I asked two of my young-ish newly married friends about their experiences. Lucky you: you get to hear from all three of us about what being married is like and all the fun societal comments that come with it. The first post is from Kaitlin! She did something similar to me: get married, move to a new city. Except she’s all the way across the country west coasting. You don’t have to hear this from me though… After you finish reading this, stay up to date with Kait here. 😉 And wish her a very happy first anniversary.
Ryan and I have been together since August of 2010. I have been dating, and am now married to the man I have spent the past seven years of my life loving. I was 18 and in my sophomore year of college when I, by chance, happened to meet him. It sounds bizarre, I know, but from the very moment I walked in and saw/talked to him I just had a feeling that there was going to be more than just a one-time, casual dinner at a friend’s going away get together. What I did not know at the time was just how quickly I was going to fall for this guy, or just how much that initial dinner was going to change my life.
After seven plus years, I still remember the exact outfits we were wearing, I can recall the the hours leading up to our first meeting, and more clearly than anything else, I can recollect the feelings I felt, and the conversations we had while we were at that dinner. You know when they say you are so immersed in conversation with someone that it is almost as if you two are the only ones in the room? Yeah, I didn’t…until that night. In just over an hour (that’s my best guess, I feel like time really did stand still in that moment) I talked to a complete stranger about our hopes, dreams, plans, and fears. I put myself in a vulnerable position…and I didn’t seem to mind. But enough about the meeting and my seven-year long butterflies, that isn’t what this post is supposed to be about…not really, anyway. This post is to touch on the skepticism or the taboo that surrounds young marriages. I’m not quite sure if I still fit the bill since I got married at 25, but here goes:
Ryan and I started dating in 2010. In June of 2013 I started school in Wilmington, five hours away from home…and Ryan. by 2014 I was fully immersed in my major, and started receiving the inevitable questions from my peers (and sometimes even the occasional professor) regarding my relationship with Ryan. Not weird or inappropriate, just casual “tell me about yourself, your plans, etc.” type stuff. I was frequently asked if I thought we were going to get married. If yes, when? Followed immediately by “gosh, you’re young…do you think it is a good idea to rush into marriage?” For starters, I would hardly say we “rushed” into anything. Six years of dating seems like a decent amount of time to date someone before moseying to the alter. Furthermore, at 25 and 29 I think we both had reached the time in our lives when we were ready to make that commitment to one another. I can maybe understand the skepticism if we had only just met and decided rather impulsively to get married. That was not the case, not even a little.
I don’t know when or why it started, but it seems that there is some sort of stigma with getting married early. Almost as if saying, anytime a couple gets married and such and such an age they are young, naive, impulsive, and doomed to fail. Why did that become a thing, and can we go ahead and squash that ideology asap?! I wonder if society took as much time rooting for these people and their marriages (if they feel the need to be involved at all) instead of placing bets on their longevity and picking their relationship apart if the divorce rate would start to decline? Also, can we stop say “settling down?” I would hardly say I “settled,” and if this is settling, don’t mind if I do. Personally, I thought I got the long straw in this thing, but what do I know? I won’t say that I have all the answers, or that I have figured out this whole marriage thing, but I think it is important for it to be known that getting married, at least for myself and Ryan was not just thing we did out of youthful spontaneity, but rather, something we did because we had reached the point in our relationship where we were ready to move on to the next chapter and make this forever commitment to one another.
With that being said, marriage is tough. It is more than just laughter, butterflies, date nights, and honeymooning. Marriage is arguing because the tv is too loud, how toilet paper is supposed to go, picking up dirty clothes (from right in front of the hamper), and a million other things. Marriage is compromise, hard work, and loving someone so much, but wanting to rip their head off at the same time–no matter the age. It is loving someone with every ounce of your being, and knowing that, at the end of the most awful day in the most tumultuous week of the craziest year, you are going home to the same person, and relying on them to let you vent and tell you that you are loved–and believing them. I could say a million more things about what marriage is, or isn’t, but one thing is for sure: marriage is not for the faint of heart. You work and work and work at it, and give it your all, every day, for forever…committing to making it work on the roller coaster of life you have embarked on..