I want to talk about the relationship between engagements and college.
During my senior year of college it seemed like there was a wave of engagements as graduation came closer. I heard ideas like "college is the best place to meet your future husband because there are so many new people" and "you will never have an opportunity like this again, so move fast." It seemed like college was the ideal place to meet your future spouse---and conversely, that if you didn't meet someone in college, it was all downhill after that in terms of the ease of meeting people.
I went into senior year thinking I had it made in the relationship department, but then I got dumped by my boyfriend a few months before graduation. I left school, thoroughly devastated, with this niggling suspicion that I had missed my shot. Obviously I didn't because several years later, along came my now-husband. Now I know that college is definitely a great place to meet people, but it's not the only place.
Did you feel pressure to meet a future spouse in college? How did it affect you? And did you actually meet your fiance(e) in college?
I honestly never did feel that pressure. Even though I'm in the technical south, where people statistically get engaged younger, I didn't have that many (or any) friends get engaged before we graduated. Between that and being completely depressed my first two years and dating someone long distance that I knew wouldn't work out, I didn't really feel the pressure from myself or anyone else. I actually did meet Mr. KM in college at work, but we were both dating other people and we didn't start dating til after I graduated and stayed in the same town.
No pressure here...AT ALL! But I went to UCLA which is probably a bit different than a religious school or a school in the South? None of my friends got engaged during college. The biggest years for weddings were 26-28. I just got engaged now at 29. We pretty much all settled career first.
I had a boyfriend my senior year and we ended up staying together for nearly 5 years after college and then we just grew apart (are still friends). You will change SO MUCH during your 20s. Sure, you can do this with someone else (ie husband) but for some it is helpful to figure yourself out first. I would not change at all how it happened for me.
I'm sure part of the pressure you're feeling is combined with graduating and maybe not knowing where to go next? I totally went through the whole quarter-life crisis thing in my early 20s and had no idea what career to pick but it worked itself out.
Yes, but I put it on myself. So many of my friends found their now husbands in university, and/or were in long term committed relationships that appeared to be nearly marriage as we left university. It was really disapointing at the time not to find 'the one' as most of my friends and I had always imagined finding our spouse at school.
Not at all!
But at the same time I was surprised when you said there were so many engagements in your senior year. That just doesn't happen here in Ontario Canada (that is considered to be young).
I actually don't know anyone who got engaged that early.
I did meet my FI while I was in University but we didn't get engaged until now being together for 6 years and we are now almost 27!
Thinking on it now, I guess there weren't that many actual engagements happening...but there were more than a few. I was also part of a large organization that had members of every year, so before I was a senior myself I had watched three years of girls get engaged (or come back to visit one year after graduation, engaged). The engagements made a big impression on me!
I met my hubby during my first year of college, but I didn't meet him at our college, so I never went through college thinking I needed to meet a potential spouse because I already had a great guy.
I started dating my (now) fiance in my senior year of high school, so there was no pressure here! I had already found him!
... this isn't a stereotype, but the sorority girls tended to get engaged/ married more than GDIs at my school and a couple of other schools where my friends went. I just thought about that when you said you were a member of an "organization" where alot of girls did.
I personally didn't feel any pressure. But I did meet my fi in college. A lot of my friends now talk about how much easier it was in college to meet people and how hard it is now.
I was already with my fiance at that time...but I don't think I would feel pressure otherwise.
I did feel some pressure. There was a huge wave of engagements + people hooking up with one another all of a sudden during senior year. I think college is a good shot to meet your FI just because in general college is a good time to meet new people. You're on campus, in classes, school events, going out with friends, etc.
Still, I don't think the pressure should be so much that you settle or affect your choices in any way. Obviously people meet other people after college; it was just harder for me to realize that back then! And I actually ended up meeting my FI in grad school!
I didn't. I went to school in MA, and everyone always told me that "college is for having fun" or "finding yourself." My mom actually advised AGAINST getting in a serious relationship in college, and I'm glad she did. I dated casually in college (some more serious than others), but never was in a relationship. I travelled a lot, studied abroad, and moved away after school. I can't imagine doing all of those things in college in a serious relationship. I'm in a serious relationship now in law school and the stress of both of us having to agree on where to live after graduation, finding a job in the same place, and all that is ridiculous. I have a problem with always having to live up to people's expectations of me, so if my parents or family were in any way pressuring me to find a spouse in college, I would have tried to and probably would have drove myself crazy!
@KMSull---my organization was a choir, not a sorority---but you make an interesting point that the Greek system may have an influence.
