Even though marriage has been losing its favorability with younger generations, the benefits of getting married younger are undeniable.
My friend and I watched as one of the girls in our class entered the room and took a seat. She wore a shiny new engagement ring, and definitely wanted everyone to notice. “Pretty ring,” I remarked to my friend. “Yeah, guess so,” she mumbled, before adding, “but she’s, like, 21. Why would you want to get married that young? Can you imagine never being able to date someone else?” I shrugged, contemplating. Sure, 21 was young…but she seemed happy — happier than I was with all the freedom in the world to date whomever I wanted. My friend’s response to a young woman getting married is indicative of the younger generation’s attitude towards marriage.
It’s safe to say that marriage isn’t particularly popular with Millennials and Gen Z — marriage rates have only continued to fall. The average age for women to tie the knot has climbed from 20 years old in 1950 to almost 28 in 2020, and more young couples than ever are choosing to cohabitate rather than get married, so as to make sure they have a way out if they ever decide they’re in need of a new experience. Marriage is seen as too much of a challenge, as something that could potentially ruin what used to be a good relationship by putting too much pressure on it.
The average age for women to tie the knot has climbed from 20 in 1950 to almost 28 in 2020.
As someone who got married at 23, I can confirm that marriage is in fact a challenge, not something we can sort of mean when we commit to it. And being in our early 20s means the support of our family and friends isn’t guaranteed, and our culture tries to convince us that singleness and casual relationships are way more fun and empowering than getting married. But as unpopular as its becoming, getting married in our 20s has undeniable benefits.
We Have More Time for Everything
Sure, getting married in our 20s will take away the option of dating around and seeing what else is out there, but it also allows us more time with a person we love. More time to experience life with them before we buy a house together, before the children come along, before we get older, before we’re ready to totally settle down and live a slower pace of life. Who wouldn’t want to have as much time as possible with their loved one?
We Can Build a Life with Someone We Love
Our 20s are incredibly formative years. Many of us move out of our hometowns, graduate college, and work all kinds of jobs as we find the best career for us. We normally don’t have tons figured out, but are working to create a life. It’s in these formative years that it’s easiest to build a life with someone, to meld two lives that aren’t yet set in stone, and work so they grow in the same direction. Waiting until our lives are fully cooked to try to bring someone else with a full life into it will prove to be much more difficult.
In these formative years it’s easiest to meld two lives that aren’t yet set in stone.
We Have the Benefit of Entering Marriage with Less Baggage
Most of us have been through a breakup (or two, or three…) and understand the pain that can come along with it — trust issues, bad habits, trauma, and hurt. Breaking up is never easy, and chances are, the older we are the more breakups we’ve been through.
But it’s not just our own breakups that can hurt us, the past relationships of our partners can affect us too. If they carry pain or lingering feelings, or even just shared enough experiences with someone else, it can hurt our chances at feeling safe and special in our relationship. Getting married before we face a string of failed relationships and trauma will give us a better chance at having a healthy marriage with fewer insecurities to work through.
It Helps Us Grow Up
In all honesty, we’re all born selfish and immature. Growing up is a long process. But there’s a growing tendency in younger generations to see our 20s as an extension of our teens, and to regard our 30s as the new 20s. We don’t think our 20s are a time to get serious, but this is actually holding us back from growing up. Our 20s are the perfect time to get serious about our lives, and if getting married is a choice that presents itself, we shouldn’t be scared of making such a decision at a young age, but instead see it as a wonderful opportunity to grow and mature faster than if we stayed single.
Our 20s are the perfect time to get serious about our lives.
Marrying Younger Leads to Better Intimacy and More Happiness
Not only do married couples in general have far more sex than singles, but couples who marry younger tend to have the highest rates of intimacy overall, leading us to the conclusion that getting married in our 20s offers us the best chance at having a satisfying sex life with our husband.
But married couples don’t just have better sex — studies show that married couples are generally happier than everyone else because of the constant companionship that marriage offers. And couples who married in their mid-20s are actually the most likely of all to describe their marriage as happy.
It Forces Us To Be Less Selfish
Part of the appeal of being single is that we don’t need to worry about taking care of anyone but ourselves, or how our choices affect anyone else — this is very human, but it’s also something we should be encouraged to move past eventually. Getting married at any age asks a lot of us. In many ways, it goes against our most base desires. But it also helps us see our selfishness, which in turn will aid us in becoming a better friend, daughter, coworker, and eventually, mother.
Getting married at any age asks a lot of us.
And It Actually Helps Our Career and Finances
There’s a common misconception that marriage takes too much energy away from pursuing a career, but studies find that married men specifically make far more money than unmarried men, likely due to their having a more stable lifestyle that includes less partying and spending money frivolously. Furthermore, getting married has only positive effects on our finances — we’re able to get lower tax rates, work together to cover living expenses, and get more affordable healthcare.
Getting married in our 20s is so often regarded as a death sentence to our youth. But getting married young has countless benefits, and may even suit some of us better than waiting until our 30s.