My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 1/2 years. We started dating in 8th grade, went through high school together and now go to college 200 miles apart. We both had our heart set on the same college since we were little (we were both huge UT fans when we met, it had nothing to do with eachother) and he didn't get in, but he is trying to transfer in this spring. I am SO HAPPY with him. He is so attentive, so kind, he understands me better than I understand myself, I love his family, he loves mine, and he's just my best friend. I really really want to marry him, and we have talked about marriage. I am only a freshman in college, and I have friends who are older who said they thought they were with 'the one' when they were freshmen, and then broke up. I want to be very wise about this and not be naive, but If we were 23 when we started dating instead of 13, we would definitely be married by now!
Also, people say, 'how do you know you love him if you've never dated anyone else?'
Literally y'all, I am sooooooo happy in this relationship. I'm not in the 'honeymoon phase' anymore, we've been together for almost 5 years. I literally cannot dream of any guy better for me, so I truly don't think I could be happier with anyone else.
We've done long distance. We've dealt with family drama, relatives dying, and a lot of the hardships of life together, and they have only made us stronger.
So, I have two questions:
1. How long do you recomend waiting? Until I'm 21? 25? Until college is over? Get married now?
2. Do you think it's OK that we've never dated anyone else?
Until you graduate college, get a job, live on your own, can take care of yourself, have lived your life to fullest.
Wait until you guys graduate and have jobs. Financial stress is a marriage killer.
If your both happy it's fine that you haven't dated other people.
DH and I never dated anyone else. We got engaged in September of our first year of college (I was just turned 18 and he was 19) and married almost 2 years later (I was 19 almost 20 and he was 20). We are now happily married. We've known each other since we were 6ish and 7ish and never dated anyone else. We were close friends for years. He started courting me when I was 17 and the rest is history.
Thank you :) also, some people tell me that I need to have 'the college experience' and go party and stuff...that's totally not me. I absolutely believe in the college experience, but I am not a party girl at all. I don't really need to 'sow my wild oats' or get anything out of my system.
I would definitely wait until you're both financially independent from your parents. Things will be much easier then.
Wait until you can financially support yourselves living on your own after college. You don't want to start a marriage fighting about money! It doesn't matter that you haven't dated other people, as long as you're both happy with it. If you're going to be together for the rest of your lives, waiting a couple years isn't too much of a big deal :)
@ ScottishMrs: Did you graduate college? Were finances a big burden?
I agree with others who recommend being financially independent before you get married. It will be so much less stressful! And really...there's no reason to get married right away. If you're sure, you're sure...and you can wait until you're done with college. Getting that out of the way will be a huge relief. Also, if he cannot transfer to your school, you will be able to live together.
Finish your degrees and have a stable job and place to live. Then get hitched!
I absolutely don't think that you should date anyone else. It sounds like you too are perfect for each other and it sounds like you are both happy so why give it up.
Even though you are 19 you are still growing into your own person and so is he. Is it possible that you guys could get married tomorrow and divorce in a year. Absolutely. I mean how often do people find their soulmates when they are barely teenagers. Not often.
It sounds like you are one lucky lady to be living in a fairy tale. It sound like you have a great relationship. And if you believe that you can grow old with this guy then you will probably have a great marriage. My got engaged just before her 20th birthday and married a year later. She has been happily married for the last 7 years and they are definitly a couple that is going to last. There is no doubt in my mind that they are in it for the long haul.
I think so much of this depends on your community. It would be very lonely to be a college student and married, and not have other married or people who are in serious relationships that you can hang out with in a couple. If you have lots of friends who are getting engaged and married during college, then it might be a different story.
Also, from my own experience most relationships that fall apart during college do so during Freshman or Sophomore year. Give it some time, and see how you are doing once you have fully adjusted to being away. You have only been in college for 2-3 months!
I don't think that you need to date others before getting married but I do think you should both be out of school and living in the same city before getting married (really before getting engaged).
I think it's worth waiting a bit to be engaged/married, but don't feel like you need to see other people to prove to others that you like each other best. That's just silly.
