Nowadays, we are so focused on our education, careers and becoming the individuals that we want to become, that we often don’t think about marriage in our early 20’s. On the contrary, popular culture encourages us to date many people, get to know ourselves and the options out there, and only then finally decide to settle down.
If you are considering marrying your partner in your early 20’s, you probably feel a little bit like you are going against the flow. For some reason, everybody seems to assume that you cannot make a good decision just because you are young.
Assuming there is no compulsion and no rebellion in your decision, I think you can – and should.
In his book, Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead, writer Charles Murray describes two approaches to getting married. One is to wait until you are established, as a professional and as an individual, decide what you want in life, and only then evaluate your partner as a potential spouse. The ‘corporate merger’ approach. Another one is a ‘startup approach’. Murray defends the startup approach, saying that growing together and becoming something with each other’s help is a beautiful thing.
Seriously. If you clearly see that you found the right person, then, why wait? You don’t get to become one of those legendary couples, married for 50+ years, by not getting married.
Making a commitment early on teaches responsibility – yet you bring that carefree youthfulness into your married life. You may not know what life would be like with another person – but who really knows that, anyway? And yes, as life goes on, you may see that you are becoming different people who are no longer right for each other – which would be a painful thought, whether you are married or just dating.
Despite their best intentions, nobody else knows what’s best for you. It’s your life, and it’s your right to live and learn from the consequences of your decisions.