General Question

The_Invisible_Man's avatar

Is it too early to get married?

Asked by The_Invisible_Man (438points) January 29th, 2012

Everyone has their own pace with life and how they do things. I say, as long as you have the commitment and necessary funds to actually sustain a marriage, go for it. I sure don’t plan on being with anyone else other than her, and I speak for her when I say that she thinks the same way too. Are there any drawbacks for getting married to someone you love right now while you’re young?

That was a discussion I just had with a friend, but I want to hear your answers and opinions on the matter. I honestly think that if you truly love someone, and that person feels the same for you too that it’s okay to get married while you’re young. My girlfriend and I have been together for six months, going on seven. If I wanted to marry her in a few more months, would that be too early? Not that I’m having doubts about it or anything, I’d just like to know your opinions on the subject.

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47 Answers

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DaphneT's avatar

If you and she are over 18, then talk about the benefits and responsibilities that each of you wish and are willing to take on. If they mesh, and you can show each other how you each intend to commit your resources to sustaining each other, then you’ll have sufficient data to counter the many arguments you are likely to have with family and friends who don’t agree. If you can survive that, you may be able to stay married for longer than 6 months. Good luck.

DrBill's avatar

when people ask me this, I give them the marriage test, it does not have to be graded because the question answers itself when they read the questions, and most discover they don’t really know the other person.

chyna's avatar

How old are you guys?

zenvelo's avatar

Are you asking if it’s too early in life, or too early in the relationship?

You don’t say how old you are, but I would point out that marriages before age 22 are more likely to not last. People grow and change so much between the age of 18 and 26 or 27 that it’s hard to make a marriage at an earlier age grow through the two people’s changes.

As far as asking her now or in the next few months, you’ve been seeing her long enough to ask her.

YARNLADY's avatar

Some people are mature enough to get married at a relatively young age, and some never are, but get married anyway. There is no one answer fits all.

The_Invisible_Man's avatar

I’m 23 and she’ll be 19 soon. I suppose I’m asking both @zenvelo. We wont be having a kid till after we’ve graduated college when we can get the fiances we need to maintain a family. We’re mature enough to know that we must be responsible and think things through to live in society. It’ll take a lot of work, but I’m more than positive that we can make it.

everephebe's avatar

If you have to ask…
I’d say you need 5 + years to get to know someone well enough…

Zaku's avatar

In terms of age, I’d recommend waiting four years, personally, because brains continue to develop new capacities until about 23 years old, and because of my own experience getting married a little sooner than that.

In terms of time you’ve known each other, I’d recommend waiting at least another six months, and living and traveling together if possible, to see how you two interact in those situations, and after the chemical passion stage has lost some of its imperative.

However I recommend you talk openly with each other about it and come to an explicit agreement about what you are doing in the meantime, such as committing to stay together in an exclusive relationship for the next six months.

If you have a good enough relationship to try to stay together for life, then you do, whether or not you are officially married or not. Living together unmarried doesn’t necessarily have much downside, but marrying and then finding out you need a divorce, can have many annoying consequences.

Dog's avatar

Okay- not sure if you want to hear this but you asked the question so here goes:

No matter what you think, you do not really know someone till you have dated at least two years.

There is a significant difference between love and lust- and lust is in a big rush. Love truly waits and is not eager to solidify bonds before both have had ample time to know one another.

If someone wants to marry after six months you need to ask yourself why the big rush? A LOT can change in two years. What are they afraid of that makes them want commitment so early?

Age is another factor. As a person who can look back with true clarity I just want to let you know that there are specific ages where a person has a leap in maturity. 22–23 is a leap of maturity. 26–30 is the BIGGEST leap that I have seen personally. I literally found out who I truly was and what I really wanted from life in that age range and became a new person.

Several of my married friends (over 70% of them) broke up and divorced between the ages of 26–30 when each determined who they would be.

So that is my input. Take it or leave it.

gailcalled's avatar

@DrBill: Can you link us to your marriage quiz?

@The_Invisible_Man: From my life experiences and those of friends and family, I say that it’s too soon for both of you. If it is meant to be, it will last until you both have graduated from college.

Most of us married for what seemed like true love, and it turned out not to be. What is the harm in waiting?

