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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just curious as to what everyone's thoughts are on marriage when you are 18. I am currently 17 and my boyfriend is as well, we have been dating for about a year. He and I plan on getting engaged this december when he is 18 and I am about to turn 18. After that, we will both graduate the next summer then get married before going away to university together. I guess I would just like to know what everyones thoughts are on my situation, or on marriage at age 18 in general.
 
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Monica,

First of all congratulations being in love! It's a wonderful thing and to be in love at 17 and 18 is especially magical...before life gets all complicated.

I am a marriage counselor for The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO (The Marriage and Family Clinic - Marriage Counseling). I strongly believe in relationships and support marriage to the fullest. As far as your question about marriage at 18, I say what's the rush? Love is a magical thing no matter what age you are. So what's the diff if you get married at 18 or 20 or 25 or 30 etc.? When you're 18 there's a lot of life ahead of you and a lot of world to explore. It's great to explore it with someone by your side. But at the same time, keep in mind that at 18 you don't really know about life on your own without your parents in the picture since you've lived with them your whole life.

The best thing you can do to prepare for marriage is to live on your own for a while to develop independent living skills, get to know yourself, by yourself, and develop yourself as an independent, autonomous person. Of course, you can still be in love and date your boyfriend in the meantime. But this will ensure that you're developed well as an individual before committing to another too early and risking codependence.

One other thought: Research shows the younger couples get married, the more likely they are to divorce. It's an unfortunate but true statistic. So seriously, what's the rush? Hope this helps.
 

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When I think back to being 17 and what was important to me and how I saw life, I know that if I had decided to marry someone at that age, I'd have made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. At 17, I was nowhere near knowing anything about the kind of life I really wanted because I hadn't experienced much of life, and certainly had experienced NO life as an adult yet.

The years following were such a time of growing and learning about myself and what really gave me passion for life and in life. I also learned how to take care of myself.

Maybe most important, over time, I learned what it takes to be a good partner and how to make a good, healthy relationship work. I would have failed miserably at that had I married at 18. Doomed from the start.

At 17, I was barely legal to drive, and unable to vote or buy alcohol. Committing myself to a relationship for a lifetime was far too big a decision to make because I really would have had no idea what I was signing up for. My view of what marriage was at that age was far too limited, and my view of the world was far too limited.

I wouldn't recommend marriage for teenagers. You have plenty of time to make that kind of commitment - there is no reason to rush. If you truly are good together, you will be good together in a few years, too.
 

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People change so much from 18 to 25. And again from 25 to 30.

However, it's a HUGE change from 18 to 25 and that's because the brain is completely developed by 25.

Why make any huge decisions until the brain is completely developed?

Enjoy your youth. Be in love and travel and go to college or whatever.

You have forever to get married.

wait for your brain to develop.

Some brain wiring continues to develop well into our 20s

Brains of Young Adults Not Fully Mature | LiveScience

I personally don't think people should be considered adults until 21. I mean, at 18 you can do everything but legally drink...seems odd.

Not a true adult then. EightTEEN is still a teenager.

I wouldn't rush anything. Just wait and either you'll still want to get married or you'll be thankful you didn't.
 

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We all change/grow so much between the ages of 18-25, it's ridiculous. I couldn't imagine being 18 & married. The two of you have all the time in the world to discover things together and grow together, no need to rush into marriage. Spend a few years living together so you can get to know your man the way he REALLY is. You're so young, embrace it! :D
 

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Being in love at that age is magical, we are talking "story book" stuff. At that age, it's all or nothing and your passion is at an 11. Enjoy that, revel in it, keep a journal for memories, and just have the best time of your life.

It is certainly not WRONG to get married at your age, and I know it all feels so right. Hold off the marriage and just be engaged. I was engaged for two years and I lived with my fiance (now husband) before I married him. That made the transition to married bliss much smoother.

No one wants to rain on your parade. But you came here asking people who have gone through it, who are much older than you and can offer you wisdom. That alone means you are very wise yourself.

We don't want to scare you off, but read through the threads here. See if you see a pattern. See if you can find someone that closely matches your situation. It's like studying. You wouldn't go to a test without studying for it, so don't go into marriage with out studying for that! Being prepared is the mature thing to do. So keep reading, ask questions, have your future hubby read some of the threads here. The wisdom and life experience that is in these posts is priceless. I wish I had something like this to read when I was thinking of getting married at 24.

