Post # 1
This is sort of a spin off to everyone saying ‘don’t get married under 25 (or so), because you change so much in your 20’s’. I am under 25, so I need some help understanding.
I dont want ‘you brain isn’t fully developed….. ‘ stuff, just real stories and opinions. I know many people who married young and are still together years later, so it’s hard for me to see why young relationship don’t work out as well.
Post # 2
I am only 27, but I changed quiet a bit between 20-25. I finished college at 21 and entered the work force. Going from studying full time to working full time is very different. You start to learn who you are professionally and how to manage work relationships and responsibilities that are not the same as school responsibilities.
Also, between 21-25, I got married, moved 3 times and bought our first home. I learned a lot about personal finances, budgeting and how to plan for the long-term (retirement, savings, investing).
I also have taken a different career path/trajectory than most my age. I joined my current organization at 23. I started as the only person in my department and then quickly got promoted, started managing people, got promoted a few more times and now I am the Executive Director of a 75 employee organization at 27 years old. I am probably the 3rd youngest person in my organization. It has made me mature both personally and professionally very quickly. It has also made me develop a very tough skin and personality because I am “proving myself.”
Lastly, I have also become a lot more patient (mostly from learning to manage different people) and a lot less competitive. I literally used to fight people over games of monoply…now, I can play and stay calm and really don’t care who wins. Well, ok I do care, but I maintain my composuren now.
FWIW, I got married at 25 to my high school sweetheart close to our 10 year annivesary. We were very lucky that we grew together and not apart. As I have said in other posts, we allowed each other to grow individually and as a couple. I think that has helped us navigate well through the changes that come, especially in our early 20’s.
Post # 3
Don’t know if this helps, but here goes: (I’m 31) When I was 20, I wanted to move away to someplace warm and new and exciting after college. Then stuff happened. (All my grandparents died, my best friend got incurable cancer, my brother had heart surgery…) I realized I just wanted to move back to my hometown, and be as close to my family and friends as possible. I wanted to be there during all the important moments. When I was in college, I studied advertising with the thought that I would look for a job in that field. I ended up hating the way that people seemed to have no ethics and how some of them treated me. I went back to school for teaching and can now feel good about what I do. Did I change in other ways? Maybe. I think I don’t care so much about what other people think of me. I don’t spend as much time paying attention to which photographs make me look thinnest, but I cherish the ones where I look happiest. I have more hobbies now, and I love doing them even if I’m not good at them. I don’t buy things for myself as often as I used to. Lots hasn’t changed though: I still let my dogs sleep on the bed. I still believe love is real at any age, and should always be taken seriously. I still love road trips and roller coasters and lattes. I still believe communication is key in a relationship. I still like to laugh at myself. There are pros and cons to get married at different ages. Be open and honest about your hopes and dreams, and be flexible as you and your husband grow together. I don’t think there is really an age when people stop growing and changing, but many people do change their goals and priorities in their 20s.
Post # 4
I’m turning 24 soon, but I think I’m at a really interesting stage because I can see myself changing and can see a difference between who I was when I was younger. I still feel like I’m the same person (same likes, dislikes, personality) but my qualities are leveling out so to speak. I’m more self assured, not afraid to speak up, more confident in my own capabilities, and am certain of my goals and I have a clear path for myself for how to achieve them. I also don’t get as angry, I’m able to be more patient, and I’m more understanding.
My Darling Husband and I started dating at 18 and 20, and were married at 22 and 23. We faced two moves, one across the country away from everyone we knew. That forced us to grow up very quickly, as well as rely on each other more heavily. There were definitely a few rough patches and that’s okay in a relationship (in my opinion). At that kind of crossroad the relationship either fails, or it improves. We were able to put our anger aside and really discuss the problems rationally. Our relationship is amazing and we have so much fun just being together, and I’m glad that we faced hardship.
