Monday, October 5, 2015

How I Knew I Was Ready To Get Married at 20

I was young when I got married... 20 years old in fact (one month shy of turning 21). I mean, I know people used to get married a lot younger, but these days it seems like people are waiting to get married. I totally & completely understand that a lot of people want to finish school, establish a career or be financially stable. I think most people should do that. For me though, it was different.

Of course, I was still in college when I got married, but Andrew had already graduatated, established his career & moved into a house on his own. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was ready to get married. I would like to think though, that I'm pretty mature for my age. I mean, come on, my friends call me "mom." I think maturity has a lot to do with getting married.

Here are a few ways on how I knew I was ready to get married at 20 years old.


-Andrew & I talked about EVERYTHING. And when I say everything, I literally mean everything. That's just what we did when we dated. We got to know each other. We knew when we wanted to get married, where we were going to live, how many kids we wanted, what we wanted our jobs to look like, etc. Not only did we talk about all of that important stuff, but we talked about even mundane stuff that most couples probably don't even discuss. GET TO KNOW YOUR POTENTIAL SPOUSE. Clearly, life won't always go your way, but it's good to talk about your dreams & what you anticipate in your future.

-My parents approved. How many times have you heard someone say, "You marry the family too"? It's true. If your parents don't approve of the person you're with, you're going to have a lot of problems in your marriage. And believe it or not, your parents are actually fairly wise. You should at least listen to them. (My parents adored Andrew & my mom still does!)

-People also approved. Now, I don't think you should listen to what everyone says all the time, but when other people in your life also approve of who you're going to marry, it will make a world of difference. For example, if your best friend does not like the person you're going to marry, that friendship will probably be strained for the rest of your life. Or if your grandparents don't like the person, they may not invite you over for the holidays or something. When people approve of who you're going to marry, it makes things easier. Every time I talk to my grandma, she ALWAYS says how great of a catch Andrew is.

-We dated for more than 2 years. When Andrew & I started to talk about marriage, we were probably only dating 6 months. I could've got married at that moment because I knew he was "the one." But Andrew, being the logical guy he is, knew that we needed to date a good while before tying the knot. Because of that, I'm now a "big" advocate for dating at least 2 years before getting married. During your first year of dating, everything is still new, fresh, fun & exciting. After the first year, you begin to no longer celebrate those "month-iversaries" as much. You begin to let your guard down because you start to get used to each other. You learn about what's truly holding your relationship together. I think dating for more than 2 years will ultimately help your relationship in the long run. Plus, dating is fun. Why rush it too much?

-Andrew is my best friend. Obviously you can have more than one best friend. And, you should totally have friends who are the same gender as you (although I don't recommend talking to them about your "marital issues" unless it's someone who is married & can mentor you more than just vent to). Your spouse though, should be your best friend. They should be the person you can talk to about anything. I think it is so important for your spouse to be your best friend.

-We love each other through thick & thin & have always been there for each other. If Andrew wouldn't have been there for me when my dad died, I don't know what I would've done. He was always there for me. He was that person I could just cry on or stare in silence with. He continues to love me no matter what & I know that he will always be there for me throughout the rest of my life.

I'm not saying that all of those things are bulletproof. I'm also not saying that those are the only ways you know you're ready to get married. Marriage is work. Especially if you aren't prepared & ready for it. You have to wake up everyday of your life & choose to love. Just like you have to choose to love anyone or anything. Loving someone isn't always "easy." You won't always agree & you won't always like what the other person is doing. But at the end of the day, you have to choose to love. 

I love you so much, Andrew!!

Do you have any ways on how you knew you were ready to get married?

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