The problem with these threads, especially on a forum of young brides to be or newlyweds, is everyone will say “that is not me! We are the exception!” And I get it because until you ARE older you cannot comprehend how much you will change. Only time will tell, and I can tell you many of the people I know who married young are divorced or just not in very happy marriages. Just because someone stays together and beats the divorce rates does not mean they are “successful”! This does not mean they were with douchebags, sometimes things just changed as they got older, and sometimes there were deeper issues with communication, support for personal growth and so on. Not one of them went into it saying they weren’t with the person they wanted to be with forever, or that they were not ready.
To me the risk is not about dating douchebags or whatever when you are young. The men I dated at a young age were great guys too…but that does not mean they were right for me for life. It is also not about “partying”. To me it really is about getting to know who YOU are as an independent person and that can be very difficult to do when you stay with your first love/marry young.
Ultimately everyone has to do what is right for them. Personally I married at 30 (my husband was 34) and am grateful for the choices I made and circumstances out of my control that meant I did not marry earlier or someone else aside from my now husband. If I had married earlier or stayed with a first love I may have never known what I could have missed out on, but I sure would have missed out.
My 20s were also a time of tremendous growth. I grieved the death of a long term boyfriend, dated, lived with another man, lived many years on my own, went to university, went back to law school, traveled on my own, worked various job, pursued my hobbies and passions, was in the military and so on. Together those experiences really helped me know ME and also know what I wanted in a partner…and enough to know that I did not need a partner so would not settle for less than the best.
By time we met, my husband had gone through his own journey of personal growh and self-awareness. Because of who we both were, and are, when we met we have the most honest, loving. supportive, respectful, open and fulfilling relationship I could ever have imagined. Neither of us would have stayed together if there was any less. If we had met at 20 before our respective journey’s I honestly don’t think we would have seen what we see in each other now as it would not have been there nor would we have had the self-awareness, communication skills and trust in ourselves and each other and we would not have dated or lasted! Who knew I could find such a grounding and freedom in a relationship? I sure didn’t so many years ago. Of course we are still and always growing, and we support and encourage that in each other, but it is in a different way than it was at, say 23.
Obviously marrying young (and/or first loves) works for some but I can just go by what my own experience and how fortunate I feel that my life has gone as it has.