Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On Marriage (before 23)

I don't remember where or when I came across the article, whether it was via another blogger, on twitter, or on Facebook. But I read it a week or so ago and now I want to talk about it. The title of the post is "23 Things to do Instead of Getting Engaged before You're 23." The title intrigued me, and I wanted to know what the young lady had to say.

I found myself reading, and in the beginning shaking my head in agreement a little. Sometimes (especially in the South) girls and young women think they have to get married/have children/do xyz by a certain age. I however, am not of this mindset. Although I would like it to happen before I'm 40, I have no qualms about being unmarried at (gasp) 23 years old. The writer touches on the divorce rate among younger couples, which is higher than the rate in couples who get married at an older age (source). 

It seems that when we enter our twenties, this unexplainable desire to marry our soul mate and produce children washes over us. And with all of the social media, we can see our friends (and non-friends) all around us showing off their gorgeous engagement ring, tweeting about dress fittings, and instagramming their bridal boquets before they walk down the aisle. And the desire burns louder and brighter, maybe we start to panic a little bit because we aren't even dating anyone and it will be YEARS before we are finally settled down.

While I agree with the writer that it is ridiculous to try to plan out when you're going to get married when you don't even know much about  yourself, I do not agree with some of the things she says you should do before getting engaged at 23. I also do not agree with her bashing young couples that DO decide to unite in matrimony because I know several people that were married before 23 and are still going strong (my parents were married at 19 and 20 and celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year). 

Even though I don't think everyone needs to be in a rush to get married, and that marriage is a serious (hello, forever) commitment that should be made between two consenting, willing, and smart adults that have taken a lot of time and put a lot of thought into their decision. I think that people can do this at 20, 25, or 30, as long as it isn't something you're jumping in to "just because," which is what the writer seems to think anyone below the age of 23 is doing, and that's just silly.

So here are a few (not 23 because I don't really feel like coming up with that many) things you can do before you're 23, whether you're married or not:

1. Get a passport - even if you aren't planning a trip in your immediate future, it's better to have one than to need one, because it takes a while to get one.

2. Learn how to change a tire - I learned how to change a tire sometime when I was a teenager, and yes I thought it was stupid, until the day I actually needed to do it.

3. Watch an entire show, first season to last, on Netflix - I tell you what, there's nothing like spending every evening curled up on the couch watching an entire TV show. Some people may say it's lazy, but I felt a strange sense of accomplishment afterward. 

4. Go out dancing - Before I turned 21 there was a club in downtown Pensacola that let in people 18 and up on Thursday nights, and you got in for like three bucks with your college ID. I would go with my best girlfriends and not drink a drop, sweat my ass off on the dance floor, and have a fabulous time.

5. Get a pet - if you're married, thinking about having kids (or neither of those things) there's nothing that will teach you about responsibility like having something that is completely dependent on you. Plus they're cute.

All in all, I don't think there's anything wrong with getting married before you're 23. Or getting married after you're 30. Everyone is living a different life, with a different timeline, a different plan. Why should it matter to me how old you are when you get married?


Today I'd like to introduce you to Kylie from Faux Hawks and Follies!

Kylie is a brand new blogger and a huge NHL fan, unfortunately the one sport that I don't know anything about. She isn't afraid to share her beliefs or embarrassing Target stories and that's one of the things I love about her. Plus she loves wine and coffee just as much as me, and you really can't go wrong with either of those!

If you haven't already, go say hi to Kylie! You can find her via:

Her Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest


Renee said...

I've done all of 'em except learning how to change a tire. I'll have to get you to teach me? :)

Lynsey @ Eternally Wanderlyn said...

I love this! I'm 28 and people ask me when I'm getting married ALL the time. Frankly, I don't know why people have a specific idea of when we should get married. I say we are capable of figuring those things out on our own. :) Also, I've totally done everything above.

Breenah A said...

