Too Young? Observations welcome

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Mer21 Posts : 32 Registered: 11/10/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 11:33 AM Go to message in response to: BrideJay

Hi BrideJay,
I don't think it's a weird or upsetting question at all. I was trying to explain the reasoning, or at least my reasoning, behind a long engagement in the message above. But I guess I did a poor job.
I agree with what you said, that you should not get engaged unless you could know in your heart that you would agree to marry that person the next day. However, like you said, there are sometimes outside circumstances that necessitate a long engagement, like if you are waiting for a certain venue. In my case, we had a long engagement not because we needed time to think about the decision or because we needed to take it slow. We both knew that we were ready to walk down the aisle, but there were other things to consider. We waited because although we were ready emotionally and mentally, financially we could not have taken on the cost of our college education. Education is extremely important to both of us (my fiance is now going for his PhD), and that is why we waited. Hope this explanation helps a little.


Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 11:37 AM Go to message in response to: BrideJay

bridejay - I totally understand your questions and I don't know the answer either. I DO know that if I had had a long engagement I would have gone batsh*t CRAZY! For the 11 months that I WAS engaged it was all I could think about and it completely took over my life! These people who do two and three year engagement just blow my mind. lol

Married since 10/26/08

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Edited by: Nalamienea on Jul 6, 2009 11:37 AM


mooRS Posts : 26 Registered: 6/15/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 11:48 AM Go to message in response to: BrideJay

I was asking the same question as BrideJay before I saw her answer.

Some people think it's old-fashioned, but maybe he could give you a promise ring or something? Adding to what BrideJay said, an engagement shouldn't just be a promise to marry him "someday;" it should be a promise to marry him "any day." A promise ring has more of the "someday" feel to it, but can include all of the commitment you feel getting engaged offers.

Adding to what some of the other posters said, I dated a guy for 4 years in college who I really thought I would marry one day. Once I started to plan my life after graduation, though, it became obvious that he only planned to marry me if I was willing to put his life first. He graduated 2 years before me, and lived 700 miles away for the latter 2 years of our relationship, and had it in his mind that I would move to be with him once I was done. That sounds very sweet, sure, but I wasn't going anywhere I couldn't find a good job-- no waitressing or something silly like that-- no matter how close or far I was from him.

I see this in a lot of other couples, too. They are happy and in love until somebody's plans or the circumstances change, and it becomes a source of contention. Not to be condescending, but college is a walk in the park compared to what comes after. Paying for apartments, paying off student loans, suddenly needing a professional wardrobe, waking up early and staying at work late to prove yourself... the life of a young professional isn't as dreamy as it seems. Add onto that that you will both be continuing schooling, and your plate is suddenly overflowing. Beyond that, if you're not seniors yet, I'm just going to assume that you don't know whether you're both going to be admitted to the programs you want for post-grad. What if one of you doesn't get the offer you want? How will that change things?

Maybe you can handle that, but you won't know for sure until you try. Speaking from experience, your expectations of one another will change a lot over the next few years, and all you can do is hope and pray you can both hack it.

To sum it all up, stay together, maybe get a promise ring, but take this one step at a time. And remember, you're probably a step ahead of most of your friends romantically, so bask in the idea that you don't have to keep browsing the meat market for a suitable man!


FutureKennedy Posts : 3 Registered: 2/11/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 11:58 AM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite

I know a pound of advice is worth a ounce of experience.

With that being said I will give my advice ;)
I was married at 21(after being with him for 6 years) after 5 years of marriage we got divorced.
I thought I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. I loved him with all my heart.

But everyone is different. Every situation is different.
I wish we would of waited, we both had a lot of growing up to do.
and unfortunately, we were not able to both grow up and mantain a healthy marriage.
I am such a different person now (I'm 28) and look back and laugh on how I thought I knew everything when I was younger.
I'm sure when I am 40 I will do the same now..and so on.

I am getting married to a wonderful man in June 2010. And I feel like I am alot more level headed about the joys and hardships of marraige..

