Should I Dump My Parents So I Can Get Married?

My boyfriend and I have been dating 7 months, and we’re now preparing to get engaged. I’m 21 and he’s 26. We’ve talked to both of our families about our intentions, and my boyfriend even asked my parents’ permission for my hand in marriage. We’ve made a special effort to get to know each other’s families, as we believe family intimacy is invaluable. We are both studying and have one year until we graduate so we can get full time work. However, my dad thinks that we’re not ready for marriage even though he gave us his blessing. He thinks we should wait, but we plan to get married in 6 months as our relationship is moving forward and to stop things would feel unnatural.

It’s a given we will struggle financially as students, but we’re determined and committed to each other. My boyfriend is my best friend. We share the same values and know where we are going in life. I couldn’t be happier when I am with him! My mum thinks that he isn’t handsome enough for me, which is upsetting – I think he is gorgeous. Am I caring too much about what others think? Do I need to ‘divorce my parents?’ I love them very much, but I fear I’m letting them intrude too much on our plans to get married. Yet I can’t let go of their opinions, and I feel it’s putting a strain on our relationship.

Sarah

Aw, man. I’m already afraid of becoming a parent. The dichotomy of trying to protect your kids and allow them to make their own mistakes; I don’t know how people do it.

And as much as I believe that you’re in a healthy relationship and want to side with you, I think your parents are right, and that “divorcing” them would be a big mistake.

Here’s why:

“Divorcing” your parents would be a big mistake.

You’re 21 years old.

You’re still in college.

You don’t have independent sources of income.

And, most importantly, YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET MARRIED NOW.

That, to me, is the big blind spot here.

Everything you write sounds like a rational adult woman, except for this one line: “Our relationship is moving forward and to stop things would feel unnatural.”

Really?

Couldn’t someone say that at 15 years old? Couldn’t someone say that after 2 months?

Just because going to church, signing papers, and throwing a party seems like a “natural” extension of the love you feel for each other, I will make the bold prediction that if you can hold out for 5 more years, absolutely NOTHING will change in your relationship.

And THEN you can get married, just as you plan to do right now.

If waiting that long makes you feel uneasy, ask yourself why.

Is it possible that your relationship will NOT be the same in 5 years?

Is it possible that you’re going to change and develop into a different woman?

Is it possible that he’s going to change and discover that he hasn’t had enough experience with other women?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

It’s all very possible.

If your relationship is solid, then there’s no risk in NOT getting married in your 20′s.

75% of marriages where the bride is under the age of 25 end in divorce.

ALL of them thought that they were mature enough to be married.

¾ of them were WRONG.

The truth is, if your relationship is solid, then there’s no risk in NOT getting married. You can move in together, start your careers, go through the ups and downs of being young adults in your 20’s, and then, when things stabilize, start a family.

But if you get married now, have a baby in 2 years, and struggle financially, odds are that your relationship will not be able to take the strain.

And if all of this logic isn’t getting through to you, let’s try it this way:

Remember when you were 16, Sarah? What did you know about life then?

NOTHING. And it was only 5 years ago.

The EXACT same thing will happen to you when you look back on 21-year-old Sarah in 5 years. And when 31-year-old Sarah reflects on 26-year-old Sarah. And so on.

I’ve been writing this blog for the 3½ years that happens to coincide with my relationship with my wife. I can’t even remember who I was five years ago!

You don’t need a wedding ring. You don’t need to lock him in. You don’t need a baby. If you think you do, it’s all because you’re afraid you’re going to lose him.

But if your relationship is that strong, you won’t lose him, right?

So don’t divorce your parents. Don’t do anything except get your degree, get a job, and agree to love each other unconditionally. Marriage will be there later.

Because while you’ll change and he’ll change over the next five years, the one thing that definitely WON’T change is marriage.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    E. Foley

    Ooof, I thought I wanted to marry the guy I was with from age 21-23. Then I grew up and realized that being in a long term relationship meant nothing if the person I was in it with was an a-hole. :-)
    31 year old E looks back at 23 year old E and is like… damn, girl. What were you THINKING??
    I *have* divorced my parents, but because of years of emotional abuse by my mom. After years of therapy, I’ve come to peace about that. Don’t divorce your parents over something as silly as a boy.

  2. 2
    Kat Wilder

    Hmm, gotta agree with Evan here. First of all, seven months isn’t long enough to really know someone. And, 21 is young to be getting married. Sure, people of my parents’ generation did that, but they also tended to stay married (many times, miserably). If you love each other, that love won’t lessen in a year or two; why not continue to explore knowing each other and yourselves (and it would be great to live by yourself for a while to truly “get” being alone) before making such a commitment? Parents aren’t always right, but neither are 21-year-olds.
    There’s no rush; in fact, you have a lifetime together, right?
     

  3. 3
    Goldie

    Oh Evan, where were you when I was 21?… I mean, I know you were in junior high – it’s a rhetorical question :D I was, if you would believe it, tired of the dating scene and bored of living just for myself. Wanted to have someone else in my life to take care of. All good reasons… but, in hindsight, not good enough to get married just based on that.
     
    To Sarah, do you know how many times your values, and the idea of where you’re going in life, are going to change between now and when you’re 30?… probably too many to count. Same goes for your boyfriend. Ten years from now, you both may find yourselves living next to a complete stranger that bears no resemblance to the 20-something kid you once married. That complete stranger may or may not still be your best friend – it’s a crap shoot.
     
    And, pragmatically speaking, at least my ex and I had the excuse that, in those day’s and place’s realities (Eastern Europe, early 90s), if we hadn’t gotten married, we wouldn’t have even been able to have a place to live together and would’ve probably ended up relocating to different geographical spots and never seeing each other again. In this day and age, when a couple can just rent an apartment, move in together, give it a few years to see if it works… there’s no excuse IMO to rush into marriage.
     
    Also, I really do not understand how you can “divorce” your parents when it appears from your post that you still depend on them financially. Basically the whole “marriage in 6 months” thing doesn’t look realistic or necessary to me from what I’ve read here.

  4. 4
    Kat Wilder

    And more more thing (sorry) Make sure you have a long, hard, very real discussion about kids — do we want them, when do we want them, who (if anyone) will stay home with them, etc. Most couples are unhappy in the relationship for the first year of a baby’s life (wonderful research about that from the Gottman Institute). In my experience, people who are not on the same page about kids are doomed as a couple (and, thus, as an intact family)

  5. 5
    Hadley Paige

     
    As I see it there is very little downside for a woman (even a 21 yr old) to get married. In fact, there are substantial financial incentives for a woman to get married. So what if she gets divorced later on? She will get ½ the assets and if she lives in a state like New York those assets will include the discounted present value of Husband’s lifetime future professional degree based income. Not insubstantial!
     
    I don’t agree with Evan who says “the truth is, if your relationship is solid, then there’s no risk in NOT getting married.” There is risk for her. This guy may be a real keeper. On track to being a high achieving, responsible, satisfying husband. AND he is willing to get married!–an increasingly rare state of affairs for a man. If she is married to him he will treat the relationship more seriously and view it as more long term. I believe this increases the likelihood of success of the LTR.
     
    If the guy is a keeper, she should move toward keeping him. One can always walk away from what one has, but the corollary is definitely not true. You cannot always grasp & keep what you want to have but do not.
     
    Evan cites the statistic “75% of women married under age 25 end up in divorce”. What is the statistic for women under the age of 25 having their non-marital live-in relationship break up        (probably much higher than 75%).
     
    The population of women married under age 25 might be not statistically representative of the population of women as a whole. For example, the under 25 married population may be skewed toward less education, more children, more smoking, more partying or a dozen other things that may have some negative correlation with marriage success. We have no idea how many of these and other factors may or may not apply to Sarah.
     
    In summary, for Sarah there could be much upside and little downside for her to get married (the issues of children not withstanding). Without additional facts I don’t think one can offer truly helpful particularized advice for her.
     
    And I say this will all due respect to Evan who in my opinion is a great dating coach who tells it like it is with humor and insight. Evan is not a marriage coach, he is a dating coach. I am not sure this posting is right on for this site.

  6. 6
    cindym7878

    The comment that stood out to me in your letter is about the relationship “stopping.”  Why do you feel it would stop?  Why not a long engagement if you both feel that is the next step?  I hate to say this, but you are definitely not mature enough to marry if you are even thinking about “divorcing” your parents over this.  They are only looking out for you.  Your mom is wrong in feeling your boyfriend isn’t attractive enough for you; she of all people should be more concerned with how this man treats you!  I think you need slow it down and realize there is no rush for marriage.  You obviously value Evan’s advice (as I sure do!) or you wouldn’t have bothered to ask his opinion.  Listen to it with an open mind…..because I can guarantee if you don’t, one day you are really going to wish you did.  Good luck to you both!

  7. 7
    Honey

    And if he insists on a prenup, Hadley?  What then?

    1. 7.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      A 21-year-old college kid who is madly in love and short-sighted enough to get married after 7 months is not insisting on a pre-nup.

  8. 8
    maria

    Hadley terrifies me! What an awful, cynical perspective! Marry him now and get half of his value later?!!? Is this the 19th century? How bitter, bitter, bitter!! Women as merceneries?? I know some divorcees with this attitude. They are nasty people.
    This girl is WAY too young and immature for marriage. She seems more in love with the idea of marriage than with her boyfriend. What is wrong with a long engagement? If he truly loves her, he won’t be going anywhere! Divorce her parents? How absurd!!
    I wonder if their is a sexual component to this. Very upsetting letter. Girls have not come very far, either in Sarah or Hadley’s case. So sad!

  9. 9
    jane

    I am just wondering if the relationship “moving forward” means toward a sexual relationship they may not be having yet because they are NOT married…..  sex is a powerful motivator and there is something about the email that makes me think this may be the case.  In which case, marriage has an entirely different motivation. And would require an entirely different analysis.  Did I miss something?
     
    just sayin’

  10. 10
    Kaitlyn

    “In fact, there are substantial financial incentives for a woman to get married”

    Please explain what the substantial financial incentives are for a 21 year old who is still completing her degree and receiving assitance from her parents (and perhaps even financial aid) in marrying someone who is ALSO a student?  Any assets attained during that marriage would be joint assets and split should the couple divorce.  It is unlikely that there will be a substantial disparity in income between the two – enough to justify spousal support.  I’m not sure where this logic comes from.  Marrying at 21 sets the OP up to have NO assets of her own.  None. 

    I would be concerned that she will be short changing her education and ability to establish herself in a career, also.  Will her career become secondary to his?  Her education secondary to his? 

    “This guy may be a real keeper. On track to being a high achieving, responsible, satisfying husband. AND he is willing to get married!”

    If the guy is a “real keeper” who has the best of intentions towards the 21 year OP, he would respect her enough to finish school, establish himself in a career, save money, buy a house (or at least get a nice place for them to live), buy a proper ring and wait until her family was comfortable with her getting married.  If she states that she would like to finish school and begin a career prior to marriage…he would stand by her, not run away from the relationship.

    Unlike Evan…I disagree with moving in with the boyfriend.  I would suggest that the OP continue the dating relationship with her boyfriend, continue with her education and also maintain a healthy and active social life separate from the boyfriend.

    At 21, a new chapter of  life is just beginning for the OP…she should reach out and grasp it and all of the experiences she CAN, NOT settle down with someone whom she has only dated 7 months.

    In fact, I would go one further step and suggest to the OP that perhaps she should evaluate whether or not she has any co-dependency issues that she needs to address.   Having a boyfriend of 7 months be her best friend, rushing to marry in 6 months, contemplating “divorcing” her parents…all these lead me to wonder if perhaps she may be putting more value in this young relationship than in herself and her education and her future.

  11. 11
    Honey

    I was basically saying what Maria says in #8, EMK :-)

  12. 12
    Selena

    Um…the very fact you bring up “divorcing” your parents is a big indicator you are not mature enough to get married. You are 21. You don’t need their permission to get married. Why do you think you can’t maintain a relationship with your parents as a married woman?

    Most relationships don’t last. Period. 50% of marriages do not fulfill the “as long as we both shall live” vow. That’s higher the younger the people are when they take the vow. Should that stop you though? What do you think marriage is going to give you at age 21 that you don’t have now? Security? Uh, no. Romance? Maybe. For awhile. You’ve only been dating for 7 months – you are still in the infatuation/limerance stage of a new relationship. Why not date a year before getting engaged? Enough time for “the shine”,  the “newness” to wear down. Better yet, get an apartment together and see how that goes. BIG TRUTH: you never really know someone until you live with them. Try it and see before committing yourself legally.

    If you still want to get married after a year of living together, your parents will likely have less objections. ;)

  13. 13
    Denise

    Great comments all around…

    #5 Hadley

    I guess one could look at it that way, although not a great way to start out a lifelong partnership and it is a cynical way of looking at things.

    What I would counter this is TIME and appropriateness. 

    I have told my children throughout their lives, and especially now that they are teenagers, to do the things they are supposed to do at the age they are at.  How many women out there who are 40 act like they  are 21?  They are doing that because at 21, when they were supposed to be out partying, hanging out with friends, making a living for themselves, gaining some maturity and insight into life, and dating a lot of different men, they were married and often having children right away.  Now at 40, they are trying to make up for lost time, and there is no way that can be done.  That time is gone, never to return.  Couldn’t buy it back with half the settlement either.

    I remember being this age (I know, I can’t believe it!)…being in school for so long, you just want to get on with it–having a real life, being an adult.  What a better way to do that than to get married?  Oh boy!  That’s such an important decision, and there’s no frame of reference for a 21 year old make that kind of decision. 

    Listen to your parents, they love and care about you and are OLDER, wiser with a lot more life experience.  They’ve been through the ups and downs of marriage, and know the challenges.  You’re single for such a short time, and married and presumably raising children for such a LONG time.

  14. 14
    Lily

    Haha I agree with Jane at No.9
    This has everything to do with sex. And in fact Evan says, what if the bf later decides he hasn’t had enough experience with women. Well I think she’s not putting out, he’s gonna marry her so she does, and then somewhere down the line he’ll be having his cake and eating it too. Sorry Sarah but you are a virgin and you’re thinking like a virgin, and your parents are right (ok maybe not your mum). But Daddy knows what 26 yr old boys want, and in an ideal world, it’s not a lifelong commitment.

  15. 15
    Luxe

    Sarah,
     
    I had a roommate in college just like you. We were probably a couple years older, but still around the same age. She met a guy and after about 3 months they were already talking about marriage. Around 5-6 months they were engaged and she wanted to get married within a few months later which would have been around the time she graduated. Everyone told them to wait, parents and friends (me included!). She wasn’t happy about this, but guess what? She waited. They had a year long engagement… long distance at that! They had a beautiful wedding and now.. a few years later, they have their first baby boy. Don’t be afraid to wait! If he is a keeper and wants to be with you, he WILL be in the LTR without the marriage until you guys are really ready. They don’t regret at all waiting to get married.

  16. 16
    Steve

    Sarah;
    We are not your parents.   Your decision will matter to our lives either way.  We don’t have your parent’s emotional investments nor do we have their baggage.   We are your peers and I think most people here will give you the same advice as Evan.
    Making a marriage work is in part having the good judgment to choose a person who is the right fit for you.   For  FIFTY Y-E-A-R-S.   Thing is, at 21, you aren’t finished making yourself who you are yet, so it makes it harder to judge.
    Evan is right, if you two have something, it will still be there in 5 years.
    Enjoy school, enjoy being his GF and enjoy marrying him under better circumstances 5 years from now when both of you are well set up.

  17. 17
    Steve

    @Hadley #9
    No disrespect whatsoever.    I have read many opinions I haven’t liked in this comment section.  Until your post I have never felt motivated to tell another comment author that I thought they were giving someone bad advice.  Almost reckless advice.
     
    At first I thought it was Gullivers Travels type of satire.
     
    Telling a 21 year old kid that ending up in a divorce with a steady alimony check is a not-so-bad plan b and that she should risk going through an unhappy marriage because out of 80 years of life left to her in country of 270 million people she may never fall in love again, so grab this dude now, after only 7 months?
     
    After reading your post I’m never going to let my friends call me cynical again.
     
    A piece of paper will not keep a couple together, it will just slow them down from breaking apart.   The only thing that keeps a couple together is if they have something.    If Sarah and her BF have something it will still be there 5 years from now.
     
    In the meantime they have their lives ahead of them with getting an education, enjoying their careers, trips, each other, etc etc.

  18. 18
    Selena

    @ Steve #18

    “A piece of paper will not keep a couple together, it will just slow them down from breaking apart.”

    Well phrased. A marriage license is no guarantee of ‘security’.

  19. 19
    Goldie

    I’ll add to all the comments on Hadley’s post #5 – not only is suggesting that, worst case scenario, Sarah will benefit financially from the divorce, incredibly cynical, but, from what I know on the subject, it’s not even realistic. You probably have to marry rich and be really good at this whole golddigging thing to ever gain anything this way. Here’s what happens in real life. I have never met a man or a woman that did not lose substantial amounts of money upfront, and did not have their expenses go up substantially later, as a result of getting divorced. First of all, divorce lawyers aren’t cheap – even the most amicable divorce will cost you a few grand – and if you decide to fight in court over things like custody or money, the price tag is freakin huge. Second, more likely than not, a divorcing couple will have children. In this case, each of them needs to have a place to live that’s decent enough (several bedrooms, safe neighborhood, decent schools for at least the custodial parent) so the children can stay there. That’s two residences instead of one. Oh, and if the couple has a house that was enough for the whole family, but would be too big, or too expensive, for just one parent & kids? good luck selling it in today’s market. Most likely one of them will be stuck with it, or sell it at a huge loss. There are many good reasons to get divorced, but monetary gain just isn’t one of them. That stuff only happens in celebrity gossip mags. Not to mention that divorce is not exactly the happiest life experience, in fact it’s often placed in the same category as a major loss in the family.
     
    Not exactly a plan B to look forward to.

  20. 20
    Honey

    @Lily, #15 – I met my boyfriend when we were 26 and he almost proposed to me after 7 months (he told me after 10 months about the exact night he almost proposed!).  But we decided to wait and everything’s still going great!  I don’t think being 26 means a guy’s not ready to commit, though I do think it doesn’t need to be marriage-level yet.

  21. 21
    Leslie

    All I have to say is that everything single woman that had gotten married under the age of 26 was divorced between two to three years after getting married. For those that ended up having kids, it kind of hard dating when you are 26 or 27 with children.

  22. 22
    BeenThereDoneThat

    I married at 19, we were married for 18 years and then it fell apart.  In looking back, I wish I had waited until I was older to get married.  I missed out on some many life experiences.  Of course, I had different life experiences.  I lived in Germany, was a mother of 3 kids at a really young age but I didn’t use the time to go to school because I was busy with my family life.  Now, I am back in school, and experiencing what it’s like to be independent and I LOVE IT.  When my oldest daughter, now a freshman in college, called me the other day and said she wanted to apply to a study a year abroad, I told her to go for it!  She was surprised by my attitude as she thought I would struggle with her so far away.  And I will, but I’m glad she is doing these things while she can, because later doesn’t always work out.

  23. 23
    Ruby

    No one is telling Sarah to walk away from her boyfriend, just to work on becoming a mature adult first. Then it won’t matter what her parents think, or whether they approve of her choices or not. If her BF won’t stick around a for a year or five while she becomes more established, what possible chance do they have of making a marriage work over the course of 50+ years?
     
    There is not much logic to Hadley Paige’s thinking. What if they have kids? The effects of divorce on kids can be huge. How do we know if Sarah’s boyfriend is a “keeper” or not? Whatever his income, studies have shown that a woman’s financial quality of life tends to decline after divorce.
     
    She’s only 21, for pity’s sake! What’s the rush, anyway? Sex?

  24. 24
    Hadley Paige

     RE: Denise @ 14
    “#5 Hadley “I guess one could look at it that way, although not a great way to start out a lifelong partnership and it is a cynical way of looking at things.”

    I want someone who participates in these discussions to honestly tell me that a potential husband’s financial prospects are not (or should not be) a significant (not the only, not the major, just a significant) factor in a woman’s decision to get married to someone (and in my opinion, it should be if motherhood is in the cards).

    I reject the accusation that I am cynical. What I am is a realist. Money is (and should be) a big factor in who a woman chooses to marry. If she wants to raise sane, unstressed children who have been adequately nurtured by their present (love by phone from the office doesn’t count), loving, unstressed mom > being adequately supported while the kids grow up is (and should be) a major consideration.

