I think a lot of people have misconceptions about women who get engaged in their early twenties, but it's the best decision I've ever made. People have told me that if I get married this young that I won't be able to enjoy all that life has to offer, but to me it seems that my fiancé helps me enjoy life even more than I did before we started dating.
I've heard that women who marry young are somehow incapable of making good decisions or, at least, are not able to make decisions logically. But I tell people love isn't blind. Jacob and I think very carefully and critically before making important decisions, and getting engaged was no exception.
Some articles I've seen about the topic of young engagements focus on the benefits of being able to have children young while you still have plenty of energy to raise them. However, I can't relate to this particular advantage. I don't want to have children (in the traditional sense): I want to adopt, but not for at least another fifteen years. I factored in children to make sure Jacob and I are on the same page, but I am not getting married to have them.
Why fifteen years before children? Jacob and I will spend approximately the first ten years of our marriage continuing to pursue higher education. He will go on to earn a Master's Degree in Computer Science or Statistics while I earn a law degree and a Master's Degree in Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Then both of us hope to start PhD programs. In ten years we will no longer be Mr. & Mrs. but rather Dr. & Dr. Once we build our careers, then we will focus on building a family.
Several women are under the notion that I will suddenly end my higher education goals the day I get married. Trust me, I am a human, not a robot, so getting married will not change me into a baby- making machine who leaves school in the dust. Female hormones are not that powerful people. (And who says women cannot have babies and get their degrees too?) (Or that hormones can make a woman change her mind?) When I am married, even though Jacob and I will be legally, emotionally and financially tied, I will still be my own person with my own unique goals and ambitions. Even better, since Jacob also wants his PhD, we look forward to sharing that experience together.
Another reason that people don't like couples getting married young is because they think it won't last. We both have great examples of lasting relationships with our grandparents and parents. If we were not certain about our potential to have a legacy of love then we would not enter into holy matrimony.
People also don't understand why we would settle down and forgo multiple sexual partners in the future. Once again, we aren't worried about it. We prefer a committed, monogamous environment even though we are both open people. Because we are so comfortable with each other we never have to leave our safe environment to have fun. It's just one of the many benefits of unconditional love.
Jacob and I have talked a lot about all of the negative comments we have received when we tell people about our engagement. I was inspired to write this article because most of the negative comments come from strangers and non- immediate family who can't understand why we would get married so young. Most critics are actually women who don't mind Jacob getting married young but who mind me getting married young. It's a huge double standard. It is important for us women to lift each other up even if one of us makes a different choice. This is why I love Amy Poehler's saying, "Good for her, not for me." I actually thought a lot about whether or not to even write this article because I don't like feeling as though I need to explain myself for people to accept and share in my happiness. However, writing is cathartic and once I complied all my thoughts into one place it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.
Ultimately, I am very proud of all of my life choices so I love spreading happiness around, the engagement included. If I need to explain my experiences so people can empathize with a different point of view, I'm all for it! I hope that by sharing this piece of our lives with you all that it clears up any preconceived notions. We hope you will share joy with us on the happy occasion of our engagement!
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