When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane

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RachelAndNate Posts : 3 Registered: 4/11/10
When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 1:31 AM

My boyfriend and I have known each other for a while... we've been dating for over a year now, and I just KNOW he's the guy for me. We've also been through a lot of both good and bad times together, which have really made our relationship deeper. He feels the same way, and recently surprised me with a (pre-engagement) promise ring.

The problem is that at this point in time, we're both fairly financially unstable. We're both in college... I don't have a job (am currently training to be certified in my field so I can get a job hopefully by fall semester), and his job doesn't pay enough to support both of us. Lately we've been doing financial planning, and figured out that if I get a job after being certified like I plan to and if he's able to get a better, more stable job (also in the works), we could get married in two years, at which time I know we'll be more than ready. The only problem is finishing college -- in two years, I will be about a month away from graduating, but he will have a year left. After that, he still has graduate school (through a special program at his school, so we won't have to worry about needing to move for grad school). We've both agreed that we want to get married before his grad school, so that basically means we'll be getting married 2-3 years from now. I'm really hoping we'll be able to get married in two years... he wants to aim to finish college first but "reevaluate along the way to see if we need to adjust our timeline." I know that I'm going to have trouble waiting the two years, let alone three, but I'm willing to try, as we want to make sure we're not rushing into anything.

Our other main issue is parental approval. We come from a more traditional background in which he plans to ask for my father's permission (yes, permission -- not blessing) to marry me, so parental approval does become a factor, and I know that my parents do not look favorably on the idea of young marriages (which is rather ironic, as they were not much older than we will be when they got married).

We are not going to live together or have sex before we are married (religious reasons), so waiting longer to get married could eventually put a strain on our relationship if we are holding back from what is natural to further the relationship.

We've thought pretty extensively about our different options, but I'd love to hear your opinions -- different perspectives would be very beneficial!

And also... for those who waited/are waiting for a while to get married... how did you manage?

I apologize if this is somewhat jumbled or all over the place.

Rachel
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axokay Posts : 6 Registered: 4/16/10
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 2:03 AM Go to message in response to: RachelAndNate

I'd like to know how old you are for starters...
And if you've only been dating for a year, are not financially stable (either of you), are still in college, etc I think you need to take a breather and relax. Enjoy being in a relationship, and open up the marriage can of worms when you both finish school/get jobs/can support yourselves.

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RachelAndNate Posts : 3 Registered: 4/11/10
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 2:14 AM Go to message in response to: axokay

Ooh, maybe I didn't make our financial situation totally clear. He's able to completely support himself, just not both of us yet. I have enough to support myself until a bit after I finish my certification training. So, pending either him getting a better job or me getting a job after my certification, we'll be able to support ourselves as a couple. However, we want to build up savings before getting married, just in case an emergency/being laid off/etc happens. That's where the longer wait comes in.

At the very least, I will be done with college when we get married. The main question is whether to get married when I'm done, when he's done, or sometime inbetween. Obviously nobody can tell us when the right time is, but perhaps people have ideas that we didn't think about.

As for ages, we are both 19, approaching our birthdays. So that means we'd be 21-23 when we get married.

Rachel
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Edited by: RachelAndNate on Apr 16, 2010 2:36 AM
(Edited for a small typo)

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MelissaMather Posts : 4 Registered: 4/16/10
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 3:57 AM Go to message in response to: RachelAndNate

19? Are you sure you are ready to commit at 19? If so, that's amazing but I know that when I was 19 I didn't even really know what I wanted out of life, let alone if I could build a life with someone else. To be blunt, I think the saving yourselves for marriage thing probably has you itching to get married sooner than you would if you were already sexually active. I think you should definitely wait until you can afford the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. If this guy is the one, he will definitely still be the one in a few years. Sex or no sex, engagement or no engagement.


Also, at this point in your lives why buy a promise ring? That money could have been saved and put toward an E- ring!

Best of luck to you and I hope everything works out for the best!

