Many Millennials can't imagine getting married anytime in the near future.
And because we live in a world of fast-spreading news and gossip, we as a society feel entitled to interject our opinions into everything, including other people's lives and decisions.
So, it should come as no surprise that when I got married at 19, I was met with "mixed reviews."
I've established that as far as the rest of the world is concerned, I'm somewhere between having done an amazing and beautiful thing, and having totally screwed up my life.
Allow me to give you a brief history of "what I've done with my life."
I met my husband when I was 17 and in my senior year of high school.
He was almost 20, and living a couple hours away from me.
There were a lot of challenges, long-distance issues and major changes made.
Then, he decided to return to school in another city that would put us over two hours apart.
We talked about our options, and how returning to such long distance again would effect us.
Nine months before he would be leaving for school, he proposed, and I said yes.
We quickly decided that it made more sense to get married six months from then, and have me go with him.
So we did.
Our families were, for the most part, very supportive of us.
We were pretty independent, and were able to make things happen for ourselves.
A lot of our friends were supportive, too.
But, it goes without saying that if you do something unpopular, some people are going to disapprove.
I had to listen to plenty of insensitive, misguided and out-of-line questions and comments.
Many people also talked badly behind my back.
I got a wide array of negativity and quite frankly, stupidity.
But after I began writing and sharing our experiences and story, I found there were way more people in same boat as us than I ever realized.
In today's society, young married people are pretty left out.
We're few and far between, but it's high time one of these lifestyle articles was relatable for the small, but wonderful group of people.
So, here are the top six things young married people are sick and tired of hearing:
1. Don't you know 50 percent of marriages end in divorce?
First of all, that statistic is a widely debated myth.
Secondly, are you aware divorce rates are lower now than they were back in the 1970s?
Also, of the marriages ending in divorce, far more of them are marriages that took place a long time ago, not recent marriages involving young couples.
I'm not saying it doesn't happen.
I know young people can get married, and then soon change their minds or can't handle it, and divorce.
I'm just saying, it is not, in fact, a trend, statistically speaking.
Also, telling someone who is about to get married you essentially believe his or her marriage will fail is incredibly rude, so just don't.
2. What about having fun?
Before marriage, my boyfriend was the person I had the most fun with.
I'm not sure what rule says marriage means the end of fun.
It's completely false.
Marriage provides you with a partner to have amazing adventures with, and it's incredibly fun.
Now, if your idea of "fun" is only going out to clubs, partying, etc., then yes, things will change.
You and your spouse can still set those ideals yourself.
Maybe you go out partying with groups together, or give each other nights out with friends.
But of course, you won't be going out every night.
If marrying someone and having fun with the person doesn’t sound good to you, and if not going out all the time and getting drunk with friends would be too much of a sacrifice for you, you're probably with the wrong person.
Your feelings don't dictate another person's actions with the person he or she loves.
Spending more time with the person you care for shouldn't feel like a sacrifice, and odds are, for the person you're judging, it doesn’t either.
3. Shouldn’t you just be in school, getting your education?
Well, I actually could be in school, getting my education.
Oddly enough, you're allowed to possess both a marriage certificate and a degree of any level.
Furthermore, society doesn't actually don't care what order you obtain them in.
I completely see the typical life formula is to complete your education, begin a career and then marry.
But there is no law that says I can't do things differently.
In fact, I've opted at this time to not get my education beyond high school.
I can make this choice regardless of my marital status, and I made the choice before I ever put a ring on it.
I'm happy in my career of choice, and one day, I may prefer to stay home and raise a family.
It really doesn't concern anyone else.
I have tons of respect for those who are highly educated and successful in their fields of study before they discuss the idea of marriage.
I think pursuing your dreams and meeting your goals is an amazing thing, no matter what.
I simply ask for the same respect when it comes to my decisions and aspirations, even though they're a little "off the beaten path."
4. Won't you get bored with the same person for so long?
Wow, that's an odd thing to say.
I hate to say it, but if you feel this way, maybe your opinion on marriage or serious relationships on any level -- regardless of age -- is invalid.
People who think this way make me nervous for our generation, and its shortening attention span.
You shouldn't feel "bored" with the people you care about — romantic or otherwise.
Having successful relationships, both personal and professional, depends on a give-and-take and communication.
I can't see how anyone is going to be very fulfilled in many areas of life if he or she gets tired of people.
At the end of the day, I don't want to judge anyone.
But if you feel like you'd get bored of someone, don't marry the person yourself.
That thought hasn't really ever crossed my mind in any relationship, so I don't have much of a response for you.
5. How could you have enough money to get married now?
I'm pretty sure your average person never has enough money to get married.
Most people either have help with paying for a wedding, or go into debt doing so.
Starting up a household presents similar issues.
However, for what it's worth, we did pay for our wedding almost entirely ourselves, and we handled our moving and starting up household costs.
I am nowhere near rich, but I am really good with planning and saving when it comes to money.
I have my finances under control, and this has always allowed me to sign the necessary checks.
I also already had an apartment before, so we didn't need much.
I can't stress enough that it's not the same case for every young couple, and I get that.
Worrying about your friend's or family member's financial situation when making a huge move like this is a valid concern.
But if you love someone, you'd be surprised what you can make work if you sacrifice the little details.
Aside from that, you really don't know what's happening in someone's financial life, so just trust the person to make good choices, and be there to offer advice if you're asked.
6. This is a pretty big decision for someone so young to be making.
It is, but there are countless big-life decisions young people are expected to make.
At 18 or younger, we're expected to make a decision about what career we want to have for the rest of our lives.
We're expected to choose which institution we'd like to fall over $50,000 in debt for.
Since as young as 15, we've been expected to pick courses and activities that will lead us down the right path for our future.
So yes, while marriage is one of the biggest decision you ever make, age is of little matter.
It's about maturity, and it's about commitment.
As an outsider, you can care and make assessments, but you will never truly know where a person or couple is at in these areas.
Truthfully, when you hear your 20-something friend announce she's engaged, and have the urge to make some backhanded comment, just don't.
Follow the old rule of, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
If you're concerned, and it comes from a genuine place, simply let your friend know you're there for him or her.
Tell your friend you will do your best to support his or her decisions.
Remember: If you really love this person enough to care about what's best for him or her, you'll show love before judgment.