Things You’ll Regret If You Marry Young
I don’t really know what the rush is around getting married young. You really have your whole life ahead of you in your twenties—can’t you spare a few more years single? You’ll have plenty of married years even if you marry late. I guess people who are 23 or 25 believe they have learned all they have to learn. They think they are full-grown adults. They believe they have experienced all there is to experience and really won’t be changing their core values or ideas. The truth is, the very fact that they get married young could mean that they never change their ideas or values. Even if they should have. And I’ll tell you why: we are often hesitant to grow or change if we can sense that it would mean the dissolution of our relationship. But, as someone who is in her thirties and not married, I can say I am so glad I did not to get married young. I see things so differently now. I can’t imagine having arrested my development of the age of 25 or 23, which is really what would’ve happened if I had married then. Here are the things you’ll regret if you get married too young.
Missing out on all of the dating experiences
Some people get married young because they think dating just sounds scary and horrible. But they can quickly feel they actually missed out by just marrying their first or second serious partner. As they listen to their friends have interesting dating experiences and learn lessons from every one, they can realize the chaos of it all is actually a lot of fun. It really teaches you what you want in a partner, and what you don’t want. And you’ll always cherish those hilarious stories of bad dates and even those strengthening experiences of bad breakups.
A stifled career
This is not true for everyone, but many people can really only focus on either their career or their marriage. When you are older, and your career is already going very well, you can afford to refocus your energy into your marriage.
But you should focus on your career when you’re young
If you are young, and you dedicate all of your attention to your marriage, you’ll miss out on those crucial career development years. You won’t stay for the after hours projects. You won’t go to the weekend conventions. You will just want to be with your partner. But, unfortunately, you can miss out on good opportunities to move ahead while you are young.
Never traveling alone
I mean really going on a international trip by yourself. You just won’t really do that once you get married. But traveling alone is so enriching, and some places are especially best if you’re alone. It teaches you who you are. It teaches you to be brave, open-minded, and flexible. Traveling with a partner is just not the same thing.
Missing out on female bonding
I will always cherish my single years in my twenties. I spent so much time with my other single female friends. We were each other’s relationships. We would meet after work to just watch movies and laugh and complain about our bosses or roommates. You aren’t going to do that if you are married at 23, so you may miss out on making those important young adult friendships.
Learning to be alone
We have very little alone time in our young adult years. In college, you are surrounded by your peers in your dorm mates and classmates. Even right after college, you probably have some roommates to make rent. So if you get married right after that, you don’t have those few years of just living alone and seeing that you can survive and be happy alone.
Why the solitude matters
It is important to be alone before finding a life partner. Only when you feel confident in your ability to be alone do you choose a partner with clear eyes. And, unfortunately, if you marry young and later in life you realize you are in the wrong marriage, leaving is even more terrifying because you’ve never been alone. So you may just stay in the wrong marriage for fear of being alone.
Not developing ideas on your own
We are still so easily influenced in our early twenties. We are not fully formed intellectually yet. In fact, research has found that our decision-making skills continue to change and develop until we are about 25 years old.
And just taking on your partner’s ideas
If you get married before the age of 25, you may find yourself in a situation where you just think the way your partner thinks. You haven’t yet established your own ideas and beliefs, independent of what others think. And your spouse, of course, influences your thinking so strongly. There is danger in forming such a codependent union when your own mind is still forming
More sexual partners
I’m not saying you have to go out there and rack up a high number. But I can say that if you get married to the first or second person you sleep with, you’re missing out. I promise. Most of us learn how to be good in bed through making mistakes and being bad in bed with various people. We also pick up tricks from our various partners. Your learning in that department can become stifled if you and your partner never sleep with anyone else (or almost anyone else) before getting married.
Taking on the responsibility
Marriage is a responsibility. You are in a very serious way responsible for the wellbeing of another person. This can mean financially supporting him during hardship. This can mean caring for him when he is sick. Of course, you would like to do that with your boyfriends, but you are legally obligated to do that with a spouse. So if you get married young, you forego those wonderful free years when you really don’t have any responsibilities.
You must care for yourself first
It may sound selfish to take those years, but it is not selfish. In fact, it is an important part of being a good partner and parent later in life. If you take on huge responsibilities young, you can wind up regretting them—feeling like they robbed you of something. But if you enjoy some freedom for years, and only take on big responsibility when you are tired of that carefree lifestyle, then you will be grateful for the responsibility.
The married club is small
People don’t get married young as much as they used to. And, though it should not be the case, we know that married couples and single individuals tend to break off into separate groups. If you get married in your thirties or forties, there is a big club of married couples for you to join.
Young marriage is isolating
If you get married in your early twenties, you can quickly feel isolated from your peers. Your single friends aren’t really inviting you and your spouse to single-friendly events as much. You can feel like it’s just you and your spouse now, but that can be isolating and, again, make you resent the union.
Your wedding guest list will change
I can promise you that a lot of the friends you think will be in your life forever in your early twenties will not be. And every plate at that wedding is expensive. If you marry in your early twenties, you may look back and realize you wasted a lot of shrimp and champagne on people you no longer talk to you. Around your late thirties and forties, your true friend group who will always be there has solidified. Your wedding guest list will be more authentic.