Whether a young marriage is going to succeed or fail depends a lot on the type of people you and your partner are. Most people don’t go through a massive metamorphasis in their 20’s! They don’t just suddenly change into an entirely different person. So I think it’s making sure that you and your partner have similar goals, ideals, and are mature enough to know that marriage takes work and requires upkeep. I’m really glad I got married when I did because my husband has been with me for so many life changes and that has allowed us to grow together.
Post # 5
akm57: I have learned true confidence in my life. It didn’t happen until late 20s/30, but it’s amazing. I truly don’t care what others think. I like what I like and I no longer spend time on people/things that don’t have a positive influence in my life;blood or not. Life is far too short to spend time with shitty people, and I think I was still trying to figure out who those people were in my 20s. I met Darling Husband at 25, married before 30. We have been married for a few years now and we are still blissfully in love. We are figuring out ourselves and what our future holds. I’m glad we didnt have a family right away, as we still have some Brook10+DH bucket list things to do. Many of these things I thought were unattainable in my 20s, but given the right person and lots of hard work, we are going to be able to do many of the things we have only dreamed of, and have a family before the ‘clock’ stops.
Had I continued down the path of either if the SOs from my late teens/early 20s, things would be much, much different than they are now. as much as it sucks, 20s really showed me what I’m made of and how much I can take. Oh, and being in bed by 10 pm on the weekends is maybe the best part of being in my 30s 🙂
Post # 6
I don’t think I’ve changed that much. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to be patient with myself and that when I get depressed, it’ll pass. Another big thing was that I was and sometimes really really insecure, not about if Fiance is cheating on me but if I’m good enough. Also, I’ve learned to not have to control everything and it’ll still be okay.
I haven’t changed much since high school mainly because my best friend, who was also my childhood love had heart problems and almost died. As in his heart stopped, and the paramedics revived him. My other close friend since middle school also had a genetic disease, passing at 20. Facing illness among my friends made me grow up pretty quickly in high school. I haven’t really done any dumb teenage things. Fi and I been together since we were 16. I think he’s matured a bit but at his very core, he’s still the same person.
Post # 7
Two main ones for me…
I figured out my finances, my first salaried job was paid weekly and it took a while to realise I couldn’t spend all my pay each week and still be able to pay my rent. I started saving and that’s kept my in good stead ever since.
My true interests and beliefs became apparent, you’re exposed to more people and opinions and this helps you to shape what you believe yourself, I found myself less willing to follow the crowd. I’d probably never have considered myself a feminist before I was about 21, just down to my own ignorance. In turn that meant I’d put up with shitty behaviour from guys I’d never let fly now.
Post # 8
akm57: Im 28 now, I was in a relationship 16-22, and that 22nd year…i just remember looking at a woman at work that was in the same boring relationship she was in when she was 16 and she was like 40 or something, lived in the same house, did the same job for all that time. Loooked plain, acted plain. And it was like an awakening – i literally thought NOPE not for me and changed my life, broke up with my boyfriend, moved back to be closer to my family who i love to pieces, learned to drive, bought a car, went to college and university, met someone else.
That life just wasnt for me. I have to say aswell, between 16-22 I changed a lot as a person, i loved my ex but he just wasnt for me – i have more ups and downs in my newer relationship but there is a spark in it if you know what i mean, we have FUN, my relationship with my ex was so, so boring.
I also didnt have any sense of where I wanted to be in life or doing what, which I still dont really but I chose A direction instead of NO direction. I realised I wanted to have a good enough job to support myself instead of relying on others.
I think you also gain more confidence in yourself as you go through your twenties, ie what you are willing to do for others, how much you will tolerate, what your limits are, what is worth worrying about and what isnt, and who matters and who doesnt.
Post # 9
I got married in September after 5 years with my husband at 26. Having been with him since I was 20, he was my first everything. I thought, being 6 years younger than him, I needed to be young and interesting which for me as a socially anxious person meant going out each weekend.
But I hate drinking more than a glass. It’s taken me til now to realise it’s okay to prefer brunch dates and drinking tea. Only people who can accept me as I truly am are welcome in my life.