Remember if you are planning on spending the rest of your life with this man, say 50 years, then what is waiting another 1-2 years?



Knoxvegas Posts : 951 Registered: 9/12/07
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 6:01 PM Go to message in response to: FutureKennedy

I'm here all the time. PM me if you need anything.

On the long engagment, mine was 3 years because I decided to go to grad school, after I said I would marry him. DH supported my decision and we planned to get married in June after I graduated. Well, I'm thankful for the time that we had to plan and really get used to living together before the big day. Being in school and planning a wedding is rough, so the more time I had to plan, the better. If we got married right off the bat, school would have probably gone on hold because my financial aid would not have been as good (a lot of schools assume that married= don't need help). Now I'm a teacher and we live very happily.

Long engagements are not a "someday" like a promise ring. Long engagements entail planning and getting ready for the big day. Just because some people say "yes" and then "I do" in less than a year does not mean that it is for everyone. Each situation is different.

I was no less engaged than someone who has 3-6 months to plan.


"Love is not a matter of counting the years -- it's making the years count."

-Wolfman Jack Smith


BrideJay Posts : 63 Registered: 3/3/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 6:43 PM Go to message in response to: Knoxvegas

I suppose this type of thing is to be taken situation by situation... as with so many other things.

I will say this to the OP: If you are asking us if you're too young to get engaged... then you probably are. If you know you're doing what is right for you and yours, then what your family and friends are saying shouldn't matter. Shouldn't being the key word here, of course. I would be devastated if my parents didn't approve of my engagement, or if my friends said I should wait.

mooRS... I love love the "someday" vs. "any day" ... awesome! :)

And I agree with the previous poster that said, if you're going to spend the rest of your life with someone... 1 or 2 more years shouldn't matter.


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Tofu Posts : 66 Registered: 4/2/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 7:27 PM Go to message in response to: BrideJay

I have to agree with BrideJay in that if you have to ask, you probably are too young.
I am getting engaged in the next few months and I am 22. I have never considered myself a "young bride" and don't feel that I even fit into that category. Age has never been a question for us or our families. I think it is not the age, but perhaps your security with it and the stages you have reached in life (in terms of education/careers), that define whether you are ready for marriage.



Ariana1228 Posts : 281 Registered: 3/2/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 8:40 PM Go to message in response to: Tofu

OP: My FH and I were 21 when we got engaged 1 1/2 years ago. I never thought or pictured myself to be engaged at 21, it just happened that way. I always pictured myself to be engaged around 24-25 after I was done with school and was into my career, like I said that didn't happen. FH and I knew each other since we were kids, and when we got engaged we didn't get the you're too young comments. I think that it may have been because everyone (family & friends) knew that our plan was to get married after we were finished with school and had our career on our way so there were no questions to how we planned to pay for things, be stable, etc. Both of us have just graduated college, and as we both have full time jobs, I recently got a "career."

Bridejay: As for your long engagement question. I do feel that it is also on a situation to situation basis. Am I ready to walk down the aisle tomorrow and marry my FH if everything was planned? No doubt about it. Why wait? FH and I are the type of people where we want to make sure that we are definitely, no doubt, financially ready and stable. Are we financially stable right now? Yes, some people might think so but we want to have a large nest egg before hand. We are also having a wedding with 300 people, maybe more, and we live in RI. So we wanted to look for venues and price shop far enough away so we weren't cramped with time and availability. We feel that we are far enough out to look for places (not every weekend) and then sit down and discuss our plans when the date comes closer. FH and I have also decided to get our master's and will be finishing up before we got married, similar to Knox. We are also building a house next year and don't want to pay for a wedding and a house in the same year.

So I think that people have different reasons for a long engagement, and if you are a young couple and don't have finances put in place to pay for a wedding I do not see a problem in getting engaged as long as you are ready to get married, the same way as an older couple may get engaged and not have the finances. I do believe that graduating college and finding a career should be done before tying the knot if that is your plan. If you feel your plan is in place and you can get married while continuing on your path, that is your decision.

