I’ve been engaged for a little over a month, and I’ve been lucky enough to have mostly positive vibrations flowing from my family and friends upon hearing the news. However, I already know what will be said by new people I encounter who are skeptic of my life choices. You, the reader, might even think that 20 is just too young to be so romantically involved and emotionally invested in someone. Allow me to dispel some common assumptions.
1.) You’re not ready. Let me clue you in on my previous relationships: abusive, miserable, hopeless. I wasted a lot of my ‘prime’ teenaged years chasing people who never wanted to be with me in the first place and trying to force unhealthy relationships just so I wouldn’t be alone, and because I thought I was in love. I would even go as far as to say I’ve been through more crap in my ‘love life’ during the last 5 years than most people go through in their entire lives. When I found my fiancé, I found someone who made all of the pain of the past disappear. He loves me unconditionally, doesn’t make me feel guilty for any of my flaws, and ultimately, he’s my best friend. Yes, I am ready to accept that kind of love into my life forever, and no one is in a position to tell me I’m not.
2.) You’re not mature enough. Well, if you had said this to me a couple of years ago, I would have to agree. I was completely immature in those past relationships. I made a lot of mistakes and hurt a lot of people, and got hurt a lot as well. I had to go through all of that to become to emotionally mature person I am now. And of course, there’s always room to grow; my future husband and I plan to grow together. We are mature enough to realize that we’ll be engaged for an extended period of time to allow me to finish school and for the both of us to save, which brings us to the next assumption…
3.) You’re not financially stable enough. You’re right, I don’t have a career yet- I’m only in college. I do work a couple of different paid jobs as well as an unpaid internship though. Seeing as my fiancé does have a steady paying job, he makes sure we’re both taken care of and that his bills are paid on time. Money is not a factor in our relationship, and wasn’t an area of apprehension for him when he asked me to marry him. The fact that my family still helps me out financially has nothing to do with the love that I share with my fiancé. We do the best that we can, and yes, we know how expensive weddings and honeymoons are, we are perfectly aware. We’re more than happy saving up for a couple of years to make sure we get exactly what we want.
4.) You’re missing out on being young. I find this one funny because… I am young. My age dictates the fact that I am young. When people say this, what they really mean is that ‘you’re missing out on acting crazy.’ I’m missing out on getting drunk on cheap liquor at a dirty fraternity house and feeling pressured to hook up with someone who probably wouldn’t even talk to me again after he got what he wanted? Cool, that was never my thing anyways. And I am NOT judging people my age who do these things, not at all. All I’m saying is that, partying and hooking up and all of that stuff was never for me. I don’t feel like college-aged kids should be blamed for wanting to do those things, but in my eyes, I also see them as ‘missing out’ on making a really deep connection with someone who will always love and respect them. But ultimately, they’re not at that stage of their life yet- I am. I had my small fix of being ‘crazy’ and dating around, and now I found someone I envision myself being happy with for the rest of my life- and we sure as Hell enjoy being young together!
5.) Nobody gets married this young anymore, it won’t work out. Yeah, I know that a lot of people are getting married when they’re ‘older’ now, but think about this: 27 is not old either. 27 is just an age that’s expected to be financially stable and emotionally ready for commitment, and therefore, presumed to be a good ‘marrying’ age. But the reality is that everyone’s different, and wether your financially stable or emotionally ready or not, the opportunity sometimes presents itself unexpectedly. I had no idea that my fiancé was going to propose to me, but I could not imagine my life without him. It doesn’t matter if I were 20 or 27 at the time he asked me, ‘yes’ was the only word I would have said. We actually have plenty of friends who are our age and happily married, and we know all of them through the military. Many young military members prefer the married life: it promises love, support, and stability in a lifestyle that doesn’t lend itself to those values. And, not to mention, how many parents and grandparents do you know who have been together since high school?
Young married couples are thought of as blinded by puppy love, stupid and impulsive in their decisions. For me, that’s seems to better describe college relationships that are solely based on physical attraction and petty drama. But now that I’m engaged, and even when I was only dating my fiancé, I’ve never felt so level-headed in a relationship in my life. I am able to take a step back and think, hey, I really love this person, and neither of us are perfect, but we want to be together forever, and we’re both willing to put the time and effort in to make it happen, no matter what.
Everyone’s lives play out in a certain way, and
it’s nobody’s job to make others feel bad about or second-guess what makes them happy. There’s always the ‘I’m just giving advice, we just want what’s best for you!’ argument, but advice would be suggesting how to finance for the future, or to give tips on how to work through difficult situations that arise in marriage. If asked for, this info is greatly appreciated! Advice is not telling someone what you think is best for them.
When you think about reversing the questions to apply to, say, a newly engaged couple in the 60’s- “you’re too old, you missed your chance, etc.”- you realize how silly these questions are. People have no problems with the idea that you’re never too old to find love, and I think it’s time we include the idea that you’re never too young to find love, too.