(Closed) Intense fear of never getting married

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2095 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@anon00:  How about getting engaged now and then married later?

Post # 5
9668 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

@anon00:  Have you voiced your feelings about his unwillingness to agree to a timeline? From what you have said it would put your mind at ease. You don’t have to get engaged right away, but just knowing that that is definitely where you are headed lifts a huge burden. I have anxiety issues also, got diagnosed with depression a couple of months after Fiance and I got engaged, we are now over a year into a 3.5 year engagement, it hasn’t affected my anxiety negatively too much. There is less stress so far having a long engagement. I would sit down with him and talk about timelines again and how important it is to you. Good luck!

Post # 6
581 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I feel like this is an issue of trust. You don’t trust that your SO loves and wants YOU forever.  I can’t give you specific advice for your situation because I don’t know if your fiance deserves your trust (but from what you said, I would think so.) There is a difference between, “I want to marry you when I’m financially stable and in we’re both in our 20’s,” and, “I want to get married someday.” 

I’m 31, I didn’t even meet Fiance until I was 29, so “never” is a long time… 23 is young, not “too young” just young, while he’s getting his finances where he wants them do things that are YOU, are there any adventures that you want to do, travel, art classes, cooking classes, etc… Become busy, it’ll make the time pass with more joy, and IF it doesn’t work out you won’t have “wasted” the time. (Whatever “wasted” means.)

Hope that helps!

Post # 9
6355 posts
Bee Keeper

You are very young.

Personally, I dated my Fiance for 5 years before we were ready to be engaged. And… don’t look now but…I already passed 30. I’m in my early 30s now. And I was not ready to be engaged when I was 30.  In my social circle, only a little more than half the women my age are married by now. I’m not one of the last stragglers… most of them will marry.

I know, on the bee, the average age for a woman to marry seems to be much younger, and, there is a lot of anxiety about “waiting” and “why doesn’t he want to propose yet?” so you have lots of company, and it’s probably a cultural thing based on the norms of where you live, that women are expected to worry about that and, well, from my perspective, see themselves as having a highly limited “shelf life” (period in which they are marriageable) and I have to smile when I see in many cases it seems I’m past this imaginary “shelf life” already myself! As you said he said…”acting like you’re about to turn 30″… as if some terrible thing happens to us women after 30, we go rancid on the shelf if we’re not married off yet, nobody would want us at that point…we have to resign ourselves to spinsterhood.

The truth is…. this doesn’t happen! It doesn’t happen at 30 and it sure as heck doesn’t happen at 23. I guarantee, you can find a good man who will to marry you at any age… any age… if you look around hard enough.

My grandmother is in her late 70s. She has a boyfriend right now. She met him off a dating site. I don’t know him that well but they’ve been together for a while and she seems happy. Before this boyfriend, she had a husband I really rather liked, a very kind and gentle man, but she found him too needy and boring, so she divorced him… in her 70s. Her ex-husband was heartbroken, but, my grandmother is a free spirit and felt stifled. Before that husband, she was married to my grandfather, and loved him very much. He unfortunately died when she was in her early 60s.

I’m sorry but I’m really angry at your family for telling you those things, “good years” and all that. You are not a grapefruit to be bought. Never believe that you are. ALL your years are good.

If you’re wondering why he doesn’t want to marry you yet… it’s because he’s too young. The same way some women have been trained to believe they have an expiration date, men have been told that when they marry they must become “real men.” They’re happy about that in a way because they look forward to the pride they’ll havev n themselves, being a “real man,” with responsibilities for others, and all that. And, it’s also pretty damn intimidating. Opposite to the “shelf life” idea, they’re told that the optimal time to take on the challenging feat of becoming a “real man” is late 20s to early 30s. Try too early and you might fail at being a real man…shame yourself, let everyone down. Plus, he’s told, it is his right not to have that heavy responsibility yet. These are his “freer” years, so he’s told, where the world doesn’t expect more of him yet.

