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Monday, October 20, 2014

What's a Good Age to Get Married?

Dear Bro Jo,

I love your blog!

It has helped me really see things in new ways!

Ok, so for my question. What's a good age to get married at?

I know it's different for all people and you should rely on the Spirit and it depends on maturity level and so forth.

But even though people say it totally depends on the person, I see them turn around and whisper about a 19 year old girl getting married and how it is way to young.

I guess I have hidden motives for this question... I'm not about to get married or anything but I am about to go to college. And I have been told by countless people that college is where many meet their Eternal companion.

I'm going to BYU-I and I've heard there are lots of potential husbands there. There's just one itsy bitsy problem: I'm only going to be 17!

I skipped a grade when I was younger, so I have always been a youngin.

It was hard enough watching all of my friends dating and even have to turn down dates before I was 16. Now I'll be thrown into BYU-I where everyone's dating to get hitched. And I'll just want to be dating around still.

Don't get me wrong, I have my sights set on the Temple and a family is first and foremost on my mind, but I'm nervous that if I do find the man I want to marry I'll only be 18.

My dad as told me countless times that if I meet the right one, I should not let him go just because I'm only 18. But I still hear from so many that 18 is simply too young and they don't care if the Spirit confirmed it or not.

I know it's mine and my future husband's choice and all but... I'm nervous in all honesty.

I could meet the man I know I want to marry, marry him, then have many people say I'm way too young without even knowing anything.

Or start dating, find the right one, and I'm still 17, and then I'll just have to wait.

Or meet the most amazing guy and he's three to four years older than me. And I'm still this 17 or 18 year old. Then what do I do?

I've been told I am a very mature girl for my age. I guess that's what being thrown in with the big kids does to a person.

But I am still nervous.

I'm sorry if that's really a pointless concern, but I am truly nervous. I appreciate any help!!!

- Too Young

Dear Young,

Not a pointless concern; a real one shared by many girls just like you.

It is an individual thing, but I personally don't think 19 is too young for a young woman to marry. 

(Neither does Sister Jo.)

I also believe that when a couple decides they should marry (in my world we call that a "proposal" - anything less is just talk), they should get married SOON. Especially if their goal is to get married in the Temple. Satan works very hard to keep couples from being worthy for Eternal Marriages; once you decide to get married, the temptations to do married people stuff become even stronger.

I define "married soon" as 2 - 4 months. Sister Jo says 3 - 6 months.

A year?


That's a really long time . . . unless the couple lives in separate towns and is chaperoned when they're together! 

So . . . if a girl is seriously talking marriage at 18+, I'm not going to think she's too young. BUT, if a girl starts talking seriously about marriage at 17 . . . well, that freaks me out.

Because, for me, the line is 19.

I think 18 is too young. (Although I agree with your dad about not letting the relationship go; I would advise in those situations to Slow Things Way Down.)

That's why I tell young people, girls and guys, that until you're old enough to seriously be considering marriage as a possible relationship outcome, you shouldn't be Serious Single Dating.

I define "old enough" as 18+ for girls and post-mission for guys, so I think, college or not, you should still be Casual Group Dating at 17.

Sister Jo disagrees with me a little bit there, by the way.

She says that at 17, if a girl is mature enough to be in college, she's mature enough to start Serious Single Dating.

But even Sister Jo says that 16 is too young, regardless of how many grades a person has skipped. 

That's our take, anyway.

Now, that said, I think you should just relax and enjoy college!

Don't let stuff like this get to you.

When guys ask you out, and I certainly hope they're smart enough to, then don't take first dates too seriously.

Give every guy that's not "too old" or too creepy a chance.

Meet lots of new people, and have a Good Time.

- Bro Jo


Laura said...

Most importantly, don't let other people's opinions take charge of your decisions. Ultimately, a marriage decision is between you, your future spouse, and the Lord. Other people's opinions, while they may have some value, should not be reason for you to delay marriage if the option arises.

There's also a misconception there - there ARE young men at BYU-I who are just dating to date! As Bro Jo has said here countless times, a first date is NOT a marriage proposal. It's just a date. Getting to know someone. Dates are fun. Just go into the dating world ready for a good time and understand that yes, dating is a step towards marriage, but that's all it is: a step. And there are plenty of steps. Don't be afraid to start taking them. Because they are totally awesome.

Emilie said...

I agree that 17 is definitely too young and 18 is probably too young. However, bigger factors should be
1) Are you personally ready?
2) Is he?
3) Do you know each other well enough?
4) Are you doing it for the right reasons?
5) Have you involved the Lord in your decision?

Honestly, I got married the summer after my freshman year, at age 19. I hadn't been trying to get married at a really young age (nobody should TRY to do that), but that's just when I happened to meet the right guy.

Date (mostly group and double dates at first), have fun, don't worry about it, and if in the process you happen to meet someone you want to spend the rest of eternity with, that's okay too.