Should I, Shouldnt I..?

posted 3 years ago in Engagement
  • poll: What should I do..?

    Get Dad onside

    Ask for forgiveness not permission

    Just wait it out

  • Post # 2
    8007 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    As long as you are dependent upon your father for his financial support just focus on your studies and becoming independent–get engaged after you’ve finished your masters program and have a two year engagement. You and your Girlfriend can still spend this time discussing future plans while you complete your studies. 

    Post # 3
    716 posts
    Busy bee

    While your intentions are good, I just don’t think your reasoning is “good enough” to pull the trigger at this time. You know you want to be married someday, so having a 3-4 year engagement is a bit much IMO. You both still have a lot to learn about each other and yourselves being that you’re so young (everyone at any age is developing and discovering). I think a two year engagement is more realistic if you truly can’t wait. Don’t rush something now just because you’ve got the itch- waiting will be worth it and I guarantee you’ll be happy you did for emotional, financial and other reasons. 

    Liking the idea of being engaged at 21 and half a decade together is really not a strong basis for this life altering move. I also can’t help but recognize the fact that you’re so uncertain/ seeking the approval of others (on the internet and your father) which makes it obvious this is not the time. 

    Post # 4
    116 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    Not nice of dad. It sucks to be controlled by a parent when you are an adult. It really isn’t right at all. It sounds like you both have enough going on in your life right now though. How does your girlfriend feel about this? Is she pressuring you for a ring yet? You are both young and have time on your side right now. It might be better to start saving up for your future and letting your girlfriend know you are thinking about and saving for the future with her. Eventually you will have to let dad know that he doesn’t get to make decisions for you anymore and he has to accept it, but you could wait until after you are done your study. Maybe by then the issue won’t be so bad for him.

    Post # 5
    649 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: London, UK

    I will be brutally honest and admit that I don’t really see why you feel it is so important to be engaged right now. Granted, I am biased because I personally don’t see the point in being engaged if it’s not with the intention of planning a wedding – I don’t really get why people see engagement as a placeholder. I don’t see what it changes about a relationship, UNLESS being officially engaged is the trigger you need to pull to start to plan a wedding.

    My fiance and I got engaged in November, aged 27 and 26 after being together nearly 8 years. The reason we waited is because realistically, when you live together and know you are going to stay together, being ‘officially engaged’ changes literally nothing. So we decided to wait until we were in the right place (financially and mentally) to actually plan a wedding. 

    As I said, this all comes from a very biased perspective so I’m by no means saying I’m right and you’re wrong. Just maybe think about what being engaged is actually going to mean (if anything), if you are not going to be actually getting married or planning a wedding for a long time yet.

    In terms of your dad, well, all I can say is that if you feel you need a) approval from your dad and b) validation from the Internet to get happily engaged, maybe you’re not as certain about all this as you think you are? 

    Post # 6
    236 posts
    Helper bee

    It seems you have a very idealistic view of getting engaged.  If you decide to get engaged now because a half decade of dating sounds nice or your friends are doing it, how do you plan on paying for school?  Will you stop going? Take out loans and therefore enter a marriage with huge debt that could have 100% been avoided?  Neither if these options show maturity or stability.  If you plan on getting married in 4 years regardless, waiting to graduate and having a 2 year engagement makes so much sense.  You will both complete your educations, enter the workforce, and be financially indepedent.  Your only reason for wanted a four year engagement is because you think it is romantic.  You sound very immature-  and I don’t mean that as an insult- you’re 21!  You brain is literally still growing at this point.  Your first step towards engagement should be more long term thinking rather than what you want “now”.

    Post # 7
    5166 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2018

    This situation gets muddled when you are expecting your dad to financially support you while claiming you are an adult and wanting to do whatever you want.

    Personally I would be massively against my kid getting engaged at just gone 21.  It is too young to be legally tied to someone in my opinion and I say that as someone who is going on to marry the guy I was dating at 18.

    If your friends are getting married at 20/21 after dating for a year then let them but do not be jealous, in all likelihood it will not be the best decision they will ever make.  Ignore your girlfriends family who are pressuring you to get engaged, you are both incredibly young and still in college and I think it is totally irresponsible to pressure you into thinking you need to get married right now.

    At the end of the day you either go ahead with your plan to be an adult and get engaged right now and accept the consequences, which is your dad no longer financially supporting you.  You can’t demand to be an adult and get married yet still expect your dad to treat you like a dependent child and bankroll you.  Or you finish college, move out, support yourselves and then get engaged. 

    I would recommend the second, if you don’t plan on even considering getting married for 4 years then frankly what is the point in getting engaged?  Will it really negatively affect your life that much by delaying for 2 years? Will anything actually change?

