Sunday, February 18, 2007

How young is too young to get married?

Got up early today to feed my daughter, and as I always do, I turned on the TV to see what could possibly be on TV at 7:00 on a Sunday morning. I stumbled across MTV's "Engaged and Underage." I had heard of this show, but my first impression was that MTV was following around a couple that was under 18 and headed for the altar. Then I watch today and find out the couple, Josh and Bre, I believe, are 21 and 20, respectively. They're my age.


MTV shows them picking up a marriage license, buying a house, planning the wedding and lets Bre discuss why she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex: "I was a huge Jessica Simpson fan...."

They don't seem to be the most mature couple, but perhaps it's the editing, which purposely altered the footage to make it look like Josh is a goofball and Bre is a tad naive.

But I think the key to a good marriage is when you marry your best friend.

I'm fortunate in that I met my husband my first day of college when I was moving into my dorm. I thought to myself (and later told my roommate), "I'm gonna marry that man and give him a bunch of babies..."

Fast-forward four years later and here we are with a little one in tow. (By the way, that is a much cleaner version of my ring up there...) Over the years, my husband became my everything. He was the one that made me laugh, made me think for more than just today, made me appreciate what a good man was. He taught me everything I know about football (blech), made me an authority on ESPN (I watch, or rather sleep through, SportsCenter every night), and helped me appreciate saving money.

I tell him anything and he won't judge me. In fact, I have told him everything and he hasn't judged me. And I don't judge him.

So does that mean we shouldn't be married because I'm 21 and he's 26? I like to think we're not your average young couple, because, well, he's not that young to me. He has his Master's degree and a full-time job and I'm 10 weeks away from getting my degree (magna cum laude in four years, thank you very much!) So what's too young to get married?

I remember when we were about to get engaged and my husband gave me a bridal magazine to look through. My dad saw it and flipped out, saying, "You don't need to look at that," like it was a porn magazine or something. He was just saying that I was too young. Of course, I was 19 then and my hubby was 24.

So maybe I was too young. But I don't regret being an "old married lady" at the ripe old age of 21. We're happy. Isn't that what counts?


notfearingchange said...

Lucky girl. Everyone goes through their different stages of life at their own pace. And the stages are not linear as I have found.

Oh and if nothing else - you can check out this article and find yourself lucky to not have this problem! ;-)>1=9066

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Tara you are so smart and wise!

Yeah, people in Chicago didn't get married as early as the people I've met in Ohio, but I've met a lot of people in Ohio who are a lot more mature for their age and they believe in marriage and kids.

And I'm so proud of you graduating magna cum laude soon! What can I say? are truly an awesome writer.

That Journalist said...

Notfearingchange, your words are so true. I don't think we can say what's best for others because everyone is different....

Paula, thanks for the kind words. I just try to do my best and somehow my best ended up being magna cum laude! (I actually have a 3.74 GPA goal was to graduate with a 3.8, but I'm pretty darn close...I might take myself out to

MIMI said...

Awww that is soo cute...

Ready to take the leap... said...

I'm a young person in a serious relationship, and we're about to get engaged. While I have no doubts about when I should get married, I googled it for the fun of it, and wound up here!

I'm seventeen and will have my associates in applied science next year, and my boyfriend is almost 19, with his bachelor's and a wonderful job. We take a lot of heat whenever we tell anyone that our tentative wedding date is in the beginning of 2011... when I will be 18 and he will be almost 20.

Apparently, this is the biggest deal in the world. However, the way I see it is that we're both educated, intelligent, and have more common sense than many people twice our age. We're committed to each other, and have been for three years, and earning enough money to support ourselves (I live at home, and he is entirely independent). Why do people think it's practically a sin to be talking so seriously about marrying so soon?

Our family and friends encourage us to save sex for marriage... and we agree. They (and we) would be mortified if we had sexual intercourse before the honeymoon. But my our ages, we've reached physical maturity... postponing marriage is just allowing a young person to live in lust for no reason, ESPECIALLY if the couple is ready to be self-sufficient.

I understand that some people think you should get education out of the way before marriage, and to an extent I agree! But I think that our society thinks that until we turn 25 we are good for little more than partying and bed-notching.

We should ENCOURAGE younger marriage as a society. We need to learn that a number on a page is not nearly so important as the ability of two people to be committed to each other and support themselves.

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