I voted for give it a year or so or wait until after college for practical reasons (money, growing into your education and career, finding a location to live based on job prospects, etc). I didn't vote "get married now" simply because if you're still being a bit bothered by people's commentary or questioning internet folks for advice, it may not be quite time yet. My husband and I have been together since we were fifteen, so I get where you're coming from, but I'd say give yourselves all the time in the world to enjoy these college years (as you'd wish, not the stereotypical "college expeirience" - make it your own!) and when the time is right, you two will find yourselves planning a wedding :-)
Personally, I'd wait until I was 25 or older. I got married at 28.
@ deetroitwhat: just curious...what benefits did you find in waiting until you were 28? I guess some people say 'why rush?'...but why wait? we will have been together for over 12 years at that point. Also, I don't want to live together until we're married. We're both a bit old fashion in that regard.
There are so many changes from the ages of 19 to 25... you have to go through school, figure out your career, live on your own, learn how to support yourself financially - this is why so many relationships don't last through this period. The person you are at 19 is not who you will always be. I think it's important to go through these changes with your boyfriend before you marry just to see how you fare, to go through ups and downs. Having a boyfriend as a teenager is not the same as being in a relationship as an adult. That said, I'd wait until at least after college and you are settled into careers.
I know a couple from high school who dated through high school, through separate college experiences (he went to the Air Force academy in CO) and then got married as soon as they graduated. So it does happen!
I would (in your position) at least wait until graduation to get married. Focus on getting an education and seeing where your finances take you while in school/right after graduation. Also, you mentioned being on a scholarship. Who knows what could possibly happen when your legal status changes?
But if you're both happy, graduate and have fairly decent jobs, and feel no need to "explore", then I say "why wait?" If you're planning on going through all these life events together anyway, and you are still together upon graduation, Id say you have a pretty great chance :)
I don't think that you have to date other people or party to know that the man you're with is "the one", so to speak.
My vote would be to wait until you're financially stable. It is hard waiting when you already know you want to be with that person, but it usually is for the best! I was ready to marry my now-husband when I was 18, however he had just started college at that time and I was working a low-pay job. We finally got married last week after 7 years of being together. I am 23 now, my career has flourished, my husband graduates in less than a month and will start his job shortly after. Our patience has paid off and was certainly worth it!
As someone who is marrying her high school boyfriend, I advise you to wait until you finish school. You don't know that he'll be able to transfer, and do you really want to be in a long distance marriage? It will also be easier to plan a wedding when you're out of school, and to be able to drink at your reception. I'm really happy that I waited until we graduated (he proposed about 2 weeks after I moved back home). It seems annoying to wait, but on the flip side, you'll only be 22 or 23 if you wait until after you've graduated.
@abeautifulunion: I'm in my 30's now and I don't think my views have changed much since maybe I was about 24/25. 18-23 there was a big learning curve. The difference is the world views you held before this point were mostly determined by your family and the community you grew up in. Once your in college meet all kinds of different people are exposed to different schools of thought these views change and become your own. This pertains to almost everything you can think of spirituality, life goals and ambitions, political opinions etc.
I always tell people not to count the years where you're still a teenager when you're counting how long you've been together. You can't SERIOUSLY date someone at 14 or 15 years old. You're not even baked yet yourself.
With that being said... get through college, establish yourself in your career, find out what you want/like on an ADULT level, THEN plan the rest of your life. There's no rush. You'll be around for a long time.
To be honest I always think it's best to date a few people before settling down. I'm happy i had a serious relationship and dated a few people before I met my SO. It really made me understand what I really wanted from a relationship. it also makes me value my SO so much more, i understand much better how special our relationship is.
Also dating is fun! My cousin was in a similar situation as yours some time ago. She started dating her first boyfriend at 18 (he was 23 or 24, can't remember exactly). they were very happy and after 3 years he proposed. After a taking a break and thinking about it she refused and they broke up. She said although they had an amazing relationship and she loved him, she couldn't take that step without ever having dated anyone else. She says now she's really happy she didn't marry him. None of her friends are married so she would have been quite left out of things and she has travelled, dated other people, and she recently got job in switzerland and is having a great time.
Regarding the college experience I don't think partying precludes having a relationship and viceversa, but I'm very happy I got to have fun and party as a single girl, honestly it was a great time and I'd never ever change it for anything.
It also makes me happier now because I like having had a life of my own before I met my SO. You have a whole lifetime to be in a relationship so I think it's nice to have a few years to yourself.
