Marriage: How Young is Too Young?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:49 Written by  Hiba Abdillahi

Now more than ever it seems as though people are either getting engaged, putting up pictures from their wedding, or having babies. I can't open any of my social media sites without saying, "Oh (insert name here) got married, engaged, or had a baby."

Being Somalian, there’s always pressure to get married. If you’re not married in your early 20s, you may as well be doomed for life. Whenever relatives come together, there is no doubt that the subject of marriage will come up. When that conversation starts, questions like “When are you going to get married?” or “Do you want me to hook you up with someone, cause I know a guy?” start to permeate the room.

Putting culture aside, I feel like I'm in the age group where marriage is on the mind. Every one of my peers is on the fast track to marriage while I'm just standing by watching. With summer wedding season coming to an end, and the fall weddings starting to come around, it has me thinking about a few things. How young is to young to start thinking about marriage? How early is too early? And, does this subject even have a timeline?

My family is extremely traditional. I'm talking, living-at-home-until-you-are-married traditional. In our culture, we don’t take marriage lightly. With marriage somewhat always being an underlying factor, it bothers me when it is constantly brought up. I’m 21. I don’t even know who I am, let alone what I am going to do with the rest of my life. How on earth can I think about who I will spend the rest of my life with in the midst of it all? Whenever relatives bring up the subject, I simply nod and smile, and act like it doesn’t bother me when in reality it does. One of the hardships growing up in one culture while bring raised in another is no one will understand the culture divide. Older generations don’t understand that, maybe we want to finish school, and establish careers, and then think about marriage.

When I was brainstorming ideas for this article, I got mixed reviews. Everyone I knew in their 20s told me that if you are in a stable relationship and you feel that marriage is the next step, it is never too early to think about marriage. But, if you aren’t in a relationship, don’t let the pressure get to you. Marriage doesn’t have a timeline. Whether you are a 20-year-old or a 70-year-old, it’s never to late to get married. When I asked some older people, they told me that if they knew what they know now back then, they would have waited. Also, that people today take marriage lightly, and don’t know exactly what they are getting themselves into when they make that commitment.

After both sides weighed in, the subject became clear. Like I stated before, I’m only 21. Marriage could be in my future, but I have a long way to go. Although everyone I know is on the fast track to get married, thats not for me. There is no timeline, no matter what society says. Personally, I need to understand that things will happen when they happen. In the meantime, I will continue to attend baby showers, give awesome wedding gifts, and like every lovey dovey picture my friends post.

But, I would love to open a discussion. How young is too young to think about marriage? Should we let the pressures from our peers weigh on us?

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi is a student at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in broadcast journalism. She aspires to be an international correspondent.

Hiba can be contacted at