This past week there has been a lot of talk online about Millie Bobby Brown and Jake Bongiovi announcing their engagement. Yes, Jake is the son of Jon Bon Jovi, but that’s not the reason people are talking. The main conversation centers around Jake being only 20 years old, and Millie only 19.
I agree with the majority of folks who are saying they are way too young. Sure, they might have a long engagement, but that’s not the point. Many studies show that the human brain doesn’t fully mature until around age 25. There is also plenty of data showing that getting married under age 25 greatly increases your odds of getting divorced. Simply put, when you are under 25 you are still a kid in a LOT of ways.
And yes, I know we all know people who got married super young and made it work. Hell, I work with several women who married before they turned 20 and it’s worked out for them. But there are many more for who it doesn’t. I got married at 22, he was 21 at the time. We both thought we were mature enough, but honestly neither of us were. Thankfully we are good friends now, but it took us a long time and a lot of tears to get there.
But in spite of all the information out there showing why it’s a bad idea, people do still get married super young. Why?
Glad you asked! I think there are 2 main reasons why kids do it.
#1 They want to have sex. I respect people who choose to wait until marriage to have sex. BUT. That isn’t a good reason in and of itself to get married. Having normal human emotions and sexual urges is, well, normal. You know what’s also normal at 20? Breaking up with your significant other. Having multiple relationships. Trying to figure out who you are as a person. Committing the rest of your life to someone because you are afraid of God or your parents? Not a great foundation for a life of happiness.
Sure, there is that initial joy at making love to your partner. But what happens in a few months when the newness has worn off?
Jessica Simpson famously stated waiting for marriage to have sex was one reason she married Nick Lachey at the young age of 22. Spoiler alert- they got divorced only four years later.
#2 They have had to be adults in other areas of their lives younger than most. This is likely the reason so many actors and musicians get married young. They are already working full time and getting treated like adults. Or maybe they had a parent battling addiction issues or who worked multiple jobs and they raised younger siblings.
There is a laundry list of young celebrities who married AND divorced young- Solange Knowles, Macaulay Culkin, LeAnn Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, Hillary Duff, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Avril Lavigne- the list goes on and on.
Don’t get me wrong- I love marriage. Hell, my love of writing about marriage played a large part in naming my blog Knotty Things, even though I don’t write about it as often as I used to. I think when done right marriage is the most amazing thing you can have in your life. But I also know a lot of things that make a marriage harder. And getting married super young is one really easy way to start off with a lot of extra hurdles to overcome. No one needs or deserves that.