I was in your boat a few years back! :)
We have been together for 6 1/2 years (I was 15 at the time we started dating). I've never loved anyone as I have loved him, but that certainly has not diminished my understanding of what a heathly happy relationship sould entail. If you know he makes you happy and will make you happy, that is all that matters. You don't have to date someone else to know this.
Having said that, he and I changed a lot during college. Things were tough, but we're doing great. The best decision we made was to get married the year I graduate. He proposed during my junior year, and now, as a senior, I have everything planned and am just counting down the days. We had a 2 year engagement which gave me the satisfaction of knowing I will get to marry him (and the excitement of planning), yet also provided us the necessary time to mature a little further and (for him) find a solid carreer.
Do what is best for you. No one on this board can tell you what is right for you! Just take your time and really consider each decision carefully.
DH was my only serious boyfriend and high school sweetheart as well, but I insisted on waiting until we were done with college. I would highly recommend waiting a few more years until you graduate college before you get married. It gives yourself time to change and see if you still mesh as well as adults, and if you do, great! If not, it's much easier to go through a break-up before you have the legal hurdles associated with marriage.
I started dating FI when I was 16. We waited to get engaged until I was a senior in college. I will be 23 when we get married. I don't think I have changed that much while in college. Maybe because I'm only 22 and part of the time I'm supposed to change so much is still ahead of me. In retrospect, I wish I had waited a little longer to get engaged. It was hard not to plan the wedding while in school and it ruined my focus a little bit. We chose to have a long engagement vs a short one (both with the same wedding date in mind) which was good because I felt like we were miles ahead of our friends who were just dating. I would wait until at least your junior year to get engaged. If you can handle not planning your wedding during the first part of your engagement then get engaged while in school and have a long engagement. If you will want t start planning as soon as the ring is on your finger, wait until you graduate college. I think you can get married anytime after you graduate (if you want you can elope the day after for all I care). Its up to you and your bf to decide whats right for you two though.
I'd wait until after college and until you can support yourselves without parental help or loans. I do see why some people say wait until you're older, and I guess based on personal experience I could say the same. I had a high school sweetheart who I was over the moon in love with and I could never have imagined we'd break up. But we grew up and wanted different things than we did when we were 17 or 18, and breaking up was for the best. That being said-- some people are lucky and find their perfect match early so I don't see why you should wait to some pre-determined age to do it. Mostly I think you should wait until post-college because that is when you are really trying to figure out what you want your life to be. You're picking your future career paths and that might determine what you want from life and also where you'll live. If you two make it through and still want the same things and want to live in the same area--- go for it. But I think you're locking yourself in too early to get married right now.
I started dating my now-FI when I was 19 (very nearly 20) and he was 21. We were together 4.5 years before getting engaged, and we'll just be over the 6 year mark when we get married. I'll be 26, he'll be 27 when we get married.
I agree with others, wait until you're financially independent to get married. This may mean that you're still in college, or out of college, but financial independence seems like a good idea.
With that said, my best friend got married when she was 20 and in her third year of college. Her husband was also still in college. They've now been married for 5 years and are expecting their first baby. They are over the moon happy, and I believe they'll be together for the long run. However, they are both Mormon and have a very supportive community where marrying young is the norm. It worked for them though!
I think age isn't important. When I was 14 I was capable of living like an adult. Other 14 year olds I knew weren't responsible enough to do their own laundry. Age is an arbitrary measurement.
With that said? WAIT. He sounds wonderful! If you guys plan to spend your lives together, there is no need to rush into things. I hope you guys make the LDR bit work. I went through it, it sucks. You don't need to be any particular age to get married, but I WOULD recommend finishing school, or at least settling into this adult routine. The transition from high school to college is a HUGE one. People change. I hope you guys don't grow apart, but spend some time growing up in college before you take the plunge.
For question 2, my fiance is my first most-things. I'd had a couple boyfriends before him, but he was my first love, my first intimate encounter for almost everything, etc. I sometimes wonder how I know he's the right one for me if I've never been with anyone else seriously. It's a nagging thing in my head, but no more pressing than "what if I had gone backpacking though Europe when I was 18?" It's something I'll always wonder but I love him and want to be with him. I'm okay with him being the majority of my experience. Some people are with 30 men/women before they find the right one. Some get lucky the first time.
Good luck to you guys! I hope to see you on the engaged section in a few years!