I have learnt I like to have plans. That I need to apologise when I am wrong. That I need to realise when I’m out of excuses and going for things; e.g. I’ve been talking about doing my degree since I met my husband, I finally started last month cos there was no reason not to.
All these realisations only became real to me when we began planning our wedding this year. I thought being a wife would make me a better/different person and then I realised only I could make changes. They haven’t been drastic but I feel confident enough in myself wt last that I don’t feel the need to explain what I want.
Post # 10
This may not be what you want to hear but I experienced the most radical changes when I actually broke up with my ex-FI. We met at 18 and dated until I was 24. It took me a while after I stopped hurting so much to realize that I had been suppressing so much of myself during that time and sacrificing my true happiness to give him everything he wanted when he was not willing to do the same.
I’ll be 26 in a few months, and I can honestly say I barely recognize myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am no longer afraid to be myself and go after the things I want.
I was a shy wallflower that now runs her own business and manages client jobs that are thousands of dollars and even gets on stage to perform from time to time. I cut off my hair and pierced my nose just like he would have hated, and now I’m about to get the dog he would have never loved. I’m single at the moment–but I’m okay with that.
Post # 11
akm57: I’m 26. But I changed a lot from the ages of 20-23. During those 3 years, I was extremely feisty, and I’d be ready to kick someone’s ass in a heartbeat lol. I just had this “screw you, don’t you dare disrespect me” attitude. I would say whatever I was thinking EXACTLY as I was thinking it (so I had no filter). I was unapologetically, brutally honest. If I didn’t like someone, I would straight up ignore them. Like, not even say hello if they walked in a room. Because I felt like that was “phony.” But also, as much as I played the “hard ass” role, I was actually quite the softy. Even though I wouldn’t have dared admit it, I cared quite a bit about being “liked” by people. I was also a people pleaser, almost to a fault. I would allow people to take advantage of me. I have a big heart, and I always have. And unfortunately when you have a big heart, there are people who will use that to their advantage.
Around 24 or so, I started to evolve. I’ve calmed down a lot. I don’t really let things bother me anymore. My motto at this point is “life’s too short to be so serious.” Truly, I feel like unless a situation involves life or death, it’s just not that serious. I’ve also learned to say no. I used to feel guilty if I told someone no when they asked for my help. I’ve learned that it’s ok to say no sometimes, especially when you have good reason to. I’ve learned to be respectful and cordial to people, regardless of how I feel about them. I’ve learned that it isn’t “phony” to simply be respectful to someone that you might not like. I’m still honest, but not brutally honest. I will speak my mind, but I’ve learned to choose my words more wisely. I have a filter now lol.
Also, in those 3 years from 20-23, I didn’t really know myself. I had my daughter at 19, and trust me, I wouldn’t change a thing. She’s such a blessing to my life, and I love her with all my heart. But becoming a mother at that age forces you to grow up fast. So you don’t really get an opportunity to get to know yourself. To develop your own interests, etc. I’ve finally gotten to a point where I do things for myself now too. I love taking care of others, but I’ve learned that in order to properly take care of others, I need to take care of myself.
Overall, I wouldn’t change a thing about those years. Because those experiences made me who I am today.
Post # 12
I’m 26 now and would say that 18-23 were my figuring-things-out years. I traveled alone and with friends, moved out of my hometown, moved away from my parents, focused on work, dated jerks, dated great guys, took chances and forced myself out of my comfort zone. I never would have met Darling Husband had I not done all those things because it took us three chance meetings in a small town I moved to for work that he didn’t even live in anymore to get together! I thought I would marry a couple of the guys I dated and am so thankful for the years of independence I got instead.
Post # 13
Thank you everyone for the great answers. It seems like it mostly depends on the relationship. Most of these answers I read and think ‘well that is a big change, but nothing that would make you break up with SO over’.
Post # 14
misspixel: Good for you! I am glad that you found what makes you happy. Who cares if you are single- just own it.
Post # 15
akm57: just letting you know that I started a similar thread awhile ago if you want to see some more answers! 🙂
How much have you changed since your early 20s/college?