My sisters and I. Lindsey (middle) married at 24.

A colleague of mine recently wrote an article about the benefits of getting married young. This subject always gets to me!

I always wanted to get married young. I mean, I wanted to get married when I was 18 or 19 — young! In high school, I dreamed about finding the man I would marry and having a family. I wanted to be a Mom. I loved that I had a young Mom and I wanted to be one as well. Why that mattered to me, I don’t know.

I started worrying I wouldn’t “find someone” when I was about 20. Ugh — how silly! I look back on my younger days and cringe at all the time and energy I spent worrying about finding the right guy. Cringe cringe cringe!

Why couldn’t I have just let life be and stop hoping that every new crush would be my future husband? My parents didn’t instill this in me so I don’t know where it came from.

I don’t think this was normal. I was definitely extreme but I wonder if there are girls out there today wasting their time worrying about the same thing? And should they be? Megan argues that it should at least be on their minds. I think it should be a very minimal part.

In my mid-twenties, I became slightly very bitter. While all of my friends back home in Indiana started getting married and having kids, I felt like an outcast. In DC, people didn’t marry as young but I would go home and feel left out of life.

Like many singles, I was SO TIRED of seeing the engagement/marriage/baby updates on Facebook. I had to block a few people. It was terrible. A  new engagement seemed to surface every day while I continued on, dating a stream of obviously “wrong guys.”

Now, here I am at 31 about to get married. It’s not as old as it once seemed — and I’m actually okay with it. Had you told me this would be the magic age back in college, it would have sounded devastating. How wise we grow with the years — another reason getting married at 21 might not be your best option.

One cultural argument for marrying young means that you are promoting family, stability and  traditional values. Research does show that marriage leads to all kinds of good benefits for children and adults. I agree with it — valid points.

But what about people it just isn’t working out for — or don’t have that desire?

We can’t live our lives according what is “hopefully best for the culture at large.” I mean, I never had anyone knocking down my door to propose marriage. Am I outside the ordinary? Was I just too picky? Questions I will never have the answer to…

And don’t even get me started about the Christian church dating culture — that’s a big mess in and of itself (confusion abounds!) Probably why I head outside of the church crowd hoping for something more promising only to be disappointed. It just wasn’t my time and there’s nothing I could do about it — no matter how much I aimed to “marry young.”

When I hear these cases for marrying young, I am frustrated — because most people who don’t marry young aren’t actually making a conscieous choice to postpone marriage. I certainly wasn’t. I remember turning 27 and thinking — THIS is my year. This is the year that I’ve been waiting for — to meet the right person.

And then….28. There is so much pressure on women to get married that it’s no wonder the tide turned another direction (at least in big city areas). The pressure was just TOO much!

And now, I’m really happy I didn’t get married at 18 or 20. Life has been full of what I never even knew I wanted and I’m so happy about that. Now, I’m ready. And this is the right time for me and my fiance.

So what am I saying? Marry young, marry old, marry at 31 — but don’t spend your time worrying about trying to appease some kind of cultural hope. Certainly don’t marry for financial stability or simply to not “be alone.” If you want to be with someone and have a family, you do have to prioritize certain aspects of your life but be reasonable, be flexible, and mostly, be happy.

What do you think? Should you focus on getting married at a young age? Does it matter? 
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