I’m sure many of you have read that article circulating, called “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23.” If you haven’t read it, you might find it interesting. (Please note that the article in the link contains explicit words.) So many opinions can be formed about this girl’s views, and many opinions have already been mentioned. In having a website focused on strengthening marriage, as well as helping the world understand the beauty of marriage, we couldn’t let our opinion go unheard.
To give a brief summary of the article, the writer of this article is 22 years old (same age as my husband and I), is not married, and tells about her opinions of why being married at this time in her life would not be sensible. She shares her list of 23 things she thinks we should be doing instead of being engaged or married at our age. She states how she looks at her friends who are married, in a negative way, as if her life is much better than there’s. She makes several judgments on the character of young married couples. One example of that is this statement:
“I have begun to notice a common thread amongst all these young unions: inexperience. Inexperience with dating, traveling, risks, higher education, career direction, SEX, solitude, religious exploration, etc… and it’s insane that I have already experienced more of the world in the last 22 years than my married peers will ever experience in their life.”
I can’t help but feel annoyed by her statement. WHO SAID THAT BEING MARRIED AT 22 MEANS I WILL STOP EXPERIENCING LIFE?! HOW CAN SHE PROVE THAT JUST BECAUSE I’M MARRIED, SHE WILL BE EXPERIENCING MORE IN LIFE THAN ME?! And more-so, How can I prove that?
The answer is that I can’t, because I don’t know what the future holds, but neither does she. I know my happy and optimistic feelings, and have so much faith that life is going to be so great with Trevor, and that we are going to experience so much together! The ultimate answer to that question, though, is that I don’t NEED to prove it to her, or any of you. None of us should ever have to prove the reasons for our love, or the reasons we chose to marry, to anyone but our spouse. So why should I have to defend that love to her or anyone else?
I realize that this is her opinion, as immature, and one-sided as it is, especially coming from a viewpoint that has not experienced marriage yet. With that being said, I am going to address three of her opinions with my own opinions, from the completely opposite side, as a 22-year-old married woman.
“It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own…
1. Where have you been lady? YEAH, THE WORLD IS BIG AND SCARY. I think we all can admit that, and it’s not shameful; it’s a fact. What a huge blessing to have someone by your side to face it all! Why would that ever be a bad thing? Who said I’m hiding? Last time I checked, my husband and I have walked side by side, facing our trials together, holding hands along the way. If having one person you can unconditionally trust, who loves you, who will do anything for you, is a safety blanket, then I don’t know what I, or anyone, wouldn’t do to cuddle underneath that blanket.
“Grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore. Do. Freaking. Something… other than “settle down” at 23 with a white picket fence.
2. FACT: Everyday I grow, learn, party, cuddle, read, and explore with my husband. And though we may not travel on a plane somewhere often, we travel on joy rides, blasting our favorite songs. We travel to the bed. We travel to the dollar movie theater for a date night. We travel up north to visit our amazing families. If that’s my ‘white picket fence,’ fantasy, then girl, I’m settled down, and totally fine with it!
“Because at the age of 22, I have no idea who I am, what I’m doing, and who I’ll be doing it with for the next year… let alone for the rest of my life. And that’s awesome.”
3. Finding yourself. What a long journey that is for all of us. I can totally relate to her on that, as I’m sure we all can. But what I got out of that statement, is two things: One, not all of us are ready for marriage at the same time as others, which is totally fine. I just happened to be absolutely ready for it when I was 22, and so was my husband. And two, that some of us find ourselves by finding our special someone. It’s what I call, “finding your other half.” Maybe that’s why she has no idea who she is. Maybe that is why she doesn’t feel a sense of direction in her life.
Not once have I ever regretted my decision to marry Trevor. I was at a point in life where I could not progress any further without my eternal companion, and I believe this life is all about progression. As another person who responded to this article stated, “I do not believe there is an “appropriate” age to get married, only an appropriate mindset.” Not all of us are in that mindset at 22, 23, 35, or even 47. Obviously she is not. And that is fine. Whether you were married young, or you are still living the single life, just enjoy it! Make a fun list of the things you want to do, whether it’s courageously on your own, or running side by side with your spouse! Just don’t tell someone their life-changing decisions were terrible, just because they aren’t your own.