10 Misconceptions About Getting Married When You're Young

10 Misconceptions About Getting Married When You're Young

Early marriage is not a one way ticket to disaster.

Back in high school, I would have never thought that I would be ready to get married to someone at the age of 20. But shortly after graduation, I met my now fiance. We lived together for about 2.5 years, and then he ended up proposing. Even though we waited a couple years before getting engaged, I knew a few months into the relationship that he was the person I was most certainly going to marry.

While the vast majority of our family and friends have been happy and beyond excited for us, there have been a select few who have shown me some concern about our age and this commitment we have made. While these reasons might make perfect sense to some, I want to debunk some of the most common myths about getting married young, and why being engaged at 20 years old doesn't necessarily set you up for failure.

1. You're too young.

Most certainly, this is the most common thing that comes with these misconceptions. When people hear that a 20 year old is engaged, they automatically picture two young adults with baby face at the altar. While getting married at a younger age might be a less common practice than some are used to, it does not necessarily mean that they are too young. When you think about it, there is no concrete age that deems itself to be the acceptable marriage age. When do you stop being too young? 23? 25? Something that you must keep in mind is that two adults are perfectly capable of loving, supporting, and committing to one another through the good and the bad. If they can do that, then they are not too young.

2. You can't afford it.

This is another big one. For some reason, money seems to be a subject that too many people believe young people are not capable of understanding. A lot of people assume that if you are young, in college, and engaged, then you are incapable of being able to afford something as expensive as a wedding. The thing to remember about this point is that you are never to young to know how to responsibly save and invest money. Since being together, my fiance and I have been able to afford a few expensive vacations, a nice apartment, and tons of pets (which every pet owner knows isn't cheap!) While I know that these things don't compare to a wedding investment whatsoever, the point that I am trying to make is that hard work and responsible spending are very achievable things for a 20 year old to do. Better yet, being able to responsibly invest with your significant other without having huge disagreements and pickles about money is a great sign of a solid relationship. This is something that takes a lot of couples a lot of work to accomplish. Luckily, my fiance and I have had our share of financial stress, but we have been able to solve all of them together without ending them with full out fights.

3. You are being rash, and need to figure your life out first.

This is yet another huge myth that comes with being in college. People somehow assume that when you are in your 20's and in college, you probably don't know what you are planning to do in the future. While this is true in many, many cases, there are college students who know what they are doing, where they are going, and how they are going to get there. Since my fiance and I have known for a pretty long time that we were going to end up spending our lives together, we started mapping out our goals and future a long time ago. We discussed not only our personal goals, but our goals as a couple. If you are planning on marrying someone, regardless if you are engaged to them, and you are open about it to each other, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with having these discussions together and including one another in your plans. If talking about the future and including each other in it makes you uncomfortable or unsure about whether or not you can actually see the other person in your plans, then you probably aren't ready to get married. But, if it is something that you see as feasible, desirable, and worthy, then go for it. This is not a matter of age. I am fortunate enough to be engaged to someone who has already started their career and has the ambition to make those sort of commitments before he graduated. These sort of things are frequent discussions that we have, and it makes me nothing less than confident about our relationship.

4. It must be because you are pregnant.

Sometimes, this one just makes me chuckle. It truly makes me sad that since early pregnancy is commonly followed by impromptu marriage, lots of people jump to the conclusion that the couple is having a baby, because that is not always the case. My fiance and I have certainly talked about children before, but we are in no way ready for parenthood. Being married and being a parent are very different things, and getting married does not automatically mean that a baby is just around the corner.

5. Your parents must still be supporting you

While our parents and our families have been supporting us mentally and emotionally even to this day and are just wonderful in general, my fiance and I are both financially independent people. Sure, we needed some help more in the beginning of our relationship, but that was before we even began talking about marriage. We pay our bills, buy our food, and cover our life necessities with our own money. We have taken turns switching jobs, working full time while in school, having periods of unemployment, and everything in between. But, during all of these times, we always made sure that we had money. Right now, I am actually unemployed because of my school load. But, I made sure to save up a ton of money, and dip into my college saving before making this choice. Being young and in college has never been an excuse for us to not support ourselves. If you are constantly running into problems such as an empty bank account, or your card declining, then of course you should prioritize your needs and take care of yourself in those areas first. But, there are 20 year olds who have been living independently since they moved out at 18, and enjoy being financially stable. Assuming that a young, engaged couple gets all of their money from mom and dad is a pretty rash and unfair judgement. More times than not, I can almost guarantee you that such a couple is confident in their financial independence.

