Friday, June 10, 2016

Getting Married at 21

I've often heard this phrase countless numbers of times, "Why are you getting married? You're still so young." Sometimes I wonder if this question is a way to make me doubt/feel bad for the decision I'm making. 

Regardless, what's my reply to that? Usually it's a shrug and a small smile or other times I say, "It's part of life!" But most times, it's a shrug. Why? Well let me explain to you what I can't in a 30 second conversation. 

Getting married is very much a big, important and life long commitment, isn't it? Of course! You're making a promise to be with someone for the rest of your life, or in my case, for all of time and eternity. Being married is more than just dating someone, being in a relationship with someone, or being someone's girlfriend/boyfriend. Being married requires you to give all of yourself to the other person. Not saying that you don't do that when you're only girlfriend and boyfriend but being married brings that commitment to a different level.

I've had individuals try to reason with me and express the following concerns about a young marriage:
1. you haven't finished school
2. you haven't experienced enough life
3. you haven't traveled enough
4. you haven't dated enough people
5. you're too young
6. you're still not mature enough
7. you don't make enough money
8. you don't have a career yet
9. you need to just be young
10. you need to learn more about yourself

Although the above statements may be valid to a degree, there are also plentiful reasons why they aren't. When you love someone, and you know you love someone, why would you not take the next step in full heartedly committing yourself to them? I mean, I know you don't need to get married to show you are committed to someone but why wouldn't you, if you could?

Now here are my replies to the above statements:
1. You haven't finished school. Why do I need to be finished school to get married? What difference does it make? Your marital status shouldn't change that. If anything, instead of setting apart time from your studies to go spend time with someone that you care about, that person will always be there. That person can be your constant companion that can help you through the rough, stressful and busy times that you have while in school! ie. I talked to a friend and they said getting married young was one of the best decision they made. Especially when they were studying to be admitted into dental school, the stress that came along with it was more than the average stress-level of the usual post-secondary student, and once they had been accepted, that level raised even more! Without their wife by their side, they expressed their uncertainty as to whether or not they would've even made it to this professional program or would've even completed it. The never ending support that he always got, allowed for him to succeed as well as he did!

2. You haven't experienced enough life yet. Why do I need to experience all of life alone? Everyones perception to how much life they need to experience individually is to the individual. For me, I feel that I've experienced what I've wanted to. And the rest? I can't wait to experience the rest of life and all that it has to offer with my forever companion!

3. You haven't traveled enough. Just because you get married doesn't mean you can't travel. I've known many people who take fun girl trips with their girlfriends or sometimes even go and do exchange/service trips alone or together! Being married doesn't limit you to exploring the world! Even if you haven't traveled to all the places you have on your bucket list, you can always explore once you get married!

4. You haven't dated enough people. Why does it matter how many people I have or haven't dated? Do I need to make my rounds to know exactly what I do or don't like about someone? Do I need to make a checklist of all the things that I need in my perfect and idealic Prince Charming? On that note, no one is perfect. When you go to the store looking for an item and find exactly what you're looking for, do you continue to search for something better? No. The same applies here. I've found someone who is exactly what I'm looking for. Why would I need to test someone else out?

5. You're too young. Since when does age constitute a good time to get married? I understand that the average age that people get married at is between 25-30 years old, in today's society, but why? Is it because most individuals have finished school, have a more established career and are financially better off? Maybe, but I personally don't think that age needs to be a factor in when a "correct time" to get married is. Is there an age that is too old to get married? No. Everyone's "normal" is different. It's just more usual and common that people get married between the ages of 25-30.

6. You're still not mature enough. Maturity is subjective to the individual. Your degree of maturity is due to your life experiences and what you've learned from them. Some individuals may feel that the way you act and who you are, are an outward expression of your maturity, but just because you act a certain way or you do things are certain way does not necessarily reflect that. You are the best judge of yourself and whether or not you're ready to make certain life decisions.

7. You don't make enough money. If I didn't think I could handle the financial aspect of being married, I don't think I would be getting married, in all honesty. And to individuals who might not have a ton of money saved up, I don't think that should entirely stop you from making a commitment to each other. You work together, to figure out what works!

8. You don't have a career yet. Just because I don't have a career..means what? What if I never have a real career? Does that mean I should never get married? I personally don't think so. Having a career would probably mean that I've finished school and also am in a spot financially to get married. Refer to 1 + 7.

9. You need to just be young. Wait...did you not just say I'm not mature enough? What if I don't want to live in a phase of partying & drinking? I can be married and still be young. Just because I'm married doesn't mean I can't do things that other people my age do. Yes, I will have more responsibilities from being married but being married doesn't add numbers to my years. It just means I get to be young with someone awesome by my side!

10. You need to learn more about yourself. At what point can someone measure or judge when you've learned "enough" about yourself? Life is a continual process of learning! Certain life events need to occur to continue your further understanding of who you are! We are human. We evolve, change and become different everyday. We won't ever truly 100% learn all that we need to know about ourselves.

Yes, I've only lived for 2.1 decades. That's roughly 1/4 of the average life expectancy of a human. But, just because I've lived less life doesn't mean that I have experienced less life. Is there a checklist that says "Things that need to be completed to say you've experienced life"? Do I need to experience all of life before I get married? I personally don't think so. There are some things that are maybe better to experience on your own. Why? Maybe to develop your own personal character? To learn more about yourself? To build a person that you can call you, before giving it all to someone else? There are lots of reasons but I don't want to experience all of life before I get married. I want to be able to experience part of my life with the person I love. The person who is always going to be there to support me. The person who is always going to be there to care for me. The person who is always going to be there to love me. Life brings many kinds of experiences. Happy and Sad. Good and Bad. Trials and Triumphs. What do you do during the bad, sad, and ugly parts of life? The parts full of trials? You work through it together, build together and get through it together. What I want, is to be able to share my happy times, my good times, and my triumphant times with that individual that I love with all my soul and being. Why wouldn't you want to share that? Why would you want to limit your happiness just to yourself?

The process and experience in planning for a wedding has been an eye opener. There has been a lot of planning, DIYing, and so many other parts to it, but most importantly it's allowed me to realize that I can't wait to make a commitment to the person that I love. The person that I want to spend my life with, and not to mention all of time and eternity.

Now the next time someone asks me, "Why are you getting married? You're still so young." I'll remember to say "Because I know it's right."


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