Ask Ciiku: Are we too young to get married?

Hi Ciiku.

My boyfriend and I are high school sweethearts, so we’ve been dating for many years. We are sure we want to spend the rest of our lives together and have even discussed marriage. He has hinted that he would like to propose soon. I truthfully would like to marry him because he’s a great partner. We are very compatible and have a fantastic, loving relationship built on mutual respect. However, a part of me is concerned because we are both kinda young (mid-twenties). We are both financially stable in careers we love. I’m lucky to have always had great jobs since right after campus and I’ve been working since age 22 and so has he, so money isn’t a factor. We have both moved out and live alone. We are pretty mature and I think we are ready for the next step. Also we are not super religious and so we are not waiting until we are married to have sex. It’s just a little scary seeing that I would be the first in my circle of friends (and acquaintances) to get engaged. It doesn’t help that these days most people are delaying marriage into their late twenties/ early thirties and beyond so I’m really feeling like we are the odd ones out.

Am I too young to get engaged/married?

Potential Young Wife

Dear PYW,

I find your question fascinating. Let me tell you why. You list out reasons why you think you should get married or why you are ready. You are of legal age to get married and therefore technically you are not too young to get married. And marriage is a state institution. Yes, we’d like to say it is cultural or religious but the state is what dictates marriage and the legal age is 18. Everything else in your letter is societal expectation based on your family and peers.

So I wonder if your question is really whether you are too young to get married but rather whether you are in the emotional space to get married.

Everything you mention suggests to me that marriage seems to be the next step…. That societal expectation of you based on where you are in your life. I can’t help but wonder, what have you thought about it all for you? Do people need to be in good careers to be ready for marriage? How do you measure maturity when it comes to getting married? Must one have lived away from your parents before getting married? What is the point of marriage?

So many questions I know, which you must answer for yourself because we both know that you surely aren’t too young to get married.

And really, what your friends are or are not doing should not be a consideration in what you want to do with your life.

All the best,

Ciiku

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