Consider both the pros and cons of marrying in your early twenties
College presents many opportunities. As a college student, you may likely network with your future business associates, friends, future employers, and future employees.
Perhaps most importantly, you may meet the person you will marry in college. People who attend college are much more likely to marry a college sweetheart than a high school sweetheart. College, as a shared experience, is a defining milestone for many married couples.
Let’s suppose that, in college, you have met the girl (or boy) of your dreams. You enjoy each other’s company, you have important things in common, he or she makes you laugh, and you feel comfortable in each other’s presence.
You know you’re not going to do any better. And now the two of you are thinking, why wait? Why not begin our lives together now and finish college together?
There are possible advantages and disadvantages to getting married before graduation. You should carefully consider those pesky divorce statistics. The numbers say that couples who marry at twenty are much less likely to make it to their silver wedding anniversary than those who marry at thirty.
At the same time, steady sex without having to wine and dine somebody can be a blessing. That said, every couple is different, so there are some questions you should ask yourself if you are getting ready to take this step.
How likely are you to find your soulmate outside the college setting?
In some lines of work, you can swing a cat and hit about twenty eligible singles. Lawyers working in big firms, airline attendants, and almost all hospital employees are thrown together with a wide array of possible life partners. Consider, by contrast, how many people a woman teaching third grade is going to meet. Mostly she interacts with eight year olds all day and lunches with other–female–teachers.
At the end of the day, she is likely to go home to a small apartment or one she shares with other women. Unless she is really active in her church or some popular recreation, she could be having a hard time connecting meaningfully with men.
In many other lines of work, you can end up with a really thin flow of new people in your life. Social workers, restaurant managers, and the self employed, for instance, are likely to find far fewer people to choose from once college is over. This doesn’t mean you should force yourself into a relationship whilst in college, but it would be a mistake to assume that you can as easily hook up once the graduation caps are flung.
Will your parents continue their same level of support?
Some parents construe a wedding as a good opportunity to wash their hands of any financial responsibility for their offspring. This, by itself, can be a good reason to postpone marriage until you graduate and find your first job.
Even if you think your parents are giving you minimal support, be sure you look carefully at what they are providing. Are they making payments on your car or truck? Are they paying your rent or even part of it? Are they paying all or part of your tuition? Are they feeding you and doing your laundry on weekends?
Assuming the financial burden of one or more of these things could substantially jeopardize your college career, especially your ability to keep your grades up and proceed toward graduation if you have to get a part-time job.
I’ve seen young college couples, desperately in love, go into total meltdown when even just one set of parents decides they don’t like the marriage. Before you get engaged, you should both sit down with your parents and your partner’s parents and make sure you understand exactly how they plan to take this new development.
How do you spend your time together?
Before you commit to marriage, look carefully at how you spend your time together. Is it spent dancing and watching games at your neighborhood pub? Or splitting a six-pack and watching a Doctor Who marathon?
Everybody needs down time, but if you tend to distract each other from classes and homework, that will get worse once you are married. Instead of movie night once or twice a week, it could easily get to be every night, and your homework could pile up, unattended, before you know it. If your relationship is based on entertaining each other, it’s better to wait.
If, on the other hand, you spend considerable time together studying, that can be a good argument for marriage, especially if you are more likely to find the motivation to study in the presence of your beloved. If you have helped each other pass difficult courses, if you edit each other’s resumes and internship applications, you may be wise to marry and keep up the great momentum.
Organizing your wedding activities using the KVA Plan
Let’s say you decide that you are perfect for each other and you are going to proceed with your wedding. Weddings typically involve a great number of gatherings. Bachelor parties, bachelorette parties (in the United Kingdom, these are called “hen parties”), wedding rehearsals, rehearsal dinners, in-laws dinners, and other gatherings often precede the wedding itself.
Many young couples will have to get creative about planning events safely. While you probably do not want to conduct your wedding as a Zoom meeting, you will have to plan events in such a way that you do not put yourselves and loved ones at risk. Fortunately, the KVA Plan offers a near perfect opportunity to conduct the social events relevant to your wedding in a safe, consistent manner.
In conclusion, getting married while you are still a college student can have distinct advantages. But these advantages must be weighed against the possibility that you and your fiance will have more years to grow apart and change in ways you did not anticipate. Choose wisely, because who you marry is the most important decision of your life.