First let me give you a little background on myself. I am 31 years old. I was married when I was 24. I have 2 kids 4 and 3 years old.
I got married 1 year after I met my wife. 9 months of that time was spent planning our wedding. If I had it to do over I would have waited at least another year. It’s important to completely understand the needs of your partner before you make the commitment. You also need to understand what your partner expects from you and you need make clear what your expectations are. Spend time with each other’s families. In order to know what your partner will be like to be married to observe the way her parents are. That way you don’t feel like you didn’t know what you got yourself into later on.
I don’t think that it is necessary or even advisable to live together before your married. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t based on some moral code, I believe whole-heartedly in premarital sex.
But I think living together for a time and then getting married changes things and can cause problems in that commitments and expectations when you get married change.
We started to expand our family when I was 27. I think the decision as to when to have kids is different for different people. I definitely think you should wait until you establish a career. People with kids will always tell you that you should have some. I really think that is like having a swimming pool. People who have one will tell you its great but they fail to mention all the responsibility involved.
I think the most Important thing to remember is have fun while you can. Be spontaneous before you get bogged down with responsibilities. The one thing I always think of after my life changes is that I wish I would have done more before when I could. Don’t be in a rush, you have another 60 years or more to get to the rest of life.
Oh, Let me add that over the years I have found that my dad gets smarter and smarter. A lot of the things my dad told me in my teens and twenties that were “just ridiculous”, experience has proven to be pretty sensible.