After five and a half years of dating, it’s hard to avoid the subject of marriage. I admit, we bring it up among ourselves enough. We actually already have names for our first girl and boy (although we have no idea if kids are a thing we want). My parents have been very patient, hardly saying a word. This last time they were around was the biggest hint they’ve ever given us. Talking with distant relatives, one asked how long we’ve dated. After we gave our answer, eyebrows rose and my dad said something along the lines of “I know. Most people are… you know… by now.”
Yes. We know.
If you ask me, our reasons for not being married at this moment can be summed up in one statement. Now is not the right time. There will never be a perfect time, but I’m still in no rush.
My darling boyfriend briefly mumbled something about knowing a lot of people our age in unhappy marriages or who have already gotten a divorce. One of my good friends is divorced. I saw many friends get married right after college and for more than one, I wanted to beg them not to go through with it. They may have done well in a few years, but right then…. what did they know of the world? No matter how many years you’ve been dating, there is such thing as too young (or at least too immature).
The answer we got was that we can’t let the failure of other young marriages scare us out of our own marriage.
That seems a little…. presumptuous. Why should my boyfriend and I think our love is any greater or any more lasting than any other 20-something in love? Certainly there’s nothing wrong with us waiting, finding some stability for ourselves and defining who we want to be as individuals before jumping into matrimony.
Personally, I think stats about young marriage are worth reflection. Should they be what makes our ultimate decision? No. Are they worth consideration before jumping in? Yes.
I meet too many people who put a time limit on their relationship. Honest to God I once met a woman who said if marriage wasn’t at least being seriously discussed after 18 months of dating, she was done. While I somewhat understand wanting to find “the one,” I can’t help wondering if it’s worth rushing. This particular girl was a bit religious and I wonder if that had something to do with it.
We all have our own paths. What’s right for one is not always right for the other. For some, waiting until marriage may be just what they need. For others, it may result in necessary rushing. How many youngsters remember confusing physical attraction for love? There’s a difference, but it can be hard to define if you’re inexperienced.
I don’t think we should all feel such pressure to follow the same path. We’re not all made to get married, have 2.5 kids and be merry. Some of us need a different kind of adventure, and that’s okay (it is also perfectly okay to desire a traditional life).
My boyfriend knows I won’t be satisfied without marriage eventually. We talk openly and know where we both stand. When the time is right, we’ll take that step.
Can two people date too long? Are there any universal rules of dating and marriage in terms of length? If you’re married, how did you know the time was right? Or did you just jump in?
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