What kind of business do you have?
Thanks everyone for your input :)
@whomajigi I actually have a wedding stationery company. I design wedding programs, menu cards, and invitations. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to advertise on the boards, but I'll say it since you asked :) my website is [Link removed due to self promotion policy]
I'm definitely not on here to advertise though..I'm on here because I'm young and in love and don't know what do do with myself, and lets be honest, I enjoy the ring porn as well :)
The years between college and 25ish are the years I found out who I am. I can't even describe in words how much I changed and matured. The vast majority of people I know feel the same way. That doesn't mean you need to date other people, but it does mean I'd suggest waiting - taking opportunities to live in an apartment with girlfriends, travel or study abroad, take a trip with friends, lots of things that just become infinitely more difficult to navigate if you're married. The same goes for him. If you guys are meant to be, you'll both still be there after you take some time to grow as individuals. I feel like when couples haven't given themselves time to do that - either by circumstances or by jealousy - whatever - one or both grow resentful, and thats like a nasty murky breeding ground for the normal challenges of marriage to become serious enough for divorces.
@abeautifulunion: Oooh neat! I have a lot of family in the wedding business. It's a lot of fun sometimes. Good for you for this. *browses store*
My good friend got married in college...it was a secret :) But she had a pretty active college social life including being in a sorority with me :), and social clubs. She wasn't a partier but went out sometimes.
They have been married umm...about 6 years now and have a child. So, I dunno, it worked for them!
For me, one of the things I'm most proud of is the time I spent after graduating from college and before moving up to Seattle with FI (about 2 years). We were dating but LDR. I had my own apartment, my own furnishings, a full-time job. I was completely independent. It was really a special time for me. I am glad we waited (originally I was going to move down with him right after my graduation but I stayed because I really liked my job).
It's definitely a journey, I think it all turns out the way it's meant to turn out. So do the best you can :)
Like PP said, age is arbitary. Do it when it feels right for you and when you can handle all the stress (both good and bad!) that comes with a wedding and a marriage!
My mom and dad met in highschool, mom was 14 dad was 17, he dated before but she didn't. They got married right after my mom graduated highschool. My mom always tells if she could go back in time she would still marry my dad but she would have waited until after college. Because neither went to college money was a big stress on their relationship but they really love eachother so they made it through the hard times. Just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Do what you feel is right for you, but I wouldn't date anyone else, it just doesn't sit right with me for some reason.
Why date someone else? I vote get married whenever you feel like it if you've already had all the hard talks about kids and money and stuff like that. If you're financially independent, seriously go for it.
You say he knows me better than I know myself .
you should really get to know yourself better for getting married. Find out who you are really are or youll never know who you are without a man around
Similar story to you, OP :) my SO and I started dating the end of 7th grade. We made it through high school, family problems, deaths, etc and are now nearly done university! Only difference here is that we go to the same school. We are both 21 now and won't be engaged until he is done school this year. I graduate next year and we won't marry until 6 months - a year after I graduate. I think it's important to be done school and be financially stable before getting married. Only you know when that time is, so this is entirely up to you and your SO :) As for never dating anyone else, I could never imagine being with anyone but my SO so that is not a problem for us at all! I don't think anyone "needs" to date other people to realize that they are with the right person.
FH and I have been together for nearly 5 years, i'm 20 and he's 23. He is my only serious partner. He proposed after 4.5 years (this may). There is no sense in dating someone else if you are happy and love the one you're with. There's no set number that makes you ready. It's like chocolate cake, you don't need to try other kinds of cake to know if you like chocolate, you either do or you don't.
Getting a job should be a priority though (as should education, if you plan to work in a field where you'll need a degree of some sort). Money can be a huge problem in marriages, and a good job or degree will help you avoid that (plus you'll have a sense of accomplishment and your experience can help you with future jobs). It would be very beneficial to be in a good financial situation before marriage. I see you're well on your way to financial independence, but it would probably be better to wait until you can both support yourselves completely.
Personally, I think it's a good idea to live together for a while as well if you don't already, because in some relationships it can change the entire dynamic. I would hate for that to happen after marriage, but that's just me. I know a lot of people prefer to wait.
Other than that, if you've discussed your expectations with each other and both want to get married, and are in a happy and healthy relationship, I cannot see a problem here.
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