As someone who got married at 20, I feel like unless you know me as well as I do you (general you) have no idea whether I was ready to get married or not. But the same goes the other way, not everybody is ready to get married at 20. If you're 38 and not married, cool. I don't care. I feel like it's similar to the SAHM vs Working Mom thing. Two groups of women who are judging and arguing instead of supporting each other.

Sorry for that mini-rant. You did remind me that I need to renew my passport!

Samantha said...

Love this post. Although I don't think there's anything necesarrily wrong with getting married before 23, at 28 23 seems SO young.

When I look back on my life at 23, I was completely clueless about so much. So clueless that I'm positive if I would have gotten married to someone then, I likely wouldn't still be married to them today. Bu that's of course, just my story!

And I agree - tv shows from start to finish. They should give out awards for that kind of dedication.

Brittany said...

I hate when people get down on people for when they choose to get married. Like, the age you are when you are marry is what makes the marriage. NOT. I waited til I was 25, because PERSONALLY i wasn't ready until then, but other people are. Little judge judgers net to get off their soap box and start pretending they know everything about marriage. If you get married tomorrow girl, all I would pray for is that you would invest in your marriage like you invest and planned for the wedding. THATS what makes a marriage! Investing in it, loving your spouse selflessly, and being committed to making your marriage great. Whether your 20 or 40-thats what matters!

Margaret said...

Oh girl I'm so with you on getting a passport!! I had one and it expired with me not realizing it. And then when I wanted to go to a friends wedding in Canada, I realized I wouldn't be able to get a new one in time...was NOT a happy camper!

And I really should learn how to change a tire. I know that someday it will come in useful.

Jessa @ Life of A Sports Wife said...

I love this list. I agree being a southern girl you are expected to meet mr. right in college & get married and have several kids before turning 25. That's great and all, but that's not me. I have several friends who that works for them & several who it didn't. I'm glad that I got married when I did (27) b/c I knew who I was & my husband knew who is was. We are all on our own path & shouldnt' be judging each other.

The Handey Way said...

Awesome points on that article! Marriage can happen at any age, and should, as long as it's gone into seriously, and well thought out.

I've done everything except my passport definitely needs to be renewed, woops. Love the list, though!

Rachel said...

There are people who get married at 33 that shouldn't, and people who get married at 23 that should. I think people who write articles shaming people for getting married young are very insecure or have issues with their own relationships (or lack thereof).

Would I get married at 23? Probably not. But that's because I wasn't ready. I'm almost 25 and ready now. Good post!

Ashley said...

I like this! I am from the south so I totally get this mentality that people have. I hate it! Girls are made to feel inadequate when they aren't married from a young age. I met my husband when i was 20, but there was NO way I was marrying him until I accomplished things on my on my own...two college degrees etc.

While I don't think there is anything wrong with getting married at 23 and I know it works great for some people, it scared me to do it so young. I waited till 25 and still felt so young! And because my husband (then boyfriend) had been together for so long everyone pressured us to get married and I hated it and resisted it until I felt ready!

Thanks for sharing this post!

Anonymous said...

One of the things that irks me most about the South is how young people get married. I wasn't sure who I was at 23, let alone ready to settle down and spend the rest of my life with someone! There is so much to learn before you settle down: live it up!

This is probably the best post I'm going to read today, FYI.

Allie @ Tales of a TwentySomething said...

I love all of this so much. I always assumed I would get married young and have babies and honestly hoped I would be married with at least one or one on the way by 25. However, now I am SO glad I didn't do that. I feel like I have changed personally so much in the past few years that a marriage may have not worked out because of that. Sure I wanna do it before I'm 35/40 but that doesn't mean I should just go do it for the heck of it. Although you are right about the age thing. My parents got married at 20 and 21 and celebrated 30 years last year. It really is about the people, not the number.

Laura Beth said...

Very well put. I believe it is a commitment people shouldn't jump into - it isn't one of those bandwagon activities!!

