Tis the season for getting engaged. Whether you’re 20 or 40, it seems like winter is the most popular season to pop the question. I recently became one of these people, and got engaged right before Christmas at 19. Although we don’t plan on tying the knot until we’re both 21, we’ve already seen and dealt with those that are against the idea of marrying young. Whether it’s because we “aren’t mature enough”, “don’t know who we are yet”, or are just simply too young, there are plenty of opinions and statistics out there that tell you marrying young usually ends in divorce. I feel like that’s a very unfair judgement to make on someone else’s relationship.
First off, people mature at different levels. Yes there are a lot of rowdy college students, but there are also some that work hard and know that life isn’t just all about having fun anymore. Some 30 year olds act more immature than some 20 year olds, it all depends on the person. Being in a serious relationship can also help a person mature faster. They realize they have to consider their significant other instead of just themselves now, and that is one of the most important things.
The second thing I’ve seen come up a lot lately is the idea that at 19, you have no idea who you are yet as a person. You (apparently) change a lot in your 20s, and the person you fall in love with may do a 180 in the years ahead. My advice? Change TOGETHER. Depending on how long you’ve been together, you already know a lot about your bf/gf and can relate to his/her likes and dislikes. If one of you wants to move across the country or pick up a completely different activity, talk about it and work through things together. I truly believe communication is the key to a successful relationship, and if both people take their talks seriously, you can work through anything.
I am not a religious person, but I really have been blessed with the best possible match for me. They say once you’re married, you fight a lot about finances, life habits, and irritations, and I can honestly say we have worked through all of these and more. We have been living together for a year now and balance household chores; we have dealt with unemployment and bills together; we have helped each other through family hardships and even friendship struggles. But the biggest thing I’m thankful for is the fact that my fiance will always be there to sit down and listen to me rant. If I have a problem with something, he will listen and we will fix things together. When I go on one of my overemotional tangents, he is there to make me laugh. He is not one to turn away at the sight of trouble. As far as change goes, we are practically identical when it comes to our views on the big things like drinking and gambling, and have already discussed what we both want for the future when it comes to living arrangements and our family. We are both away at college working toward degrees while paying for our own tuition, rent, food, car, and phones; we know how to work through our problems and have a plan for our future; we love each other and wish to spend the rest of our lives together.
What I’m trying to say here is this: don’t judge a couple just because they are young. Even if statistics or your own experiences say one thing, every person, every couple, is different. Everyone deserves the same chance at love and happiness.