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Stay or get married? I’m 16

I met this girl who lives in another state. I know she’s the one. Should I leave home and marry her?

I met my own wife young, says our elder. But my strong advice is to stay home and wait a few years.

Dear EWC

There is a girl I met. I don’t know how it happened, because I sure as hell don’t deserve her, but she loves me and I love her. I love her more than anything. She is my everything, and she is my forever. The only thing is, she lives in another state. I’m going to go visit her this summer, and she got really upset, saying that if I came to visit, she wouldn’t be able to let me leave again. I need to be with her. I have been looking into emancipation (I’m 16) but she isn’t sure she wants me to drop my life for her. What she doesn’t understand is that she is my life, and I want to keep it. I am wholeheartedly willing to be emancipated, but we both want more than that, I am buying her a ring. I am going to marry her the first chance I get so that no one else can have the love of my life. She deserves more than me, but for once in my life I am going to be selfish. My question is this: Should I move out and marry her soon? Or suffer a couple of years without her with me and stay with my dad? I know my answer will always be her, but I wanted to hear about it from an unbiased point of view. Thank you, so, so much.

CraigJ replies

I am, in fact, unbiased, except by experience and observation, so here goes; my recommendation is to take it easy and live with your dad.

Reason one: while young love can be crazily intense, it tends to also change quickly and often. Maybe she’s your ‘forever’ love, but at 16 odds aren’t in your favor. Things change, so will you, so will she. While I have seen young relationships work, it is extremely rare. Most people who marry young end up hating each other’s guts in short order. “What was I thinking?” is a very common comment. Unfortunately, when people get to this point, the damage is often done.

Reason two; money. Unless you’re extremely lucky, my guess is that you have no idea how you’re going to get by. If you wonder how this goes, get your calculator out and figure out how much rent, two cars, heat, electricity, phones, internet, television, etc. will cost per month. Then figure out how much you have to make, per hour, to pay for all of this. Also, make sure you add in things you’re going to want to do, like going out, eating, and so forth. It’s usually around at least $5-7,000 a month to live at poverty level.

Reason three; there ain’t no rush. If what you’re describing is true now, it’ll be true in a number of years. If so, great! Have at and good luck. Live well and enjoy a life together. But if not, then maybe you’ll learn something about yourself, your feelings and other people. What I mean here is that you just never know how these things go, and if you jump head on, usually it’s a mistake because you’re acting on impulse. Take your time and be sure. She’ll either be there, or you’ll see that things weren’t exactly as they seemed.

I actually met my wife early in life, so I understand a bit about this. We met at 19, but didn’t marry until 26. In between we did all sorts of stuff, including meeting others, having fun, being young people. Those years did us both good and we’ve now been married for around 40 years. My firm thinking is that if we would have married early, we never would have lasted; we both had to grow up a bit.

So, take your time and enjoy the feelings, but don’t jump until you’re really ready for the adult world and all that this means; it’s tough enough without starting before you’re truly ready for all of the responsibility and hardship this brings.

Letter #: 456973
Category: Marriage

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