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starfish701 Posts : 465 Registered: 12/10/08
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 8:41 AM Go to message in response to: MelissaMather

I do have to say i am some what impressed, for a 19yo you actually are taking the time to think this out. That is great. The large majority of young women who come on the boards just whine about how they want to get married NOW because they KNOW he is the one and marriage will be sunshine lolly pops a d rainbow candy canes. So good job actually taking the time to plan. Get your money in order, finish college. If you get married first it will make finishing a lot harder. Trust me, the next few years will fly by so just enjoy it.

As for your parents, well it would be hard for them to say no if he ask them 2-3 years from now seeing as how you will have been together for 3-4 years. So long as you continue to be responsible and you present them with a well thought out plan for your future you should be okay.

Just don't rush it.
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CapeTownBride Posts : 37 Registered: 4/16/10
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 9:03 AM Go to message in response to: starfish701

I fully agree with Starfish on this one. I've been reading through these boards and am alarmed at how many young people come on here with that attitude. It's refreshing to "meet" someone so levelheaded. Personally, I think waiting 2-3 years will do absolutely no harm... Besides, the longer you wait, the more saving you can do for your big day!

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BlueBoxBlueShoes Posts : 49 Registered: 2/15/10
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 11:13 AM Go to message in response to: CapeTownBride

I really think you should wait until you are really at a more financially stable point in your lives. At least until your FH finished grad school and has a more secure job lined up.

Trust me, lots of things change over the course of 2-3 years. He may never enter that grad program.

If you truly love each other, the wait won't be the end of the world. What's 2-3 years in comparison to a lifetime together?

But right now, while you are under 22... you have time on your side financially. Invest, invest, invest while you are young. Right now you are just worrying about whether or not you can pay your own bills. Later on in life, you'll wish you had $100k+ in liquid cash savings on a down payment for a home. That you'll have a head start for your kids' college funds. And the current figure is that you need at LEAST 3 million dollars saved up to retire comfortably (not rich).

Supporting yourselves does not just mean paying your monthly bills. I don't mean to get all Suzy Orman on you, but you are SO young and you're looking to rush into something SO expensive when you really should be waiting to set yourselves up for success in the future. HTH!

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 11:49 AM Go to message in response to: RachelAndNate

Please don't get married just to have sex.

I know that's not what you said, but this paragraph -

We are not going to live together or have sex before we are married (religious reasons), so waiting longer to get married could eventually put a strain on our relationship if we are holding back from what is natural to further the relationship

--
suggests that abstinence is putting pressure on you to do it earlier rather than later. I agree that sex is the natural progression in a relationship, but if you're having issues with it such that the need for it is making you want to get married earlier, you should think about whether it's really beneficial to remain abstinent.

A lot of women get engaged so they can feel better about having sex. But, in my view, if it looks like you're rushing into marriage, for any reason, then it's a sign of immaturity. I can't really tell you what to do here, but I would definitely not allow sex to really be a factor in deciding whether to get married sooner or later.

As for your parents, parents tend to respond better when they understand that their children have a plan. There's a lot of things going on in your life right now, too many variables for you to really plan anything. So I suggest that you relax right now and enjoy your relationship. If you're going to be together for the rest of your life, does it really matter how many of those years you are engaged?

And then, once you know how the two of you will support yourself (and preferably have been doing it for awhile), then start making plans to get married, including announcing it to your parents.

One last thing -- right now, you're young, and in love. Isn't that awesome enough? Do you really need to complicate it all by taking on a major life change? Married or not, you're going through life together right now, without the burdensome responsibility that marriage can entail. Enjoy it. It's awesome, and there is so much time for more later in life.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 12:01 PM Go to message in response to: RachelAndNate

Finish school, get a good job, wait for him to get a good job and then get married.It took me forever to get engaged because we were not ready. We had no money and our little jobs could not pay for rent so we lived apart in our parent's houses. So we waited and I think you should too. I know at times it can be hard to wait especially when you see those around you getting married. But trust me, the wait is worth it.




