Is 17 too young to marry?


Hi everyone,
My question is simple. My boyfriend and I are planning on getting married (someday) and I’m going to be with him in his country (He’s from Ireland) next summer. He’ll be 17 and I 18, is that too young for marriage?

God bless:irish3:


Depends on how well you know each other. As we age we develop a better sense of people, but even young people can evaluate those they know well.


Yes I would think that 17 is way too young to get married. How will he support you as since you are immigrating to a new country it may take you some time before you can legally work there.


If you ask it means that in your case the answer is YES! Give yourself more time!


Take it from someone who did…YES!!!

Please wait.



Welcome, EYP!

Why don’t you see how your visit across the pond goes first?

I take it you are of some Irish heritage. If you have (at least) a grandparent who was born in Ireland, you can clain Irish citizenship and work over there right away.

Have you been to Ireland before?




The easy answer is - ask God!

  1. have you prayed to God about your marriage vocation, celibate single or religious vocation?

  2. has your boyfriend prayed to God about his vocation?

  3. have you prayed together about marriage?

Try this for a few weeks - God will certainly give you the right answer!


No I’ve never been to Ireland. I don’t expect him to support me as someone else said, we’d both be working. As Ireland is the highest paying country in western europe, and we plan on moving back to the US sometime, financial security wouldn’t be much of an issue.
My Irish ancestry John, is far distant. Great Grandparent. However, I may be able to obtain a working visa easily and if I decide to go to College over there it would be much easier.
Thanks for everyones responses


:cool: Interesting I’ll be sure to show this to my boyfriend, Thanks :smiley:


Hi EireYankPurity!

No, it’s not too young. In today’s secular culture are being taught that we need to enjoy ourselves, live free life etc. before getting married. This of course has nothing to do with the reality.

So, the question is not whether it’s too early but whether it’s too early** for you**. This is something we cannot judge. If you have prayed about it, feel called to marriage and if you believe that your boyfriend is the right person (after knowing him well enaugh) then I say, go ahead!

God bless! :slight_smile:


:thumbsup: Thanks Gandalf


I’m no expert on marriage, but I can provide you with a few resources for discerning Catholic marriage.

Bear in mind through all of this that a Sacramental Marriage is indissoluble, meaning that if you were vaildly married, there’s no going back. The doctrines of marriage and priesthood lasting until death (or in the case of priesthood, forever, since it leaves a permanent mark on the soul) may seem harsh and strange in our era of constant change, but always remember that “forever” is the kind of thing an all-powerful God is used to dealing with–it also describes the depth of the love his has for us.

That said, you might want to check out:

Three to Get Married by Fulton J. Sheen

Covenant of Love – Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage, and Family in the Modern world

The Good News about Sex and Marriage by Christopher West

Also remember this good advice:

And above all, don’t be hasty–bear in mind the Old Testament story of Jacob, who laboured for seven years to earn the woman he loved, only to be given the wrong woman, and have to labour seven more years. Now that’s love! I truly hope that this is the kind of unshakeable love you have. I’ll keep you in my prayers.




Not knowing you, I can’t say if you are too young to marry. I’ve known plenty of 17 year olds and older people who act like they’re immature 17- year-olds who weren’t ready for marriage. But I’ve also known mature teens who probably would have been ready for marriage if they had chosen that path earlier in their lives.

That said, both of my grandmothers married before the age of 17. Both were elopements. My American grandmother and grandfather were 16 and 19 and was civilly married before my grandfather was shipped off to the Pacific as a marine in WWII. They got married, then immediately after she went back home with her grandmother (the only one who knew about it) and he went back to his place. 3 years later, when he came back wounded, they got it convalidated, had 6 children, and were married 50 years before he passed away. It was tough - he had to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet, but they were happy.

My other grandparents were 14 and 21. That grandmother was extremely intelligent and mature. She grew up in a wealthy household in the Philippines, attended American schools (the American couple running the boarding school actually wanted to “adopt” her and take her back to the States) and was promoted to a senior in high school by the time she eloped with my grandfather - basically a “commoner”. She gave up all of her wealth and a betrothal to a wealthy Chinese businessman and life of luxury to marry my grandfather. She was/is very feisty and quick. They had 10 children and she was involved in local politics.

