I’m a little skeptical of couples that choose to get married at a young age. Maybe their love is unique like a snowflake and it will defy all odds as they eagerly begin their journey together. Or maybe she wants a ring and he’s feeling pressure to propose. Or maybe the idea of staring into an abyss-like future alone is too intimidating. Or maybe rent is expensive and your parents don’t approve of cohabitation pre-proposal. Of course there are instances where a couple must grow up quickly and make these decisions earlier than planned, such as military couples facing deployment or a cross-country stationing. Over the span of my almost four years in a sorority, I’ve seen nine women become engaged while still in school. I’m close enough with a few of them, so I could ask, “Why now?” and the answer was always some variation of, “It felt like the right time and it feels really good to have part of my future figured out. Why not now?” Because we love and support our sisters, it’s easy to gloss over the reality of the heavy decision they’re making, fawn over the ring, and say we’re jealous. We may not be able to respond to “Why not now?” honestly out of respect for a decision that was not our own, but there are still so many reasons to wait until you’re older to get married.
You’re not the same person you’ll be in 10 years, and neither is he.
The idea of “growing up together” is nice, but it’s kind of bullshit. You don’t have much control over what parts of you are going to change, and you have even less control over those parts of him.
The first few years after you graduate are teeming with opportunity.
What other time in your life can you take a job or decide to move literally anywhere to do anything? That freedom is exponentially diminished when you have to take another person’s career into consideration.
People are living a really, really long time now.
Getting married at 23 may have been necessary for the pioneers, but there’s really no need to rush now that dysentery and smallpox aren’t major concerns anymore.
This also means that you’re hopefully going to spend a good 50 to 60 years with whomever you hitch your wagon to.
Better to wait and be as sure as possible than rush and end up a bitter divorcée before you hit 50.
As Gloria Steinem said, “We’ve become the men we wanted to marry.”
There is nothing we need a man to give us that we can’t give ourselves anymore, and thanks to technology, this includes orgasms. Making the choice to spend the rest of your life with someone should be based on mutual trust, respect, and love–not dependency. You can’t expect another person to supply your happiness, and sometimes it takes a few years to figure out how to find that happiness for yourself.
You have more money.
When you’re independently financially stable and you don’t have to depend on your parents to pick up the entire tab for the nuptials, you can insist on an extra bar, a mini cheeseburger station, and a live band without feeling like a monstrous diva-brat.
The longer he’s been in the workplace, the nicer your ring will be.
Materialistic? Sure. But don’t pretend you haven’t pinned a few carats on your “Dream Wedding” Pinterest board.
The older you are, the better your taste is.
There’s a time and place for paper lanterns, burlap, and cupcakes, and that was at your Sweet 16, not your wedding. Let your taste mature a little before spending thousands of dollars on a party you’ll look back on for years to come.
The same goes for your dress.
How many times have you heard your mom mourn her decision to wear a huge 1980s wedding dress with puffy sleeves bigger than her perm? That’s what happens when you go with trends over what fits your style. If you don’t let yourself grow up a little, you’ll be the one looking back at your wedding photos saying, “What was I thinking? A floral headband AND ankle booties? So 2014.” .