Kelly Louise said...

i've always been boggled by the South in that they get married and have kids so so young. (not just the south though, anywhere really, it's just a big thing down there!). i can't even imagine if i had made that mistake at that age! i personally think that your 20's is when you need to grow and figure yourself out. not get tied down and start having kids that you're probably gonna resent later because you missed out on so much. but to each their own and for some, it really really works.

Hayley Hendrickson said...

I got married at 22. My friends thought I was crazy! I wasn't in any rush I just happened to fall in love at a young age!

Alexa said...

Marching in with my engaged-at-twenty, married-at-twenty-two opinion on this one ;) I appreciate you pointing out that you disagree with her bashing basically all couples who do decide to get married young - that's absolutely wrong and there's no single deciding factor that determines the success of a relationship or marriage. I know many couples who got married "older" and their marriage was/is not successful and I know several couple who got married "young" and their marriages are still strong and admirable. To each his/her own in knowing what's right and when. We got engaged at 20 and 22 - and among the sweet congratulations, we also caught a LOT of flack for our choices. (We'd been together since I was barely 18 and he was almost 20.) I've never felt that Glenn and I need to defend the age at which we celebrated relationship milestones, and I find it best to just respond that I feel really lucky that I get to spend that many more years making memories with the love of my life!
(I won't touch on this being an issue of Southernism, because I might get ragey.)

Thanks for the great post, Kalyn!

Jackie said...

I truly believe that it is all specific to the people involved. My friend and her husband got married before 25 and it has worked out splendidly for them. I am 29 and am not even in a relationship. i have had to let go of some pre-set ideas in my head that I should've been married before now...but it will work out when it is meant to.

Nadine said...

I love that you disagreed with the article but did it in a more tasteful way. I read the original post and have read a few blog posts as a response to the original and some people took it really personally. Also, I live with my boyfriend and we got a dog over a year ago and it has been the single best thing we ever did for our relationship. We both got a preview of what the other person is like as a parent and luckily, we're both happy with what we see.

brooke lyn said...

i am a big fan of this! big, big fan. no need to rush such a big decision just because you are feeling pressured!

Abbey said...

Glad to see someone responding to this! I did get a little upset by this article. I'll be 25 soon, and my bf is 23, and I'm thinking we'll probably get engaged in the next year or so. And so I started worrying about him.

But I think you're right that the author does kind of assume that everyone who marries young is just yielding to social pressures or getting married for the fun of it. And I think there's a real difference between that and two people who have been together, who have grown together.

Also, there's definitely no reason you should STOP growing once you're married! (which is part of the reason I'm planning to wait a few years at least before there are kids in the picture!)

Anyway. Thanks for posting about this.

Paige Nicole said...

I read that same article and was baffled...either I didn't want to do the stuff she mentioned or being married had no correlation to me doing the thing at all.

I got married young and I'm loving every minute of it :)

Z said...

Considering three of my close friends got engaged this year (I'm twenty, as are all of them), I so agree. I also have a bunch of friends that are constantly declaring "they'll die alone!" or "become a crazy cat lady" - hey, if you're still single and 20, 25, 30, whatever! There's totally still someone out there...or maybe not, and being alone (in the romantic relationship sense) is totally okay for you. Granted, I'm naturally a bit on the commit-o-phobe side, but I don't wholly understand the giant rush to get married right out of college. Never hurts to wait a bit!

Meagan said...

Oh goodness! I'm almost 28 years old and I don't see marriage anywhere in my future! I think everyone should get married or choose not to get married when and if they want to!

Hallie Oceanside said...

I wrote about this yesterday too. It irritates me so much on the way she just slammed those of us who had made that decision. I totally see the point she was trying to make but they she portrayed it came out all wrong!

The Rachael Way said...

I'm learning to be okay with being single! It's a struggle but it's okay to NOT be married!

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

I think that in general, people seem to care more about their wedding than their actual marriage. In my opinion, that's where a lot of the issues are coming from - rather than age, etc. My parents got married young like yours did, they were both 19... and they stayed happily together until my Dad died. I feel like times are just so much different now.

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