Have fun reading through this site. There are some genuinely wonderful people on here. And don't worry, no one is going to try to talk you out of anything because they had a hard time. We are a good bunch here. :)
 

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Monica,

I know you're reading people's responses and thinking "well we are different." or "no, I'm really different than most 17 year olds".

It's very natural :) And true to a certain extent. You ARE different, because you are an individual. We all thought we were different at that age. It's because we all had an idea about the individual we were growing up to be but had no clue about the life-lasting characteristics of that individual until our mid 20s.

If someone had told me this when I was 17, I would've packed a bag, taken a one-way flight to Lisbon, Portugal and hitchhiked from there all the way to North Korea. I still want to do that, but I'm married :) (got the hint?)
 

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I think if you are mature enough to ask advice, you're probably mature enough to be married. Given the number of adults who are a lot older than you who mess up their lives and marriages, and given how natural and unassuming and responsible and mature I was at that age, I say, if you feel at ease with yourself in your relationship with your boyfriend and he feels at ease with himself and you enjoy each other's company and truly look out for each other and make sure that you each are meeting your individual needs without being unnecessarily fettered by time and space and reassurance needs in the shared space....and there is love of a deeper kind in that you are connected, of course you should honor your relationship with a marriage. University is such a confusing place. There are a lot of messed up people in younger years. My son and his girlfriend have been together through college, and it's understood they will be married, and they do have a relationship right now that is like marriage. If you already have that relationship established and are feeling the love, I can think of no better way to enhance your university years than to pursue your future as a couple.

Talk to some older friends or relatives who married young and stayed married. You will get a better feel for what you are gaining, vs. what you are giving up, vs. what other people felt when they were in university and young, vs. what might be your experience. Being in a love relationship already is vastly different than some kind of dating relationship where you are fantasizing, etc. Age has nothing at all to do with a true love relationship, and everything to do with a centeredness of self with someone else who is similarly centered. There is something about the way you write that tells me yours in not a trivial relationship, and I would say honor that relationship the way you feel it must be.

Good for you for being comfortable marrying. It's not everyone who has the courage to make a decision to honor a love relationship, at any age. There will be challenges to any relationship at any age. Being 18 or being 52 doesn't change that fact, and doesn't really change how you might address these challenges.

People talk about long term relationships being a good thing, then they will tell you also to have fun, sleep around, try out different situations and different people. I really don't see the point, if you love what you have, keep it and honor it.
 

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I know that it would have been a massive mistake if 18 year old me had married.

I have yet to meet any 18 year old who I thought had the wisdom, self-knowledge and maturity to make that decision.

Personally I think 30 is just about the right age for a male to marry.
 

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The divorce rates are far higher with marriages at that age. I think that says the most about your question.
 

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When I think back to being 17 and what was important to me and how I saw life, I know that if I had decided to marry someone at that age, I'd have made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. At 17, I was nowhere near knowing anything about the kind of life I really wanted because I hadn't experienced much of life, and certainly had experienced NO life as an adult yet.
It is often said that we know what we want by knowing what we don't want. I still don't know what a perfect relationship looks like, but I do know what bad relationships look like after experiencing several of them. I've also seen what a crap job looks like, so I know that my current job is pretty good. 18 is too young to be making a big choice like marriage. You need to see more of the world before jumping into a major contract with someone.

Seeing more of the world doesn't mean breaking up and sleeping with other people. It just means keep your eyes and ears open. Pay attention to the relationships around you and see where yours stands. Just by looking at the relationships around me, I can tell that mine is the best. I don't need to date those other people to know how crazy they are.

What do you expect to gain from getting married? That's a real question. You shouldn't get married unless you have a good reason.
 

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Asking advice doesn't mean you're mature enough for marriage. :rolleyes:

The OP asked a question if it was a good idea. And it's not. Not for 99% of the population, especially this day and age.
 

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I met my husband when I was 19 and haven't been with anyone else since. He is the love of my life.

I wouldn't have married him then though. We had our growing up together to do, maturing, fights etc before we settled down at 25. If we were married, I don't think we would have been mature enough to handle it. Our first fight would have been a divorce :rolleyes:

Marriage is a lot of pressure at a young age. You don't have to be married at 18 to show your love and commitment for each other. Give it a few years and just enjoy each other first.
 

