While getting married young isn’t for everyone, here’s why I think getting married young is worth it.
With the average age for marriage steadily rising (27 for women and 29 for men, according to the National Marriage Project’s “Knot Yet” report), millennials are holding off on marriage for many reasons.
While 20-somethings today are encouraged to pursue education, careers and a freewheeling lifestyle before saying “I do,” there’s much to be said about choosing the now-unconventional idea of marrying young.
My husband and I were in our mid 20s when we got hitched, despite family members suggesting we wait until he graduated college and his career took off, which would have taken years. After 11 years of marriage, two changes of majors, three career switches and two kids, we’re better off in every way because of it.
You don’t need every aspect of your life locked in before marriage. Once you’ve found your perfect match, who not build the life you’ve always wanted together? Here are just some of the benefits of getting married young.
You Grow Up Together
It’s so fulfilling to grow old together when you’ve grown up — and weathered all of those young-adult, then midlife storms — together. While others are still finding themselves, you’ve already figured out what you want in life and you have someone by your side who can help accomplish it.
It’s Easier to Combine Households
If you’ve only lived in your childhood bedroom or a tiny apartment, chances are you aren’t moving in together with decades’ worth of stuff. You might only own a few furniture pieces and geeky collections, so setting up your first home together should be relatively easy.
You Start Planning for the Future
Time is on your side with regard to starting a family at a young age, or you at least have the option to give yourself some time in between each child. You can “afford” to invest in your marriage before adding children to the picture. You’ll also be more likely to do responsible things, like signing up for life insurance and investing your money.
You’re More Realistic About Finances
As a young couple, your beginner budget may have you making smart money choices that stay with you a lifetime. Starting with your wedding budget, you’re probably forking out less on your Big Day, but take heart. Couples whose weddings cost less than $10,000 are less likely to divorce, while $1,000 weddings are associated with an even lower divorce rate, reports an Emory University survey.
You Have Someone to Lean On
If you’ve had a bad day at work, it’s comforting to know you’ve got someone to go home to, someone who will listen to you vent and stay up late, binge-watching your favorite TV shows with you when you’ve just quit an awful job. Someone who can pick up the financial slack, no questions asked, until you find a better gig.
You’re Happier Married (Young)
Considering you and your spouse are made for each other and mature enough for marriage in your 20s, you have a greater chance for marital happiness. It’s true: a study found that those who married between ages 22 and 25 had the greatest likelihood of an “intact marriage of the highest quality.”
Your Health is in Good Shape
When you have a spouse or family counting on you, you tend to drive safely, party less and take care of yourself (or have someone to take care of you). Married 20-somethings have lower rates of depression and excessive alcohol use, compared with their single and cohabiting peers, says the “Knot Yet” report.
It Keeps You Grounded
Promising to stay with one person for the rest of your life when others your age aren’t there yet can make you feel like your life is on track. When you’ve watched each other grow through every challenge and life stage, you’ll never forget the days you struggled together and appreciate what you have that much more.
You Share Successes
Whether you’re finishing school or breaking into your dream career, your 20s can be a volatile time. But when you’ve learned early on what’s worth sacrificing for (say, one finishes college while the other becomes the breadwinner, then you switch while the other cares for your children), you’ll base decisions on what will benefit you individually and as a unit.
In the end, you’ll see how you wouldn’t have been able to achieve what you have without the other spouse’s support. His successes are yours and yours are his, and that’s precisely the point of marriage.