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VntgGoth2010 Posts : 57 Registered: 1/24/10
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 12:05 PM Go to message in response to: RachelAndNate

Ditto on other postings about heading in the right direction, your head's on straight with some what of a plan, going to college is a definite plus...

Now, my 2 cents. Have fun with it. You are 19 and have so much to see YES while still being with your BF. Being financially stable IS important but let's not forget mentally stable. Your body and mind changes within that time as well. I'm not going to say you are too young and yada yada to get married but in a sense you are. But that doesn't mean you have to break up with your BF and "sow your wild oats" but who's to say you can't do it together? That's the beauty of a committed relationship. You guys let each other flourish while still staying devoted to each other but not necessarily by marriage. Marriage is a big step and there's no rush.

Sure, your parents got married probably around the same age you are now or a little later but times were different. Life today has so many options for you guys, don't forget to enjoy it. Travel -alone and together.

In the end, don't feel the need to rush it. If you both feel you truly are for each other, time is on your side.

Why can I say this? I have been with my beau for almost 9 years, since I was 21 and we're officially getting married this year. And I loved every minute of being youthful but with someone I knew would be there in the end.
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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 12:17 PM Go to message in response to: RachelAndNate

I think it's great that you are thinking about these things, and you logically know that now is not the time to get married. Marriage is WAY more than just "oh we love each other and we want to be together forever...sunshine. rainbows. ponies and pots of gold". So it's nice that you realize it's a huge thing.

But I get the feeling that you thinking you will go insane waiting is really based around the abstinence part of it. I have noticed that many couples who are saving themselves tend to rush into marriage. I've known several couples who get engaged months into dating and get married soon after so they can have sex--or so it seems. I can't say if they end up divorced or not, but rushing into marriage like that screams: I WANNA HAVE SEX! NOW!

So I think you 2 need to decide if waiting is what you really want or not. I don't know if I could do it, and I'd probablt go insane too. I think it's more important to have a financial plan, goals, education set before you get married, as opposed to worrying about whether or not to have sex. I'd rather wait to get my ducks in a row & have sex now.... thats me though.

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 12:39 PM Go to message in response to: RachelAndNate

Finish school first. If you're truly mature enough to get married, you should be mature enough to recognize that what you want now is not what's best for you now. Be patient, and choose what's right for both of you over instant gratification.

My advice is to wait until you're both done with school. Then give it another year. I'm glad to see that you're thinking about your financial future, but sometimes things look easier and better on paper than they do in reality. You said that your FH makes enough to support himself - well, it may seem like that on paper, but he might feel differently once he's living on it. I supported myself through college as well. I worked and lived off my income, and probably thought that I could continue to do so, if need be. Well, my first real job paid about 10K more than my college job - and I BARELY made it. I wouldn't wish that sort of existence on anybody, let alone want to share it with someone. What if you one of you wants to move to another city to pursue a career opportunity? What if that city is much more expensive? What if the other one can't find a job in the new city? You'll be much better off if you wait to get married until you're on your feet financially (and have been living that way for a while - not just having a plan that it will work out) and have started your careers.

Finishing college/grad school is hard. Breaking into a career field is hard. A new marriage is hard. Having done all three, one at a time, I think you'd have to be pretty insane to try to combine them. It's just not worth the risk. All of those things are demanding on your time, energy, and your focus - and all deserve your undivided attention. If you combine them, something's gotta give, and no matter what it is, you'll regret it later. Is it really worth risking your education, career, or marriage to get married sooner rather than later?

