Why You SHOULD Get Married In Your 20s
It seems like every married person in the 35 and over crowd gave me the exact same advice. “Enjoy your 20s! Go out, have fun! Wait until you’re older to settle down. You have your whole life raise a family, but you’re only young once!”
What if they have it all wrong? What if, in reality, you have an opportunity to spend those “best years of your life” with the people who will ultimately matter most when it’s all said and done? Is it possible that you could just be wasting those years on meaningless short term relationships and friends that might be more temporary than we care to admit?
Before I go any further, let me put out what seems to be the necessary disclaimer that I am NOT advocating getting married young if you haven’t found the right person to marry. I’m simply saying, go ahead and be on the search for that person, and don’t decide to simply push away from all committed relationships simply because you’re young.
(Can I point out the double standard that those “wait to get married” folks never have to make a similar disclaimer, even though they could arguably be advocating pushing away the person you might be meant to spend your life with? The hypocrisy of the majority.)
Another necessary disclaimer: I got married at 27. According to my facebook feed of High School Friends, I’m probably still on the “young side” of tying the knot compared to my contemporaries. Here’s why I think you’re safe to get married even younger than I did.
Growing Together (Emotionally)
The older we get, the less growing we do. This isn’t to say many of us are not open-minded and constantly in the pursuit of knowledge. It is more of a biological point than a moral one.
Think of the difference between a 5 and a 10 year old. Massive, right? What about 15 and 20? Still big. 20 and 25? Starting to shrink. What now about a 25 and 30 year old? Or better yet, a 35 and 40 year old?
The older we get, the more static our phases of life become. Part of the argument in favor of waiting to get married is that we should be spending our 20s discovering ourselves. Reading, traveling, partying, and finding ourselves amidst the world.
At the risk of sounding disgustingly sappy, I was never able to find myself in those things. I did however find myself very quickly with my wife. And now that I’ve found her, I adore growing alongside her (she’s 1 year younger than I am).
Instead of being 35 and already having an opinion on everything the world has on tap, we’re discovering what’s out there together, developing opinions as a team, and through that growing closer by the day.
If we had waited another 5 or more years to commit to one another, what’s to say we wouldn’t have spent that intermittent time growing apart from one another? We’d find ourselves set in our ways, creating gaps between us that could have been too large to bridge.
Growing Together (Physically)
When I met my wife, she came toting 2 young children with her. While she maintains they came from virgin birth, and that I’m the only man she’s ever been with, I find this prospect to be unlikely. I too had experienced my share of fun as a young man. Don’t tell Amanda though, she thinks that she was my first kiss.
I’ll cut to the chase on this one, because every sexual relationship is different. While I may be so bold as to boast that my wife is born with what I call Wine Genes (she just gets better with age), the reality is I enjoy all the seasons of her. She won’t be the same tomorrow as she is today. That’s not to say tomorrow will be bad, but rather, why would I not want to enjoy every step of the journey from her appearance (and energy level)?
The other side of this is, despite our vehement lying about our pasts to one another, we frankly didn’t give ourselves enough time to make TOO many mistakes with prospective partners. I’m not necessarily making any sort of abstinence based argument here, but I can say that when I fell in love with Amanda I understood the argument of “saving yourself” for the first time in my life.
The time we spend connecting physically with one another is constantly evolving. And through it we find ourselves closer mentally and emotionally.
Remember those 2 children my wife brought with? Well, they’re still around. I’m a 28 year old man in pretty decent shape, and those buggers have me on the floor gasping for air by 11 AM on a Saturday. I can’t keep up. They can vacillate between trying to kill themselves with art supplies, creating messes that would make a tornado jealous, and crying about the most inane things under the sun all in a 15 minute period.They’re 8 and 5 years old.
Simply put, I can’t imagine what it’d be like to raise them If I was 38. Or worse still, 48.
Barring anything unforeseen I will have the ability to keep up with them (relatively speaking) well into their teenage years. I cherish this thought!
We also find ourselves, due to the minimal age gap, genuinely sharing pop culture interests and hobbies. The girls and I find ourselves enjoying similar video games, movies, even music! Now, I’m not sitting down watching Pokemon every day with them, but they’re watching MY childhood shows! When I was their age, I was definitely not watching my parents childhood shows (I can remember them talking about Gilligan’s Island and I Dream of Genie, which already seemed like ancient history 20 years ago!)
Give The Best of Yourself to the People You Care Most About
My wife and my children are the single most important things to me in this world. When I die, my legacy will be their happiness.
The idea of giving the best years of my life to people that I have zero intention of keeping around strikes me as ludicrous.
Again, this isn’t to say you need to run out and propose to your boyfriend or girlfriend just to beat the clock. Rather it’s a humble suggestion that creating artificial barriers to entry on meaningful romantic relationships based on your age is a recipe for disappointment. If your 20s are the best years of your life because of your energy, appearance, and open-mindedness, why wouldn’t you give that to the people who will be choosing your retirement home?
Be good to those people. They deserve it, and so do you.