I think that the bottom line is that it is your decision. Only you know your personal business, your situation, where you are in life now and where you want to be.



FutureLadyinWhite Posts : 12 Registered: 7/5/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 8:47 PM Go to message in response to: Tofu

i guess i didn't clarify this enough in my OP. i'm not asking because i'm insecure about it. we know we want to get engaged. that's final. the reason i asked was because i too never really considered myself a "young bride" until people started telling us we are too young. i'm really asking because i'd like some insight into where these people are coming from and why so many would think we're too young. lol i'm one of those people who hates not knowing why. i want to have all the information out there available to me especially when it involves others' opinions about me


Bally Posts : 355 Registered: 9/25/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 7, 2009 4:17 AM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite

Your original question was ''so i guess my question is do you guys thing 21 is too young to be engaged?''

And now you're saying you want to know why people say you're too young.

Probably because you are young. You just reached the legal drinking age. Now I'm young too, (drinking age is 18 in my country though..mwaahaha) but you, me, other 21 year olds, we are young. Too young to get married? In your case, I have no idea. Like other people said, if you're asking a bunch of randomers on the internet, then probably yes you're too young.

If you really want to know why people tell you that you are too young to get married, I would ask them. They would know you and your circumstances better than we would.

So when people say, 'oh my god you are too young to get married', you say, 'why?' instead of 'boohoo no we're not' and go sulk (not saying you do that), then it would open a dialouge and get their concerns (which may or may not be valid) out in the open. However, if its a randomer in the street saying omg you're too young when they don't know you, I would knock their bollocks in.

By the way, I'm 21, and just split up with my FH because we came to the realisation we have/will have differing and conflicting future lifestyles. And we came to that realisation within about 6 months of becoming 'officially' engaged. What we wanted 6 months ago is completely different to what we want now. Life and life's goals change quickly when you are in your 20's.


FutureLadyinWhite Posts : 12 Registered: 7/5/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 7, 2009 2:28 PM Go to message in response to: Bally

no need to be *itchy there now. if you read the rest of my post i do say that we're committed no matter what; im just confused that i keep getting this response. and when i do ask them, all they say is "you don't know what you want". so the reason i'm asking "randomers on the internet" (and this is a BRIDAL forum so i'm asking people who might have some knowledge of the subject) is i want to know whether this is a wider held opinion or not and maybe some further explanations. and i think i've gotten the explanations i need.

thank you to those of you who responded CONSTRUCTIVELY. i appreciate the insight.


Lilmisssouthern... Posts : 658 Registered: 8/12/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 7, 2009 3:22 PM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite

My opinion on this topic is kind of back and forth...

In some cases I do not think it is too young to get married. For others yes it is. For example my cousin just turned 18. He went into the Army immediately after graduation and then proposed to his 16 year old gf of 2 years. I think she is too young. I think he has the right mind frame for it but she doesn't right now. He knows that there is going to be a lot of hard times and its not always going to be fun. She can only see the idea of getting married. She has no real idea of the responsibilities she will have. I mean for heavens sake she couldn't even think of anything past her dress about this whole wedding business. She doesn't know what stress can come from having bills and other duties yet. She still lives with her mom and dad. She doesn't know how much a wedding can cost. She has no idea how to even pay a bill to be honest. Does that mean that they won't stay together and get married later? No it just means I feel like she is way too young and not anywhere near being ready to get married.

I have had friends that got married at 21 and it didn't work out.

When I was 21 I was dating a guy I had been with for 4 years. I thought he was the one for me. I mean I literally thought he was everything I wanted. I thought that since we had been through such hard times already we could make it through any other stuff. I got pregnant a month after we went to look at rings... That was when I realized I was not ready to marry this guy.
I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with him like I thought....