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Had I got married at 18 it would have been the biggest mistake I ever made. I waited until I after I graduated college first - was 25 and even that was too young. We survived but it was rough. We were both just too young. There are changes in maturity that come at specific ages and the biggest one happens around 30. So its best to wait until close to then to get married. Before then you just aren't mature enough.
 

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I am just curious as to what everyone's thoughts are on marriage when you are 18. I am currently 17 and my boyfriend is as well, we have been dating for about a year. He and I plan on getting engaged this december when he is 18 and I am about to turn 18. After that, we will both graduate the next summer then get married before going away to university together. I guess I would just like to know what everyones thoughts are on my situation, or on marriage at age 18 in general.
Here's my take. When you're 18 and "in love", no one can tell you anything. All the wise people you'll talk to and care about you will tell you to take your time and don't rush into it. And yet, you will continue to move forward and get married at 18.

20 years later, after dealing with the aftermath of getting married early, you're kids will come to you and tell you they want to get married at 18, and you'll give them the same advice that they will ignore just as you did.

There's a reason older and wiser people caution you to wait. There is NO problem with waiting it out another year or two (or three or four), and then making a decision. However, if you pull the trigger, you can't unpull it.

I love my wife, a lot, and I'm glad we got married. But waiting a few more years would have been better for both of us. My wife is a completely different person now at 26 then she was at 18.

But again, I know you'll disregard all this advice anyway. Because that's what young people do. So the most important thing I can tell you is, respect yourself, and learn to serve, and when you can do both at the same time, you'll be in a healthy relationship.
 

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Had I got married at 18 it would have been the biggest mistake I ever made. I waited until I after I graduated college first - was 25 and even that was too young. We survived but it was rough. We were both just too young. There are changes in maturity that come at specific ages and the biggest one happens around 30. So its best to wait until close to then to get married. Before then you just aren't mature enough.
I married at 25 and I was mature enough :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all very much for the responses so far. I have asked this question in one other place and it had seemed like it was mostly older people who had never been married responding telling me that I should not marry for 5 or 6 more years. The overwhelming number of people who say that it is too early has made me have second thoughts about marrying at this age. It isn't that I have doubted the connection that I have with him, it is that I feel that society would not accept us being married at this age.

I do have another concern right now, though. It seems that in the other place where I asked a question similar to this as well as here, many have said that they married at age 18, yet they are deadset against anyone else doing it. I'm just curious as to exactly why this is, if anyone could explain.

Finally, I feel that I should add a few more details. As of right now, he and I are technically juniors in high school, but we attend the local community college instead and the credits count both towards high school and our two-year degree. We both will be getting our two year degree when we graduate. This way, we wanted to marry before going to a university together. We know which school we would like to attend and both are planning to go for a doctoral degree; his in astrophysics, mine in marine biology. We will have been dating for a little over two years if we do marry when we planned to. As I said, I realize that this is young for most people to be married, but in a way, I feel that if he and I were lucky enough to find someone that we have such a deep connection with and feel so comfortable with, I shouldn't take it for granted or wait simply because society says that that is what is right. Perhaps I am only saying this, as some of you mentioned, because I am young and in love, but I'm not so sure that waiting 5 years or so is what I should do.
 

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I shouldn't take it for granted or wait simply because society says that that is what is right.
We aren't 'society'. We are a group of mainly 35+ year olds who are older and wiser than you. One day when you are older you will understand what we are saying.

Yes you are young and in love. So were we at one point and we know how it ends.

We are just trying to save you from making the same mistakes we did but that makes me laugh. People have to make their own mistakes and you are no exception to that rule.

So go right ahead and get married. Don't say you weren't warned. ;)
 

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Just wait :) You sound like you have your life planned for a while...enjoy it. Never know what you'll want in a few years.
 

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I think when you are young you think that you MUST get married. To protect or create some sort of family unit. As you get older you think to yourself "why did we rush that so fast?? Why didn't we just take our time and do things slowly?"

I don't know why that happens, but it happens a lot. As everyone said, you change a LOT between the age of 17 and 30. Most noticeably between 18 and 25. You both know what you want to do and where you want to go right now, what if that changes in the next few years?

You may end up regretting locking yourself down to one person or one idea, when you find out a few years from now you wished you would have been able to do something else but couldn't.

It's a lot like having a kid. Experience your life, go do interesting things. After you have kids, it is exponentially more difficult to travel, or just move somewhere random or do something off the wall. The best thing about being young and single is that you can literally do ANYTHING you want, with no one holding you back.
 
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