Getting married at a young age was something we only used to hear about from our parents or even grandparents, but lately it’s been becoming the norm; just taking place everywhere around us. I am not sure if it’s just because we’re growing up and getting closer and closer to the “age of marriage” or is young marriage becoming a trend again and happening more than the usual, for all I can see is that suddenly everybody is getting married! But how young is young for marriage anyways? And is it a good decision?
It’s definitely a life changing one.
Marriage at any stage of life, let alone at a young age, is a whole lot of work and definitely a fearful decision. I mean, it’s a big deal and it’s not something you should risk doing unless you are wholeheartedly sure about.
Hence, since you wouldn’t want to end up drowning in ponds of regret; let’s weigh out the options of young marriage, or let me say “advantages and disadvantages” of such decision:
1- Focusing on yourself vs. doing it all together
In the past decade or so, it has become more common to dedicate your early adulthood to your education, career and personal growth. People have preferred to choose between college majors before choosing between wedding venues and home décor alternatives. Some may think that you need this time for yourself, in order to build up on who you are and focus on establishing a life on your own; prioritizing careers, taking chances, embarking on adventures or achieving independent success.
However, if you think about it, you can still do everything for yourself if you are in a stable relationship. Instead, you will have a support system and a partner to lean on during your big milestones and crucial early beginnings. You will stand by each other, encourage one another in personal achievements, and pick each other up through rough patches. Doing it all together, you can still be able to prove yourselves individually, and that of course is, if you chose the right partner.
Modern thinking would suggest that you face your early challenges without anyone else to hold you back or restrict your freedom, but the trade off here is that you wouldn’t have that rock solid support system that a lifelong partner could bring to help you navigate those hard times.
2- Growing up together vs. growing apart
Getting married young, your life will be less well-shaped than when doing it at an older age, so building a life together from scratch with a partner will be way easier than doing it on your own and then trying to merge what you’ve come to with someone else. Also, moving on from one phase to another with your husband/wife will add up A LOT to your relationship. You will even have enough memories to look back on and tell your children, or even grandchildren. Facing it all together, from empty bank accounts to a comfortable adult life is a big plus that will help you mature and be responsible faster too.
On the other hand, instead of growing up together healthily, you can grow apart. We hear about many people who get married at, let’s say, 20 and by 24, they are already divorced. It is stereotypical how young marriage leads to higher chances of divorce, but let’s admit, it’s kinda true. That’s likely due to the pressures of immaturity and rashness of taking the decision. Choosing to commit to someone else, especially at a young age is risky; because it’s hard to grow and change with another person. So chances are, when we start to grow up, our views about life could change and this experience can either make us better versions of ourselves and help us find common grounds between our partners, or instead show us differences with who we thought could complete us.
Also, marriage provides real-world lessons on things like sacrifice, commitment, and unconditional love. It gives you opportunities to understand faith, compromise, endurance, forgiveness, and patience. It tests your limits, breaks you down, and helps you develop, so if you are not on the same page with your significant other on everything in between this all, it will not work out between you and you might either find yourself outgrowing your partner, or the opposite
3- Less baggage vs. missing out
Being married from an early age means your chances of having spent time with someone else range from negative one to zero. In other words, all of your baggage is checked together, you will have had less traumatic experiences and a lighter heart, to help you be more patient and less edgy. In addition, you will have fewer chances of running into your ex and causing a scene, less jealousy fits and of course less comparisons.
On the flip side, does this mean you missed out on a scope of opportunities? Would you never think about how you haven’t explored more, or met different people? Settling down early is harder to some than others and it’s definite that commitment at a young age isn’t for everyone. Although playing the field is immature and needy, some people just can’t get enough first dates until it’s for a long time.
That’s why it’s always better to wait and be certain than to rush into something you might regret down the line.
4- Societal perception: Approval vs. discontent
Society is often judgmental and presumptuous about young couples. They’re viewed as old-fashioned, too religious, anti-feminist or just destined for divorce. This societal stereotype falls on college students wearing engagement rings, or people making life-long commitments before turning 25, assuming that getting married young is ignorance and that if you are “well-educated and mature”, you would know better than to do so.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget about “3onoosa”, the taboo that most women fall victim to, if they didn’t get married in their 20s. In a society of double standards, the average age of marriage in Egypt is 20 for women and 26 for men, which is relatively young. That’s because if you don’t get married by certain ages decided by I-don’t-know-who, you are basically a spinster, a loser who has missed “the train of marriage”.
Whatever you do, you will be judged by society, so it’s better to follow your hearts and minds and just get married whenever you think it’s right for you.
5- Marriage is the end of fun vs. start of something good
If you are planning on getting married, especially at a young age, everybody will advise you not to, claiming it will be the end of you, your life and your freedom. “Getting married before the age of 25 sounds a lot like leaving a party before 10 PM” they’d say. Our culture beheads young marriage, seeing it as an early end of joy and beginning of some sort of imprisonment, where you’ll be too busy with commitments that you’ll forget what it’s like to have fun. This could be the case only if you immerse yourself into your responsibilities and lose track of time to look up, whether involuntarily or due to laziness.
However, the hedonistic fun of the single twenties is merely a temporary hype. Beyond that is the real life where having fun is not a far-fetched dream. Instead, it’s transformed into a deeper feeling of emotional satisfaction. And when you get married young, you can preserve the youth and still have crazy, wild memories with your partner. You can still travel together, go to parties and enjoy everything you can do alone, yet with someone to share the fun with.
Once young together, forever young together.
6- Time is ahead of you vs. boredom comes sooner
When you get married young, you have nothing but time. Your life will be ahead of you, with plenty to try different experiences and learn new lessons. You even get to learn important lessons promptly in the relationship to guarantee yourself stability and satisfaction later on. Young marriage can give you more time to love, and to enjoy every moment with the person who knows you best.
On the contrary, more time could mean boredom, and instead of having space to get closer, time can cause the attraction to fade, the spark to die, and the routine to take over. Therefore, you should make sure you are choosing the right person whom you’ll never get bored of, when deciding to tie the knot.
7- Having children: easy vs. tough
In cases of young marriage, if you want to postpone pregnancy, you have the time. And if you don’t, it’s more likely to have an easier time having kids, because with regard to men and women’s biological clock, it gets harder and riskier the longer you wait. It also increases their chances of the child being healthy and helps avoid several physical and mental disorders. Besides being easier to conceive, it’s also easier to raise children when you are young, it’s easier for you to keep up with them and it also increases your stamina.
Nonetheless, having children causes economics to kick in the equation. Younger couples are often battling financial problems that can be very stressful. Having children soon after marriage will not make this easier. Instead, babies can add more to the stress and take away more of the money. You may end up stuck with scrimping and saving for a few years, in order to move by. It also means less time to sleep, less time together, and less time achieving your goals. And that’s a lot to handle for people who are just starting out in life.
Putting everything into consideration somehow seems to further scare you, yet at the same time, reassure you about any fears you have regarding marriage. Anyhow, none of these factors is set in stone, or impossible to overcome. You can get married young and still have a successful marriage, or things might not work out for you. It’s all relative and it’s all about what you want and how much effort you put into making it happen.
So if you got married young, if you’re thinking about it but worried about the consequences or if all your friends got married and left you, make sure to share your experiences with us in the comments. Tell us how you feel about marriage, let alone doing it young.