As someone who recently wed at a “young” age, I can tell you from experience there isn’t a set age; it’s all about circumstance. You may be at a point where you have dated many and are finally settling down, or maybe you think you’re ready to marry your high school sweetheart. Regardless of the history of your previous relationships, dissecting your financial situation, level of education, and other various factors in your life can help you determine whether you’re truly ready for marriage.
Let me start off by saying you are definitely not ready to get married when you are still financially dependent upon your parents. Unless you have an extreme medical condition and are in dire need of their assistance and perhaps even others, when you’re thinking of getting married you should be the one paying for all your living expenses (bills, rent, food, etc.). And that includes being able to pick up a tab for your friends on your card once in a while.
I read many forums where women ask repeatedly, “Am I too young to be engaged or married?” And I want to say YES even without reading their stories or finding out where they are coming from. The fact that you even need to question this and ask internet strangers is evidence enough you are not ready. You need to be in control of your finances and your decisions because you will share them with another person when you are married.
You need to be honest about your finances, whether you have a lot of debt or none, what your plans are for your future, how you plan on dealing with retirement, etc. You need to communicate about the most personal and intimate things in your life because you will eventually share all of those things with your partner.
You need to have completed your education. Hate to break it to you, but that does not mean getting your high school diploma. The person you are at 18 years old is (hopefully) an entirely different person at age 21. Completing your education does not mater if it means getting a bachelor’s degree from a state university or an apprenticeship for a trade career. I know as millennials we often have multiple career changes (I can personally attest to that) and that is fine and more power to you, but you need to have at least some sort of initial foundation for your career before you can merge your life with another person. If you think that’s not marriage, then you definitely are not ready to get married.
You may be young and in love, and that is a beautiful thing. I mean it. Treasure your love. Be good to each other. But know that love is not enough.
If you and your partner have not grown past difficult situations and learned from the experience of said intricate situations, you are too young to get married. You need to have the fights (and they don’t have to be dirty) that shatter your entire core, that will make you question everything. You need to have cried over things out of your control. You need to have lived apart for a while, even if it means two weeks or six months, just to see if you can handle the distance and if what you love is really the idea of that person, or the person itself. You need to have disclosed your sexual past. It doesn’t need to be TMI, but enough so your partner feels safe. Is there anything they should know? You absolutely cannot lie to your partner about this. If you put their health at risk, then you are not ready to get commit.
You need to have travelled somewhere together, even if it was only an hour away, and seen how the other acts when they’re not in the comfort of their own homes. You need to see how they interact with the world. You need to have all these experiences and move past them, together as a couple, before you can take the plunge and dive into marriage. I’m also a huge advocate for living together before marriage, which is becoming more common but I understand may not be possible for some. I don’t think it’s necessary, but it definitely helps puts things in a different perspective and I highly recommend it.
Lastly, you are most definitely too young to get married when neither of you can legally drink at your wedding. Enough said.
I don’t think you need to have your entire life figured out before you get married, because that could take a lifetime of soul searching. All I’m saying is that you need to have lived some of life together before you can live all your lives together.