4 Reasons You Should Never, EVER Marry Your High School Sweetheart

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You Should NOT Marry Your High School Sweetheart

You were how old when you met? You were a teenager ... a teenager! There's a reason why you can't legally drink before you're 21. This should make you pause and think about who you were as a teen who fell in love with another teen. Maybe we should have a law that says you can't get married to anyone you attended any school but college with.

Or maybe we should start a new saying like, "Don't drink and drive!" — only, it would be, "Don't marry and high school!" (OK, not as catchy.)

You may be reading this, shaking your head and saying, "Wait a minute! He's my high school sweetheart, meaning I met him in high school, but we aren't teenagers anymore. We're twenty!" But if you can't legally drink at your own wedding, you've got a problem.

I know what I'm speaking about; I married my high school sweetheart, whom I met him when I was only sixteen. Granted, he was twenty-three (Mom, what were you thinking?!), so not my official high school sweetheart, but still.

If I'm writing this article, you can probably guess how my first marriage turned out. Don't get me wrong  I know it can work. I'm familiar with a few couples from high school who got married and are still happily married with kids.

But before you go and do anything rash  and by rash I mean get engaged when you still have to attend PE class  listen to my reasoning. At least peruse my rationale why and consider the facts. I mean, you're smart, right? You're a high school graduate, yes?

1. You were just a baby when you met.

Don't take this the wrong way. I know my kids get upset when I call them babies and they quite clearly aren't in diapers anymore, but you get my point, right? Trust me, when you're looking back from your forties, you will definitely call your late teens/early twenties-self a baby.

And now, would you trust a baby to make a smart, well-thought-out decision about whom to marry? No, of course you wouldn't. Oftentimes, with our first love, we're more in love with the idea of being in love than actually in love.

2. You barely knew yourself, let alone him, when you met.

You were trying on different selves as a teenager, trying out different activities and ways of being. You didn't fully and truly know and understand yourself. You were too busy trying to figure out why your best friend would no longer speak to you, why your butt was so much bigger than everyone else's, or where to get a fake ID.

Your twenties are the time when you start understanding what really makes you tick, and don't you want to find someone who winds you up in all the right ways as an adult, not as a late adolescent? Unconsciously, you may be trying not to change the person you sense developing because you don't want to upset the balance.

3. You both still have a lot of growing up to do and you're going to change — a lot.

You may accidentally get locked into being the person that you were when you met, instead of really feeling capable of growth on your own. I mean, how are you going to grow in all kinds of new and exciting ways if you have your sweetheart watching you every step of the way?

Is it possible that you don't want to take the risk of being by yourself? Maybe you're only staying with him because you're afraid of change? Afraid of striking out on your own all, alone? If you ever find yourself wondering, then you need to explore other people.

4. You need to experience relationships with more than just one person.

If he's your high school sweetheart, there can't be that many exes to compare him with. And no, the boy who tried to feel you up by your locker in seventh grade doesn't count. You may think that you've found the love of your life, but your life has just begun. How can you know he's "the one"? You've barely had a chance to meet any other possible "ones" ... or twos or threes.

What if "the one" is waiting for you at that Liberal Arts College across the country?

You're young (of course, all this advice applies to you only if you really are still young. If you've been with your high school sweetheart for twenty years, then yes, please go and get married now!) and you need to experience life on your own. Why do you feel the need to rush into a marriage? Take your time. Explore all your possibilities that relationships have to offer.

I know it's corny, but that old saying about if you love something, set it free just might kind of apply here.