Back in the day, tying the knot in your early 20s was considered the normal thing to do. In fact, many of our parents may have even gotten married that early. But things have changed quite a bit over the years. Now, the very idea of getting married young is enough to strike fear into the hearts of most millennials and inspire looks of disapproval from your elders. And we get it! There’s sort of an order to the way we are expected to do things: First you go to high school, then college;Then you graduate, establish a career, make sure you’re financially stable, and then you can consider settling down with a significant other if you have one (and if you don’t, look out for judgment about that too).
While that may work out in a perfectly scripted TV world, it’s not always true to reality. What works for some people might not work for others, and that’s totally fine. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it isn’t for everyone. Many older couples may spend half their adult lives committed to each other and never consider getting married, while some 20-somethings couldn’t be more excited to walk down the aisle.
And if you’re a part of the latter group, then you’ve probably heard all the reasons you shouldn’t get married young.
But we’re here to provide a bit of support and a few reasons why you shouldn’t apologize for wanting to get married in your 20s — despite what the people around you may think.
1Couples who marry younger are happier.
A 2013 study found that unmarried 20-somethings are more likely to suffered from depression and deal with substance abuse than their married counterparts. That isn’t to say marrying young will instantly make you better but in some cases, it may provide an overall feeling of contentment. According to the study, 52 percent of married men in their 20s claimed to be “highly satisfied” with their life, compared to 35 percent of single and cohabiting men. As for the ladies, only 33 percent of single women and 29 percent of cohabiting women are “highly satisfied,” compared to 47 percent of married women.
Which means, if this study is anything to go by, then married 20-somethings are happier than unmarried 20-somethings. And you should never make apologies for doing the things that make you happy.
2You’ll be able to “grow up” together.
When you get married young, you’ll not only be able to grow old together *knock on wood*, but you’ll also be able to watch each other “grow up.” Side by side, you’ll weather the storms of your 20s as you figure out who you both are individually and who you are within your marriage. It might be a bit of a struggle (our 20s usually are), growing with another person is hard at any age, but the effort you put in while you’re young will create a strong foundation and hopefully, a lasting marriage. If you’re lucky, together you’ll become the best versions of yourselves. That alone is enough to forgo the apologies.
3Age doesn’t always equal maturity.
When you’re young and you start telling people about your plans to get married, more often than not they’ll say “Wait until you’re older when you’ll be more mature!” But the funny thing about maturity is that it doesn’t always come with age. We all know at least one 40-something who still acts (and dates) like they’re fresh out of college. What’s important here isn’t how old you are but how you approach the major issues in your relationship.
According to Dr. Michael S. Broder, “Before you even consider marriage, you’ve got to be able to demonstrate that you can deal with conflict together.” Which includes discussing everything from religion and sex to babies and families. “Very few couples absolutely agree on everything, but if you know how to get past conflicts together, then you’re ready to talk about marriage.”
4There will be less baggage to work through in your marriage.
Couples who get married older tend to bring more baggage into their marriages: children from past marriages, issues that may linger from old relationships, or ex partners who can’t seem to let go. But when you decide to settle down while you’re are still young, chances are you’ll dodge many of these issues. That’s definitely a good reason to tie the knot sooner rather than later, don’t you think?
5It’s really nobody’s business but your own.
At the end of the day, if you’re completely in love and you find yourself wanting to get married at any age, you shouldn’t have to defend your decision to anyone. And you definitely shouldn’t have to apologize for following your heart.