Definitely not. Getting engaged at my small, northern, highly selective liberal arts college is not common. I think me and FI are the only two engaged in the entire school! Most people actually frown upon getting engaged at this age or 'settling down'with someone so early, especially when it might come at the cost of your academic career or 'self-discovery'. At other schools in the region, with slightly different cultures than my school's own, it is still frowned upon because so many people are still coddled by their parents at this age: it's like they really haven't lived at all because mommy and daddy have written out several-thousand dollar checks for them to party for four years straight. No one's ready for marriage after four years of that! We're senior-aged now and only two couples from both of our high schools combined are actually engaged. No one is married yet (both couples are marrying this year). But FI and I have pretty unusual backgrounds/circumstances and everything just fell into place for us.
i felt the pressure, but no one told me that the college i went to was one of the top GLBT schools in the nation until AFTER i went there - theyve been in the advocate several years in a row. so everytime i met a guy i liked? yeah he turned out to be gay. *sigh*
I unknowingly met the love of my life in freshman year of college... I felt envy my senior year when the engagement wave hit, but never felt like I needed to find the future hubby when I went to college. In fact, I was not dating at the time and did not want to date so I could focus on school work. What can I say... plans change! :)
Boston Bee, my mom was the same way! But, I started dating my FI in college, anyway! We actually met in high school....
If anything, I felt reverse pressure. Although a lot of my friends are married already (I'm 23), I felt significant pressure to focus on my career/ rest of my life before starting a serious relationship. Maybe it was the school I went to? People are still sort of shocked that I'm engaged already, and I graduated in 2008.
we knew it seemed like dozens of people at our small private college that were getting engaged around senior year and getting married within 1-12 months after graduation.
We got engaged 5 months after graduation and got engaged 8 months after that, but it was really more because of the long distance than anything else!
I didn't really feel any pressure to find someone at school, because I went to college a little younger than most, but hubby mentioned to me before we started dating (when we were still friends) that he thought he wouldn't have as good of a chance at finding someone else like-minded later in life as he would in college. SO he was definitely looking.
I went to a small, private college and there were a lot of engagements!! And a lot of talk about finding the one...there was discussion of getting a "ring by spring" of your senior year. It was almost considered a requirement for graduation (also known as getting your MRS degree).
I now teach at a slightly larger private University and the same pressure exists. Looking back on it now...everyone seems SO young! But it worked for me and the hubs. Although I wasn't looking, we started dating when I was 20 and a sophomore in college. But, we didn't get married until I was 26...everyone from college considered me a spinster by then (ok, not quite but close).
It's crazy how much the cultural norms vary on here! Super interesting to read about.
i didn't feel any pressure at all, but i went to school in nyc, so maybe that made a difference? i think i assumed i'd meet someone in grad school, but i met my fi right after college graduation, and i still haven't started grad school! i don't think i would have seriously let myself worry about losing a chance to meet someone until i was in my mid-30s or so...
I never went to college. I did a postgrad course at a drama school for a year and that was that. I never got told that I would have to move fast to meet someone or that I'd never get the chance to meet people otherwise - I think people underestimate how many people you do get to meet outside of college. At work, at the bar, at the club - there's so many opportunities to meet new people nowadays.
I actually met FH through work. So I guess I'm biased ;)
I never felt pressure...actually, as I'm thinking about it, most of my friends from college (now mainly in the Chicago area) are still single or JUST getting married--I'm talking 3 or so got married THIS year...and I'm 29.
Now, the town I am from --- a small town in Missouri, most of my classmates (that didn't go to college) are married for 5+ years with multiple kids. My two sisters actually married when they were 21, and my 18 - yr old sister is STILL joking that she could get married before me ... haha.
I didn't, but all my friends did. They were all under the impression that if they didn't meet anyone in college, they wouldn't meet anyone at all and it would be SO HARD. In fact, I hadn't counted on meeting anybody at all during college!
Nope, not all. In fact, when we got to senior year, there was ONE couple engaged and we all were like "Have they lost their mind?!? Who marries in college?!?" It was strange to us, even stranger, we're in the SOUTH, so we shouldn't have been surprised.LOL
My friends are just now getting engaged/ married. We're all 28. Now, people from high scoll who didn't go to college, were married right after high school and have kids in at least the 2nd grade.LOL
I was mainly focused on getting an education in college and my future career plans. I felt zero pressure to find a spouse in college and am glad for that. I knew exactly one person who got married right after graduation (to her high school sweetheart) and I didn't envy them at all. They now have three kids and a house in the suburbs and I still don't envy them. I'm glad I got to have the life I had post-college and am getting married a bit later on. To each her own, but my twenties were fabulous and I wouldn't have sacrificed them for all that responsibility at 22.
