Post # 1
Facebook has been full of big changes for lots of people I know lately (by big changes I mean engagements, weddings, and babies, and by lately I think I mean over the past 2-3 years, so really all the time. It must be my age!) and it got me thinking: a lot of couples I know who started dating young (say 16-19) have fairly long time periods between getting together and getting engaged, getting engaged and getting married, and (for those who choose to do so, and do so in this order) getting married and having kids. I feel like a lot of people who meet their partner later, say 25+, move a lot more quickly. (I realize I am leaving out people 20-24, I don’t know where they fit for this!)
I believe that every couple should do whatever is right for them, but I am curious about why couples that did more “growing up” together might move more slowly. Have you noticed the same thing? Any thoughts?
Post # 3
@fallingleaves: I think this is an interesting observation! While I have no idea what would be the driving force behind this phenomenon, I would love to find/conduct research to find out if 1) it was true over the US and 2) why.
Post # 4
Well as someone who got together with my guy at 16/18 and still dating to this day at 25/27. We wait because it isthe smart thing to do, were are waiting till we are established and finished with school.
I don’t believe in that “when you know, you know” b.s.
I mean, most younger couples don’t have much starting out.
Post # 5
@fallingleaves: 19-23 count?
4 years cause it was the time we spent in undergrad together
Post # 6
@fallingleaves: That’s interesting, my brother and his wife met when they were 15 and didn’t get married until nearly 10 years later. I think it might just have to do with being in a better place finaincially – if you meet someone after your 25 generally you’ve got your life pretty together and on your way towards a career and house etc, whereas when you start dating young you stick with each other while you’re obtaining all those things. Does that make sense?
Post # 7
I think people in their mid to late twenties and thirties take more time to get married. Atleast, that is how it has been with my friends. My observation is that many couples in their teens and early twenties get married more quickly.
Post # 8
I think some people (mostly women) panic if they’re not engaged or married by a certain age. I see it a lot on this very site.
FI and I dated 5 years before getting engaged last year, and we are both in our 30s. However, I was never taught that I had a “best-by” date or something like that, which it seems many women believe. In fact, my grandmother (my grandfather passed away some time ago), has a boyfriend. She enjoys dating…she broke up with her previous boyfriend because while he was nice, he was “too boring”.
Similarly, I have not been scared into believing I will be infertile well before menopause for some reason. We will be TTCing in our 30s, but the fact that we would like kids didn’t make me feel any need to panic and push for engagement just because I was turning 30, etc. – Unfortunately, a few months around the bee boards (especially the “waiting” threads) will make it clear that I’m in the minority. The way my age bracket is talked about on here, you’d think I’d have to worry about breaking a hip getting into my wedding dress!
Post # 9
FI and I started dating when we were 18 going on 19. We got engaged at 21 going on 22. We are waiting a long time to get married (we are both 23 now) until I finish university and both have stable jobs as well as living together.
Post # 10
I’ve noticed that on FB too in the past few years. I’m 28 and a few years ago people would be together 3+ years before getting married. Now people are married within a year or two. I just saw someone get engaged after only 6 months!
I’ve always maintained that I wanted to date someone a few years before getting married, despite my age and I’m glad I stuck to that. My boyfriend and I recently had our two-year dating anniversary and we hit a rough patch around that time. It turned out to be nothing insurmountable but there were a few weeks where I wondered if our values were too different to make it work. I’m glad I wasn’t grappling with that already married. The honeymoon period is real, no matter how old you are and how much life experience you have.
Post # 11
@fallingleaves: I’m 26 and my SO (erm, FI now) and I just got engaged after close to 5 years together. We will be engaged for about a year and a half.
For us, it took a few years to get to being engaged because we’re both very cautious people who wanted to make sure we really knew we were compatible before we committed to getting married. The engagement will be a little longer than most people’s partially because of finances, and partially because we both like the idea of a spring wedding, and we sure wouldn’t be able to get a wedding together in the next 6 months, since I’ll be working on my master’s thesis at that point.
Post # 12
I think when you’re younger, you still have a lot to take care of before you get married. Finish school, get setup in your career, plus you’re young and may just not want that much of a commitment yet even if you are already serious with each other. As you get older, you work through all of that transitional stuff that happens in your early twenties, you date around, you settle into your adult life, and you start to see what you really want for your future.
When I was 19-22 I was in a committed relationship, we talked about getting married someday but no engagement ever came and we ended up breaking up. I spent the rest of my twenties dating around, finishing school, finding my way with my jobs/career, finding myself as an adult out of school and on my own, and ultimately when I met my current FI when I was 30, I just was in a very different place in my life, as was he. We dated a year and 9 months before getting engaged, have had a year and 5 month engagement and have already started trying to have children.
I just think that your twenties is by far the most transitional period of your life, especially the early part, and getting married/having kids isn’t at the top of the priority list for many people at that time.