@Pearlsnboots: Since you said you were interested in people’s experience and advice I am going to give it to you. My experience is that my goals at 19 changed a heck of a lot from that time until now (25). I knew I wanted to marry my Fiance when I was your age, right around the time you’re at now. However, just wanting to marry him wasn’t good enough for me. Even though I KNEW (as did he) that we wanted to get married, the timing was not right. I thought the right time would be after Fiance got a job, then I realized I needed longer. I wanted to finish college first. Then I realized that not only did I want to finish college, I also wanted to have my career. Fiance agreed with me. Our goals changed together, not apart (as they VERY well could have) Had he wanted to get married before I reached my goals I don’t know what I’d have done.
Let me tell you, LIFE changes a LOT from college to career. You have more stress than college, you’re juggling more, and your actions have more consequences. This is probably nothing new to you. I’m sure you’re aware of it, but the truth of the matter is, you and your Boyfriend or Best Friend will either grow with each other as you venture out of college and into the real world or you will grow despite the other, and will realize you are no longer capatable. It is anyone’s guess how it will turn out. Only you are the ones who can try to predict that.
Fiance and I could have easily gotten engaged at 19, married at 20/21, and still be together now. Honestly though, it is just as likely that had we gotten married at 20/21 we would no longer be together because I’m pretty sure my parents would have financially cut me off. Not because I got married, but since that, as a MARRIED adult, I should be reliant on myself and my husband… not my parents. I’m not sure that, at that age, Fiance and I could have supported ourselves fully. That would have probably caused a lot of stress on our relationship that we were not yet mature enough to handle.
If you’re already paying for your own college, rent, food, car, gas, bills, health insurance, etc. and so is your Boyfriend or Best Friend, then you’re a step ahead of me, and had I been in a situation like that, I might have made other calls. However, to ME, being independant of ANYONE (even FI) was extremely important. I wanted to have my college education AND have my career before I got married. Your parents are probably just looking out for you, and want to make sure you’re making choices you’ll be happy with in the long run. My parents never knew I was considering getting engaged at 19, but like you, I knew they’d be disappointed with my choice had I gone through with it. I thought about WHY they would be disappointed, and it led me to several of the conclusions above. They knew I would change a lot from 19-25, they knew that my goals would change, they knew that my Fiance would change. It was not that they doubted our love or commitment, they would just want me to really understand more than just the love part of marriage.
You’ll either ultimately agree with your parents’ fears (if you didn’t think they would have any, then I don’t think you’d be afraid to break it to them) or you’ll disagree. If you think your parents might have some valid fears, it is a sign of a mature adult to consider them all. Don’t let emotions blind you from that. If, in the end, you’re still resolved in your choice, then you’ll know that you’re making the best choice for you and have thought it out. (Only YOU can know what is best for you and your relationship) Then, if people question your relationship down the line, you’ll know that you’ve considered all the angles and options, and have made the best choice for you.
And no, I am not telling you to wait. I am telling you to consider why your parents might be disappointed and face those reasons head on -before- talking to your parents. If, after that, you feel marriage is the best choice for you right now, then I think you’ve a pretty good base to talk to your parents on.