I didn't. Funny thing is we met when we were both in college (he was in grad schol), and we were at different colleges since my college was an all female college, so if anything it helped me focus in school, which is why I had never imagined that I would meet my FH at an all-woman's school! Funny how things turn out :)
Honestly I never even thought about it because my ex-(hs)bf proposed to me my freshman year of college--- i turned him down and told him i wanted to graduate first, but from then on I took it as a given that we'd get married after graduation. By the time we broke up, I was in law school which was a MUCH smaller place and I did not want to date anyone from school-- way too hs drama-ish-- so I didn't really feel pressure there either.
I'm a senior in college and got engaged the summer after my junior year. It was opposite for me - everyone seemed to be very surprised. It is not typical at all at my school and among my friends to get engaged in college. Marriage is treated like a "grown up" thing that you do once college is over and you have your partying out of your system.
I didn't feel any pressure to get engaged. I was completely surprised that I met my husband so young! I always thought I'd wait until late 20's or early 30's to settle down; I had no idea I would start dating my husband at 19 and get married at 24!
At our small, private, Catholic college, there were very few people who got engaged or married in college. I can count maybe 4 or 5 other couples besides ourselves by the time we graduated. In fact, most of college friends are still single, and probably will be for a while. :) They enjoy the single life!
i was with my high school boyfriend all through college, including grad school, so i thought i was going to be with my spouse, and therefore did not feel any pressure. about two seconds after i graduated, i found out he lied to me about pretty much everything and i dumped him, and that's when the pressure came. i felt like it would have been easier to find someone in college, and now i was living at home working with older jewish women.
I didnt feel any pressure. I met my now fiance my sophomore year of college, but I was never thinking "Oh if I dont marry him I better hurry or else Ill be out of here!" I only knew 2 people that were engaged during college and they still arent married. I graduated in 2008 and in the past few months a lot more people that had been dating through college aregetting engaged.
I didn't feel any pressure to meet a spouse in college.
I went to school in a northern, midwestern state and was a member of a sorority. Maybe it was my school, which was very strong and hard academically, but I don't remember ever feeling pressured to find husband material in college. I don't remember my friends feeling this way either. It has also been mentioned in this post that being greek may make girls seek out a husband, but I generally don't think that is true and was definately not true during my college experience.
I met FI by fluke, chance at the very end of our senior year of college. I wasn't looking for a husband, but the relationship evolved.
I heard the same things you did - mostly that I would never have another chance like College to meet my husband and that I'd better move fast. That was mainly from friends though, my parents have both been divorced so they are super laid back about marriage.
While I had several serious boyfriends in College (about 1/year), I did not end up getting engaged to any of them. I did meet my FI about two months after graduating though, at our first job.
@jaylii9: About the influence of being in the Greek system---I meant to emphasize that being friends with a large group of women who share many of the same values (assuming sorority sisters share some values) could have an influence. The influence could just as easily be away from marriage as toward it. Or it could be a non-issue.
I am always impressed when I watch sportsw center and they interview BYU football players. Most are married with children. How they have time for it all...I'll never know!
Not at all! It seemed more opposite to me...
Oh my gosh - I don't think marriage crossed my mind one time in college! I guess it didn't help that the ratio of guys to girls at my school was pretty unbalanced, and the guys that were there (and were decent LOL) got snatched up before you could blink. But I didn't know anyone that was getting engaged at all. A couple I ended up meeting after college, but that went to my school, got married during college. And I saw their wedding pictures, on campus by the fountain and it seemed like the strangest thing! I guess because until I met FI, I had a very serious problem with committment!
I went to one of the larger southern state schools with a prominent Greek community, and while I wouldn't say there was direct pressure to find a spouse it was certainly on a lot of people's minds. Plenty of folks - male and female - expected to meet their future wives and husbands at school since that's what their parents had done, but there wasn't much in the way of actual insistence that it happen by senior year.
I went to a private liberal arts college in LA and I think knew of one person who got engaged while they were still at school...so definitely didn't feel pressure.
Now after having been in the real world, back to grad school, and back to the real world again, I would definitely say both from my own experience and observing pretty much everyone I know, it's MUCH easier to meet people in school. You just don't have the constant flux of social interactions that school provides, unless you work really hard to make them happen.
I still don't think people should feel pressure to find someone in that time frame...but I can understand why people do
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