If you have been of the opinion that getting married on time especially in your 20s is a ‘no no’, then be ready to be convinced otherwise.
When my husband and I got engaged, I was 24. I was 25 when I walked down the aisle. At the time, people kept quiet, but as the years have gone on, I have found, especially among very educated, career-minded people on the East Coast, that there is a stigma against getting married in your 20s.
Model Molly Sims writes a compelling essay forRefinery29 about it in which she argues that getting married in your 20s is a massive mistake. She makes good points. When you get married young, you don’t have as much time to focus on your career, you have likely never lived alone (or if you did, it was for a very short time), and you have not had time to grow and change and experience the kinds of things that help form a good, well-rounded adult.
But I’d still choose it any day.
Here are 7 reasons getting married in your 20s really is the best decision.
1.) You grow up together.
When my husband and I got married, we knew nothing about long-term love. We knew nothing about the stock market or how to invest or how to save for college or buy a house. Every single thing — every “first” — we learned and did together. It was a process and not always easy. But by this time, 13 years into our partnership, everything we have is ours.
2.) No prenup.
When you start with nothing and earn everything together, there is no need for a piece of paper stating the obvious. Two broke kids getting married is a little different than two settled adults in their 30s. Or, as lawyer Cynthia Lifson puts it in a blog post on prenups:
“It might not make sense to sign a prenup if you and your betrothed are both young, just starting your careers, have about the same amount of money, and expect to earn similar incomes going forward.” No prenup. It’s a good thing.
3.) You can still change.
One of the best things about being married young is that you have not formed who you are yet. You are not set in your ways and can still grow and change with the person you choose to spend your life with.
As writer Syeda Nazmi says in her piece for Mind, Body, Green: “Life changes like uprooting and moving your career for someone (as many people do) are more easily done when you’re starting your career rather than once you’ve established a career, a house, or children.”
4.) You know each other so well.
If all goes well and you make it past the decade mark and well into your hectic 30s with kids, a mortgage, busy careers, and your love intact, it’s almost like being with your really sexy sibling (does that sound gross?). Let’s face it, you have seen this person puking their guts out after playing too many games of beer pong and get promoted into a position of leadership at his office.
When you know someone that well, the life decisions become a little easier. My husband knew, for instance, that when his company started talking about moving him to Ireland, I would be game. There barely even has to be a discussion. We know each other that well.
5.) Safer (& better!) s*x.
I could really see both sides of this argument. People in their 30s have been around more, they learned more with other partners, and on and on. But people who marry in their 20s have the distinct advantage of having learned how to have sex together. If you marry really young and you are both into sex, you basically learn to be a lover in a completely tailor-made way. What’s better than that? Then there is the safety factor.
“If you chose to get hitched earlier in life, you’re less likely to increase the number of sexual partners you have, which makes you less susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases,” says Nazmi.
Additionally, getting married younger really DOES mean better s*x. Dana Rotz at Mathematica Policy Research found that “a four-year increase in age at marriage is associated with a couple having sex about one time less per month.”
6.) Your husband will make more money.
While it’s true that women who marry young (who are also often less educated than those who marry older) often make less than those who wait, men who marry before 30 have a distinct advantage when it comes to earning. According to the Washington Post: “If men make more money because they get married, then speeding up marriage could reap some economic dividends.”
In my case, I suppose both things have been true. I probably make less than I would have if we’d waited and he probably makes more. It all evens out in a good marriage.
7.) You’ll be happier.
Whether it’s for the reasons above or for some other reason, people who marry in their 20s report feeling happier and more satisfied in their marriages, according to UVA sociologist Brad Wilcox, who runs the National Marriage Project and was a co-author of its “Knot Yet” report.
“Among 24- to 29-year-olds, those who got married are less likely to get drunk frequently and to report that they’re ‘highly depressed.’ Among 20- to 28-year-olds, married people are likelier to say they’re ‘highly satisfied’ with their lives.”
Wow. The truth is, of course, that happier people might just marry earlier. They look on the bright side. They are easier to please. So it might follow that those same people are STILL happy later. But still. I’d say for me, it’s true for sure. The happiest moments of my life have come because I said “I do” at 25.
Now, obviously, getting married is not just up to you. You have to find the right person and have it make sense and everything else that goes with it. But all things being equal, I wouldn’t change getting married in my 20s for anything.