“Getting married at 22 is a lot like leaving the party by 9 PM.”
Basically what this means is that a party doesn’t begin in full swing before 10 PM, in the same way real life doesn’t start until you’re older. You miss all the fun when you leave the party so early, pretty much before it really even started. It’s the same if you get married really young; you tend to lose out on a lot of the fun during that phase of life. By no means am I criticizing people who get married early. To be honest, as much as society dictates otherwise, getting married has nothing to do with age; it’s more to do with when you’re mentally ready for a life-long commitment. Every person has a different situation and exposure to life so we can’t really put a definitive number on which is the perfect age for someone to get married. All I’m saying is that it’s important to marry when you’re ready, not when you are expected to. However, since this isn’t a post about whether marrying young or old is better, I will get down to why I’m glad that I didn’t get married at 24.
- I get to travel A LOT: I am a complete travel junkie. I need at least 3 vacations a year. I literally have a bucket list of 50 places I want to visit before I am 50. My mom keeps telling me, “I traveled with my husband, and you should too.” What if I marry someone who doesn’t like to travel? Why do I need to rely on someone to travel with me? I get to travel where I want and when I want, without having to worry about fitting someone’s schedule when I am single.
- My time is solely my time: A marriage is a union between two people. We all lead very busy lives in today’s age. We hardly get any time for ourselves between work, family, and social obligations. Our youth is the time we should spend trying to figure out what we really want in life and that “me time” really helps us with that. I get to do things that I really want to, I don’t need to worry about accommodating someone else while doing things for myself.
- Marriage is not when life ends: Contrary to popular belief, marriage isn’t the ultimate end in life, death is! People need to stop acting as if getting married makes someone’s life completely fulfilled. There are numerous people who lead happy and single lives and many that lead unhappy married lives. I’m not saying that I don’t believe in marriage, all I am saying is we need to stop acting like that is all there is to life.
- I will be more willing to compromise but not settle: I have always felt that no relationship in life will sustain without compromise and adjustment. However there is a very fine line between compromising on something and settling for it. When we are younger we don’t realize this but with age and experience we tend to understand the difference.
- Get a chance to explore: I am genuinely glad for the people who find their true love early on in life. However for most of us, it is a process of exploration. By the time you get older, you would have met a number of different people. You get a chance to explore a variety of people, thereby figuring out which one works best for you.
- I will be more self-reliant: When someone gets married in their early 20s, for the most part, they move from their home to their husband’s house. They haven’t had a chance to be independent or self-reliant yet. The way they have relied on their parents for everything until they get married, they will rely on their husbands for the same. A marriage isn’t about two people relying on each other in every life aspect; it’s about two self-reliant people helping each other grow in a relationship. If one person is continuously relying on the other in every facet of life, it will inevitably create resentment in both of them over a period of time.
- My Mr. Good guy is out there somewhere: No offense but I find it extremely funny when people come and tell me, “Get married quickly or all the good guys will be taken.” First of all, I truly believe that there is more than one “good guy” for me and he will come by when the time is right. Secondly, if I am missing out on these so-called good guys, it’s because I was never meant to be with them to begin with.
Studies show that getting married in your early 20s increases the rate of divorce. I am absolutely not saying it’s true for everyone; in fact I personally know a lot of people who got married in their early 20s and are still happily married. However, think about it, there is a major change in your thinking, priorities, and lifestyle through your 20s. What was important to you early on may not be important to you later. This is when arguments creep in and distances increase leading to a divorce. Ngina Otiende once said, “A great marriage is made up of two people who consistently put their vows before their feelings.” This attitude comes with maturity and not many people have this level of maturity in their early 20s. So, I am glad I didn’t get married at 24; it was the best decision I ever made.