Ideal partner: now and back then

posted 3 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 3
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@minipenguin:  tbh, the bf i had when i was 22 is not a whole lot different than my current dh.  we were engaged to be married but i called it off.  the problem was not him, it was me.  i personally was not ready to commit or settle down.  i wanted to date other guys, i wanted to be single.  i really wanted to focus on myself and my own personal goals.  it wasn’t until i was much older that i felt that i was actually ready to settle down.

i don’t think age as a number has anything to do with it.  deep down inside you know what’s right for you, regardless of how old you are.

Post # 4
1103 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think I put a lot more emphasis on how we work as a team, versus early boyfriends where that didn’t come into play.  Prior relationships seem very selfish now, they were guys who thought more about themselves than us.  One guy I dated didn’t even say he loved me for the first year we dated.  That was too much committment for him.  My FI said he loved me within the first few months and proposed on our second anniversary.  He’s never been shy about wanting to spend forever with me, and that’s been more and more important as I have matured.

Post # 5
4513 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’m marrying the same guy I was dating at 15 so 😛

In general do I think 22 is really young to get married? Yes. I don’t think that its a good idea in most instances just based on my personal experiences with friends and people that I know who got married young. However, sometimes it works. At the end of the day age is just a number. I know people who are 20-years-old and more mature than some of my friends who are 35. Generally thats not the case, but it does happen. If you’re sure, you’re sure.

Post # 6
21 posts
  • Wedding: September 2013


I was married at 21 to a man I thought was wonderful. I had great hopes for our future and all that it entailed. It didn’t work out because I changed and grew and my goals were no longer our goals. I am now going to marry a man whom I believe is amazing. It’s hard to compare the two because they are so different and that is because I am different. So my advice for you is go and enjoy your life and your marriage, just be prepared for the changes that come. Be prepared to work hard through the changes that come in life as you get older. Your outlook and goals will changes as will his, communicate through these changes and make the compromises necessary to make both of you happy. Good luck to you.

Post # 7
2876 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 1998

@minipenguin:  I met my SO at 16 got engaged at 18 and married at 20.

We have now been married for 15 years and NO regrets at all:)))

Post # 8
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@minipenguin:  I was just a lot more tolerant of guys who were going nowhere. I don’t date people for money (DH makes the same as I do, and it ain’t much), but when I was younger, I just didn’t care whether a dude was making ANYTHING of himself at all. I had fun relationships with the dropout, do-nothing type… I wouldn’t take it back for the world, lots of good memories, but I would certainly not marry someone like that. I care a lot more now.

I was also more willing to get stepped on and put up with shady behavior, I think even a few years can make a HUGE difference to your confidence in standing up for yourself. 

But I don’t really have an opinion about younger ladies getting married. I’m only 25 myself… I’m not an expert haha.

Post # 9
1817 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - TTC #2

My boyfriend at 22 was pretty similar to my FI actually and we may have actually ended up married eventually if I hadn’t been set on living in Japan, though my life with FI now is much better than the one offered by ex (More travel, money and wonderful in-Laws).

Post # 10
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@minipenguin:  my bf in my early/mid 20s (we dated for 6 years and nearly got engaged) was not a very nice person.  He was very focused on himself and very arrogant, and did not say or do things to make me feel special or loved.  He was not supportive or encouraging of my career (I was in med school then, I’m a physician now), and he was going no where himself (limping along taking 1 or 2 classes a year at a community college while working in food service.  He has since, apparently, gotten his undergrad degree, but still delivers food for a living).  He did A LOT of drugs, and smoked tobacco in our apartment despite me insisting he didn’t.  The final straw was that he cheated on me and lied about it (as if just cheating on me wasn’t bad enough…). 


I am now 31, getting married in less than a month!  My fiance honestly has a few of the same qualities as my ex, but not the ones I mentioned above – he is quirky in the best possible way, wicked smart, and fun.  My fiance, however, makes me feel more special than I’ve ever felt in my life, just for being exactly who I am right now, as imperfect as I my be.  He has a degree and a career that he is amazing at.  He does not do drugs.  I am 100% confident he would never cheat on me.  We do not fight (whereas my ex and I bickered frequently), we talk about things, and make each other’s happiness our priority.  I am so thrilled to have a partner who is such a perfect match for me, and to get to spend the rest of my life with him…


I think part of why I didn’t end things with my ex sooner was becase I was insecure and didn’t think I would find someone else to “love” me the way he did.  Dating more helped me to get over that.  I also think that being in the midst of my very all-consuming education would have prevented me from being a good wife/partner.  I am ultimately thrilled at the way my love life has turned out and wouldn’t change a thing 🙂  


I will say though that I don’t automatically assume younger brides are doomed!  If 2 people are mature enough to realize that marriage is about making a commitment, making it work, putting the other person first, and being willing to commit to supporting each other in their growth as individuals, I think it can work!  It’s hard.  Marriage is hard at any age, and probably a little harder when you’re young and getting established financially and in your career, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible!


