Yup same here. Dated from age 16 to my 23rd birthday (I broke it off on my birthday-best thing I ever did for myself).
Originally Posted by Jo
I'm currently 28 and been dating my SO (30 years old) for 4 years. We will be getting engaged within the next several months or so (we've discussed). The SO finished grad school this past fall and I will finish in the spring. Grad school has "delayed" our engagement/marriage later than our friends, who married from ages 26-28, but we're the only couple with graduate degrees in our group. So I think graduate school can definitely delay when you get married.
Most of our friends (actually all) met in university and dated 2-3 years before getting engaged. Engagements lasted about 1.5 years.
Growing up my father said I shouldn't get married until after the age of 27 or so because before then there are so many changes and growing up. In his opinion by your later twenties people usually know themselves better, are more established and will be better able to select a suitable mate for a good marriage. I think I agree with my dad, at least in my case.
I'm 31. Never married and no kids. Keep in mind this is all anecdotal. Several friends and acquaintances of mine married in their early 20s. Every single one of them was divorced within a short time, generally 1-2 years or less. Most of them are now in their second marriages and have kids, and it seems to be going more successfully this time. The people I know who had kids in their early 20s seem to have ended up as mostly single parents and struggling financially. Overall, it appears to be the done thing, and it also appears that it probably should not be. The people who waited until they were over 25 to marry and have kids seem to be doing much better.
More anecdotes, but the people I knew who did NOT go to much in the way of college and married young (early twenties) are still successfully married, the ones who married right after college are mostly divorced at least once, except the one who waited until she was 32. Some of the divorced ones are on their second or third marriages. I've just given up. I don't WANT to be single, but I also don't want to settle for whatever is available and breathing.
I can count past ten, how many girls I went to HS/graduated HS with that now have at least one kid. All 23 or younger. Most aren't married. Better than marrying & then divorcing a short while later, but still... Quite young for kids and marriage!
I'm 20 and never even had a proper boyfriend yet. :/
All I can say is that it makes me feel old, seeing my "young" friends get married. I always think, you're only 23/24!
I think there are endless ways to a successful (or unsuccessful, for that matter) life. I got married my junior year of college, was pregnant when I graduated, attended grad school with a toddler in tow. I have a wonderful career, amazing family, we are very comfortable financially, and our kids are happy, independent, healthy, and such a joy. My husband and I have grown together - you do have to accept that in any marriage there will be cycles of utter joy and boredom, goo-goo eyed love and resentment. It's like any long-term relationship - the love is always there, but the like comes and goes to some extent. Anyway, I'm sure there wasn't a lot of confidence that our marriage would last way back when, but so far, so good. I have lots of friends who started out in a more mature way (grown, employed and all) who are divorced. I have other friends who got married as already pregnant teenagers who have great marriages. There are no guarantees either way, really.
I think I've bucked the trend of my high school friends. I can't think of one that isn't at least married. Most have kids.
My college friends are way different. Out of my close group, 3 are married with kids. The other 3 (plus me) aren't married.
But I'm also different than my friends. I've been with my SO for 10 years, living together for the last year and a half. We started dating in my senior year of college, then we both went to grad school in different states. The long distance sucked but I was lucky to get a job near him after grad school. I finished grad school before him but he got a a job with the university after he finished his Masters. I've been a bit impatient the last couple years but we've been talking about marriage and kids.
My point is that everyone moves at their own pace. Don't compare yourself to your friends. It just makes you feel like something's wrong with you (BTDT).
I so agree with KatyB. You can grow up and prepare all you want for marriage and still fail at it. I got married at 18. 8yrs later we had a baby. Now 13yrs into my marriage, I am head over heels in love with my husband at the age of 31. I did not go to college, pursued a failed horse career, but so happy my husband supported that goal of mine, I'm now a stay at home mom and though I never wanted kids, can't stand other people's kids, I am completely content with my life. My husband started college, dropped out for a few years, started again, and I'm proud to say he now has a masters degree, worthless expensive piece of paper it is, but he accomplished his goal.
My brother, 21, and my sister, 20, both got engaged in the past few months. My brother has a good welding job, his fiancé is finishing up college for a dental assistant, I see a good marriage there, they plan a year long engagement or so. My sister gets her bachelors in May but is pursuing more school to be a physical therapist, her fiancé has a good job with 7-Up, but is wanting o go air force if he can ever lose the weight... Personally since they got engaged we don't like him as much as he's shown true colors of being a dead beat control freak and I hope my sister who is pretty independent wakes up to it before its too late. But hey, she could blow up and he figure it out!
I actually think late 20s is late for most people to get married. 18 might be too young... LOL. But it worked for us, it was not easy, but I don't think it would have been any different to get married in my 30s, we grew up together. You have to work hard or your marriage sometimes, and other times it's smooth sailing. I'm an independent woman, he gives me that freedom, he's never stood in my way of a dream or goal, and I don't stand in the way of his, though I might roll my eyes often... :)
Marriage for us is great and I don't regret our young marriage. The years have flown by.
