It’s funny – with most things these days, we want it immediately. That new movie that’s out, Facebook notifications, those clothes we bought online. The only thing we seem happy to wait for is marriage, as made clear by a recent article titled “5 Good Reasons Why You Should Wait Until You’re 30 to Get Married” by a certain Paul Hudson at Elite Daily.
Well I don’t think we should wait that long. Sure, not everyone will meet their future spouse until that age or later, and that’s fine. But if you’ve found a great person and the only reason you’re not hitched is because you’re still in your twenties, that’s a problem.
So Mr. Hudson came up with five reasons not to get married until 30 (listed below). Let me refute those for you:
You barely know yourself
Sure, you barely know yourself and sure, you’ll probably change over the next few years. But this is not limited to an age group – I’m pretty sure I’ve met a lot of much older people with those characteristics. Plus I think we all know many successfully married couples who got married long before 30.
On another note, changing and growing as a person does not have to be done excluding all other people – if the right person is in your life, they should be helping you to develop for the better. I therefore render this argument invalid.
You’re most likely not financially stable
I’ll always remember what my high school biology teacher used to tell us about the start of marriage – “all you need is a mattress and a kitchen!” A tad direct perhaps, but a good lesson nonetheless. She’s a classic.
I’m not going to deny that money is important when starting married life, but you could be waiting forever to reach this financial stability – especially considering that in our society this means house paid off, gardens landscaped to perfection, the latest entertainment system and enough disposable income for a regular getaway (also so when a child comes along, they can just be “slotted in” to this lifestyle without loss of comfort).
My parents have made it clear over the years that they didn’t start with much (case in point: my dad was unemployed when he proposed), but that they grew more financially stable over the years. They had each other, they worked hard, and they got there – all the happier for it really.
You may very well feel like you haven’t experienced enough
Here’s what confuses me about the “you need more life experience” argument. Whoever said that you couldn’t gain life experience with a loved one by your side?
Sure, if you’re after a sleeping-around kind of life experience, a relationship does complicate things. But I firmly believe that sleeping around is not something that you need to do to enjoy a fulfilled life, and it’s definitely not a prerequisite to settling down. That kind of lifestyle is more likely to lead to the development of selfishness, insecurities and more baggage to take into a future relationship.
But genuine, selfless life experience – travel, volunteering, learning, friendships, the ups and downs of the years – these can definitely be experienced with a spouse. (NB: Let’s make it clear that I’m all for the single years which are intrinsic to grow and develop. But there’s no reason that these can’t happen in your late teens and early twenties).
Marriage is forever, what’s the rush?
I can think of a few practical reasons for not putting marriage off. The female biological clock (despite what the media tends to portray, IVF is not an easy fix), and the fact that you’re more likely to be set in your ways (much harder to learn to compromise or find someone to put up with your way of doing things).
Aside from that, I should make the point that Hudson looks at marriage in an all-wrong, super selfish way. He views it in terms of taxes, the complications of potential divorce – quitting before he begins and always focused on how it affects me, myself, and I. That’s not what it’s about! If you were going into a good marriage, it would be because you want to spend your life with the other person, wanting the best for them and being willing to take a leap of faith despite possible future hardships. Marriage definitely shouldn’t be rushed, but that doesn’t mean it should be put off.
Succeeding does get harder with age
In this point, Hudson argues that dreams are hard to achieve, and that being married is going to make them even less likely since you’re less “free” to pursue them. Wow – how’s that for a sweeping generalisation!
First of all, marriage is not a prison. If it’s a good relationship then it has been freely chosen, and that has been shown to be beneficial for both spouses in a multitude of ways. Secondly, a supportive spouse would be instrumental in helping you achieve your dreams. This reminds me of a story I’ve see online about the Obamas, where Barack and Michelle went out for a low-key dinner and found out that the restaurant’s owner had once been wildly in love with Michelle. President Obama said, “So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant,” to which Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would now be the President.”
To sum up
Hudson makes marriage sound like a jail sentence, and like it’s all about you rather than the person you love. Take away these perceptions and marriage before 30 seems a whole lot less problematic!