle, homeownership, etc. If you feel comfortable and confident that your plans are compatible, and know that the both of you are willing to be flexible and roll with the punches if anything unexpected were to happen, then I think you’re definitely in a good place for marriage! If not though, I would put on the brakes and re-evaluate your situation. And regardless of whether you’re super ready or not, I’d totally recommend doing some pre-maritial counseling classes…it doesn’t necessarily have to be a religious thing if you’re not practicing, but it definitely helps you prepare for things you may not have thought too much about before, like tackling communication, conflict and intimacy issues within your relationship.

While going to the next step of marriage is fun and exciting, it is also a commitment that requires you approach it with a serious mentality. You obviously love your Fiance and want to experience life with him at your side. As long as YOU know you’re both ready, then it doesn’t really matter what other people may think. But just be sure you know yourself first! Congrats and best of luck to you and your FI!!

Post # 19
24 posts

i would encourage you to seek premarital counseling–if you are having a traditional church wedding many pastors/priests require it, anyway.  i think this would be an optimal time to discuss issues that maybe as a young couple you haven’t had to encounter yet.  follow your heart and listen to supportive, encouraging people in your life!  the statistics for younger couples are discouraging, but if you are marrying for the right reasons, you are much better off than some of my older friends marrying because of "ticking biological clocks."  good luck and enjoy this time in your life!!!!  i applaud your reaching out to others and talking with your guy about this!

Post # 20
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

i second the premarital counseling suggestion.  i don’t think you’re "too young" but i think premarital counseling will help answer the questions that you’re asking.  marriages take work, and by the sounds of it, you’re willing to do that.  best wishes to you!

Post # 21
2640 posts
Sugar bee

As a generality, I think waiting a few years would be better for someone your age.  Being so young, statisically, really increases your likelihood of divorcing.   I knew two couple to get married that young, and they both divorced.  If either or both of you are planning on more schooling, or trying to establish careers, I think it would be better to wait.  There are lots of things to iron out.  How much your income will be?  Where you’ll live?  Will someone’s career take you out of state?  What if the best location for your career is NY, and his ends up being in Iowa?  Then there is the growing wiser factor.

I’m not sure how judgemental your family is being.  But this is a situation that you want to keep an open ear about their advice.  This is the kind of stuff, they’ve been through. Honestly, I value the opinion of someone standing on top of the mountain looking down, more than the person standing at the foot of the mountain standing beside you.  (Sorry not to step on the toes of any young twenty somethings weighing in here. )

But you might have those issues ironed out, for all I know.  You might be as mature and ready to get married, as you say you are.  But it’s so hard to know, because plenty of people, (myself included) have thought they were old enough, or mature enough for something, only to realize later on, that they weren’t as mature as they thought they were back then.

Good luck.

Post # 22
79 posts
Worker bee

People are ALWAYS going to say that you’re too young or you guys haven’t been together long enough or find some reason to criticize you in any way they can. I don’t believe it has anything to do with age, but maturity, and whether or not yall are going to stick by each other’s side and really stick it out. I believe marriage is “Til death do us part.” And if you and your FH can honestly say that you will be there for each other through thick and thin, when the $$ is there and when it’s not, and if you’re truly gonna work on your marriage, then go for it!! You can’t ever listen to what other people are saying; listen to your heart (as cheesy as it sounds 😉 ) and just be sure you know that you know he is the one! Best of luck!

~much love~

Post # 23
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

You might think that as someone who waited so long to get married that I’d encourage you to do the same… but I really think it is an individual thing that no one else can decide.

Is it a very brave and bold thing? Yes.

Would I have done it? No.

Is it right for some people? Sure.

Wrong for others? Of course.

So how do you decide if you are going to be one of the people who make it?  I think the best thing you can do is look deeply and honestly at yourself and your fiance and take cues from the people who know you best.  Are your mom and dad supportive? His?

My mom got married at 18, and she’s getting ready to celebrate her 40th anniversary with my dad next year… They’ve been through a lot and it hasn’t always been easy, but I don’t think it is ever easy regardless of when you choose to get married.  I just know that my mom had to do a lot of her growing up while married with kids… and I think that was hard on her.

And I know that there was a person that I could have married at 22, who would have made a great husband for me… who I would still be together with, but I also knew that there was no way I was ready!

So, hopefully, the answer is crystal clear to you and you’ve already spent a lot of time thinking about this.

I wish you and your fiance a successful marriage!

Post # 24
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Is anybody giving you any reason not to marry besides your age? If not, I think it’s okay. However, you can also consider a longer engagement and marry in a year or two, too, if that is a good compromise. You have a lot of time to enjoy together. But believe me, I know that I want to be married once I’ve found the right guy!

I’ve seen a lot of my family marry very young and it work out. One of my dear cousins married her high school sweetheart and they’ve been married 12 years, together 16 years. Wow! I have another friend in the same situation, and my mom married my dad when she was 18 and they are happier than any of my friends’ parents. Sometimes I wish I’d had that, but it’s just luck and timing and when you’re ready and when the right person comes along. 

