This article was originally published on nurturingmarriage.org. It has been republished here, with permission.
Taking the plunge and getting hitched can be a bit overwhelming. There's the initial stress of planning the wedding, but that stress pales in comparison to the ongoing responsibility of actually being married. Perhaps that's one of the reasons why the average age for marriage has climbed to 27 for women and 29 for men.
But there are some serious advantages to marrying young.
We're a bit biased when it comes to discussing the ideal age for marriage — primarily because we were married when both of us were the ripe old age of 21. We were so mature, so established in life, so ready to be married ... OK, not really. But we were confident, determined and in love. With no clue what lay ahead, we committed with all our hearts to sharing our lives together.
We recognize that there are plenty of people still searching for that "special someone." If that happens to be you, please don't get discouraged. Do what you can now to better yourself and prepare for your own marriage — whenever that time comes.
That being said, here are three legit reasons to marry young.
1. You quickly learn that money is not the key to happiness
Most couples who marry young start out with little to nothing — and that might even be an understatement. The fact is, when you marry young, neither spouse has had time to accumulate much of anything when it comes to wealth or financial stability. It's quite possible that, on the day of your wedding, you'll be able to fit all your worldly possessions in the trunk of your beater car and count all your savings using just your fingers and toes.
And believe it or not, that's to your advantage.
Not only do dire financial circumstances teach you very valuable financial lessons (like scrimping, saving and living on a budget), but they also teach you the timeless principle that money cannot buy happiness. When you first marry, you won't have a big house to come home to, a fancy car to drive or even many groceries in the refrigerator, but you will have your love for each other — and that love will make you feel truly rich.
Getting married is a huge change, and there are many lessons to learn. Though madly in love, you and your spouse are still two very different people with very different ways of doing things. Married life is very different from single life.
When you marry young, you aren't as deeply entrenched in your own habits and ways of doing things. As a result, the transition to married life is much smoother. Rather than butting heads over whether to buy 1% or 2% milk or how to properly wash the dishes (or any of the million other petty things couples argue about), you and your spouse will establish your own habits and ways of doing things together. By marrying young, the transition to married life doesn't feel so much like an encroachment on your personal space or an infringement on your privacy.
3. You grow closer together by growing up together
We look back at our wedding pictures and think we look like babies. And we were young! The fact is, when we got married, we still had a lot of growing up to do (and still do). But as we've matured in all aspects of life, we've also grown closer together. We've had to learn hard lessons together. We've had to work through tough challenges together — but we've been together, side by side through it all. We have shared more memories, more life together.
Together, you and your spouse will apply for programs in school, study late into the night for exams, earn degrees, move from coast to coast or even across the world for internships and jobs. You'll learn to be parents, you'll enjoy summer vacations to the beach or the mountains, you'll move and buy your first home ... The list goes on. Marrying young allows you and your sweetheart to write the early chapters of your lives together so you can better understand and shape the rest of your story.
Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.