Oh, and he’s not told that he has a shelf life, at all, so unlike women, many men already know that they could find a good woman to marry them, at any age. Still, they tend to prefer what theylve been told is optimal for them: to marry when they are in they are in their late 20s or early 30s, so they can be young dads, etc. Their focus on when to marry is based on their own age and  sense of when they can be ready to shoulder the sense of responsibility of being a “real man,” and not your “shelf life” story you’ve been told. Of course, they also don’t want you to feel like you’re going to go rancid (they love you and can see your pain), so sometimes they marry earlier than they want for their age, just to stop the woman they love from panicking about her age. He was trying to negotiate a time with you when you won’t feel panicked that you’re too old and he won’t feel panicked that he’s too young. He thinks that’s when you’re 26-28.

 I wish you could get free from these myths. It is probably very hard to do when you’re surrounded by people who care about you who are telling you these harmful things. If your anxiety about it gets really bad, I suggest you see a therapist about it.

Post # 10
2297 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@anon00:  i’m 24 and have been dating my SO for 6 years. by the time we get married (both in grad school etc) we may well by 27 – so at that point we’d have been together 9 years!

the length of time doesn’t matter (and doesn’t count as a waste/using up good years) if you’re both happy and committed. if you’re rushing to be engaged/married because you’re looking for a committment – i would say tread carefully. you should be able to feel loved and secure without an engagement right this second.

your SO sounds like a levelheaded, logical guy who wants to have certain things in place prior to getting married – that’s good! if he had tons of money, a place of his own etc and still was stalling, there might be a more sinister reason. i honestly don’t think there is here – i think he’s waiting until he feels financially ready for that committment.

Post # 13
6355 posts
Bee Keeper

@anon00:  I don’t know, maybe that is really how it is in your city. But in that case you could always move! Because it isn’t like that in every US city! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 15
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Hey there!! 

May I ask…do you have an irrational fear of NEVER getting married…period?!  Or an irrational fear that you will NEVER get married to your SO?! 

If it is the later, than I think the only thing you can do is trust him, and his words and his love for you. I think when we see/hear that couples have been together for 8+ years, it it because they both trusted that the other was the ‘one’, but needed to establish things before marriage…finances, careers, growing up a bit more, what have you.  I had friends meet in high school, date thru college, and still wait til 29 to tie the knot for multiple reasons, but they never ‘stressed’ because they knew it would happen when the time was perfect.

If it is because marriage is something you want, and you fear it will never happen for you…well, there are certainly no promises in life.  But, and I hope not, if you and your SO do not work out (for whatever reason), know that there are people out there whom want the same things as you.  If marriage is it for you, then it must be it for them too.  There is no timeline on that promise, however.  Trust me, I know.  I am 31, in a great relationship, and will probably marry when I am 32/33 (which is ‘older’ for many).  At 29, before I met him, I swore I would never be married…but someone had a different plan for me ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck, oh and if I am repeating what others have said, I am so sorry.  I just jumped on my response ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 16
6355 posts
Bee Keeper

@anon00:  I immediately thought of NYC. Yes, it’s well known as a bad place to find a good husband (too bad, it has pretty much everything else, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I don’t know what other cities are like that though, interesting. I only have heard about NYC. I’d guess LA maybe? Of course, maybe the gossip isn’t true? After all, if you don’t know how to find them, good men are extremely hard to find anywhere. But you were saying many women were saying this… so… assuming they are a variety of types of women…if they all are in agreeement, that suggests it’s true for those places.

It’s also partly a subculture thing… like… the reason my female peers marry later than the national average is because they get their education first… college and graduate school or professional degree… and often getting a few years of their career started first too. They’re usually marrying men with similar career trajectories to themselves.

I’m sure there are other women in my city who had no intention of spending years in higher education, so they started their careers much earlier…and they would be more likely to marry earlier. However, I always assumed urbanites married later than rural folks, as a general rule. Maybe not?

By The Way, the national average age at marriage right now for the US is 27 for women and 29 for men. It’s greatly increased from just a short time ago. Your older relatives may not have realized that.

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