I was talking to someone the other day when I mentioned my husband, which instantly ensued raised eyebrows and the following questions: “You’re married? How old are you?!” I am familiar with these questions. I nodded, while sighing internally. I am 24-years-old and I just got married. Yes, that is pretty young. No, I am not pregnant.
“I don’t think it’s that young,” I said.
Thankfully, this particular person allowed that. “Well, in Los Angeles that’s a really young age to be married. Anywhere else, it would probably be normal.”
I grew up in a small conservative area of southeast Michigan. I knew several friends who were married before they were old enough to legally consume alcohol. (Not that they ever would consume alcohol anyway, because, yknow, conservative bubble.) I was a bridesmaid for the first time (of five, to date) when I was 16 at my 19-year-old friend’s wedding. The majority of my friends were coupled up by senior year of high school, and have long since married the person they were then dating.
When I moved to Los Angeles at the age of 20, my opinions on dating, marriage, and age all began to shift. LA can be a freaking minefield when it comes to dating and commitment. Age in this city is all relative — I now live in a place where toddlers can be celebrities and other people work their whole lives only to find their big break in their fifties or sixties.
But of course, in that spectrum, a married 24-year-old is still quite shocking.
One of my good friends is 10 years older than me, and a few months before I met the man of my dreams she met the man of hers. I remember always being so inspired by the love they had for each other. When my now-husband came into my life, I realized that we had a similar love. It was the same kind of strong, solid love I saw in my friend’s relationship — even though a decade separates our ages.
I should say that this was not really my plan. After moving to LA, I became really content with pursuing my own goals and wasn’t particularly concerned with having a relationship. My husband is not my high school or college sweetheart. We didn’t date for a handful of years and then tie the knot. We met and were engaged within six months, and we married on the one year anniversary of meeting each other. Neither of us were planning to be married so quick, but once we met, things all fell into place.
Predicting love is useless, because it’s going to happen whenever the hell it wants to.
And whenever it does, celebrate it and embrace it. Whether you are 24 or 56, finding someone that you know is going to stay by your side through anything and everything is an incredible gift. It is not lessened or increased based on the age you were when you found that love.
My husband and I get to wade through the back end of our twenties together — we get to try and fail together, we get to watch each other grow in our professions, we get to travel together kid-free for as many years as we want until we see a baby sock one day and melt into parental puddles (which is inevitable).
Getting married while you are young is not a bad decision, if you are with the right person and are emotionally ready for the commitment. It’s also not wrong to wait, if you haven’t found the right person or feel you aren’t ready.
Let’s celebrate love in all its forms. Let’s be happy for those who have it, and let’s look forward to finding it ourselves.
Leslie Tulip is a project manager by day and dreams of being a writer also by day. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, has crushes on used bookstores, drinks a lot of tea, and likes to consider herself a walking SNL encyclopedia. She wants to laugh a lot and do what she can to help people in need. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.