How old do you think most people are when they first get married? If you’re a lady in Canada, 29 is the average age, according to the latest Statistics Canada numbers. You can shave two years off that if you live in the United States.
But averages are soooo mainstream for celebrities. Why follow the pack when you can set your own trend? Miley Cyrus has been setting dates, if not trends, with her engagement to long-time boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth, at the age of 19. Yes, 19 – as in not legally allowed to drink at her own bachelorette party.
Hemsworth, best known for his portrayal of Gale in the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, met Miley in 2009 on the set of The Last Song. Their three year romance culminated in Hemsworth’s proposal to Miley in early June. Since then, Twitter, the paparazzi and the media have been aflutter over pictures of Miley’s ginormous engagement ring and any whiff of a possible wedding date.
But as the congratulations have come pouring in, so too have the reservations. Namely: Isn’t 19 a little young? After all, this is Hannah Montana, a generation’s precocious, child actress sweetheart, who started entertaining at the young age of 12. We’ve watched her grow up for seven years and now, suddenly, she’s getting married.
Sometimes you can’t help but compare yourself to celebrities. In this case, I got to wondering: Would I, being in the same age bracket as Miley Cyrus, be ready to get married at 19? To which I answer with hysterical laughter and a resounding, “No.” There’s no way I’m ready to get married this young. I’ve just begun forging my own self-identity, just begun holding on for dear life to the wheel with which I navigate my relationships and just begun hacking through the jungle of internships and resumes with a machete of determination, hoping all the while that I am somehow on the right path. I have quite enough to handle here without marriage! (Luckily, I don’t have to endure the strain of paparazzi on top of all this. Miley isn’t so fortunate).
For argument’s sake, I’ll add in that marriage is supposed to be a lifelong commitment – although 50 percent of the time it’s not. It’s also a legal ceremony, leading to migraines of epic proportions and some very happy lawyers when it has to be undone. So again, are most 19 year-olds mature enough to legally commit themselves to another human being for the rest of their lives? No way.
You can argue as long as you like about how “mature” someone is, or how they are really “an old soul” – at 19 there is still plenty of self-discovery to go through, more growth to be had and plenty of time left to figure out whether or not you want to marry and if so, who you want to marry.
Marriage is not a race. There’s no medal to be had for crossing the finish line before the rest of your friends. No one’s going to disqualify you if you finish last. In fact, there’s no finish line – you haven’t ended anything by having a wedding. You’ve continued a relationship.
So don’t rush into getting married ‘on time,’ ladies. ‘On time’ is what works for you. Some people might sprint and scramble, and sweat and pant in a rush to get to the ‘finish line,’ but I recommend strolling along to take in the scenery. Once you catch your breath, it’s quite lovely.