Too Young? Observations welcome

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Colelle Posts : 48 Registered: 6/21/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 12, 2009 12:00 PM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite


I'm 21 as well, my boyfriend is 25. I posted on here earlier on handling criticism at becoming engaged young. :)

I actually have quite a few friends that are married (all got married at 18, 19, and 20). 2 are divorcing, but it was obvious they would not work out, they were far more interested in partying and acting young than growing up and being a family. However, the rest of my married friends are doing great--they have their degrees now, jobs, and 2 of them are out of debt and now have their own houses.

So in my opinion its not just age...I have some older relatives that may -never- have the maturity to get married lol. I think its all on the invidividual couple, their maturity, and their compatibility.

I disagree with those that say you should just move in and have sex together for years and years. Playing house has never sit well with me. Why act like you're married when youre not? I don't see the point. If youre going to move in together, have sex, pay bills together, um...? I guess that's just the way my mom raised me though, she shares the same strong views.

Only you will know if you are ready to get married. I can say confidently that I am. I bet many young brides say this, but my boyfriend and I aren't just in love, but we're amazingly compatible in almost every way. Sure we have our quirks that grate on each other's nerves, but ultimately we love those quirks. My man can be very one-track minded, which can clash with my multi-tasking personality, but we often end up laughing about it. I recently visited him abroad (he's volunteering in central America) for 2 weeks, and I was able to see another side of him. It truly made me re-fall in love with him. He was so caring and protective of me, and even when I got sick and moody and would pick at him, he would just caress my hair and tell me I'm beautiful.

I have 3 friends at the moment that have been struggling with their relationships (basically a real-life reinactment of the movie 'He's Just Not that into You'). I look at the way their guys treat/treated them, and I feel so lucky. My guy is 25, and trust me when I say he's been through a lot. He knows what he wants now in life. He told me on my visit that he looks forward to the day when he can call me his wife and truly wake up to me every single morning.

I can't even begin to explain our relationship and just how deeply it runs. Most on this board would just attribute it to my age and naivete, but I only know what I know. Our relationship is the complete opposite of superficial. We've seen each other's real ugly sides...and love each more for them.

As my boyfriend told me, you don't have to explain or justify yourself to anyone. Just make sure you are boyfriend and I are already mapping our budgets/finances, planning on pre-martial counseling, etc. Good luck!


Mer21 Posts : 32 Registered: 11/10/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 12, 2009 12:47 PM Go to message in response to: Colelle

Hi everyone,
I have already posted on here as well. I really agree with a lot of what you said, Colelle. I think that what is important is if you and your boyfriend are ready.

I know that the OP asked this question not to get opinions on if she should do it, but why others have had unexpected reactions. Personally, I feel that everyone who tells you this is genuinely trying to help you. A lot of people talk about how much you will change during your 20s. There is absolutely no question that this is true. But I believe that people continue to change. Think about the number of people who go through a mid-life crisis, yet I doubt that people would tell a mature 30 year old to hold off on marriage because they will change quite a bit. A strong relationship needs to be able to not only withstand changes, but also nurture them so that both people can grow together. Those of us in our early 20s will change a lot in the next decade, and we'll keep changing after that, but if you are with the right person you will be able to figure it out.

Family and friends who may be telling you that 21 is too young may also be speaking from their own personal experience. If they are older, they remember their goals and their personality from that age, and they may not have been ready. They might then make a blanket statement that people are not ready at that age. In the same way, friends who are close to your age may say you're too young because they can't imagine being ready to make that commitment at this time.

I'm 22, and I know that the majority of my friends are not ready to get married. But everyone isn't ready for the same things at the same age. Just because it's not right for them doesn't mean that it can't be right for me, or for you. It's really about knowing yourself and your boyfriend.

I do agree with ArtBride that sometimes even if you are ready, there can be reasons to wait. I think it is a great idea to try to get some academic and financial worries out of the way. But certainly, if you and your boyfriend talk about it and can plan how your finances and schooling will work with your marriage, then you don't need to wait.

I did want to respond to ArtBride's comment about long engagements. As I mentioned in a previous post, I got engaged at 18 when I was a freshman in college. We both just graduated from college and will be getting married next June. By then we will have had a 4 year engagement. I have to disagree with the idea that the majority of women who have long engagements "need everyone to know how serious their relationship is - whether it's by having a visible symbol of it that they wear on their finger, or whether it's the fact that they call each other 'fiance' rather than boyfriend/ girlfriend." I think that many engagemens in general are fairly public to begin with. An engagement ring itself is a symbol to both the couple, and yes, the outside world of the commitment between those two people. I dont think that that public element is any greater or lesser with a long engagement. Many women with long and short engagments take pride in their ring and in getting to refer to their significant other as their fiance.