I married at 23 and felt I was incredibly mature. Five years later he was the same fun-loving young guy and I was a completely different woman from the 23-year old girl.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Some people are mature enough to handle marriage at a relatively early age. Most are not. The downside for early marriage is that you miss a lot of what life can offer when you get married too early. If you get married too soon, you might not know your partner well enough to adjust properly to married life. It’s rare for two people to become best friends in six or seven months, in my experience. And that is what you should be to each other before you marry… best friends. Unless both of you are extrordinarily mature, it’s going to be very difficult to adjust to married life unless you ARE best friends.

I’ve been there, done that, and that’s my best advice.

gailcalled's avatar

@The_Invisible_Man: From your earlier question about relationships and the responses you gave to our responses, you sound like a very nice young man who was yearning for “Ms. Right.”

Is this your first real love affair? If so, why not enjoy each other and see what happens as time passes?

The_Invisible_Man's avatar

I really do appreciate everyone’s wisdom and advice on the matter. I certainly don’t want to make any big mistakes, which is why I posted this to begin with. I’ll talk with her about it and see what comes out of it. And @CaptainHarley, I believe you 100% when you say that people must be best friends with their mates to survive in a marriage, and that’s something my girlfriend and I are certainly working on. I really do feel like I can be myself around her, and she accepts my crazy goofiness and weirdness, as well as I do for her as well. But again, I’ll talk with her about this when I can to get some clarification.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@The_Invisible_Man

You’re not just “invisible,” you’re smart! : )

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I really think that it depends on the couple, but I understand why somebody would be against a couple marrying young. In many cases, people really are not ready get married at a young age, even if they think they are. Marriage is a huge thing and not something that should be taken lightly. That’s my opinion, though. Everyone else is fully entitled to their own.

The_Invisible_Man's avatar

@CaptainHarley Well thank you very much for that, and I also thank you for your knowledge on the matter. All I want to hear is the truth, and I’m glad that’s what I’m receiving here. :]

@gailcalled Well, I’ve been in others before, but they were all long distance and I’ve never met any of them in person before, but after being with my girlfriend for so long, I feel really connected with her, unlike what I was with the women I’ve been involved with in the past. I’m planning on waiting a bit longer to get married. I suppose there’s really no rush when I’m with her anyway.

gailcalled's avatar

@The_Invisible_Man: I repeat, you sound like a very nice man. However, a relationship where you have never actually met each other does’t count as real “life experience,” however much fun they were.

Cyber lovers don’t have morning breath or cranky moments, but you know that. Enjoy each other and don’t feel you have to talk big talk about the relationship just yet.

I don’t think that there is a universal truth here other than being too young can put the kibosh on a mature and long-term pairing.

The_Invisible_Man's avatar

@gailcalled I agree with you on that one, which is why things never worked out for me before, until now. And is why I like being with her so much because I can actually touch her, and see her for who she really is, instead of only knowing her through words on the computer screen.

BosM's avatar

If you have a committed relationship and continue to grow together as a couple then marriage will come in time. Finish school, establish yourselves in a career, and when the time is right you’ll know. Until then there is no reason to rush in where at least 50% of others before you have failed. Good luck. Pease, BosM

Aethelflaed's avatar

I agree with everyone saying that you should get to know this girl better. After all, marriage isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. However, my main advice is this: weddings are really expensive, especially if you do anything more than just get a justice of the peace to marry you at the courthouse over lunch. Divorces are really expensive, and have the added bonus of being incredibly emotionally taxing and traumatic. There’s basically no downside to waiting several more years, if only to make sure you aren’t making any financial decisions that can screw you and your credit rating over for years to come.

auhsojsa's avatar

@The_Invisible_Man My advice is don’t marry a girl you haven’t lived with. Moving in with someone reveals a whole lot.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Six months… my feeling is that you can’t possibly know each other well enough. Give it some time.

Paradox1's avatar

@auhsojsa It is strange then that couples who live together before getting married have higher divorce rates than those who do not.