Both women, although young, were ready for marriage. I asked my caucasion grandmother what the difference was. She thought it was more of a different way of thinking. When she and my grandather were teens, yes, they had fun, but they were expected to grow up faster and to take on major responsibilities much sooner than most children today. They also understood sacrifice and doing without much more than my generation (in general) which is so used to having things now and not making too many sacrifices. Today we’re encouraged to prolong our youth, to complete our education and get a job before settling down. I can’t say which way was/is better, but I can definitely see the pros and cons of both ways of living.

Personally, I wouldn’t marry that young today, especially with how hard it is now to have a sustainable wage without a college degree or while getting a college degree. That could just be today’s societal influence speaking through me. But who am I to say that someone else isn’t ready?


I have known some people who have married young and whose marriages have lasted. That is a minority. One of the things I once heard was that there is such a great difference between your personality development now and when you will be 26 or 28 years old. You two may well be very different people by then.

This is also one of the problems when someone 18 or 19 marries a 26 or 27 year old. The 26 or 27 yr old will continue to mature (hopefully) but personality is fairly stable. The 18 yo will be very different. I knew this theory and then saw it play out in a couple’s life. By the time she hit her mid 20’s she had grown in such a different direction than her 31 yr old husband. In many ways she had become a different person than she was at 19. Not a bad person by any means just different.

My advice as hard as it is is too wait. It may be hard for you to see it now or believe it but you are young and have much ahead of you to explore and find out about who God is developing you to be. Remain close to him (your boyfriend) if you feel called to. If it is solid it will last while you finish college (or whatever is in store for you).

God Bless!



It has been done before. Therefore, I would say it is not TOO young. Is this all your soul wants from life?

BTW, why are you asking an internet forum for an answer to this life altering decision? Under the “Honor thy mother and father” rule, is this what they recommend? They are as sober an assessment of the situation as you can find. If you do not have a “good” relationship with your parents, you should put your major life decisions on hold and work on the relationship with your parents. If you cannot do this, your ability to form a lasting mature relationship with a 17-year-old is highly doubtful (not to mention his ability to form a lasting mature relationship with you).

May God’s love be with you and your parents and your young friend.


have you both discerned God’s will for your life and your vocation? I don’t mean have you discovered a mutual affection, attraction and sexual desire, I mean, have you seriously considered what God wants for each of you individually and as a couple? Have you completed your education and preparation for that vocation? Are you both able and willing to accept all the children God sends you and support and educate them now? Are you both mature psychologically, physically, spiritually and emotionally? If not, no you are not ready for marriage.


I took a look at the other thread you started and it gives me a bit more insight into your relationship.It reafirms my earlier post telling you to wait.
Neither one of you have a firm or full enough understanding of yourselves, your vocation, or your future and what Christian/Catholic marriage entails.

Again I can only say. “Take it from someone who has been there!” PLEASE WAIT!!



My first reaction would be YES! I’ve had to think twice about this. One of my childhood friends got married at 17. When she told me that she had gotten married, I thought “that won’t last.” I was wrong. She contacted me about a year ago. She’s been married 32 years, has two children and two grandchildren. I’m so proud of her.

It all depends on the person.


I can tell you one is never old enough to live together outside of marriage, so I would hope you aren’t going to live together in Ireland.

**Yes, Ireland may be one of the highest paying countries in europe, but that’s probably because everything costs more too. higher median income = higher cost of living, sometimes much higher. and higher median income does NOT mean it will be easy to get a job either, sometimes it means just to opposite. Make sure you have a job waiting for you before you move their to live. You can also start the application process for college before you move and see what offers you get. Do not wait until you are over there with no money, no dorm/apt, and no family to get the ball rolling or you might find yourself in deep waters without boat to float in.:wink: **

I think …

**Not because 17 might be too young for you or because the love may not be true, but because it appears neither of you have much of a plan for supporting each other at this point. And that’s a huge part of marriage, being able to know you can count on one another to help each other come good or bad. (Emotionally, financially, mentally, physically…) Loving intentions to do so are great, but not very helpful in actually being able to help each other.:slight_smile: **

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