Despite this public element which is present in most engagements, in a good relationship, the reason to get engaged is because both people want that level of commitment. Just because it becomes public does not mean that is the reason for the engagement. Personally, I know that some couples who get engaged young and plan a long engagement dont even share the news for a while. In my case we wanted to wait until we thought that our family would take the news better (because of our age). So the decision to get engaged was truly a personal matter between us since we did not share our news with family or (most) friends for almost a year. A long engagement is not for everyone. But just because the engagement is long does not mean that there is a less sincere or less personal motivation.

Sorry for such a long post!


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 12, 2009 1:37 PM Go to message in response to: Mer21

I dont think that that public element is any greater or lesser with a long engagement.

That's true, but you missed the point. The point of an engagement is that the couple has decided to get married - not someday, but soon. The couple makes the decision to get married, they get engaged, and then they plan their wedding. Why get engaged if you don't want to get married for several years? There doesn't seem to be a point, other than making sure everyone you meet knows that you're serious about your relationship.

Back when you first got engaged, when you weren't planning to get married for 4 years, was your relationship any different from that of a boyfriend and girlfriend who plan to get married in 4 years? Other than the ring and calling each other fiance?

Maybe it's just me, but long engagements just seem pointless. To me, if you are engaged, you should be ready to plan a wedding and get married. I understand long engagements for the purpose of saving money for the wedding, but other than that, I don't really see the point in getting engaged now if you're not ready to get married (for whatever reason) for several years. Personally, when I was 22, I could have told you that DH and I would get married in a few years - but if he had asked me back then, I would have said, 'No, I have stuff I want to accomplish before we get married. Let's hold off for a few years.' To me, the engagement period is time to plan the wedding, not time to sit around calling one another fiance when we weren't actively planning a wedding anytime soon.

But that might just be my own prejudices speaking. I know several couples who have been 'engaged' for quite a few years. The women wear rings, they call one another fiance, but there's never been any progress made towards a wedding. Finding these couples pretty sad, I did not want to get engaged until I was ready to start planning a wedding.

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Mer21 Posts : 32 Registered: 11/10/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 12, 2009 5:43 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Even though planning the wedding is an important, and decidedly big, part of being engaged, I think there is a lot more to it than that. An engagement stands for the commitment and the love between those people, and I don't think there needs to be a time limit to that. To some an early engagement may seem like a promise ring. I think that a promise ring symbolizes "I love you and think I want to marry you someday," where as an engagement ring, however early, indicates, as others have said in this post, "I know I could marry you tomorrow..."

Ultimately, if an engagement is only about planning, it seems like something key is missing.


Marte Posts : 22 Registered: 7/29/07
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 15, 2009 2:59 PM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite

I would say you're just about right. :-) You're 21, nearly 22, which is pretty grown-up. I haven't changed that much since I was 21-22 (I am 25 now), so I don't fear that you and your boyfriend will grow apart or anything like that. Also, you've been dating for a sufficiently long time to know each other well. I would suggest a long engagement, e.g. at least a year, that way you won't be too young at all (although that's totally up to you of course).

I think people react that way because people are getting married later and later, and 21 is certainly younger/earlier than most in my experience. You lucky girl! :-) Enjoy the suspense and I bet that when you are engaged, nobody will comment on your age. They'll want to see the ring and ask about your wedding date, not discuss your age!


kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 15, 2009 3:12 PM Go to message in response to: Marte

Enjoy the suspense and I bet that when you are engaged, nobody will comment on your age. They'll want to see the ring and ask about your wedding date, not discuss your age!

You would lose that bet. If someone I knew was 21 and got engaged I would still discuss the age. I would not want to see the ring I would be concerned about their ages. That is just how I would see it.