6. You'll stop pursuing one another.

This is one of the sadly negative connotations that comes with the word "marriage." People have such a negative idea that marriage gets boring and once you are married, the progression of your relationship comes to an abrupt stop. I just want to make sure you all know that this isn't always true and should never happen. While my fiance and I obviously aren't married yet, we have committed a lot to one another already. We live together, pay bills and handle finances together, and in general do life together. It's been this way for a while now, and we have in no way stopped pursuing, surprising, or advancing with one another. I can honestly never see us having a boring marriage, because that just isn't who we are as as people. Marriage should always be an adventure, and adventures are meant to be exciting. I know that while things will definitely slow down after a while, we will never stop making one another happy. If the thought of an empty marriage is something that you fear may happen with your significant other at any point of your relationship, then that is certainly something you need to think about.

7. You'll loose your friends.

Only if you make the choice to. I say this because I really do not believe that marriage means you have to stop hanging out with your buddies, and if it does happen, it is preventable. This is just a matter of organizing your priorities. If your friends are important to you, then there is no reason for you to distance yourself from them just because you got married. Sure, some things may change, but solid friends will continue to support the both of you through your marriage. My fiance and I share a lot of our friends, and I cannot see us distancing ourselves from them any time in the future. We have a ton of fun together, and us being married will definitely not come between that.
Also, I think that loosing friends isn't something that comes with marriage more than it is something that comes with age. It happens. You get older, you move away, you have different priorities, and life just happens. It's just a matter of growing up.

8. You're only young once! Don't waste it!

This one just confuses me. One of the most common things that I have heard when it comes to young marriages is that since you are young, you should "see the world, explore new things, and discover yourself" before getting married. What confuses me is that I'm not sure how marriage supposedly ruins these possibilities. I am still going to be young whether or not I get married, that's just a fact. People have a negative perception that if you get married young, you are suddenly cut off from all fun things that come with being in your 20's. SO not true. You can still explore the world, try new things, go out and have fun! What makes a difference is that you can just bring your partner along for the ride. I for one cannot wait to travel the world, live in different places, take risks and have a blast with my fiance. Us being married will not destroy our youth.

9. Why the rush? Slow down!

Love this one. While younger married couples typically do get married a lot faster and sooner in their relationship than older couples do, it doesn't mean that they were in a rush to get there by any means. I honestly do not know a single young married or engaged couple who is making such a commitment because they just want to hurry up and get married already. I assure you that young couples make considerations and spend just as much time thinking about engagements as older couples do. We are getting married at a young age because we are mentally and physically prepared to make the commitments, sacrifices, decisions, and long-term promises that come with being married. This is because we are committed to one another and we love each other to a point where getting married isn't just something to check off of your life to do list, but it is something that will genuinely shape us into better people because we have that commitment to each other. NOT because we are rushing through these stages as fast as we can. If anything, the fact that we are getting married so young makes me happy to have found someone who I am willing to do all of this for so early in life. For this reason, I don't see any problem with getting married a little sooner than the norm.

10. It just won't last.

Look. We are at a point in society where separation and divorce are more common and normal than they should be. It is like this to such a degree that I think every couple has at least one person who thinks they will eventually break up or separate. This is something that is just a matter of fact and unfair opinion. But, to assume such a tragic future to a young married couple just because of their age is just wrong. What I want to say to people who make this kind of assumption about young couples is to consider other factors that lead to divorce other than age. Immaturity, unhealthy lifestyles, infidelity, and unwillingness to sacrifice. These are all factors that I believe contribute to temporary or unhealthy marriages more than age. If a couple treats each other well and is in a healthy, supportive, and committed relationship, then there is no need to make this conclusion. My partner and I work very hard on our relationship. What makes me so positive that we will be married for the rest of our lives is how well we really work together. We compromise and discuss rather than fight, we put little restrictions on each other to ensure a full and happy life for the other person, we do things for one another in a way to make the other person happy rather than out of obligation, we sacrifice for one another without hesitation, and we never take one another for granted. I am grateful to be in such a strong and healthy relationship with my soul mate, and I really hope that you all take the time to consider more reasonable things when it comes to young love.

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

I'm A Girl, And I've Never Imagined My Big Day

I'd like to get married one day, but not until I've finished my education.

Ever since I was a little girl, marriage has never been something on my mind. I've never dreamed of what my wedding would look like, nor have I ever dreamed about my dress, colors, flowers, ect.

When I was little, my mom asked me what I wanted my wedding colors to be, and I responded with "clear." To this day I get teased about it because she thinks of the wedding party covered in plastic wrap or something like that, but that's not the case. I meant it was clear because there wasn't going to be a wedding.

Years later, I still don't talk about marriage, and it still isn't on my mind. I still don't have a "perfect wedding" imagined, and I don't think I ever will. While I don't have an idea as to what I want my wedding to look like, I would like to get married one day. Just not anytime soon.

When my boyfriend brings up getting engaged or married one day, I usually change the subject or just tell him I don't want to talk about it. The thought of marrying him one day doesn't scare me; it just isn't something I want right now.

