When I said “I do” I was 21 years old. My husband was 26. We were college sweethearts, meeting on my very first day of freshman year and his very first day of graduate school, and tying the knot roughly one month after I graduated.
I knew from the get-go that our relationship was something special and we started talking about marriage during my sophomore year. We decided to wait until after I completed my bachelor’s degree to have our wedding.
For a lot of people, our rush to the altar didn’t make sense. But it didn’t have to make sense to anyone but us. We felt a certain way about each other and that was tantamount in the decision to become husband and wife.
Singer and actress Miley Cyrus (you know, Hannah Montana) made headlines last week when the 19-year-old announced her engagement to her boyfriend of three years, Liam Hemsworth. Predictably, people were counting down the days until we’d be reading about Miley’s divorce.
I think it’s a bit unfair. Yes, getting married young is viewed negatively in our society and being a celebrity has it’s own headaches that are only compounded when you get married. But what happened to growing together? What happened to building together? What happening to planning a life together, versus building your own and trying to piece it together once you’re in your 30s or 40s?
I don’t think there’s any “right” time to get married””it depends on the couple. In Miley’s case, she may be 19 and her fiance 22, but she has been working and building a career for the past five years. She’s seen the world and what it has to offer – is a marriage going to change that?
I found the biggest challenge to getting married in my early 20s was probably the biggest challenge in any marriage, no matter what age you are: figuring out how our marriage was going to work and what our respective roles would be. Once we figured that out (and it’s still a work in progress), it became easier to communicate, easier to depend on each other and easier to feel like we had the space to breathe and grow.
What do you think? Is the average 19-year-old too young to think about getting married?