Most of my high school friends got married early. I only know one that is divorced, and boy was she warned before marriage about the guy she married. She had some thick rose colored glasses on for that one! I have a lot of single girlfriends still that are very happy. Though they lose a lot of guys to being too independent and shutting them out too much. Being independent works just fine in a marriage, but guys like to feel needed, so sometimes ou have to remember to just fake it... :P
I agree completely. Despite using birth control correctly, I became pregnant before getting married. I eventually did marry the father of my child, and we're still happily married, but I felt that the decision to have the baby, and the decision to marry DH were both things that needed to be decided on their own merits. Much to DH's dismay. He'd apparently already decided to propose before I became pregnant, but I told him flat out that he wasn't allowed to ask while I was pregnant :lol:
Originally Posted by FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Anyhow, I was 25 when my son was born, and got married not long after that. And DH and I were on the early side in our group of close friends. A few of us have kids that are similiar in age, but most of my friends my age seem to have kids that are four or younger, while my son is now 9.
Originally Posted by Emily&Jake
I'm glad I'm not the only one. I had one HS boyfriend (had more ask me out but was never interested in them) but we mutually broke up when I went 14.5 hours away for college. Casually dated a great guy freshman year but he transferred. Was in a relationship for almost a year my sophomore (to a lying, egotistical asshat... can you tell I'm bitter?). Even though it was almost a year long, I wouldn't really call it a serious relationship.
It seems like most of the guys who are interested in me are either creepers or too old (I'm amazed at the number of 40+ year olds who have claimed they would love to date me :eek: Sorry, not happening...)
I know someone is out there... I just have to be in the right place. I don't think the South is that place haha. Most guys at at my school want the cute little blonde southern belle's. I'm not blonde and I'm definitely not a southern belle :lol:
I think this thread is demonstrates pretty well how readiness/outright desire for marriage and relationships vary. Some young women are ready to get married, have kids, and be settled at 22, others have not had their first boyfriends yet.
This doesn't mean either way is wrong. Unless your young friends are truly endangering their lives or their children's lives, you should trust them to make the right decisions for themselves. I have plenty of friends that got married in their early 30s who struggled with the exact same issues that my young newlywed friends dealt with.
Most of my friends around my age (I'm 30) were married in their mid-to-late 20's.
I don't think it makes a difference; if it's a good match, it's a good match!
I was married last year, at age 29. However, we have been together since we were 18.
Probably people would have said we were crazy if we got married when we were 19/20, etc. Although I did have MANY people make comments such as "why do you want to get married now? You've already been together 10+ years!" or "I knew a couple who dated for 15 years and then they got married and got divorced a year after that". ???
Every situation/relationship is different. Just give your best wishes to everyone and live your life the way you want to!
Most of my friends went to law/med school or grad school and didn't get married till mid 20s. A couple of girls I know are getting married in their early 20s and having kids....but they didn't go to a 4yr college. People I graduated HS with are just now starting to have kids around 32. I got married at 29 and no kids by choice (I was just finishing grad school).
So I guess its a trend based on schooling/goals not so much changing as a person, though I am SO glad I waited till I was out of college to seriously date. Met SO/DH at 25.
I also think it really depends on where you live and whether or not you went to college. I grew up in the suburbs and got married at 25 and was among the first to get married who went to college. DH grew up in a small town and I'd say half his graduating class was married by the time they turned 22. As far as my college friends, I was the first to get married... DH and I had been together 5 years and had been living together pretty much that entire time so we figured it was about time to make is official.
I think we are twins. I go to college in MS and about 10 people i know got engaged/married/pregnany this year...I haven't had a relationship in 2 years and am NO WHERE near that yet! I just want to get to accepted to vet school!
Originally Posted by Milocalwinnings
And I just got asked out by one of my dad's coworker's sons...who is almost 30. Not that I mind an age difference...but no thanks to this guy.
Meanwhile...I'll just be at my barn and playing with my pony instead of going out at college.
I married my ex-husband at 25 after 5 years of dating. Marriage lasted about 7 years before I found out about his year-long affair with a younger married woman. Hired an attorney that same week. Thankfully no kids with ex.
Married my DH when I was 35, and we now have 2 kids. I am almost 40, and NONE. NONE. of my close college friends have married, let alone have kids. Most of my other high school and college acquaintances also married later and have kids under age 5. Many of my friends from medical school and residency married late and only just now are starting to have kids. My brother and his wife, both attorneys, married at 35 and didn't have their first kid until 38.
All that's anecdotal, but the national trend is marriage later and kids later.
I'm 22, one of my friends from HS are engaged, no surprise though they dated for years, but there are a fair amount of people who I knew very casually, are married, engaged, pregnant, have kids. I personally couldn't imagine being there right now. I'm single, and just starting college (took me awhile to decide what I wanted to do), I have a friend that I could see myself dating one day, but there are some other things that go on with that so who knows. My sister is 21, and she had been dating her BF for a couple years, and my family can see them getting married one day, I think they can see it as well. They are both in school, and a rule was made for our sister and I when we were little, no marriage before we are 25, which we are both just fine with!
I have no problem with young people wanting to get married and have a family. I mean, we are biologically adapted to breed young!