Marriage is for the mature

An engagement ring, promising a happily ever after relationship.

An engagement ring, promising a “happily ever after” relationship.

As a full-time student, I find it unfathomable to hear stories about my peers, between the ages of 18 to 23, getting engaged or even married.

Young adults should wait until the age of at least 25 to get married and start settling down. The years preceding 25 should be used to create one’s self and find one’s purpose. It’s not until after self-discovery, does one become mature enough to enter in a lifelong commitment. Only then will your relationship have the potential to last, “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

At my age, 20, I find that I have barely enough time for school, work and a somewhat-active social life. The only thing that I’m worried about now is my research paper, being on-time for work and finding a movie to watch with friends. Nowhere does it say that I should be worrying about buying a wedding dress, finding the perfect bridesmaids or searching for a honeymoon location.

My priorities right now are getting a quality college education, gaining valuable work experience and making memories that will last a lifetime; which should also pertain to the rest of the 18 to 23 year olds.

I knew a classmate, who was 20, that dated a guy for less than a year and out of the blue decided that he was the one, the one she was going to spend the rest of her life with. As soon as her boyfriend popped the question, she quickly began searching for the perfect bridesmaids, wedding dress and wedding location in addition to pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Imagine, sitting in class about to start a research paper, when you look over your shoulder and see the person next to you drawing pictures of her wedding dress. I wanted to say, “What’s the matter with you? You should be starting on your research paper, not planning your wedding.”

Many young individuals, like my classmate, put their education and desires on hold because of marriage, which is outrageous because it forces them to put their aspirations aside. “Just do you” — follow your desires above anything else.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, “60 percent of marriages from couples between the ages of 20 and 25 end in divorce.” Which makes complete sense because young couples should use this time for self-discovery: making mistakes, pushing one’s comfort levels and finding one’s self.

I’ve heard couples say that they can discover themselves while having a relationship but I strongly disagree. Being attached to another person’s life prevents an individual from many great opportunities and adventures. Getting a sense of likes and dislikes takes time, and with that, one becomes more mature.

I hear of relationships being tough because one person is working harder than the other. During a fight, one person seems to be mature enough to look past their differences and realize that their love is more important. The other whines and complains without being able to see past the situation at hand, like a child.

Many of my friends, being in the more mature role in this exact situation, made the excuse that their partner gives them “tough love.” I have a good friend who is in this exact situation. One night, her boyfriend told her to take the bus home when he clearly owns a car to drive her home. His excuse was that he hates driving in that part of the island. I mean, that’s tough love and no relationship should ever grow into a situation like this. People should never give an excuse that their other half gives them “tough love.”

But, there are always going to be those relationships. I mean it’s hard to break up with someone who has been there through your tough times and celebrated with you through your greatest achievements. It’s never easy, which is often why marriages form despite these extreme levels of maturity.

These marriages force the mature partner to take upon the responsibilities of paying the bills, maintaining the house and putting food on the table. Once again, the more responsible one will give the same excuse they did 10 years ago and say, “It’s tough love.” Which is complete nonsense because a relationship doesn’t work with just one person.

Two people must work together to provide a balanced and healthy relationship. They must work together to put food on the table, provide a roof over their heads and to support one another. Being in an unbalanced relationship usually ends in a divorce because it becomes exhausting for the mature partner. One person should never bear all those responsibilities.

The years before 25 is the time when you find what you loathe and love in yourself and a partner. People need to understand that you must first, “do you” before committing to another person.