Our love therapist, Jazmin Moral answers in Kesta Love, Dating, and Relationship Advice!
I recently became engaged to my 26-year-old fiancé. He is 4 years older than me, and many people have told me that the age difference matters. I feel confident, but I always hear people say that I'm too young to "settle down". It's true that I do want to keep doing fun things, and when I get married I want my husband to be my roomie- I want us to be in love and still go out to dinner, have fun, etc. My question is, does age matter for marriage? Does getting married mean that we can't have fun anymore?
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Good news! Most people tend to end up with partners three to five years younger or older than themselves. Getting married in your teens is statistically more likely to end in divorce, but by age 22 that risk goes down dramatically. So in this case, I think it's fair to say that age is the least of your worries.
The main predictor of a happy marriage isn't how old you are on your wedding day - it's WHO you marry! What actually matters most is trust, that he treats you like a priority, and that you know he’ll be there for you unconditionally when you need love and support (and vice versa).
When you’re having a bad day, knowing that you’re coming home to a safe haven with a loving partner makes all the difference. So when you say you want him to be your "roomie" my thought is be careful! The emotional connection needed to make a marriage work is on a completely different league. And it may sound obvious (yet for some reason came as a surprise to me when I got married), but when you get married you won't even have your own room! With a roomie you usually have a door to close to get some privacy and space when you need it (for a reality check I highly recommend living together first).
Find Time For Yourself!
Everybody has their own expectations of personal space, "me time", and togetherness (not to mention finances, household chores, etc.). What seems "normal" to you could be very different for him. Talk about these things now and don't make any assumptions.
Plan fun couples activities!
And yes, you should absolutely go out and do fun things together once you are married, otherwise what’s the point of sharing your life with someone! Just make sure to have good communication and resolve disagreements early. Lingering arguments and hurt feelings lead to resentment, and then it's hard to have fun with someone who is annoying/upsetting/disappointing you.
And here’s a bonus tip- a recent study found that generosity in a marriage can be better than sex (not really, but close). Simple acts of generosity make a big difference. Things like making coffee for your partner in the morning, doing nice things for them just because – not because you have to. The study found that men and women with the highest scores on the ‘generosity scale’ reported being ‘very happy’ in their marriages.
Remember to be generous with your partner.
So lots of communication, love, trust, and generosity will make a huge difference! Your date of birth? Not so much.
Jazmin Moral www.jazminmoral.com is a licensed clinical social worker practicing in Rockville. This column is meant for entertainment only and should not be considered a substitute for professional counseling.
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