This is also similar to what my SO and I did, bee. We got together at 19 (which probably doesn’t seem all that young to you!) and are now *gasp* 31 and only now starting to think about marriage. We had a LOT of growing to do before we got to a point where this made sense, both separately and together. We had to figure out what direction our education/careers would move in, what values we found most essential, where we wanted to live, how much money we needed for a down-payment on a house, when/if we might want to have kids….a wedding was honestly the LAST thing on the list. I don’t think you guys getting together at seventeen is the red flag, nor do I think this is entirely a “him” problem, as his concerns are very reasonable (he could have done a better job handling them). The things that I do consider red flags here (which can actually be addressed, so they’re just red flags, not dealbreakers yet) are: The fact that you are urging him to get married at an age where by definition, your values/needs/security/interests/even your physical brains
are not done developing. I’m going to be real here, because I’ve been exactly where you are: You don’t know him yet. I know that sounds shocking, and you probably want to yell at me right now, but it’s true. You aren’t far enough away from your teenage years to truly know who he is without his adolescent armor. You don’t know him as a completely independent adult who knows what he wants beyond basic safety, stability and pleasure. He’s obviously still figuring that out, and at 21, that is VERY TYPICAL. I understand your frustration at being on a different page than him, and even how that might feel like he “tricked” you or “betrayed” you. You can have those feelings, but those feelings aren’t fact
, bee. You don’t get to be in the right here just because you’ve been consistent and you’ve arrived at a conclusion that works for you before he has. At this point in your life, his lack of readiness for marriage is completely reasonable. Furthermore, regarding your readiness, again, I have to pull from experience and tell you that at 21, I
thought I was ready for “marriage”—-the problem was, I had NO IDEA what marriage actually was. That actually took a while for me to figure out (I’m still figuring it out). I’m SO GLAD I took that time! What a mess
I avoided. You can afford to give both you and him some room to grow here, bee. If the love is enduring, it will still be there in a few years when you guys are capable of making an informed decision. We see a lot of guys stringing women along all the time on these boards: Rest assured, this is not what it looks like.
In the meantime, if you are resolutely committed to one another, BE JUST THAT, and put in the work to stay that way. Support each other in broadening your perspectives, perfect your communication skills (I can’t stress this enough, especially in your case), and work on healing some of the wounds your families/peers/childhoods/life events have inflicted upon you. Build a solid financial foundation. Live together (if you feel comfortable with that), learn each other’s quirks and habits. LEARN TO BE HONEST WITH EACH OTHER (this is hard!), no matter how scary either of your finds it. Learn how to advocate for yourselves without resorting to name-calling and attacks.
You’ve got a long way to go, sweetie. But if you want a happy, healthy marriage, it’s time and effort well-spent.