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DearSugar Needs Your Help: I'm Ready to be Engaged!

DearSugar Needs Your Help: I'm Ready to be Engaged!

DearSugar and Impatient Isla need your help. Everyone around her is getting engaged and she wants to jump on the bandwagon, but her boyfriend isn't ready to pop the question. They had agreed to wait until all their ducks were in a row, but she's getting impatient. Do you have any advice for her?

Dear Sugar,

I am only 21, but it feels like everyone around me is either engaged or getting engaged! My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year but he doesn't see us getting engaged for at least another year or two. This is what I felt made sense, but now that all my friends are getting engaged, I can't help but want that too! What can I do to make myself believe again that waiting is the right thing to do? We want to be completely secure in our relationship, pay for a nice wedding, and he wants to be able to buy me the ring of my dreams, but all I want to do is get married now! Please help me! — Impatient Isla


pixelhaze pixelhaze 8 years
Ditto to the majority of the comments above. Though I don't think 21 is too young to get married, you are coming off as a little immature. You've both agreed that you will be engaged and married someday, so what's the rush? You're going to be together for the rest of your lives, so take this time now to get everything in order to prepare for that life together, at the very least you should wait until the economy is better. At 21, are you both out of college with jobs? Many marriages break up over money matters, and you definitely want to start yours on the right foot. You're going to be spending an insane amount of money on wedding gifts for your friends, be glad you're not also paying for your own reception. And hey, if you wait, all your friends will be able to buy you better gifts, since they'll have been working longer by then ;) **that last sentence was meant as a joke**
clareberrys clareberrys 8 years
There's a song about's a country song called "You're gonna miss this" and you should listen to it. I am in a similar boat as well. I am 22 and my bf is 25 and we have lived together for 1.5 years. We know we are going to get married someday, just don't know when yet. We have a lot to accomplish before that day. That said, a lot of people I know are getting engaged recently. Two of my coworkers just got engaged. One of them is only 1 year older than me and had only been with her bf for 1 year. The other is 24 and had been with her bf for 8 years. They are constantly showing their rings and talking about wedding planning and sometimes it gets annoying. BUT I know that neither of us are ready to get married just yet. I think the idea of a wedding and a ring is very misleading because that's not what marriage is at all. I know it's hard to see that around you, but just be happy with what you have. At least you have a loving boyfriend who has been long term. Most of my girlfriends are single and are in the (awful) dating scene. Just enjoy your time together now and if you guys are meant to get married it will happen.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
Chill. Next you'll want a house... a baby.. etc., etc.,
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
I just wanted to comment that statistically speaking, the younger you are when you get engaged, the more chance you have of divorcing. I think this is because when you are young you don't entirely know yourself as well as you could yet and you have not experienced a variety of partners, so you do not know who will be the best type of life partner for you. Believe me, when I was 21 I thought I really knew myself well. Guess what? I changed A LOT between then and now (I am 32 now). My taste in men also changed as a result of several long term relationships. So, if he is truly the man you want to be with forever, then a few years will not make any difference. In all of my long term relationships, I have felt that I never really began to know the person until we were together for at least a year and a half. So what happens if you rush into marriage in order to compete with your friends and regret it a couple years down the road? Marriage is not a competition or a way to feel superior to others, it is a serious life long commitment that you should be certain is the right decision. Please consider what I have said.
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 8 years
Let me preface by saying: I got married at 21, am still happily married, and don't regret our decision. We also dated for one year before and did not live together. However, I was lucky. So many of my friends that got married at 21 are on their 2nd and 3rd marriages. I'd venture to say that the percentage is about 75% that are no longer married to the person they were married to at 21. Be wise. Don't be a lemming. Have a plan; stick to it. When it comes down to it, my relationship with my hubbie wasn't different after we'd said "I do." Just keep nurturing your relationship and it won't matter when you get married...
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
I think Bubbly and Sunnyheart gave really helpful responses. I think you know it's not rational to JUST want to get married because everyone else is, however, it's difficult not to feel jealous of something that you don't/can't have. It's normal and natural. I think writing a list of things to do before getting engaged sounds like a great idea, as is throwing yourself into your friend's wedding plans! I'm in the same boat really, I'm 23, and I'm still at uni, completing my masters. I KNOW that I can't afford a wedding, a honeymoon and a house, I also know that I want more life experience, I want to travel, and have a stable job before I commit myself. That doesn't mean that I don't wish I was engaged, or living with my partner or whatever sometimes, but it's just not time for me yet, and it sounds like it's not time for you either. Think of how much more satisfying and special it will be, having waited, and done it at the right time, and the right reason, rather than rushing into things. Boring advice, but it's true! best of luck!
