- 4 years ago
- Wedding: March 2017
akm57: I’m 26 and have been dating my SO since I was 20 and he was 19. I absolutely think young relationships can last. In a great relationship, you and your SO will continue to grow, but will grow together. My SO and I were long-distance while we each studied abroad (at different times), graduated college, started our first jobs in one city, made big plans for our future careers, and moved halfway across the country for grad school. We’ve supported each other through unfortunate family stresses–death, divorce, mental illness–and through two surgeries. We figured out finances and how to save together, learned how to cook delicious things, and have developed new hobbies together. I would say we’ve also both become more empathetic, patient, thoughtful, and pragmatic. I do think it’s a valuable experience to be single in your early 20s, to make decisions and experience failures on your own, to really be independent–but I found my life partner fairly young so we’ve grown together.
At the same time, we haven’t felt the need to rush into marriage. We’ve been together over six years and we’re tentatively thinking fall 2017, a little after our 8 year anniversary. There are a lot of transitional times in life–graduating, starting a job, making a career change, going to grad school, moving, figuring out what your life goals are–in which there are a lot of variables that cause people to change and grow. We decided to focus on those things first, and I’m glad we did.
Do I think young marriages can work? Absolutely. If my SO and I married five years ago, I don’t think that would have changed much about our experience (but who knows, maybe it could have). Growing together while married seems pretty similar to growing together while cohabitating in a committed relationship, which is what we did. However, the majority of our friends who also started dating young have split up. Statistically, younger relationships are more likely to fail; as you grow, you’re more likely to grow apart than to grow together. I guess I just don’t really see the point of getting married young when you can grow, strengthen your relationship, and marry later when you’re sure that all the transitional phases in life haven’t caused you or your partner to change in a way that ruins your relationship.