I may not know what it's like for a gay person to to be told "you're just going through a phase," or "It's not real love," or in any other way, not be able to express their sexuality around certain people - but I think that's how I'm feeling now around my boyfriend's family, because we intend to get married before I'm 25, and before we move in together. Oh, and before we have sex at all, too.
If the world can accept, support and even fight for marriage equality why can't it do the same for people who want a hetero marriage then they are at a young age. You see for me, sex is not the goal in life. It's not the reason for being in a relationship either. The point of dating is to find someone who is a good fit. I don't want to have other relationships that last so long until I am a certain age then whoever I am dating at such a time I will tie the knot with. But that's how a lot of people seem to function.
The reason I'm not having sex while sill dating is because that will just complicate things. Being physical with someone creates a chemical bond using drugs like dopamine and oxytocin, and it can last in your system for 2 to 6 months. Being chemically bonded makes it very hard to leave the relationship even if you realize, learn, decide that this person is not the right fit. After having sex you cannot trust your heart telling you that you love this person, over your head telling you to leave. See your heart can be deceived, even more easily than your mind can be fooled. So I'm not having sex while still dating because I want to remain sure and secure that what I feel is honest, and is simply not chemical bonding.
Now the reason I'm not having sex, even though I've already expressed that I intend to stay with my current partner is where my religion comes into the picture. Because God says sex is for marriage, and I love my god, therefore I will go with his suggestion. But the whole reason I know God deserves my love and trust is because I know he wants what is best for me. I also want what is best for me. Do you not want what is best for yourself? I think that everybody does. And I think everybody seeks what is best for themselves in the ways they know they can. This is simply one of the ways I know I can look after myself. Because I trust and believe that God made me, that he designed marriage and he created sex to be a part of marriage, all so that it could work the best way possible.
Yes, it is a struggle to be in that relationship which could be made into a marriage but until it's legal you never know what might happen. And the pain of splitting up will be so much more because of the chemical bonds we make, the emotion of sex that we share, and also, I believe something spiritual happens is a way of connecting us. That is why it is so good for couples who are married, but why it is so dangerous if you are not. And living together would add to the strain of being abstinent, so why set ourselves up for failure. I know we would fail to be abstinent if we lived together - alone - with no one else to hear, see or stop us. It's not like we aren't interested in being physical. I think he's very cute, and other descriptive words. But I'm not being frigid, I'm keeping me heart safe. I don't want to get hurt. Levi doesn't want me to get hurt. God doesn't want me to get hurt. So it's best to make it as easy as possible; to do things the way we want them to be done, and to not do what we want to do in the excitement of a single moment.
So that's my argument as to why I am not going to live with and have sex with my partner before we are married. Now I need to come up with something good to convince someone who has been married before and has lived with their partner for years, with a number of other relationships before that and children along the way, to support me and my decision to believe that I'm not being immature, unwise, hasty, or young & stupid to get married in my early twenties.
A marriage between two people who are still "young" allows those people to grow up together. The way that they live and their routines are not set yet. In the short term having those things worked out makes it easier for an older couple to make living together work well. But in the long term, a younger couple may have more successes with each other in routine and other life decisions still being in trial stages and being more flexible. True it's hard to tell but we'd be married anyway, and a marriage is a covenant. That means it's not just a contract but it is a promise to stay by each other's side, to work through and enjoy life together.
So getting married "young" or "old" doesn't actually make a difference because the pledge you make when you say 'I do' are supposed to be made on a daily basis. Otherwise after seven years you could argue that the person you are with is not he person you married, because 100% of their cells have died and been replaced- but they will be the person you are married to so it would be nice to still keep that same promise you made at the beginning for this person. You hold to the vow of standing with them person even if they actually decide to act mature one day. Even if they get fired. Even if they stay in the same job their whole life. Even if they find friends who are jerks. Even when they have friends that you also want to hang out with too. Your promise stands even though they have a life-threatening hobby, you seek to protect them and you also hope they do things they enjoy. You still choose to love them through disagreements. You still make dinner for them the next day even though you haven't gotten over it. You still ask God to keep them alive. You still support them even at their events and sporting games when you'd rather not literally sit on some grass in the beating sun for an hour and a half watching a bunch of men kicking a ball around. You still cuddle them even though you're heavily pregnant and your back just hurts and it's really their fault. Or you stay faithful even though you haven't had sex in 'forever' and she's driving you crazy. Or even if it's just her period you bring her chocolate and understand that she has a reason to be cranky while it's that time of the month. Or you try to breathe and count to 10 rather than yell at him because it is.
And sometimes it's hard to do that. But being young doesn't mean you don't understand that. Or that you can't actually do it. It doesn't have to be hard because you should have each other's help in the first place. Part of a marriage covenant is promising to stay in healthy communication with one another. To have fun with each other even though you have course in the morning and you don't have time for another episode of Doctor Who. It's a promise that whatever each of you believes or thinks or wants, you will still say I love you every day. Whether that's verbally, physically, by tidying up for them, or by giving them your time and simply being together. So why should being young mean being married won't work on you. As if you don't fit the criteria because you still haven't worked out how to stop leaving keys and wallets in the wrong place, or because you're still studying (alongside people who are my parent's age), or because you need support to make career decisions.
It's having another person who is choosing to love and support you which is the criteria for a partnership that you give and receive love and support from. It isn't your age.