As for how to wait, you just do it. Focus on other things and work towards your goals. Don't constantly think about how long it will be, or you'll drive yourself crazy. Get a hobby if you need to distract yourself. All I'm saying is that it's very possible. People do it all the time. Like I said above, it shows maturity to wait until the time is right for what you want rather than demanding it instantly. (As an aside, some young brides - not you so far - remind me of toddlers throwing temper tantrums when they try to justify why they should get married so soon. 'I want what I want and I want it NOW!') DH and I started dating when I was 19 and he was 20. We were 27 and 28 at our wedding. We're just as married now as we would have been if we had gotten married years ago - the difference is that we're in a much better place. Instead of being two struggling kids following one another to different cities as one of us pursued a career, we are now two successful professionals. We'd never be here now if we'd gotten married at 23. I'm not saying that we wouldn't still be together - we might, but I can guarantee that I'd be living in our hometown waitressing instead of living my dreams. And I'd probably resent him for it.

I also agree 110% with MsD on what she said about sex, and she articulated exactly what I wanted to say better than I could have said it. So please reread her comment and consider it my opinion as well!

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RachelAndNate Posts : 3 Registered: 4/11/10
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 1:55 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

I fully understand what you mean about getting married just to have sex. I had actually debated whether to post those few lines because I knew that would open up a whole new line of discussion.

Neither of us wants to get married just to have sex, and we know that getting married just to have sex is a bad reason to get married. What we've observed within our religious community, though, is that people are generally ready at a certain point in their relationship to get married (and it differs for each person/couple). The longer they wait past that point, the more difficult it becomes for them, because they begin to feel as if they are closing off a part of themselves from the other person that should be shared (due to not having sex or living together). We are committed to not having sex until marriage, and we're also committed to making sure we are not rushing into marriage for the wrong reasons. This, of course, creates a fine line between the want to have sex and the need to get married for the right reasons. We want to make sure we don't wait past that "point when we are ready to get married," but the problem is that we don't know exactly when that will be. It's not today, and it's not going to be next month either. Will it be two years from now? Possibly. Three? More likely. Longer than that? Also very possible. It's just harder for both of us (who love timelines!) to wait when we both love planning in advance for things. That's why we're sticking to our 2-3 year plan with "reevaluation points" along the way, so that if we're approaching two years and realize we're nowhere near to being ready, we don't feel the pressure to stick to the plan simply because it's a plan. And also, if we are able to get our finances in order in a shorter amount of time, it will be beneficial, regardless of when we get married. If we decide to wait longer to get married, we'll just have more time to save. But if we decide to get married in those 2-3 years, we'll also have enough saved up to live without the constant stress of very low bank accounts. We definitely don't want to get married just to stress about how we're going to pay our next electric bill, etc. Of course, all of this is on paper at this point, so only time will tell if everything will work out according to our plan. It'll definitely be an interesting journey!

As for parents... I think I'm always going to have a paranoia that my dad will say "No." We've been trying to get my parents slowly used to the idea, and so far it's working. My mother loves my boyfriend and my father appears to as well. But they do have a problem with having their little girl grow up, so I think that adds to my fear that when the time comes they'll withold their permission. The promise ring was actually really helpful in that regard, because it unintentionally made them realize that we are very serious about our relationship and are considering marriage at some point down the line. We'd told them the same thing before, but somehow the physical representation seemed to work a lot better -- even though that hadn't even been on our minds when he got the ring.

Hopefully this made some sense and wasn't horrendously all over the place. Haha.

Thanks for your post -- it was really beneficial.

And to everyone else, your posts were similarly beneficial. I hope I answered some of your concerns in this post as well. I just don't want to spam up the board by replying to every single post, especially if I'm saying essentially the same things.
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Brooke051609 Posts : 723 Registered: 12/31/07
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 5:05 PM Go to message in response to: RachelAndNate

Hi! Like PP's said, kudos to you for thinking this out. I'm a big planner too and just like to know where my life is headed. That being said, you need to SLOW DOWN. Enjoy being 19, 20, 21.... I'm not putting down anyone who gets married at a young age, but it can be very beneficial to wait a few more years and at least until you are done with school. You and your BF will grow up SO much in the next few years and so many things will happen in that time. I'm not saying bad things, but things that will affect both of your lives. I completely understand that you are feeling pretty excited and antsy about getting married right now. But take some time for the both of you to enjoy these years without this huge decision and commitment.