I know I am glad I did not marry at that age, but that’s just me. I met my fiance when we were 25 and it was just perfect for us. There is no perfect age for everyone. 

Post # 25
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

it is extremely difficult to give advice to someone in your situation without knowing you or your Fiance, or your relationship with him.  And for that reason, I think only you know if you are up for the life long commitment and challenge that marriage brings.  There is no guarantee your marriage will last whether you are 20 or 50 – and there is also no guarantee that you (or i for that matter) will even live to see 50.  that’s life – no guarantees.

all i can do is share my story – i am going to be a 39 year old bride this june… 

i am one of those girls that put everything off for my career.  yes, i had some very serious relationships in my twenties, but i always felt there was too much to see and do before i settled down, and for some reason the love of my life showed up at a party 2 months before my 38th birthday.

last november i went to my 20th high school reunion.  i felt like i was the only one never married with no kids – and i also felt like i was the only one who hadn’t been divorced.  practically everyone there had been married at least once, and there i was with my Fiance with our wedding coming up the following year.  

it felt good to have waited, but that was the right thing for me.  i am a very different woman now than i was at 21, and i have a total sense of peace and confidence about my upcoming marriage because of my life experience.


Post # 26
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I agree with everything that Tanya said.

There are laws, which have no exceptions, and then there are rules, which do have exceptions. That it’s wrong to marry very young is a rule, not a law, and so it has exceptions. For every case of so-and-so who got married at 17, or 21, or some other young age who is still happily married and in love after many years, there are scores of people for whom it didn’t work out. Statistically speaking, when you are as young as you are, your chances of it not working out are much higher. That doesn’t mean that it’s a given that you’ll fail, just that the odds are higher. 

How can you know if you will beat the odds? Well, if we knew the answer to that question we wouldn’t have that problem, now would we. But what we do know is that most people do not get married thinking they are going to fail. Most everyone thinks they will succeed. So a sense of "this is right" or "how could I ever want anything different" is not necessarily trustworthy. Those who try and fail often look back and can point to a factor that was their undoing. For people who married young, the factor most often pointed to is "I/we were too young and immature." The problem with immaturity is that you can’t know it when you’re in it. You can’t be wiser than you are right now until more time has passed. But you can listen to prevailing wisdom, and hopefully give it at least some consideration. For that reason I would recommend that you put marriage on the back burner for at least a few more years. If your relationship is really going to make it, then waiting a few years is not going to hurt you, it will solidify that this is the right decision. A divorce would be much worse. If you just can’t ignore how certain you are that he is the right guy, then I think a long engagement would be appropriate for your situation. Good luck.

Post # 27
18628 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I am like you.  I will be turning 22 right after my wedding in June.  My fiance and I have known eachother since early high school and I have never had a doubt in my mind that he was the right one for me.  People say that we are young and don’t know what we are doing but I don’t listen.  I would be a lot more wary if you had known eachother a very short time, I have had a few friends meet people and rush through relationships and they ended quickly.  Good luck and don’t listen to others!

Post # 28
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

nik nu – i just thought of something that struck me, and wanted to share it with you.  it is about life choices and statistics.  you are marrying young, and statistics say you have a higher risk of divorce.  i am marrying older and if/when i get pregnant, statistics say i will have a high risk pregnancy.  go figure.

Post # 29
2029 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

My husband and I met at 19, dated for 10 years, and just got married at 29. We  have repeatedly said to each other that we’re glad we waited to get married, because we both did things when we were younger and dumber that are okay if your boyfriend/girlfriend does them, but pretty bad if your husband /wife does. Marriage is so much more serious. We made stupid mistakes when we were young but we were able to forgive each other and move past them because we didn’t have to worry about having broken any vows. If we did those things now the marriage would be over.

My point is, you can be BOTH too young to get married AND absolutely correct that you are meant to be together forever. I would suggest waiting a bit until you are more mature so that you are able to maintain your vows.

Post # 30
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

great perspective snmcdowell

Post # 31
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I am a firm believer that everyone ages and matures differently. I think that as long as you truly know what you want out of life, and have experienced what life has to offer, and you are positive that your Mr is in the same place, then ABSOLUTELY get married.

 I am 21 years old as well (will be 22 when we get married), and my friends all joke about how we are already an old married couple. We aren’t typical 21 and 22 year olds that like to go out and party all the time. We have experienced enough of that stuff in college. We are done with school, and are ready to experience the next stage in our life together.

I know that many of my friends who are 21 are no where NEAR ready to settle down and get married, but that doesn’t mean that you or I aren’t ready. Follow your head as well as your heart. They will never steer you wrong. 

Only you and your Mr know the maturity level of your relationship. No one here or anywhere else is qualified to judge you just based on age. Just make sure you really think about it all, and talk with your Mr about it lots too.

 Good luck!!!

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