@The_Invisible_Man Sometimes I think I want to marry my girl too, but than I’ll have these moments of clarity and be like… what was I thinking? It’s just too early. We ain’t got nothin’ but time. That doesn’t mean wait until you’re 35, but find compromise and balance – The Goldilocks Marriage.

jazmina88's avatar

marriage is a piece of paper and not needed for true relationship. It tests the relationship farther.
Hang out a few years and see if you guys still feel as much as you do now. Feelings change.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

I believe marriage is an obsolete institution that does nothing to enhance a relationship but complicates it immensely and entangles the participants in a legal morass. The only people who benefit from marriage are dress makers, cake decorators, florists, caterers, and divorce attorneys. If you want to have just as much fun with fewer complications, save up $35,000, flush it down the toilet, then post your banking and personal information on the Internet.

auhsojsa's avatar

@Paradox1 Please don’t take this as offensive tone, it’s low key. That’s interesting, I’d like to see a source announcing the statistics of your claimed high divorce rates?
I’m merely recommending getting a feel for how it would be to live with her and see how it works. I’m sure that stat reveals couples that get married with out have living together prior to marriage are also college grads that have saved up to move into a house of their own. Just a hunch though. Whilst mostly non college grads, the lower class, tend to move in earlier and do everything right after high school and haven’t learned “the real world” enough. Again, just a hunch.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@auhsojsa @Paradox1 While there has been a statistical correlation between those who cohabitate before marriage and higher divorce rates, researchers are now questioning the previous assumption that it is because of cohabitation that there are higher divorce rates. A couple of the biggest theories are that those who cohabitate are also less likely to believe that marriage is absolutely “until death do us part” than those who are uninterested in cohabitation, and that (some) of those who cohabitate are less sure about marriage in the first place.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

In my opinion you would be smart to date for a minimum of two years. You didn’t mention your ages, but don’t marry until you are both finished with your educations and have good jobs. That’s usually somewhere around 25. If you are committed to each other, what’s the rush to marry? The answer is usually insecurity in self or the relationship. Work through those things before you marry. Good luck

The_Invisible_Man's avatar

@MollyMcGuire I did mention our age. Find them up above. But thank you for the help nonetheless.

Soupy's avatar

I don’t feel that you can really get to know a person in only 6 months. You certainly can’t know them well enough to get married in this time. Plus you mentioned that you guys are both quite young. You’ll both change quite rapidly in the next few years, maybe so much so that you won’t be interested in each other anymore. I suggest waiting for a few years. If it’s all meant to be and whatnot, this should not be an issue.

xnightflowerx's avatar

There is a lot of good advice here.

If you want to marry her now you’ll want to marry her in a year, or two years, or five years. So why rush to it? How do you think being married will strengthen your love or show your commitment?

As many people have pointed out, six months is not a long time. And while its great that you’re in a relationship you’re happy with and feel so strongly about, its no reason to jump the gun to marriage. Instead its better to spend time getting to know each other, experiencing life together, helping each other through rough times, etc. And all the while you can do things that show your love and commitment to each other. And that is much more important then rings and ceremonies and pieces of paper that say you’re married.

Personally, I have bared witness to many young couples divorcing, and divorcing quite early in their marriages at that. I have a handful of friends who have all went through divorces in that last year and they are quite emotionally wrecked. Like their post relationship grief is this whole other monster. The guys (my friends), married girls who were 4–5 years younger then them, they started relationships with these girls when the girls were 18–20ish. Both the girls had serious married-life crisis’ within 6 months or so of being married, and they both walked out on my friends. One married pretty quickly, within about a year and a half, and the other had a relationship for 5 years.

I’m not trying to say your relationship is doomed or something. But people change after you’re with them for a while, and people change after you marry them, and at least from my observations, young people who get married tend to freak out about being married and frequently get divorced.

But I’ll leave you on a positive note as well, because I’m quite adamant about positive thinking these days. Two of my friends met when they were 18(f) and 22(m), they dated for two years, lived together for two years, were engaged for two years, and have been married for two years. And they’re probably the most stable couple I have known, and they’re very well suited for each other. They jokingly planned their relationship out like this early on, and then committed to the time table as their relationship progressed. So, sometimes it all works out, but in this case I think its worked so well for them because they slowly built up their relationship and their life together before getting married.

I really hope the best for you and your relationship.

JLeslie's avatar

My opinion is she is going to change quite a bit. 19 is very very young. You said you both are in college if I understood correctly? I don’t think you should get married until you both have finished assuming you are both attending full time. College is not real life at all. I completely believe you both are committed, mature, and responsible. I have many friends who dated throughout college, married afterwards (in fact most them started dating their husbands in high school) and are happily married 20 years later. There is no harm in waiting to marry while getting your degree, but being married and finding out a few years later it was a mistake is a real hassle.

