When it comes to getting married young, two schools of thought emerge: It's unwise to get married before you've had time to date a lot and mature, or it's something that happens to very lucky people who find their ~true love~ early in life. In any case, ask anyone who's married young and they've heard both responses. But how do people who actually took the plunge in their early 20s feel about their decision? To fuel everyone's inner hopeless romantic, seven guys who got married young (or well before the average marriage age of about 29) opened up about the best parts about it.
- "At first, I had a lot of anxiety about getting married young. I'd always pictured myself as the kind of person who gets hitched later in life. Then, to add Caesar to the salad, my parents were going through a separation. Was this the right thing to do? It was. Every time I come home after a long day in the soul-sucking world outside, I'm able to see and kiss and talk to a wonderful person that I've taken some big life steps with. It's not all sweetness of course, but having and maintaining that fountain of sweetness earlier in life seems like a great gift to me." —Jack, 25, married at 25
- "We married days before graduating from college. We started a family about two years later. While the finances were tight with fledgling careers and a new baby, we have never regretted marrying and starting a family young. Had we been in our 30s when we got married, we would have missed out on many unique growing experiences. I would tell any man who is certain they have found their life partner to not wait." —Daniel, 52, married at 23
- "It gave me more time with my wife. In our 20s, we launched our careers, traveled, and bought our first home (and did a ton of work on it). We had our kids in our 30s, which was great because we were still young. Our daughters are now 12 and 14 which means we will be empty nesters in our 50s. That, hopefully, will give us at least another 20 years together. Very glad I got married young." —John, 46, married at 24
- "When you're 20, you haven't fully grown into the person your meant to be yet. That can be a scary season for sure, with so many uncertainties in life—wins, failures, closed doors and new experiences all ahead. I can't imagine going through any of those things without [my wife] by my side, knowing that she's in it for the long haul. In the midst of absolute chaos, she's an absolute certainty. I don't think I would have come out of it the same way without her. When we first got engaged, I heard so many people (uninvited input, I might add) say things like, 'Why so young, aren't you afraid you are going to grow apart? And personally, I think it does the opposite. I think you grow together." —David, 23, married at 20
- "We have been able to build the life we both want together from a young age instead of having to merge our already established lives. We truly appreciate the opportunity we have to help each other become better people, grow and enjoy life together as a couple." —Marc, 30, married at 23
- "We met during college when we had time to be friends, work together, goof off, and just grow in our relationship. We had kids young, too. Our oldest was born when I was 24. But by then we had been together for five years and had really started working on what it takes to build a lasting relationship. We learned to be there for each other when all you have is almost nothing. I know that she loves me for me, and I love her for her because I didn't have anything else to give but me. I see so many people trying to date in their 30s and I can't imagine it. And now, at 38, I've been with my wife for over half my life and it's hard to imagine not being with her. She's a larger part of my history now than my single self!" —Aaron, 38, married at 22
- "Having been married since before I was 25 is awesome! The long and short of it is that we get to take on life together for more of our lives and that is completely worth it!" —Matt, 27, married at 23
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.