Janelle In Real Life: 23 Things to Look Forward to in Marriage


23 Things to Look Forward to in Marriage

Ahhh facebook. The forum for viral videos and articles, and people sharing unwanted opinions on controversial topics. The most recent "viral" article that I've seen show up on my news feed is the "23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you're 23" which you can read here. Now here's the thing... I fall into that category that she's hating on because I got engaged when I was 20 and married at 21. Am I offended by her blog post? Not really. I don't actually care what she thinks about my choice to get married young. For some reason a lot of people have felt the need to weigh in on the issue of when the appropriate age for marriage is. Truthfully... it's different for everyone. There are so many things that play into a decision to get married, and it's not something that should be taken lightly!

She brings up divorce statistics, and rightfully so. It's a pretty big issue in our society. Getting married young is a risk factor for divorce, and there's no denying that. But being married in your early 20's doesn't mean you're destined for failure in your marriage.

I'm 23 years old, I've been married for 2 1/2 years & have a one-year-old. That shocks some people. But for me, it was the right decision! I could have waited longer for marriage, but I didn't need to. I met my husband, started dating him 2 years later, and got married a year after that. That's a total of of 3 years of getting to know each other before we were married. For us that was the right timeline. Some couples take longer, and others shorter. It's so personal, and if you don't feel like you're ready for marriage, than don't do it! Jumping in when you're not ready is not a good idea. Think of what will be best for you, and don't feel pressured by what others are doing.

You may know by now that I'm religious, so another huge thing for me was to include God in my decision making process. I prayed more than I ever have about marrying my husband and whether or not it was the right decision. I mean, I was only a 20 year old when he asked. Was that too soon? I felt ready, but was I just fooling myself? I had an added sense of peace and readiness after praying about the decision.

What gets me the most about the 23 things she suggests doing instead of getting engaged is that many of them are still possible to do when you're married! The rest were just weird suggestions that I never would have done, single or not (Makeout with a stranger? Gross. Date two people at once to see how long it takes to blow up in your face? That does not sound like fun at all! And not to mention really mean.) Marriage is often misunderstood as being a union where another person is in control of what you can and can't do. It's a total fallacy! Marriage can truly be amazing. You have someone who is willing to support you in your goals, and you can be that same support for them!
You are the one in charge of the path you choose to take in life. You determine your timeline for marriage, having kids, your career, you passions, and everything else. I love how my life has turned out so far, and I wouldn't have it any other way! And I truly hope you feel the same way about what you're doing in your life.

So here's my list of 23 things to look forward to in marriage (compare to THIS list):
1. Traveling together (honeymoon, vacations, visiting family, etc.) having a travel buddy is the best!
2. Developing your individual talents and sharing successes and failures with someone who truly supports you.
3. Physical affection from someone who LOVES you.
4. Starting a family (real OR fur babies)
5. Starting a family band (my husband's family did this... he played the bass. How cute is that?)
6. Baking goodies together... and having someone to share the calories with ;)
7. Showing your commitment to each other in ways more permanent than any tattoo
8. Developing your religious beliefs as a couple. Praying, reading scriptures, attending church together.
9. Starting a family business
10. Having someone who tells you how pretty you look with your new haircut
11. Going on double dates
12. Building your own home
13. Working on a fun project together on the weekends
14. Losing yourselves in service to someone who needs it
15. Visiting your parents & in laws... they are full of good advice and fun times
16. Finding a show you both like on Netflix & watching together
17. Cooking meals together
18. Getting to know your spouse's friends and making them yours as well
19. Having a workout buddy
20. Hanging out naked at home ;)
21. Sharing your feelings with someone who cares
22. Being selfless and having someone else that needs you
23. Kissing the love of your life on New Years at midnight


  1. Thank you! I love seeing positive posts about marrying young. It seems that sometimes the internet is full of whiney finger wagging, and telling others what they should do. I love that this is things to look forward to, not just "do this when you're married". I'm a tad older than 23, but am loving being married to my best friend and knowing that I will have someone to share in the adventure.

  2. This post is amazing! I love it so much!!! :)

  3. Such a cute post! :)

    Sweet Southern Sparkle

  4. Love this! I just got engaged on Christmas Eve so this was fun to read =)

  5. I absolutely love this! I ran across this article a couple of months ago and was disheartened by it. I too was married at 20 and am now 22. I greatly love married life, and have never regretted it based on some of the things in the list. Being married doesn't cripple you, it gives you a committed and wonderful partner. Lists like these often come across as bitter and/or sneering to those of us who married young. I don't believe that anyone other than you and your partner know what's "best" for your future. I really enjoyed reading your lists in how it brings about practical ways in which being married is a blessing.

  6. I really love #2. We've only been married for 6 months (today, actually!) but I feel like we have both already grown so much as individuals, and really come into the fullness of who we are, because of one another. It's so great. Great post :)


  7. I found your post through Amberly's blog and I love it!! It's so perfect--thanks so much for posting it!!

  8. I love this, it made me laugh! I'm not anywhere near married (and I'm 22) BUT it's so reassuring to read - it's okay to make the most of being single, but it's also ok to look forward to marriage. Thanks for this!