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I am sure that you’ve read one of the million posts regarding marriage and age, and just like fitness and health there is no one size fits all situation. Two of the most popular posts that I’ve seen are Vanessa’s on what you should do instead of getting engaged at a young age and Emily’s on why she got married young.
While I think that Vanessa’s post has some very important, I think it is treating marriage at 23 as black & white. So this is my story, and my thoughts on young marriage.
Nick and I met in college through a mutual friend. I had gone through a serious of bad short-lived relationships, although now I am not sure I would even call them that. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but I was happy to meet a new group of people (Nick and his roommates) and to develop more real friendships.
That spring, Nick and I were both still on campus and it was my sisters graduation, I invited him to come hang out with me for a bit, everyone assumed we were dating (we weren’t), we just were good friends. During the summer I was going through some stuff with my best friend and I needed some advice and someone to talk to, someone from the male perspective, and I called Nick.Things just sort of progressed. We started talking more and more and then we started seeing each other. Things just got serious very fast.
Fast forward back to school starting, it was Nick’s senior year and my junior year (we were the same age, I was a year behind due to transferring and losing a ton of credits). I had a lot of obligations for clubs on campus and my sorority, and in the fall it’s all kinds of crazy. We had a huge fight, and in my typical style I said it was over. We didn’t talk for months, it was difficult because we still had a lot of mutual friends. At a mutual friends birthday we ended up talking and for the next few months we just talked, we took things slow and ended up getting back together. That was scary for me, and a lot of our friends expressed their dissatisfaction about it.
That summer was the hardest, my best friend passed away and I was a mess. Not only did Nick move to Boston, so did 95% of my friends, only 3 of the core group of people I hung out with were actually in my graduating class. I was angry and sad all at the same time. I spent literally all my free time in Boston with Nick. We had talked about marriage and looked at rings, Nick had stood by me through one of the most difficult times in my life thus far. I knew that he was a keeper, but I also witnessed a ton of unhappy relationships in my family and how mean those people turned after divorce. I didn’t want to have any part in that.
Marriage to me is sacred, you honor it. Marriage is not always easy, it takes constant work. You need to communicate and spend time with each other, and to continue to give to that relationship like you did when you were dating. Divorce isn’t always the answer, I truly believe that people (old and young) don’t realize that marriage can be hard and that you go through shit that may make you want to walk away, but getting to the other side, that’s the beautiful part.
We got engaged when I was still in school, I turned 24 two weeks before our wedding and Nick was still 23. Five and half years later here we are. In a much better place then when we started dating. I’ll be honest, we’ve had some rough times, we’ve been through some situations that really test your relationship. At the end of every day I am grateful, and Nick’s support through the miscarriage has made me even more aware how great of a partner I picked. I am grateful for the hard times, because we wouldn’t have been able to get through this without those times.
Did I miss the fact that I couldn’t just pick up and travel wherever I wanted or that I couldn’t blow all my time and money on a fad or something completely ridiculous? Absolutely not. We traveled a bunch, we spent our fair share of time roaming around Boston, finding cool bars and restaurants. If nothing else, I am grateful I got to experience all those things with my best friend and my partner.