Post # 11
5160 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@minipenguin:  I’ll bite, interesting thread.  

When I was 17-20 I dated a guy.  He was a good guy and had a lot of positives.  He was an exceptional athlete, had a wonderful family, was very loving, was an artistic sensitive soul, and had fun, quirky hobbies that I got into as well.  On the negative side, he was way too emotional for me, could become jealous and controling, didn’t have any friends and drove a wedge between me and my friends, and we were sexually incompatible.

I don’t regret dating him – although I should have broken up with him a year earlier – because I learned a lot about what I was looking for in a partner.  I probably wouldn’t be with DH if I hadn’t learned so much from that relationship.

The whole first year we were together we were “so in love” and he would talk about one day when we’d get married all the time.  But at that time I was nowhere close to wanting to actually get married and I eventually realized that we didn’t have good long term potential.

I met DH when I was 22.  Marriage was a long way from my mind at that time…but I did marry him at 29!



Post # 12
1535 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I’m 26 and have been with FI since I was 20. We will marry when we are both 28. I feel like (for us) it was important for us to wait until we were a little older and had been together awhile because of how young we were when we got together. We were completely commited to eachother and talked marriage very early on, but waited to actually get engaged until we were 26.

If we had gotten married at 22, I’m sure we would end up in the same situation and love we are now. I guess the thing is that it’s just a little riskier when you’re younger because people change a lot in their 20’s. Luckily, FI and I have grown together, rather than apart.

Post # 13
532 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

The biggest difference between my current partner (dated since 23) and my ex-boyfriend (dated 19-22) is financial stability. My ex had no career ambitions and to this day (he is now 30), he hasn’t maintained a job for more than one year. This is very important to me as I am now fully entrenched into my career and even though I didn’t recognize it at the time, the financial divide between the two of us was creating a major gap.

Now I know that money/finances are, INDEED, important and “love will not conquer all”.

Post # 14
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I think it’s more about who you are, rather than who your partner is. Even the most mature, composed 22 year olds I knew are completely different people now. You undergo a change in your twenties, and if the two of you don’t change together, you’ll end up being much different people, which is what I think causes a lot of young marriages to fail. 

And I know that’s not the question you were asking, but truthfully, the guys I dated in my twenties were right for me at the time, just like my husband is right for me at this point in my life.

Post # 15
114 posts
Blushing bee

I had two serious boyfriends between the ages of 17 and 24, both of whom wanted to get married, that I am SO glad I didn’t marry. Neither of them had any problems that stuck out as immediate grounds for breaking up, like abuse or a drug addiction, for example. But what I realized in the years since then (I’m 29 now) is that I only thought I loved them and I only thought they loved me – it wasn’t real, it was infatuation with being wanted and needed or playing grown-ups or thinking that living together or spending all your time together equals love. It does not. The prospect of being wanted and needed is so enticing but it doesn’t make it a mature, mutually beneficial, committed relationship.

I’m glad I never married them for a few reasons. I learned after we broke up that I needed someone who wanted a career (both of them were happy moving between low-level, unskilled jobs), someone who had a solid group of friendships (both of them were content having me as their only good friend), someone who wanted or had achieved something academically that made hem proud (both of them had dropped out of high school because they found it boring), and most importantly for me, someone who didn’t NEED me, but wanted to be with me despite my flaws, so that I improved their life and mine theirs, but wasn’t expecting me to fix them or magically make them a better person by dating them.

It took me a lot of growing up and maturing to realize this stuff, and it never crossed my mind until I got older. Now I am with the best man I’ve ever met and have the stablest, most secure relationship I’ve ever been in, and I would t have gotten here unless I did a little growing up first. 

Post # 16
470 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

This is an interesting question. I’m technically dating the same person as I was when I was 22, but whereas at that age he wasn’t my ideal partner, now he is.

I started dating my now fiance at 19 (he was 21), we broke up at 22/24 and then got back together a couple of years ago at 25/27. If we’d got married at 22 I don’t think we would have made it because we needed that time apart to grow as people. Even though technically I’m still dating the same person, we’re different people now than we were at 22. People grow and change, and your personality isn’t really set until your mid-20s.

When I was 22, I wanted to travel and date around – be single and have fun. Mine and my FI’s goals in life were different, and I needed to get that out my system. If we’d settled down at that age, I can’t be sure I wouldn’t have felt resentment towards him. For him too, that time apart meant that he was free to move across the country to train for a new career – and now he’s doing a job he loves. He might have felt resentment towards me in the future had he not had the freedom to do that. 

Now we’re compatible in terms of goals and stage in life, and we’ve become each others ideal partners. For me, compatibility is as important as personality when it comes to an ideal partner. Both you and your partner need to be mature enough to make that commitment, and you should be sure that you’re ready to move onto the next stage of your life. My FI and I weren’t at 22 but we are now 🙂

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors