Post # 1
I just met with a friend who happens to be a professor at my university. Mentioned that me and my SO might be getting engaged later this year. I’m turning 23, graduating college, have a stable job after I graduate, we’ve been together for almost 3 years and lived together for almost one year. Her question: “if you weren’t foreign (and needed a green card like you do in order to bring your parents over and become a citizen…implied from what we had discussed earlier), would you have considered getting married so early?”
WHY oh why do people assume we’re just so goddamn young and they just can’t keep their opinions to themselves? It’s annoying because yes I know I’m young but I’ve had multiple long term relationships and know what I’m getting myself into. Furthermore, our families are totally backing us up, and I’m a lot more mature for my age, and understand marriages and relationships a lot well than many 30-year olds because I study this in my personal development research (which is my passion and my field).
How do you deal with this? I’m so annoyed, I hear this from professors, friends, other people… I live in a major city in the Northeast and I know that people here tend to marry later but this is really disheartening. I almost feel ashamed to be getting engaged because I’m “too young” and everyone assumes it’s not going to last. URGH!!!
Post # 3
Don’t feel ashamed!
My best friend married at 22 and she had a hell of a time persuading people to stop worrying about her age. She usually just firmly told people that she was ready and that it wasn’t their concern, but thanks for the input. It worked.
I’m engaged at 23, so I feel your pain–the two friends I’ve told have both expressed the same concerns. It’s irritating!
Post # 4
I was 22 when I got engaged and still had a semester left of college. I had a full-time job lined up with a good starting salary, benefits, etc. I too got the “but you’re just a baby!” speech from numerous people. Bottom line, if you’re mature enough, no one else’s opinions matter. As far as dealing with it, I just sort of laughed it off. (I hate confrontation).
Post # 5
Some people just can’t stand to see others happy. Just be happy with your decision and just smile and nod when people like that talk. I’m going to be 28 in two months but I look like I’m 18 (apparently) so people give me a look when I say I’m getting married. It’s frustrating but I’ve learned to ignore people like that.
Post # 6
No one else knows your situation, finances, etc. I married young, and I got this speech many, many times. Marrying young is not right for everyone, but it made more sense than waiting (financially speaking) in our situation. Plus, we had been together 4 years and lived together for 2. At first, I tried to explain this to people when they started talking about me being too young, a baby, etc., but, eventually, I realized I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I’ve done a lot of unconventional things in my life, and people always have an (unsolicited) opinion. I know it’s cliche to tell you not to worry about it or let it roll of your back, but this is honestly the best advice. If you can’t do that, fake it until you make it. 🙂 Eventually you’ll find that your really don’t care anymore, at least I did.
Post # 7
I am twenty-two years old and have been engaged for a little over three months now. So far, I haven’t had anybody try to tell me that I am too young to get married – but if somebody were too (and then they kept going on about it) I’d have absolutely no problem telling them shut up and mind their own business.
edit: @squeak: You’d think that people would be more understanding, considering your immigration status. I am an American and my Fiance is Irish, and I am currently in the process of bringing him over here on the K1 (fiance) visa. Are we getting married sooner than we would have if he were a U.S. citizen? Maybe a little bit – but so what!?! People who are not in our situation have no idea what we are going though, and as such have absolutely no right to judge! We are simply doing what we need to in order to simply be together. That’s what any two people in love would do if they were seperated.
Post # 8
I’m 23 as well, and Fiance is 24. Fiance doesn’t ever get any comments, but I do. It drives me crazy! I honestly think that sometimes, it kills people to see other people happy! People just have to say something. A couple weeks ago, someone said “But you’re just a baby!”. I honestly just completely ignored the fact that they even said anything and didn’t respond. It’s so much easier to just ignore people. No matter what it is that you’re doing, someone will always have something to say about it. Don’t let it bother you 🙂
Post # 9
I have to admit that when I started dating my fiance and he told me about his cousins, who had married at 21, 22 years of age, I was shocked. Luckily none of them were around to see my initial facial reaction 🙂
Obviously everyone is free to marry when they feel it’s right. For me, it was just a bit surprising since I’ve never known anyone who married so young. Everyone can handle those situations how they see fit but I’d just always encourage patience before you tell someone to “shut up”.
Post # 10
What I find funny, is when my parents got married, they were in the 22 age range, and same with alot of there friends and siblings. Back then it was the norm, and no one ever said anything about it. Now when people are getting married at that age its such a big deal.
Post # 11
Tell them to simply mind their business. Only YOU know when it is the right time to get married. My sister married when she was 21 & she is now 40 and her marriage is still going strong 🙂
Post # 12
Take a deep breath and smile. People will forever assume that you need/want their opinion– or else they just like to hear themselves speak 🙂 Darling Husband and I got married at 21 (engaged at 18) and heard our fair share of “you’re so young, why not wait?” I used to answer, before realizing that I was wasting my time and energy. Unless you actually plan on saying “Oh my gosh! I totally had not realized how old I was! Thank you for sharing your wisdom; I am forever indebted to you,” don’t bother crafting an answer. It is very likely that your reasons will not be “enough” to justify marrying at an age they feel is too young.
Post # 13
Thank you for your answers everyone! I guess I just feel obligated to give an answer at the moment and it just makes me feel so ridiculous… even though my answer makes perfect sense, I just feel so resentful for having to defend myself in front of someone else like that! It’s my choice, and I’m confident about it, so why does everyone go around judging? Then they go “well yeah, I mean I married at 24 (or 25) and am still happily married after almost 30 years” – well geesh, maybe you’re barking at the wrong tree then! You were only a year older than what I’ll be when I’m married, so shut up and let me enjoy it!
Honestly, sometimes I wonder if people say these things just because they got a hard time when they got married. Or maybe it’s because I’m just graduating college and they don’t realize I never really was the typical partying college student other than maybe part of my freshman year… it’s so ridiculous to judge others when you don’t know them. This is definitely making me realize how much I judge others and try to minimize that. Now I understand how they feel…
Thanks for all your support bees! It feels so good to know that I’m not alone, and that i don’t need to answer all of their ridiculous questions from now on… I’ll just laugh and change the subject from now on.
Post # 14
I am 22, turning 23 soon, not engaged or anything, but I have a lot of friends who are younger than us that have kids in kindergarten! So I don’t think you are too young. 23 is a fine age to get married at. Everyone is different and the neigh sayers need to realize that.
I think with some people get certain ideas about an age group and then apply that idea to everyone at that age. I’m in college, graduating soon, but I still get the whole “oh you must party all the time” type comments. I am not a partier. I am much like you, I took college seriously and am ready for the next step in my life. But people still think I am a baby. It just seems like I have to get older and older before someone is going to take me seriously :S
My parents get it, but it’s other people who don’t. It can be frustrating, but what you need to do is focus on what makes you happy and do it. Don’t wait or do things because someone else is criticising you. Those people don’t matter.
Like the saying goes “Those who mind don’t matter, and the one’s matter don’t mind!” 🙂
Post # 15
@sarabee: Haha my life sounds so much like yours! Yes, my parents completely approve of it, but others (including other people my age) look at me like I’m crazy because I’m not still dating and partying like crazy. Somehow what should be respect for being mature beyond your years has turned into weird looks and judgment…
Post # 16
I’m 25, Fiance is 23, we’re getting married sunday [AHHHHH!!!! :D:D:D] and I’ve had the opposite problem. Fiance is amazing (gorgeous, hilarious, down-to-earth, & super smart…with a great job) everyone who met him, next time they would see me would ask “when are y’all getting married?!” (before we were engaged). I look VERY young for my age (still get carded for R movies at the theatre). I don’t know if it’s because we’re in the south or if its because they’re often clients of my business (that I’ve owned for over 5 years) & they think I’m older, but I felt a LOT of pressure to get engaged (not that I wasn’t dying to anyway!!).
I do feel for you girls that are given a hard time. No matter how hard you don’t want to care about what others think, it’s still always in the back of your mind.