- Gender and Relationships
Young Love and Getting Married
I'm Done!..Now What?
Everyone is aware of the stages children go through while they are growing and maturing but no one ever talks about the pivotal stage that young adults are in.
When you finish with High School, College, the Military or just move out of your parent’s house, it can be exciting to finally be independent.
On the other hand, there is also an empty feeling deep down, like something familiar is missing. They often feel as though they don’t belong anywhere anymore and their identity is in question.
All Grown Up?
Society says that we are adults now but what does that mean?
- Why am I not happy and sure of myself like other adults seem to be?
- How come I don’t know exactly what to do or where to go when everyone else seems to have it all figured out?
- What does the future hold for me?
- What is wrong with me?
These are completely normal questions that every young adult asks themselves. There is a misconception that once you’re an adult, you’re done.
The secret is, growing up is a process that never ends.
They Don't Get It
Trying to figure out what path to take and how to navigate your new freedom can be overwhelming.
Older people are always telling you how lucky you are and you watch their eyes glaze over as talk about how exciting it is to be embarking on a new journey.
Sure, it would be exciting for them because they already know what is around every corner. They have been there already and have learned from their mistakes.
Fear Is Number One
Fear is the number one, most common reason first marriages happen.
It may be hard to realize at the time because emotions and lack of self-awareness can distort what is really going on. When young adults first get out on their own, they are scared.
Someone To Lean On
If we don’t feel like we think we should and our lives seem confusing, we will often attach ourselves to another person.
Human beings are not singular creatures. We thrive from human contact; we all need support and acceptance.
Going through this confusing stage of life with someone who can relate right by your side makes things a little less scary and daunting. It certainly makes sense and it is a natural response.
You wouldn’t go through a haunted house all by yourself would you?
Being scared and figuring out a way to come out alive together is a much better plan.
Having a partner by your side during your early twenties really can make things easier.
The serious relationship that you have in your late teens and early twenties will teach you many powerful life-long lessons.
This person will more than likely be the first person you lean on and need emotionally that isn’t a family member. You make each other feel safe and understood in a world where you feel like you don’t quite fit anywhere else yet.
During this important relationship both people usually learn some important compromise and communication skills. You will also learn a lot about what you want in a partner and what you don’t want.
This valuable information will aid in knowing yourself better and both people will be better equipped to handling future relationships.
There is also a risk that one of the people will find it too scary or confusing to figure out their own personal destination in life so they attach themselves to their partners.
It may seem easier to simply follow their partner and support his or her dreams.
This will only work short term. Eventually some serious internal questions and ambitions will arise and it may cause guilt and resentment towards themselves and their partner.
Each person's personal direction and purpose in life comes to light at different times and it is worth waiting for and working towards.
No person will be satisfied living out another persons dreams.
When two people are dating during this time, there is a very real risk that one or both of the people will misconstrue the feelings they have toward the person they are with.
The deep need they feel for each others companionship and support is often mistaken for the all consuming love they assume people feel when they get married. How would they know the difference? Everything is so new and powerful.
This is a milestone relationship, not a forever relationship.
There are exceptions of course but, the percent of people in their 30’s and older that have already had their First Marriage doesn’t support a great outcome.
Making Life Altering Decisions Before You Are Ready
There have been numerous studies done on the brain and its development. The experts have all discovered is that our brains aren’t finished developing until at least 25 years of age.
The last part of the brain to develop is the Pre-Frontal Cortex. This is the part of the brain that controls:
- Decision making
- The ability to accurately predict long term results of a particular decision
- Balancing short term and long term goals
- Accurately interpreting intense emotions
- Analyzing problems and planning strategies
There is much more detailed information on this topic at:
as well as many more resources on the web and in psychology journals.
Having firm grasp of these skills and abilities are necessary when making a decision that will affect your life for the next 50+ years, not to mention any children that may enter the picture along the way.
It Isn't Personal
It is important to realize that this doesn’t have anything to do with personal maturity level or the amount of responsibility one or both of the people have already learned to handle.
The brain maturation is purely biological. It basically means that your brain hasn’t stopped growing yet and you are still making dramatic changes as an individual.
A marriage is sharing yourself and your life with another person.
How is it possible to share something that you don’t yet have a handle on?
Many Changes Yet To Come
There are many changes that everyone goes through their late teens and early twenties.
- Social interests
- Likes and dislikes
- Career ambitions
- Romantic attractions
- Personal styles and appetites
- Views on political and social issues
- Family planning ideals
These are just a few of the many personal and professional things in our lives that are fluid when we are young. That is one of the wonderful things about being in your twenties.
Nothing is set in stone yet.
You are experimenting with new ideas and experiences.
Love, trust and caring for another person on a very intimate level are a few of those experiences that will help shape who you will become.
Embrace it, enjoy it and learn from it but do not alter your future by making it into something it was never meant to be.
There is a very real probability that both people will grow out of the need they once had for each other and discover a deep desire to embark on their own.
As their brains finish developing and they have more personal experiences, they will have the confidence and self-awareness to reach for what they need for the next stage of their lives.
This process can be a lot more painful and messy when the two people are married and it’s devastating when there are children involved.
What's Your Hurry?
When two people are meant to spend the rest of their lives together, they will. There is no reason to rush into a marriage.
The average life expectancy is approximately 78 years old. If you don’t have yourself and your life figured out in your 20’s, that’s ok.