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I'm going to have to agree with everyone else here. Wait. Get to know yourself before you get married. I've changed so much since I was 21. Heck, I'm 26 now and still not ready to get married. I know it seems like everyone around you is getting married... it seems that way to me too. I also know several people I went to school with are already on their second marriage. Sometimes a few more years really is worth the wait.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 8 years
i think in a few years you'll realize what a waste of time it is to keep thinking about this instead of enjoying your life~! do things that make yourself happy, and be kind to your boyfriend if you love him so much. its going to be more fun when he is ready, he's in charge, and you're surprised!!
sarah100682 sarah100682 8 years
Not to throw in some psycho-babble here, but a persons brain does not finish fully developing until about age 22-23, and before that time, no matter how mature you are for your age, you can't make completely good decisions because your brain is not finished growing, you just aren't equiped to do that yet. I think that you will be surprised when you look back at your life when you are 26-27 years old, and you will see how much you have changed in those years. The problem is, your changing and his changing as you grow into your mid-20's could make you guys naturally drift apart and want different things. And maybe you will grow and change for the better in your relationship. I had several friends get married around your age, all but one couple is seperated or divorced, and the couple that is together still, honestly, if it weren't for the kids they decided to pop out right away, they probably wouldn't still be together. I know it's hard to read what we have to say and think that some of us who have been there and are now older know exactly how you feel, but trust me, we do, or at least I do...and as AWESOME of an idea as I thought it would be then, I realize now how wrong I was. One day you will look back, reguardless of if you two are still together or not, and will say "They were right".
sarah100682 sarah100682 8 years
I remember when I was 21, thought I was in love and knew wrong I was! Luckily, I didn't get my way and didn't get to get engaged and married. I don't mean this critically, but when you are 21, you think you know everything. The reality is, no matter how mature you think you are, and how ready you think you are to get married, most likely you aren't. Sure, people get married at 21 and are happy and stay married, but the fact that you are basing alot of your decision of wanting to get married now on the fact that you see so many of your friends doing it, proves that you have some growing up to do. And no matter if you are 21, 31 or 41, only dating someone for a year, is not a long time, it takes longer than that to really get to know someone. Almost all of the guys I have dated, at the year mark, I would have thought we would get married and it would be great, which is alot of the reason we continued to date. I later realized I was wrong. I know you are not going to like hearing this, but even though you are over 18, you are still a kid in alot of ways. Don't worry, if you two are meant to be, you will be, and that being the case, why not wait? Wouldn't you rather date for another year or so then make a bad decision that only lawyers and $$ can fix?
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Guys, I hear a lot of "I'm 21 also and I'm panicking". Try 29 and add to that wanting to have a baby. If it's not with "the one," it's not worth anything... even if it is, marriage is worth waiting for...
lily3484 lily3484 8 years
Age aside, I can say I have been in a similar situation. Actually, last summer, my "dear sugar" was up here about awaiting an engagement. I know what it is like to be envious of other people getting engaged. If you pressure a guy to marry you, you are already starting on the wrong foot. It is important that BOTH of you are secure in your relationship and ready to take on this huge committment. I think its great that your BF is taking this seriously. Think about it...would you want someone to marry you because they felt like it was something they had to do or would you like someone to committ to you because they feel it is forever. I knwo the waiting game is no fun but I can proudly say that having the peace of mind that my man is SURE of his decision makes me feel secure. He proposed around the holidays and it was worth the wait :o) You will have your moment.
mix-tape mix-tape 8 years
Some people are being a little harsh here! I get that sense of almost panic when you do see everyone around you flashing their rings. I am 21 also, my best friend just got married, a lot of other friends are engaged, etc. It's annoying when they haven't been dating as long as you either! Like someone said before, they just have different priorities. At least you are in a serious, committed relationship with the strong prospect of eventually marrying that person. You do seem like a mature adult that realizes her irrational thoughts. I blame this on the girl instincts to settle down and have kids. It's almost impossible to avoid haha. Keep yourself in mind and continue school. Don't sabotage a perfectly good relationship on wanting to be a bride too soon! It will be worth the wait, maybe you will be the one being envied in the future when you have a successful marriage!
emososays17 emososays17 8 years
Take it down a notch, sweetie, before you scare this guy away!
Hex Hex 8 years
In reading the rest of the comments I'm seeing a lot of "oh, but that's harsh" I refuse to sugarcoat the fact that she is acting like a brat. I'm not going to validate her by giving her a pat on the back and I'm glad that a significant portion of posters aren't going this route. Sunnyheart has given a LOT of wonderful advice, and I hope the OP attempts some of these things because you really do need to become your own person.
Hex Hex 8 years