    Post # 8
    1235 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2019

    The best advice I got at 21 was, you have the rest of your life. Take your time. There’s no need to rush! Enjoy where you are in your life right now, without rushing for the next thing.

    Now did I listen, of course not. I was 21, I knew absolutely everything including that I didn’t know everything, while simultaniously knowing everything. 

    Take the advice. You have the rest of your life, if it’s going to happen it will happen. Let it happen in the right timing, don’t force it to fit some idea in your head about when things are supposed to happen. Wait till you are graduated and can support yourself.

    Post # 9
    3734 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    I agree with the rest of the posters. There is no rush other than you’ve gotten it in your head that getting engaged at 21 would be nice. If you aren’t planning on getting married for 3-4 years anyway then I dont see the point. You can still show your commitment for each other in other ways. Just enjoy being together. If you’re relying so much on your parents money  then that shows you really aren’t ready for marriage. Your parents are being very generous by paying for your schooling, but as you’re seeing, money usually comes with strings attached. Finish school and then propose. 

    Post # 10
    29 posts
    • Wedding: October 2019

    I’d personally suggest holding off for awhile.  You are not the same person today that you will be at 24 or 25 or 26 and have entered the workforce, and neither will they.

    My fiancee and I had a “rule”: no engagement before age 25. No. Matter. What.  The human brain isn’t developed until age 25, so we didn’t want to make such an important decision that would impact us emotionally, financially, spiritually, physically, professionally, socially, etc. before our brains were even fully developed. So I proposed closer 26.

    My sister, on the other hand, HAD to be engaged by 20. And HAD to be married by 23. And she LOVED the guy, so why wait?  She’s 24 now, has a 1 year old they didn’t plan, and is headed for a divorce. (Not everyone young ends up like this, I know, but this is just an example.)

    Just wait. Become the person you’re supposed to be and allow your partner the ability to do the same.  Get engaged at the most suitable time, not just a suitable time. If you’re already committed like you suggested you are, then just wait.

    Post # 11
    6257 posts
    Bee Keeper

    View original reply
    nz488 :  I also agree with the others; there are a lot of excellent reasons not to get engaged at 21. 

    But I did want to point out that your father’s reasons are utterly terrible (as are several of your own).  When the time comes, do NOT allow him to stall you from getting engaged because Random Cousin #2 still hasn’t pulled it off. That’s not how this works.

    Have you considered just doing a promise ring for the time being?  While I personally don’t understand them (sounds exactly like an engagement ring to me), it could be the compromise you need right now with dad.

    Post # 11
    1435 posts
    Bumble bee

    There is no real rush at 21 to get married asap. Feeling you need to rush it so young is a sign of immaturity. Even if you two were engaged nothing would change. I imagine you still wouldn’t live together and would still finish school. So there is really no point in getting engaged until you are actually going to be combining households, living together, and planning a wedding. 

    If you aren’t financially independent enough to be paying and taking care of your own apartment, school, food, trasportation etc. than you also have no business being engaged or married. Getting engaged and married is an adult life step. You should actually be an independent adult before you do that. Also being engaged based on some random idea of how being engaged at a half a decade sounds good? Super immature. 

    Finish school, then get engaged. 

    Post # 12
    762 posts
    Busy bee

    Regardless of whether your dad’s opinion is reasonable, it seems sensible to me to wait until you and your fiance are financially independent from your parents. I would bet he wouldn’t be opposed to your engagement once the two of you are able to support yourselves, and even if he still is, he wouldn’t be able to hold it over you.

    Post # 13
    4615 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    View original reply
    zzar45 :  I agree completely.  

    OP, I would finish your masters program first and if you and your S.O. are ready to be engaged afterward, when you’re both able to financially support yourselves, then think about getting engaged.  D.H. and I started dating at 18 and got engaged after we finished our graduate programs (at 26).  I don’t regret waiting to get engaged one bit.  My sister almost married her high school boyfriend, but decided to wait when my father told her that he wouldn’t pay for her college if she did.  She decided that financial support was more important and, not saying this will happen to you, she and her high school boyfriend later broke up, so it really was all for the best.  Study hard, build your career, and enjoy your relationship!  If the two of you are right for each other, waiting another two years to be engaged won’t change that. 

    Post # 14
    23 posts
    • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

    I personally think you should actually live/move in together before being engaged. Living together for a few weeks is not the same as living with your significant other. It should also be your own space (i.e. no other roommates) so you could really gauge into the future to see how if would work. If you’re not financially ready to make that step, then an engagement should wait. Once things like expenses, bills and real life is incorporated into the relationship, that is the real way to see if you’re ready to be in that kind of comitted relationship. You also change a lot in your mid 20s. What you want now may not be what you want in 3-4 years. If you’re able to both grow together, then that is an excellent sign of a healthy and mature relationship. But ultimately it’s up to you.

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