I believe that every individual has the right to make their own decision based on their unique situation. But in the midst of asking, “What age is appropriate?” do we ever ask, “what is it about marriage that requires experience only had through age?”
I’m 24 years old and I’m engaged.
I proposed to my fiancé after one year of dating. For my fiancé and I, marriage is the ultimate sign of the deepest, purest, highest level of love between a man and a woman. We knew it was the right time for us to get engaged because we had both found exactly what we were looking for in each other and thought why wait? It was the right time for us because we both wanted to deepen our relationship to the ultimate level and we both had exactly the same opinions on what a marriage is. We feel its important to both be on the same page in a matter that changes your life forever.
Not everyone agrees however, I have a few friends around my age that believe that you should get engaged when you are more settled with your finance and when you have experienced life a bit more which involves some things like traveling, dating, career etc. Another couple I know were engaged within six months and are now married at the age of 23. They saw marriage as a priority, they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.
Yes it does come down to the individual but I believe it also comes down to your idea of what marriage is.
Marriage, for me, is not only about what you want, but what you both want in life. A healthy and fulfilling relationship must continue to deepen. It’s quite common to hear people talk about wanting to take their relationship “to the next level”. Humans have a tendency to look for more and don’t want to settle for small dates, talks on the phone and holding hands. We want a relationship to grow and evolve but most importantly to know that our partner is going to love us no matter what.
Marriage fulfills all of these needs. Marriage allows the relationship to intensify by making a commitment which says I will love you for your whole life no matter how bad or good things get. Marriage allows you to feel safe and secure with giving everything you have physically and emotionally to that one person because they have promised you that they will always be there.
So, for some marriage is a priority. It allows you to live with your partner and be with them as much as you can. Marriage puts your relationship into perspective. Society tends to look down upon marriage as some cage which restricts, but I believe it sets you free. It allows you to be with the one person you love and it allows you to show that one person how much you love them.
Personally I now find it hard to understand how people can wait so long to begin the rest of their lives with someone whom they claim to be madly in love with. If you’ve found the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, wouldn’t you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible?
If I can offer a word of advice to anyone tossing up whether or not to propose, I would say don’t question your age, question your motives. I believe marriage sets you free. Love does not enslave you. Will it be tough? I’d imagine it is the hardest thing a person could do. But that’s what the beauty of marriage is; dying to oneself for ones love. In the purest form it’s a testimony to true love and true commitment. It’s very easy to tell a person you love them. But it’s also easier to delay marriage to pursue other things. I believe one of the biggest signs of love I gave to my fiancé was that proposal. In that moment, I showed her that nothing else mattered above my love for her and that I wanted to experience everything else in life alongside her.
So is there a right age? I don’t believe so. But there is a right way to understand those vows. Vows that are the ultimate commitment, not to be taken lightly, but rather entered into with responsibility and the utmost respect and honor. I believe if you’re not ready to see the seriousness of the vow, you’re not ready to take them. And until one reaches an age or stage in life when they do see the seriousness of them, it is better not to enter into marriage.
Whatever the answer, I’m under no illusion that it’s going to be tough. But I’m willing to do what it takes to live for my fiancé.