Wow. Are you really in such a hurry to screw everything up? Let me get this right he is on board with eventually getting hitched, but wants to wait so he can give you everything YOU want.. and that's not good enough. I truly hope this guy abandons ship, fast. You would make a wretched wife. You remind me of Veruca Salt in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory "I want it NOW!!"
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Oh, honey. You're 21. When I was your age, I'd been with the same guy for 7 years, and I knew he was the one. He wasn't. You're clearly not mature enough to be considering marriage. Your reasons are incredibly childish. You want to be a bride, not a wife. Being married is not about being the center of attention and being princess for a day.
green-socks green-socks 8 years
The advice here is the right thing, just presented a little harshly, I feel. Recognizing that it seems irrational is a good thing. It doesn't make it easier, though. At least in my experience. As a 25 year old that's been with her boyfriend for 5 years, yes, it's been hard seeing my friends go from meeting someone to getting married all in less time than we've been dating. Sometimes I feel like I missed something -- like they figured out some secret that I don't know. But the fact is (and i have to remind myself of this often), usually they are couples with different priorities than we have. We want to finish separate Masters programs, and that's our priority. For some friends, finishing highschool and starting a family was priority. It's something that I can always see after a while, but it doesn't help in the heat of the moment. What I will say has really helped me is keeping an open dialogue with my boyfriend about it. When I have the holy-crap-why-haven't-we-done-this-yet freakout it's better for me to tell him than keep it bottled up. It was kind of hard at first. I didn't want to sound like I was more upset that we weren't wedding planning. I don't care about the wedding. What I realized (after many many talks) was that I felt like we weren't on quite the same path, and that bothered me more than not actually being engaged. What was pushing my buttons more when I heard others were getting engaged was that it felt like they had it all figured out after a year or two, and we were still working on it. Silly, I know, because just because people get engaged quickly doesn't really mean they have it all figured out. Our solution has been to make goals together and really figure out what "getting our ducks in a row" means to us. So while you may want to get engaged because everyone else is doing it, I encourage you to really think about other reasons that you might be feeling the need to get engaged.
omilawd omilawd 8 years
You said yourself that you and your boyfriend are deciding to wait for specific reasons. Keep those in mind. It's what makes sense to you, and what makes sense logically.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
I'm going to be your tough-talking sister right now. Grow up! Engagement isn't something to do because everyone else is doing it. Seriously, is that how you see life? Everyone else is doing it, so I have to? What? The last thing you want is a man "forced into marriage" with you. Guess what? It doesn't last when it happens that way. Turn off the t.v. and stop reading magazines that make you feel as though engagements/marriages are trendy "things to do" and not life commitments that require maturity. Focus on becoming a well-rounded individual.
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
I know 11 divorced couples, and all of them were married between 19 and 22 years of age. Young marriage is no picnic, especially when you want to do it because of peer pressure. Or, as the majority of the couples I knew, to have sex w/o guilt. Anyway, as you grow up, you'll change a lot and what you want now very possibly won't be the same in 5 years. So keep that in mind. Also, your boyfriend has made it clear that he's not ready. Do you really want to push him into marrying you? I think it would suck to feel like the only reason I'm engaged is because I MADE him put a ring on my finger.
KadBunny KadBunny 8 years
My boyfriend and I are both 20 this year and we can't wait to get married. :) And we've been together for over two years. If we were together married right now I'm confident we would work out as a couple; we're both mature enough. Sounds crazy, I know, but we are. However, we're not rushing into it because we have an equal understanding that not only are we not ready (financially; and we're both still in school etc), but we're confident the other isn't going anywhere so why strap on the old ball and chain if you're crazy in love anyway? No piece of paper or magic ring should make a difference. There's no need to worry. Wouldn't you rather get the beautiful wedding when the time right? When that's going to be, who knows. But time will tell; it always does. Hang in there.
stephie25 stephie25 8 years
Wow, I can't help but feel like a lot of posters are being awfully mean. She realizes that she can't get engaged at this point because of the various reasons she stated. I'm glad you realize that you need to wait, and are looking for ways to deal with the urge to rush into it. It is natural to want to get married to someone you love, and have obviously talked to about getting married when everyone around you is doing it as well. You may only be 21, but clearly you are smart enough to realize it isn't right for you right this moment. My best advice is to be patient, and realize that you can't make decisions based on what your friends are doing. You have to do what is right for you. You are young, and have plenty of time to get married in a few years -- your young friends who are doing it now won't have a chance to turn back the clock and wait the way you. And they very well may regret it down the line.
sunnyheart sunnyheart 8 years
Haha writing this made me feel great about being single/not married. I'm going to go do some of these things myself right now.
Miss-Senorita Miss-Senorita 8 years
It's still time to get what you want its a little too early in your relationship and life to be wanting to walk down the aisle. But hey too each its own.
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