I am only 23 years old now and I am marrying someone completely different. I still get that "You're too young" comment. I don't care to listent to it but I know that it is because I am a totally different person now than I will even be in 3 years. So when people say you are too young its because they know how much people change and how relationships change at this age. I mean honestly looking back now I can honestly say that if my ex and I had gotten married it never would have lasted. We were both too immature.

If you and your bf honestly want to be married then yes it can work. As long as you are both fully aware of the responsibilities that go into a marriage and a life together. No one can tell you what to do or when to do it. The general opinion is that 21 is too young because at 21 most people aren't the same person they are going to be 2,5, and even 10 years from now. There is no harm meant by it. A lot of people have tried being married that young and it hasn't worked out. Others have tried being married and it worked out fine...

Ok I feel like this was way too long sorry for the long post...

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cldeross Posts : 113 Registered: 6/24/09
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 7, 2009 3:39 PM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite

I think you should do what ever you feel you should do. Why do I say that? Because we learn from our actions and our mistakes, not saying it's a mistake. Everyone who says "Well I did it, or so & so did it and now look at them." We are all the people we are today because of the choice we have made. You know what I mean? You need to live your life how you want, yes I think you are to young. I got married when I was 16, and I learned so much from it. It is one of the most defining moments of my life. Yes, it was a huge mistake but one I wouldn't change for the world. It has defined me as a person. My mother use to say "If it doesn't hurt it is not a lesson" Let us say that you do get married young and it works out beautifully. Everyone is so worried about it not working, maybe it will. You do what ever you want and more power to you. At the same time, there is some good advise here.

With that being said, I think the 21 is young, but I don't know you or him. Good luck!


Stephy77 Posts : 109 Registered: 9/2/08
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 7, 2009 4:59 PM Go to message in response to: cldeross

I know people who got married right out of school who are still happy today and those who aren't, I know people who dated for over 10 years and split after marrying yet my in laws married after 8 months of dating and are still together 36 years later.

So I don't have answer to the age thing but as to what to say if someone says oh goodness aren't you too young? "thank you Aunt Sally for loving me enough to be concerned, this is the right decision for us and how is cousin Tom doing" Acknowledge it comes from a place of love and change the topic. The only thing that will change their mind is dancing at your 25th anniversary bash. best of luck.


We2Heart Posts : 452 Registered: 10/11/07
Re: Too Young? Observations welcome
Posted: Jul 7, 2009 5:21 PM Go to message in response to: FutureLadyinWhite

Hmm, forgive me but I don't see where anyone in particular was being "*itchy". This thread has actually stayed civil for once. I'm just going to let that one slide. Hopefully you'll realize the point the PPs are making.

With regards to your post, the reason you are getting the "too young" response is because to many people you still are a child. In your parents eyes, unless they're fully aware of you being grown up, they still see their baby. I'm guessing your permanent residence is still your parents house or your boyfriend still lives with his parents? If I'm wrong, please correct me.

For all I know you may be vastly more mature than most 21 year olds, but what I know and what other (older) people know is how much we've changed from our 18-22 year old selves. You're getting "you don't know what you want" because at that age, most of us didn't know what we wanted in life, much less in a married relationship. So, obviously we're going to apply our life experiences to the advice we give you.

Also, some people just give that response because they can't think of another reason why they say you're too young. Ask them to elaborate. If they come up with valid concerns, you thank them for voicing those concerns and you address them in your relationship with your boyfriend. Valid concerns would be: do you (both) have a job? are you (both) financially independent? where are you going to live? and so on. If they can't come up with anything valid, you know they're just saying it to say it and you remind them you're going to wait to actually get married and move on.

Even though it was only 4 years ago, I look back at being 21 and just feel ages older than I did then. I don't think 21 is too young to get engaged, but in my opinon it is too young to be married. I like the "one day" vs "any day" point someone else made but I see nothing wrong with having a long engagement. To me, "any day" would mean I'd marry you right now if we weren't going to be in major debt afterwards. You're smart to wait a couple years. Good luck.

together is a perfect place to be because it's there that you can be delightfully imperfect. and there's nothing closer to perfection than being loved just because you are. 


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