Will you marry me?
At some point in her life, every girl dreams of hearing these four words. Usually, she expects that question to be accompanied by a diamond ring too. But, when is the ideal time to get that bling and answer that question?
As of 2012, the average age for a man to pop the question is about 28 and women are saying “Yes” around age 26, according to marriage.about.com.
Twenty years ago, men were 26.5 and women were 24.5 years old when they decided to tie the knot.
However, I am going against the norm and getting married at 21. I got engaged shortly before my 20th birthday, when I was 19. Because Americans are getting married older, when I announced my engagement to my family and friends, I faced a lot of backlash.
Aside from the usual, “You’re too young” spiels, I heard, “Well, don’t you want to live your life?” I received disapproving looks and sarcastic “good lucks” too.
I can see everyone’s hesitancy on the topic since we live in a culture in which more than 50 percent of marriages fail and Hollywood marriages are considered successful if they last six weeks, let alone six years.
But, facing piles of negativity from people who I thought would support me has made me wonder if my marriage will fail. Then I remember that I am not my critics. Just because their marriages or their friends’ marriages failed does not doom mine.
Am I ready to get married at 21? Probably not, but who really is, even at 28? I like to think I am more prepared for marriage after a two-year engagement than I would have been after just a one-year or shorter engagement though.
There is a different dynamic to being engaged compared to dating. There is more commitment, just like there is more commitment in a marriage than there is in an engagement.
Any relationship takes work.
The amount of work you and the other are willing to put into the relationship will determine its success, not society.