Let’s just start with this, I got married at 23 to a man who is exactly 5 and half years my senior. I loved him then and, unbelievably, I love him more now. That said, I have a personal stake in this article by Jennifer Nagy. I put my big girl panties on when I started to pay my own rent, find a job, etc. If I can ruin my credit score-why can’t I pick a partner?
I think that a blanket statement that anyone under 25 doesn’t know who they are and that that makes them unsuitable for partnership is banal. That’s like saying everyone with blue eyes can’t spell just because you have blue eyes and can’t spell. I know 55 year olds who don’t know who they are – and probably never will.
Growth and change should be something that you do all time and I don’t believe that should end at 25, or 30, or when you have kids, or whatever the cultural narrative happens to be. Having a partner who is willing and able to support and encourage that growth and change is vital to a successful relationship. As Nagy says “life is anything but certain,” and this is true. But marriage, at least in my house, is more about promising to walk that journey with the one you choose. It isn’t about staying the same as the people we were when we made those promises. That is why we said ‘to have and hold…to love and to cherish,’ not to have until you dye your hair red or only if you continue to vote for the same party as I do.
Nagy also mentions that before 25, one cannot know what their deal breakers are. To that I have to say, how do you not know that still, small voice that tells you when something is good or bad? I think there are a few big general deal breakers (don’t be a selfish asshole who cheats, steals or lies) and everything else is up for negotiation. I’m sure I’ll hear that is too simplistic because I am such a young doe whose never lived life.
All this said, I do think there is a line. I don’t think minors should have the right to get married. They aren’t responsible for themselves, at least legally and financially, yet. That is why the Constitution leaves managing the institution of marriage to the states. In some states, you can get married at 17 without parental consent-but not everyone. Maybe Ms. Nagy start her petition to change marriage laws in Ohio, California, Texas, Floria, Mississippi, etc. They seem to hate marriage enough already.
And I’m not going to end this is an appeasing “just saying.” This is what I believe. Feel free to disagree.