Sunday, August 28, 2011

On Marrying Young: Some Thoughts

In my earlier post, On Marrying Young, I announced that I’d be writing some posts in the near future on the distinct experiences of couples who married young. When I sat down to sort out my thoughts (and potential future posts) about marrying young, I originally attempted to make a lists of the pros and cons.  But it turns out that it’s not that simple.  Many of the unique situations that my husband and I went through as young newlyweds cannot be categorized as purely negative or positive (is there much in life that is black or white?).  The difficulties encountered by a young couple, if worked through together, only serve to strengthen their marriage in the long run.  So instead of approaching this by writing posts either/or posts on the positives or negatives of marrying young, I’m simply going to discuss some of the situations that I have noticed are distinct to young married couples.

I purposely did not define a specific age that warrants the title “young bride” or “young groom” because I don’t particularly believe there is one.  My husband and I didn’t originally feel like we were marrying young, until other people pointed it out (and until we realized we were one of the first and/or only of our friends who were married).  Since marrying just over a year ago, it has become obvious is certain aspects of our lives that we did indeed marry young.  If you feel like you married young, chances are that you did relevant to your own personal, familial, and societal expectations.

If, like me, you like more set guidelines than “you’ll just know if this applies or not”, you can use statistics on average age at first marriage as your guidelines for deciding whether a couple married young or not.   The national average age at first marriage (according to the most recent statistics) is 26 for women and 28 for men, although this varies quite a bit by region and state.  For example, according to the 2008 American Community Survey, Washington D.C. was the state/territory with the highest average age at first marriage for both men (32) and women (30), while Utah has the lowest average for women (24) and Idaho had the lowest average for men (25).  So a woman who married at age 28 may feel like a “young bride” if she lived in Washington, D.C. or may feel like she is marrying later in Utah.  I personally love statistics (aren’t they fascinating?), if you do too, make sure to read the article where I got these statistics, The States of Marriage and Divorce.

On Marrying Young has been my most commented on post to date (although that’s not saying much) and I hope that my upcoming posts will live up to all your expectations.  If anybody feels like they have something to share on this topic,  I’d love to have you guest post!  I can only write from my experiences and observations, it would be great to have more perspectives to share.  You can contact me through my email found in the “About Mandi” tab above. 

Please check out the other posts (including some great guest posts) in my On Marrying Young series.  


  1. Thanks Mandi. As someone who is about to get married young (5 weeks away). I look forward to reading your posts and hearing your advice. My fiance and I are 23 but have been together for 7 years so the timing is right now us. Thank you! Alexandra.

  2. I might be interested in writing a guest post for you, if you're interested. :) Though I should get my act together and update my own blog lol.

  3. I keep getting married younger and younger. Er, I mean, the age at which I got married (22) keeps getting younger relative to my situation (we lived and worked in MA when first married, and now are in DC).

    I am looking forward to the rest of your posts! I tend to think of getting married young as incredibly stupid (yes, I'm talking about myself!) but I know there are benefits to it too... even if it does mean that statistically one is signing up for divorce. :-(

  4. I love stats too! And I think you articulate so well here. I married at 29, and in my area that feels OLD. :) I had a really hard time with it. Meanwhile, friends from "the big cities" haha could not figure out why I felt old at all and could not imagine marrying before 30. I am so glad you get to experience "marrying young." I personally believe it's a blessing to find your vocation young. God will use the time I waited for marriage for good, but spending your entire 20's single has it's downsides too.

  5. I honestly feel like so many people are waiting to get married because they are already living together and they're just waiting for when the time is "convenient" (or when they feel like they "should" get married). Not always true in all cases, but it's already happened to a lot of people I know. None of them are in a rush to get married because they already have all the benefits of it. I think the people who wait to live together and wait for everything else are the ones who get married sooner (again, not always true, but in lots of cases it is!)

  6. Another interesting statistic to look at is age of the couple and level of education (and PLEASEEEEE don't take this to mean I think people who marry young are less education or marry later are smarter or anything). It's just that the stats change with the level of education completed (high school, college, grad school) etc.


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