- 9 years ago
Greetings everyone! I am a long-time lurker, first-time poster, but I am so happy to have found this lovely and supportive community and now I have a question of my own.
I am 22 years old (and 23 next month); my boyfriend is 24. Both of us are master’s students in England (he is from here originally, and I am American), and we met in September (so we have known each other about 8/9 months). I could not adore him more; he is impossibly kind, gracious, supportive and generous, and not only do I love him but I know he will make a responsible and faithful husband and father.
For a few months now we have been seriously discussion the notion of an engagement, and I know he has bought a ring so now it is only a matter of time (!!). Despite the fact that I’m profoundly rational–some might even say to a fault–I have no doubts about our relationship and the direction it’s going. I don’t feel like I’ve been swept away by romance, although every day with him is a joy: I know marrying him is a responsible, right decision for me.
I am still nervous, however, about telling my family. He came home to the States last month to meet them, and my usually skeptical family (usually “He’s not good enough for you” usually sums up their logic about the men I have associated with in the past) fell in love. In fact, I suspect I am playing second fiddle these days! Before they met him, no one wanted to come visit me in England; now they all want to come to see him! There were many jokes about him looking for real estate so he could move there, and even my mother (who still believes I’m about 15 years old–I’m her baby!) has been talking weddings (he is Greek, and she was laughing about my childhood dream of a backyard wedding going completely down the tubes as 500 Mediterraneans probably won’t fit comfortably in our garden). To say the least, I was blown away by their enthusiasm.
Still, I am faced with the fact that I am only 22 years old, and I fear that when marriage becomes a serious topic my family will have some concerns about this point. Granted, I will have my master’s degree in a few months, and I have lived away from home for five years now at school in one place or another (and I have some modest savings, but I have never had to work during a school year). I feel ready to settle down–I have done way too much traveling and living abroad in my life, and I am kind of ready for those sorts of adventures to end! On that level, marriage seems like a reasonable thing, and I know they won’t object to him as a partner.
It isn’t practical for a variety of reasons to wait, largely due to immigration issues–even if I hop on the visa paperwork as soon as I move back home, we won’t be able to be married for probably a year and a half. So maybe for this reason my relationship has moved at an accelerated pace, but I suspect I wouldn’t feel any different about wanting to marry him if he lived just down the street.
Ultimately, my question is: How can I prepare myself more completely for this conversation with my family? Do I need to warn them ahead of time or, since I’m so sure about my plan to get engaged, should I just do it and ask forgiveness if it’s received badly? What angles and arguments have I not considered that might be lobbed at me by skeptical family members? Would you all make the assertion that I am “too young” to be married?