JLeslie's avatar

This link has a table on it showing how the odds are against couples who marry at a young age. Not that it means you will be one of the ones divorced, but if you wait your odds get better you will be married forever.

tedd's avatar

Having read only the original post… personally 6 months is too early for me. My own rule of thumb (that I’ve never had to really test out) is that I would have to date a girl for at least a year, and be living with her… before getting engaged (and that’s assuming that I felt strongly enough in love that I wanted to marry her after all that).

But like you said, everyone moves at a different pace. A really good friend of my g/f met a guy about a month after my g/f and I started dating… engaged a few months later, and married before my g/f and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary (I believe they’d been together 10 months). No pregnancy even, lol…. Time will tell if it works, but for the moment they’re happy. Another set of friends dated for something like 3 years before he popped the question, and then they weren’t married for like another year and a half.

Hain_roo's avatar

I commend you for giving this major step in your life some serious thought. I personally think a relationship stands the best chance when both parties have been out to experience life on their own, had a few relationships before to compare the current one with.

You’ve gotten excellent advice here. We thought we were ready too.18 and 19, he in the navy. Once it became ‘real’ and the thrill of playing house wore off, it became more than obvious to me that neither one of us were ready for the commitment (and we’d been dating 2 years).

I say get to know each other, finish your studies, live together for a year first. That will be a good way to test whether your relationship has staying power.

~I wish you the best of luck!

mattbrowne's avatar

In almost all cases 19 is too young for a woman. It’s very risky to get married so early.

Judi's avatar

Some people just “Know.” I would say, as long as you get pre marital counseling to make sure you are going in with your eyes wide open, GO FOR IT!.
This is really only the second generation where it might be considered unacceptable, but people have been getting married at your age and younger since the dawn of man. I know my answer might be different from others, but I’m sticking to it.

Bart19's avatar

I’m twenty and my wife is twenty-three. We have been married for four months, lived together for six months and we’ve been together for two years and three months altogether. We are not rich, I’m only in my first year of university and we live with her parents. Based on most of the given advice and statiscally seen we are screwed. If we hadn’t always been an exception on the norm then I might have been worried.

I personally agree with @Judi. Some people do know. Six months might be early but if you give your relationship a lot of thought and perhaps you live together before you get married, then I don’t really see the problem. You can wait of course, which would be advisable if you don’t have the resources to pay, if desired, for a massive wedding. But otherwise I don’t really see the reason why you should wait. It might be terribly idealistic of me but shouldn’t love be enough when it comes to something like marriage?

gailcalled's avatar

@Bart19: Get back to us in ten years when you have better evidence. Good luck to you, however.

Kardamom's avatar

In my own opinion, based on my own experiences and observing the experiences of my friends and relatives, I think that is is best to wait until you are at least 30 to get married, and to live together for at least 2 years before you get married and to do lots and lots of things together before you get married like travel, be sick and take care of the other one, meet and spend time with each other’s family and friends, experience the holidays together (and apart) and talk talk talk and ask tons of questions before you even consider getting married.

Here are a bunch of questions that you should discuss with each other and come to some kind of a consensus, before you get married. But know that because you are at the age you are, you are both are probably in for some tremedous changes over the next 10 years, changes in social status, employment status, changes in your knowledge and attitude about world and social events and situations. That’s why I suggest waiting until 30, because after that, you are pretty much established in your belief system and know your desires (and things you can’t/won’t tolerate) by that time. I also suggest pre-marital counseling.

Rock2's avatar

Make sure you both have jobs first.

Judi's avatar

Actually, if they don’t both have jobs and they get married they can probably get more financial aid because they won’t have to use their parents income to qualify.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

“I know a woman, (who) became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day ain’t got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
And I think of things that might have been ”

Slip sliding away, by Paul Simon

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JaneraSolomon

Which makes a really good argument for having a “bucket list.” : )

Jen9003's avatar

I’ll be honest, I have been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years now, although I love him ALOT, I do not think I want to be married right now or anytime soon. I remember when we first got together and our relationship was still somewhat new, just like yours and at the time if he would of asked me to get married I would have without a doubt said yes! later on down the road, things do change. Some good some bad.

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