20 and with the same guy for 4+ years. 21 and engaged. 22 and married. Why do these statements, as well as other similar ones have a negative stigma attached? Are we too young? Too naive to be in everlasting love? Too stupid to want to settle down?
And to anyone who thinks those things, I have a big “shut your mouth” for you.
I read an article today called 23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you’re 23. I do acknowledges that this was extremely well written in my opinion but I did exactly as she said I would: I took offense.
I am 22 years old currently, got married at 21. I have a college degree and have spent the last year living somewhere I would’ve never had the opportunity to. Am I young? Yes. Am I naive/stupid/too young to be in love? Hell no.
The authors observation of us youngins who get engaged or married before 23, is that we are all inexperienced. Now, I don’t know about all of you, but as a 22 year old I’ve had my share of dating, sex, higher education (to include exploration into psychology, nursing, athletic training, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine), religion exploration (no, I don’t have one I follow, but I’m educated enough that when I feel necessary to, I’ll be able to), and to top all that off, I didn’t get to travel until I got married!
I do not, in any sense disagree with the single life. I think it’s a beautiful thing if you aren’t going around doing anything that walks. But I admit, I did enjoy the freedom of going out with no strings attached.
But I would NEVER go back.
I have never been happier in my life than I am right now. Getting married did so much for me as a person, not because I have someone legally stuck with me or because I rely on them 24/7. It’s because I became the version of myself I always wanted to be, but didn’t know how to be.
I found my voice and I no longer take everyone’s disrespect. I know how to stand up for myself. I laugh so much more. I’ve made new friends that I never thought I would. My husband helped me find the person I wanted to be. Something that I had been trying to find for at least 3 1/2 years with no success. And so many other things.
So to those of you who think getting married is a waste of your young adult years, here’s a list of things you can STILL do before you turn 23.
2. Bake a cake…and have a batter fight. Make a mess and laugh about it.
3. Go out dancing.
4. Meet new people.
5. Adopt a pet.
6. Draw or find your dream house.
7. Plan your career.
8. Go to school for something you love or something you’ve never considered trying before.
9. Achieve a goal.
10. Discover a new talent.
11. Learn a new skill.
12. Get drunk off your ass because you freaking can you awesome fuck!
13. Throw a party.
14. Take lots of stupid pictures.
15. Spend hours playing your favorite video game.
16. Have a movie marathon with all your friends…with or without alcohol/hookah/whatever tickles your fancy.
17. Get dressed all sexy like for a night out.
18. Make memories that will last a lifetime.
19. Three words: mile high club.
20. Get the beach body you always wanted.
21. Road trip!!!
22. Eat whatever you want whenever you want.
23. Live your life however the hell YOU want to live it!
Being married doesn’t always ruin someone’s life, and if it unfortunately ends in divorce, then it was a learning experience for you both! But you can never regret something you once wanted.
We shouldn’t judge anyone’s relationship or lack thereof. My relationship is going to be completely different from “Suzie down the street” or “Jimmy from high school.” Do what you want and let other people do what they want. Just be happy in your life and find whatever it is that makes it stay that way. That’s the whole point isn’t it?
So shut up and let’s go have a drink my single AND married peeps.