My DH and I dated for 7 years before we got married. Yes, it was very difficult at times. There were many times we wanted to have sex so badly, but still held off. (Our first time was our wedding night- and a very wonderful experience for us) Many times, especially when I was in or attending all of my friends' weddings, I so badly wanted to planning our wedding. It seemed like we would NEVER get out of school and that OUR wedding day was so far off you couldn't even see it. BUT, in that time, we had so much fun!! We went on vacations with each other, with each other's families, went out and enjoyed the time with friends. We knew that we would get married someday, and while it was hard to wait for it, we enjoyed our time together and didn't put so much pressure on ourselves.

I love being married, but it carries SO much responsibilities and commitment. You want your marriage to be wonderful, and waiting until you both can make is as wonderful as it can be would be the best way to go. It sounds like your parents approval means a lot to you and rushing into this would not gain their approval and most likely cause you and BF a lot of stress and heartache. Your parents seeing the two of you being responsible young people, and your BF showing your father that he can provide and care for his daughter would really make your parents more accepting and most likely very excited for the two of you to get married! Being able to support yourselves both completely is SO important and will save you both a lot of stress and fighting about finances if you have a good financial, STABLE, plan in place and working for awhile before getting married. Finishing school, like MANY PP's indicated, is very important. Right now, as you are well aware, the country is still struggling economically, having your degrees and certifications will be so valuable to you both to obtain good jobs and again, support yourselves in a way you want. And trust me, it's SOO hard to go back to school later. Many people say this and it becomes cliche, but it is the truth.

Give yourselves some time to mature a little bit and enjoy the time you have together now. If you both know you want to be married someday, what's the rush? Allow both of you to prepare the best married life possible for you both. And enjoy each other as BF and GF now. You can always get married later, but if you get married too quickly, you may regret it someday. It would be such an awful feeling to feel like you missed out on your "youth" by getting married too early.

Best wishes to you!!!

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amdjelly Posts : 48 Registered: 8/7/09
Re: When To Get Married/How To Wait Without Going Insane
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 6:06 PM Go to message in response to: Brooke051609

To reiterate everyone else... I applaud your maturity and levelheadedness ( I know, not a word). There are other things you may want to consider in your plans. Say the two of you become financially stable and can support yourselves no problem. You've graduated college, and he still has a year left. You decide to go for it. But, life happens. You will (most likely) have tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loans to pay off. You have your rent, utilities, possibly a car payment (or two)...the list can go on. And, even if you do what you can to prevent it, an unexpected surprise happens and you're pregnant. Suddenly you have three people to support...and babies are enormously draining on the finances. This happened to my younger sister and her husband. She was 19 and he was 22 when they got married. They were both still in school (though my BIL had an associates nursing degree as an LVN, but they don't get paid much; he is now in RN school). Between the two of them they were ok financially. Not spectacular, but the bills got paid. Then, even though they were taking preventative measures, my sister got pregnant. Now, this is not to say that my sis and her husband aren't happy together. And I love my little niece to pieces. But they have major money issues. BIL is still going to school and working 2 jobs to support them. My sister is working full time, but between her job and taking care of the baby she doesn't have time for school. They're stuck in a financial rut that will be very hard to get out of, and they have NO extra money. She can't even afford to buy her dress as my MOH (our parents stepped in and said they would help with that, luckily), or throw a bridal shower for me (I told her not to worry about it; I live in a different state anyway so it would difficult).

The moral of this novel is...while you can plan all you want, and think you have your life in order, sometimes life throws you a curveball. That curveball can throw everything off course. If you get married before he finishes school, and something happens to destabilize your lives, he may never be able to finish. I know you have savings, and that's great. But life's surprises can eat away at your savings really quick.

Just something to think about. BTW... I'm a planner too, so I get where you're coming from. I just wanted to share my sister's story as evidence that the best laid plans of mice and men...

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