I may or may not be an expert in the area of getting hitched young. Not only did I marry my high school sweetheart, I married him while I was still IN high school. Now I know what you’re thinking– “Did she just say that?” “Is that even legal?” “Her parents let her do that?” The answer to those questions would be yes. Believe it or not, we had family crazy enough to support our undeniable love for each other. Considering I was barely 17 when we tied the knot, we learned quickly the good, the bad and the challenging aspects of being married as high school sweethearts.
1. You’ve grown up together and will only continue to learn more about each other.
The awkward stages, the catty fights, touchdown passes, you have seen all of those classic moments together, and hey you still got married, right? There is only more growing and learning to come, and you continue to do so beside one another.
2. You should expect to lose a few friends.
You know how you’re supposed to leave and cleave in regards to your families? Yeah, this means friends too. Now that you’re married. it sets you up in a different phase of life than most of your other high school friends. Not a good or bad thing, it just is what it is. Everyone moves at different paces and in different directions.
3. The reactions won’t always be positive and you should understand what you’re getting into.
I still to this day try to avoid the subject of my age in conversations talking about my marriage. Cue typical responses “You’re a baby!” “You couldn’t even toast at your wedding!” “Why would you ever do that?” “You don’t even know what your type is!” People can be brutal. You would have thought I committed some sort of crime with the way they reacted. Geesh. The point is, not everyone is going to understand your decision and if you want to take that step, it’s something you have to come to terms with from the beginning.
4. You will have a ton of memories.
All of your high school highs and lows. They experienced Friday night lights, homecoming, prom, cafeteria lunches and even the office visits for PDA with you. Then you move into the new memories of your first home, vacations and every hysterical thing your children do on a daily basis. You memories will be endless.
5. You have to learn how to read each other.
You know each other well enough to learn their quirks. When something offends them, makes them roll their eyes, well up with joy or breaks their heart, you know. You’ll watch those reactions shift and evolve throughout time, but it’s something that resonates with you deeply since you knew them from so young.
6. You need to believe in each other’s dreams.
You were there when they were figuring out what the next step after high school was. You heard their greatest dreams and desires and you cheered them on to go for it. When the mundane of life sets in, you have to remember the boy in the varsity jacket with the optimistic future. A lot of the reason so many young relationships fail is because we forget to support each other’s dreams and lose perspective. You’ll need that if you want a young marriage to flourish.
7. You’ll feel like you had everything and nothing figured out at the same time.
Remember when you first started dating, and obviously figuring out what your future kid’s names will be is first priority *eyeroll*, well when that time arises you’re ready for the name, but there are a heck of a lot of other things you’ll never be prepared for too. Growing up with someone allows you to experience every part of that.
8. Adult milestones will be experienced together, rather than on your own.
Your first legal drink, your first car purchase, your first home purchase, your first real job and the fun stuff like grown up health insurance will all be places you arrive at with your partner. You’ll see people around you experiencing those milestones solo and in a different way, and that’s ok.
9. Family is family.
Your in laws have been around long enough to not be considered just in laws, but truly family. They supported you as teeny boppers, and they will support you as adults too.
10. You continue to grow up together.
In many relationships, you get married when you know who you are and what you want to become. You’ve had various amounts of life experiences as an individual. When you marry young, you’re still figuring that out. While this could seem like a con and can be challenging at times, it’s actually really beautiful to be a team and help each other evolve into everything they’re called to be. It can make or break you and is the most important item on this list for you to understand. The younger you are, the more self exploration and growing you have to do. If you’re thinking about doing that alongside a life partner, make sure you’re on the same page and are willing to embrace flexibility and compromise. If you are, it can be a rewarding, authentic and unimaginably special kind of love.