Marrying young isn’t marrying dumb

By Jeweliana Register

Wedding season is upon us, which means that love is in the air and couples are getting ready to tie the knot. With save the dates popping up in my mailbox and engagement photos showing up on my social media timeline, I realized how many of my peers were prepping for the big “I do.” And while most people seemed excited for them, there were comments that were not so nice. “Wow, that was fast,” “they’re too young to be making such a serious commitment”and “oh, but it won’t last” are comments I’ve recently heard a few too many times. Let’s get one thing straight: there is a difference between getting married young and getting married early.

Marriage is a sacred union, and entering into that union should not be taken lightly. I agree that some people rush into marriage, but rushing into marriage is not a blanket statement that should be applied to every young couple. Whether you are 18, 35 or 70, you can rush into a marriage. There is no perfect amount of time to date before saying “I do.” For some couples, they claim they knew three dates in that that they wanted to spend forever together, and six months later they’re engaged. For others, it might take five or so years to decide if marriage is the correct next step. Therefore, insisting that a marriage is happening too fast is highly subjective and depends on the couple.

Some bystanders worry that couples are too young to be making such serious, life-changing commitments. But what about all the other serious, life-changing commitments we’ve already made? At 18 years old, we can vote for our future leaders, choose to enlist in the military, decide whether or not to attend college, borrow loans and purchase homes and cars. Aren’t those serious, life-changing commitments? They can change the course of our lives as well. Whether or not we decide to marry early in life, marriage is not the only big decision thrown our way at a young age.

Additionally, just because a couple decides to marry young doesn’t mean the marriage won’t last. Comments like “I give it a year,” and “it will have fizzled out in six months” aren’t heard often when older couples announce engagement. Why do young, engaged couples get talked about like they’ve just make the stupidest decision without giving it any thought? But two adults who’ve known each other less than six months will be congratulated and wished well. There is way more that goes into a successful marriage than just the age you wed. Outside factors and challenges will pick at a marriage no matter how many birthday candles are on top of the bride or groom-to-be’s cake, so marrying young does not necessarily increase those risks. Problems will exist whether you marry at 21 or 51.

Marrying young is not the problem; marrying early is. That being said, each couple is different and so is each marriage, so determining if someone is making a mistake is not an easy task. Marriages are about sacrifice, commitment, love and compromise, and marriages face challenges no matter how old the couple is when they take their vows. Every marriage is a risk, but if the partners are willing to work together for the rest of their lives, it should not matter how old they are. Just because someone chooses to start their marriage earlier than others does not mean that their marriage is destined for failure.

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