Maybe it has to do with my age group, but between all of my Facebook friends’ engagement photos, wedding photos, and reposts of marriage opinion pieces, I am getting fed up. I am going to give all of the pros and cons of both of the age-related arguments and tell why in my humble opinion it isn’t right to accept any one of them singly.
The Opinion that One Should Marry Young
First of all, age is just a number. So many other things have to be taken into consideration, into which I will expound later. The opinion is that one should marry young because as one gets older, one becomes pickier about what to look for in a mate. Therefore, one might have such a checklist of qualities and give up on someone for petty characteristics that he/she will never end up with a soulmate. While there are good qualities to this argument, many people are not mature enough for the commitment of marriage at a younger age, and this readiness should not be rushed.
The Opinion of Waiting Until One is Older for Marriage
This opinion states that a person needs to do all of the self-exploration necessary before settling down into a marriage. I do agree that one needs to be comfortable enough with themselves before starting a relationship. However, some people know at a younger age what they want out of life, and if they have found the right person and want to get married, so be it. Also, the idea that a person will ever truly stop growing and always know exactly what he/she wants is ludicrous. If we were the same people at 50 as we were at 25, there would be something very wrong with ourselves. People at these ages should have different goals and different outlooks on life. The beauty of being married, in my opinion, even though I’m not married, is that the two people in the relationship are willing to grow and change together. I believe that this is the only realistic way to look at this type of situation.
Placing an age deadline on being ready to be married is ridiculous because it is assuming that everyone has the same life experiences at the same point in their lifetime. What is more important than age when deciding to get married is readiness to get married, no matter what age. In my humble opinion, these characteristics are what to look out for:
1. You and your partner share similar values on lifestyle.
2. You and your partner agree on whether or not to have children.
3. You and your partner are actually ready to settle down. Not playing house, but keeping house. That means that you’re in it for the long haul. Emergencies of every kind: financial, emotional, etc. That you will actually have to keep your house in order and your bills paid. That you will accept the consequences of family planning decisions. I’m not Christian, but I do appreciate the part of the traditional vows that say, for better or worse, in sickness and in health.
4. You and your partner realize that once you get married, the relationship will still take a lot of hard work! I once read a Native American marriage vow that likened a marriage to tending a fire; it requires work!
(I find this is true for any committed couple living together, not just the married ones.)
I really apologize for getting preachy, but it is only an opinion, and I felt like a more balanced perspective needed to be taken on this.
I welcome all opinions!!