I'm currently a junior in college, so getting engaged in the next year or so wouldn't be unheard of. It would be somewhat normal, but I'm planning on getting my Ph.D. which means I'm going to be in school for the next 7 years or so. Personally, I'd like to have my education completed before I think about marriage.

I see people my age getting married and having kids already, and I see nothing wrong with that as long as that is what they want, and they're happy. For me, however, the thought of settling down at this point in my life scares the crap out of me because there's so much I want to accomplish before that happens.

I don't want to get married and not be able to enjoy being married because I have to go back to school or something like that. I don't want the only time I can get married to be when I'm on break. If I want to have a fall wedding, I should be able to have one without having to think about how much time I'd have to take off of school to prepare or wait to go on my honeymoon.

Once I get my future planned and have nearly finished my education, I'll be OK with talking about marriage and maybe start planning it, but that day isn't today.

Cover Image Credit: Stephanie Freeman

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If You're The Girl Who Has Never Had A Boyfriend, But Is Ready For Marriage, Listen To Me

I won't tell you that learning to be patient is always easy, but it is so worth it.

Girl, let me just tell you from girl to girl - stop, be patient, and trust in the Lord.

The Lord is good to those who trusts in Him,
So it is best for us to wait in patience - to wait for him to save us-
And it is best to learn this patience in our youth.
Lamentations 3:25-27

I won't tell you that learning to be patient is easy because it isn't always. Especially when you're an adolescent or young adult craving the idea of having someone to love.

It's in our nature to want that companion and to have someone we can love unconditionally and care for and have those actions returned.

But what I can tell you is that when you do choose to wait on the Lord, that His plan will be so much better than you can and will ever imagine. When you choose to wait in His timing and focus on Him, He will prepare you to be the wife that you are called to be.

You will be a woman who embodies what a Proverbs 31 woman is, a woman who is faithful and strong among other qualities.

You might be thinking that "of course this is easy for you to say because you're married". You might even assume that I just couldn't possibly understand, but I do.

I watched all of my friends date in high school. Even my two little sisters had their first serious relationships at the ages of 15 and 16.

I wanted so bad to understand what it was like to have a boyfriend and to have someone who would pursue and love me, but I didn't know what it meant honestly.

I was 19 when I ever entered my first relationship.

I couldn't believe that someone actually was interested in me. I was terrified for many reasons. And up front, I had to let him know that he could never be first because Christ would always be.

Side note: we had been friends for several months before either one of us admitted to potential feelings.

I tried repeatedly to push him away and allowed insecurities to interfere with dates and important events to him. I still regret some of those decisions I made because seeing the hurt it brought him was overwhelming.

But God is faithful and all knowing.

After four years together, this man is now my husband.

It was not always easy.

I hurt him more times than I wish I could admit. I said things that I should never have said. He never did anything to hurt me.

He never said anything he would've regretted.

Marriage is by far one of the most rewarding experiences I have had and it's only been eight months.

It is absolutely not easy and grand all the time. Life has changed dramatically from what the both of us new before.

We had to get used to living together and share one bathroom (make sure you always have two).

But patience and trust in Lord are what prepared to be the best wife that I could be. There will always be moments where I can improve and grow, as for him as well.

There is no way that I would've ever just assumed that I was ready for this. To this day while I know that I wanted to be married one day I can't say that if that someone asked me I could've 100% said: "yes, I am absolutely ready to be married".

When my husband got down on one knee and proposed to me while I was sweating and wearing the same exact thing from the day before I couldn't believe it.

I was so ecstatic, but also fearful.

However, I knew that he was the one and that God had prepared the two of us in His perfect timing. Neither one of us even wanted to date anyone until we knew they would be the one.

While we truly didn't know if that would happen nor if it were meant to be, I believe wholeheartedly that by being patient and allowing Christ to work in me He showed me what I deserved and prepared us for the other.

Today, I encourage you beautiful and sweet ladies who just feel like they're ready for marriage and crave that love and affection to just sit quietly in the Lord's presence and trust in Him and His timing. Know that you are being prayed for by others who have been in your shoes and know how hard it can be.

Pray that He shuts the doors that are meant to be shut and gives you the peace and patience that you so need. It is in our nature to desire love from others, but I can tell you that seeking the Lord is so much sweeter.

When you focus on Him and the infinite love that He has for you, your life will be so much more joyful.

As you rest in Him and realize that He is truly all you need, you will begin to watch Him transform your life before your eyes and when He brings that incredible person into your life it will be one of the most amazing and joyous feelings.

Seek Him in all things and find rest in His love. He will show you the desires of your heart when you place your trust in Him and He will prepare you for the love that you deserve.

You are a beautiful woman who deserves the absolute best and I pray that you who may be struggling with finding the patience and ability to trust in Him will be able to do so and with help from encouragement around you.

Cover Image Credit: Kady Cooley

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