Young love is idolized in literature and on the big screen. You'd be hard-pressed to find a young teenage girl who wasn't dreaming for her own high school sweetheart romance. Our youth is filled with high emotions and whirlwind rollercoasters of all the feels. The result is young adults who know love, are actively seeking it, and, in some instances, will find it quickly.
I'm one of those youngsters. I have always been pretty confident, and that translated well when I was dating and headed off to college. I knew what I wanted in a man, and I knew that one day, maybe soon, I'd meet him and that would be that! And that's exactly what happened when, a couple months after coming up to school, I met my husband Matt. We were in love in the blink of an eye, and we're not the only ones I know who got married while one or both of them were still in their teens or just barely out of them!
Today, I wanted to share some of the little things that come with marrying young that you might not have thought of, and that have had an impact for better or for worse on my life and in my marriage:
1. You'll get some judgement - embrace it.
I could see a lot of questions forming in the eyes of close friends and family members when I was ready to get married so soon after graduating high school! They questioned whether I was making the right choice, which hurt because I knew in my heart that I was. What you need to understand is that no one knows your heart and intuition better than you, and when the universe is pulling you towards something, you'd be better off to not fight it.
I would encourage those facing some judgement to not let it affect your decisions, but to rather embrace the judgement and relish the opportunity to take what they would call a risk and prove them wrong with a long and happy marriage.
2. You'll feel a lot of pressure and well-intentioned "guidance".
As you are so young, everyone from your parents to your church leaders to the check-out lady at the grocery store inquiring about your ring will feel the need to impart their version of monumental wisdom on you in your newly-engaged or newlywed state. I think that a lot of people may feel insecure about their own age/love life/relationships and I think that they feel better when they see others struggle. Take my advice, instead of theirs: spend as much time as you can together, getting to know each other, and establishing the basis for your relationship without outside input. These questions might be helpful.
3. Stuff costs more money or more time.
I'm probably just naive, but I didn't know how drastically different some things were priced merely on age! For example, we quickly discovered that everything from health insurance, auto insurance, building credit, and even renting a car, was a totally different ball game when married vs. single, but also as young adults. We're learning how to properly navigate these systems now, but those things were kind of surprising when we think back on the things that caught us most off guard about getting married young.
4. Getting married young means growing up together.
It's a wonderful thing, but it's also a really hard thing. When you get married as a very young adult, you still have growing up to do, but now you've got to make sure that it coincides or goes hand in hand with the growing up that your spouse has to do. This means that you get to develop your goals together, which can be a really fantastic bonding opportunity. Matthew and I have been able to do so much traveling in our few short years together, and we've been able to keep similar goals. But I know other couples that realized they had different goals and developed different levels of ambition as they grew up, and that's a hard thing to compromise on without one of your feeling that you're getting the short end of the stick. Keep conversation and respect a priority in your marriage, and you can get through it.
5. You get to spend more time together.
For some, getting married young means you get to spend more of your life with your significant other. For others, it's quite the adjustment to learn who you are while someone else is watching. I've found that in this season of my life, I can't get enough of quality time with my husband, but we also recognize that as time goes on, we will respect each other's space and the way that we choose to prioritize ourselves and our own time independent from one another.
6. Your social life looks pretty different.
Everyone says getting married changes your social life, and that's very true. But getting married young puts you in an interesting position. You're likely some of the first of your friends to get married, and instead of just finding a new married couple to hang out with, you might not have a lot of options. You're faced with either awkward gatherings of married people you don't know very well, or awkward gatherings with all your single friends talking about dating and other things that don't apply to you. Use this time to grow closer together and find some new hobbies you can do in your free time. Maybe you'll make new friends doing those hobbies that would be willing to hang with you!
7. You learn to be more open.
Despite how naive others may feel you are for getting married young, you have a wonderful opportunity to be so open to new things. While you're both figuring out life, you will need to be supportive of each other and understanding as you try to make your life together work. Staying open to new concepts and new opportunities can give you guys a chance to compound your efforts in creating a freakin' beautiful life together.
Obviously, I wouldn't change a thing when it comes to getting married young - I chose my love and I love my choice! I'm hoping that by sharing some of these tips though that I can make the transition a little more smooth for you reading this and planning your upcoming nuptials if you're also a young bride or recent newlywed. If you have any questions, let me know! I'd love to talk with you about anything wedding- or marriage-related.