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BlackstoneSkinner Posts : 38 Registered: 5/14/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 15, 2009 3:39 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I have to comment on the long engagement thing. FH and I have opted for that route for yes monetary reasons, but also because I don't know what kind of wedding I want, we want to get our degrees taken care of so that we'll have better jobs for a smooth transition into married life (statistics show a large percent of divorces are because of money issues), and we just flat out don't want to rush things (for the record, we'd been dating for 3 years before our engagement). I think everyone has that feeling when they know things are just the "right." The "right" time or the "right" place, the "right" person. Why can you not have a "right" length for an engagement not matter how long it is? An engagement to keep someone around with never setting a time frame is a totally different thing than a long engagement. When FH proposed in March, I asked 2011 or 2012? And 2011 it is.

In regards to the original post. I am 21, FH is 25 and we have the world at our fingertips and are ready to take on the world together. It is no big deal at all.

Good Luck!



Marte Posts : 22 Registered: 7/29/07
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 15, 2009 4:11 PM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

In America, some people get married when they are 17, 18, 19... I never knew this until I went to a leadership forum in the US and met lots of other people my age (I was 21 then) and some of them had been married for three years. THAT'S young!

If people mean well, then sure, but by the time you hear someone's engaged, it's a little too late to really do anything about it. So then it becomes more to give advice etc, which I would welcome if it came from someone experienced and wise. :-)

If it comes from a generation above, I'd say it's probably meant well, but if it's from peers, I'd suspect a little jealousy. ;-) Though I am quite the cynic!


Ariana1228 Posts : 281 Registered: 3/2/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 19, 2009 12:14 PM Go to message in response to: Marte

I also wanted to comment on the long engagement. I understand what ArtBride is saying about some people who have long engagements that don't plan anything wedding related and don't need to wait for monetary reasons, how it does not make sense. There are also other cases like Knox who planned on going to grad school after she got engaged that I do not see a problem with. I think that ArtBride's comment was saying that if there isn't anything holding you back from getting married or actively planning why get engaged if you're not ready to tie the knot? I have seen this is older people as well.

There is an older couple (around 50) that I know that got engaged after 6 months of dating. They were both previously married and they both had children from their previous marriages. In my opinion since they got engaged, they have seemed to get immature. They can't make time with their friends to hang out and are inseperatable from each other. The other day the man (let's call him Bob) said to his FW (let's call her Suzie) that he wanted to sell their houses (they live separately in their own houses with their children) get married and move to North Carolina. Now her kids are 19 and 22 and his kids are 18 and 21. All four kids are in college within the State. When Bob told Suzie that he wanted to get married and move, she said no she wasn't ready, he got mad and took off. The point of the story is that they do not have any young children that they have to take care of, they do not have any financial issues because they both have careers, so why get engaged if you're not ready to get married? Suzie wants a long engagement and Bob doesn't. Why did Suzie say yes to Bob if she wasn't ready?

I am having a long engagement but it is because of monetary reasons and the fact that we don't want to be in debt because we wanted to get married. We are also having a large wedding and we live in a small state so we wanted to make sure that the venues that could hold us were available for our date. We have started to look for places and we have taken our time to come up with ideas, and a guest list. We wanted to enjoy being engaged as well as taking our time to research things to plan our wedding. Bottom line is that if I hit the lottery last night we would have no problem planning and booking our wedding and tying the knot as soon as we could.

I do feel like engagements and marriages should be taken case by case. And OP this is the situation with you as well. Only you know your relationship and how you feel and if you are ready, nobody else can tell you how you feel. As far as getting comments, someone will always have something to say about your wedding, whether it is age, your color choice, etc. so don't try and understand why they may or may not comment on the age, but rather focus on how your going to react when they make the comment to you. Good luck!



bridewannabe Posts : 132 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 20, 2009 1:57 AM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite

Yes I think you're too young. Everyone is different though. If I had married the man I wanted to when I was 22, I would be a miserable woman today, or divorced. I think for most people, 21 is too young. Good luck to you, I know how you feel.


Tofu Posts : 66 Registered: 4/2/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 20, 2009 6:47 PM Go to message in response to: bridewannabe

I posted before, pre-engagement and now I can say post-engagement, that not one person commented on my age, other than my now fiance who said to me today "wow, I just realized you're engaged at 22...doesn't it sound young?" (he's 23, only a few months older!)
Most of our friends and family said "it's about time!"
We are waiting 2 years to get married so we will be a more average age by the wedding.



babyshroom16 Posts : 1 Registered: 8/1/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Aug 1, 2009 9:57 PM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite


Guess what? I am only 19 years old and I am engaged! My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 5 years now, since I was 14. He is 4 years older than me. The fact that we've been together for so long is definately a good sign because we both know we are compatible and are able to live with each other. Our wedding, though, is not til another year and a half (Feburary 26, 2011). So by the time I get hitched I'll be 20 going on 21.
So in my opinion, I don't think you guys are too young to get married :)


QueenOfThePengu... Posts : 7 Registered: 2/17/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Aug 4, 2009 11:18 PM Go to message in response to: Colelle

Maybe it would help to know that you're not alone... I'm 20 years old and my future husband is about to turn 24 in a couple days (and hey, we're both 4 years younger than our men, lol). I know what you mean about being criticized for being "too young". Most of my friends and relatives don't even know I'm getting married yet... but when they get the invitations in the mail I guarantee there'll be quite a few chuckles from some of the more arrogant recipients (mostly from family members, though... most of my friends will be ecstatic about it). In my family, people don't get married until they're in their early thirties and only have one or two kids. I'm assuming a good portion of the people you'll be inviting to your wedding will be family members who are in their 40s, 50s and 60's. One thing you have to remember is that these people come from a generation that encouraged women to hold off on marriage and family planning until later on to focus on their education and careers. While it is admirable for a woman to be able to do so, not all women aspire to do the same things. Some of us who are very family-oriented tend to elevate marriage, family, relationships, etc. to just the same level of importance as our careers.


Skolaidhe Posts : 6 Registered: 9/2/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Sep 4, 2009 7:51 PM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite

Talk about the younglings,

I turn twenty-one in a few months, and my FH is a recent twenty-three. We're more or less in the same boat you are. Everyone thinks I am too young -- especially because I am an intellectual, and intend to go after a Ph.D. Nobody thought 15 was too young an age to go to college or challenges my ability to make career decisions that will affect me for the rest of my life, but marriage falls into a different category, for them.

For us, an engagement is a PERSONAL affair, affirming our commitment to each other and before God. Marriage is a SOCIAL affair, celebrating a transition in how we are viewed by society. For this reason, we have decided to do a long engagement and wait until we buy a house, together, to be married publicly. This will almost certainly be at least five years, but we chose that willingly, and have decided to live as husband and wife, in the meantime. (Actually, because we are doing a formal Espousal, we have dibs the titles husband and wife, too.)

This extended engagement is one way to keep people from judging your decision. (Promise Rings are used for the same purpose, but I find it silly, if you have already made a personal, abiding commitment to your partner.)

If you decide to do an extended engagement, make sure the actual act is extra-special. Have an engagement party with your close friends and immediate families. Put in an added level of ceremony, a little something extra to affirm your longterm commitment.

My FH is a jeweller, so he made me a ring, by hand, and had it hand-cast in a brand new gold/silver/copper alloy (which saved him money, because the caster was using it to advertise the metal). So not only is it hand-designed, but (as he proudly notes) there is no other ring like it, in the whole world.

((I will be getting it any day, now!! ^_^))

In short, do something unique that will be a reminder of your care and devotion for each other. Locks of hair, anyone? That used to be quite popular!

That is my recommendation.

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JessicaLong Posts : 29 Registered: 8/31/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Sep 5, 2009 9:40 PM Go to message in response to: Colelle

Everyone is different. But I can say, without a doubt, 21 was a MUCH different year for me than 23 or 24 was. Sure, it's only a few years... but you grow in so many ways in your early 20's. I almost married at 21, and I can't express to you how happy I am that I didn't. Instead, I took a year or so to cause trouble. Not much trouble, but enough for me to enjoy college. Several nights of dancing until 3am, a shameless 1 night stand, learning different styles of playing beer pong, attempted keg stands, staying up for 48 hours straight, playing cornhole with my drunk professor...

Looking back, I think those things are so juvenile and "not like me". I don't even drink.
But man... I had a lot of fun.

Even if you think you don't need to sow your wild oats... do it anyway. You'll have time to sit at home between the ages of 40-80+. You are in your PRIME. You will likely never look better, feel better, or be able to survive on such a gross lack of sleep... ever again.

Not saying you should become a party animal and make a habit of passing out in bushes... but just know this time is very precious. I've seen people who married young, thinking they were ready... only to regret their decision and lash out. They become the obnoxious 35 year old divorcee you see at the club in stripper heels.

Not saying you should dump your guy either... but if he's the perfect guy for you, then he'll still be the perfect guy for you in 5 years. So why the rush?


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