This year, on November 5th, I will be getting married. I will be 26, he will be 25 (scandal!). And whilst for many that might not be young, for me, it is. My own parents didn’t marry until they were 33 and 35, his parents until they were 30. We’re the first of our friends to get married, and whilst I know they’re happy for us, I also know that they think we’re a little young. We’ve been together for over five years, and it took me several of those years to admit that this could be a successful long term relationship, not because I felt any personal qualms, but because the narrative I think I’ve mainly heard has been that you don’t marry the person you met at 19, and if you do, it probably won’t be successful. Just for the record, I don’t believe that now. Sometimes I think you just happen to meet the right person for you, and that’s what I think happened to us.
Actually, one of the nice things that has happened through meeting young is that we’ve (gag) grown together. We’ve formed our opinions, changed our minds, gone through unemployment, depression, heartache, together. We don’t have to re-adjust our adult lives to accommodate each other, because we formed those lives together. I’m pretty sure that this makes us co-dependent, and we certainly spend a lot more time in each other’s company than other couples we know, but I don’t mind that.
In this (and other respects, I’m basically a 50 year old trapped in the body of a 25 year old), I sometimes feel like we are living totally different lives than those of our friends. We’re planning our wedding, cooking together and deciding on name changes while our friends are going out, using dating apps, being hungover and generally having all those adventures and making all those mistakes that you are supposed to have and make in your early twenties, which we have somehow skipped/missed out on, depending on your frame of mind. Does this feel odd? Yes, it does. If you’d asked me five years ago if I thought I would be getting married in my twenties, I would absolutely have said no. Do I sometimes worry that I’m missing out on a rite of passage? Yes. But people seem to assume that getting married is the end of that, that it’s settling down, which couldn’t be further from the truth, at least in our case. Lots of people, I’ve noticed, mention that I should be focusing on my career, and I’ve realised that they say this because they assume that since we’re marrying, we’ll have kids in a year or two. Leaving aside all the other problems with that (the assumption that it’s my career that will be left aside for a start), we don’t have the money to settle down OR have children soon, if indeed we ever decide to. One of the reasons we are marrying younger than our friends is that we aren’t waiting to save for a big wedding, and we haven’t decided to, for example, save up a deposit for a house before getting engaged. I think many people assume that you get all your ducks in a row, then you get married (and that’s obviously fine!). We are getting married whilst we’re in the midst of lining up those ducks, together, because in our case, we don’t see any point in waiting any longer to make a commitment that it feels right to make now. And that, I think, is pretty nice.