    And similarly, just because I mention the realities of divorce, does not mean I am cynical. If a woman marries a high income guy, she will get a bigger check upon divorce than if she marries a low income guy. I believe that that is a fact beyond dispute.

    One would be (I’ll be kind here) imprudent to not consider finances when one chooses a husband (and what one can expect in divorce is part of that calculation) Girls– it ain’t all about love,love,love. A marriage is a partnership to get thru life & money is a big part of being able to do it in a manner that smooths out the bumps.

    Again, if he is a keeper, she better keep him, or someone else will.

  25. 25
    Steve

    Sarah;
    A lot of people have given you good advice ( except for Hadley – no disrespect to her, I just disagree).   I can remember a little bit of how I saw things when I was 21.   Most of the advice older people gave me seemed condescending.   Some of it seemed really strange and wacky.   An amusing experience I have had in my life is watching how the most absurd sounding observations about life turned out to be 100% true.  If you feel like we are being condescending  or that we just don’t get how you feel please know that putting these kinds of thoughts into words is extremely difficult.
     
    Evan made two points which are golden.
     
    The first was to remember how you viewed the world when you were a kid, a teenager and how you view things now noticing how much those perspectives changed.   Well, those shifts in the way you view things and what you value are going to keep coming.   We aren’t any smarter than you, we are walking on the same road and are just a few blocks ahead of you.  We are telling you about that pot hole you might not want to step in.
     
    The second point is that if you have something,  it will still be there in 5 years.  There is nothing to lose by waiting and you will be waiting with your BF in your life so the wait will be fun and seem short.
     

  26. 26
    L.K.

    Everyone is ganging up on Hadley Paige@25
    Sometimes reality is a bit cynical. I am now single and in my 30′s. If I had to do it again, I would have married a rich guy very young, while I had youth/leverage on my side. If it didn’t work out, at least I would have gotten alimony, etc..
    At my age, I do have to find a nice, compatible guy ( as recommended by Evan)- I don’t have a good 10 years to try to find that rich hot catch, only to have him ditch me when I’m in my 40′s. Then, I will really have ZERO leverage.
    being divorced at 27, 28 is no big deal. just be careful about whether you want to have kids too soon. And if being a divorcee means you’ve got some extra cash to burn, if you are sans kids, more power to you! Then you will be in a better position to find a guy you really care about, because you don’t need to evaluate a partner based on his income.
     

  27. 27
    Cat

    Frankly, I’m disappointed that on a blog geared towards “smart, strong, successful women” it hasn’t occurred to anyone that it might be Sarah who turns out to be the bigger wage earner once she enters the job market. It might be Sarah who takes the high figure job while her husband takes the stay-at-home dad role that so many of my high-figure earning lawyer/doctor/corporate girlfriends say they are looking for! Last thing they want is a guy who works their hours and can’t be there for the kids (or them.) They can afford the big house, fancy car, cleaning staff all on their own. They don’t need to marry someone to get any of that! They would be appalled at the suggestion that a woman’s goal should be to marry “well” (some rich guy) instead of earn a degree, a great career, and a fulfilling intellectual (& personal) life for herself. As my neighbor-poet-journalist taught her (then 10 year old) granddaughter to say, a woman should go to college & Paris and have a bank account before she gets married… (paraphrased. It was much longer. And I had to spend $1 on lemonade out of a silver teapot to hear it.) :)

    Also, Goldie in #20 puts in some sobering perspective on the whole “marry for alimony” slant started by Hadley #5. (As for Hadley’s comment on Evan being a dating coach and not a marriage coach, you have only to read this blog in its entirety to see his evolution from expert serial dater to devoted husband. He does know quite a bit about making a relationship work –from first dates to marriage! He teaches people how to have successful, fulfilling relationships, not sugar daddies…or sugar mammas. You might be on the wrong blog.)

    I love Luxe #16′s comment. Yes!Don’t be afraid to wait! If he is a keeper and wants to be with you, he WILL be in the LTR without the marriage until you guys are really ready. They don’t regret at all waiting to get married.”

    I also love Steve’s comment, #18 “Telling a 21 year old kid that ending up in a divorce with a steady alimony check is a not-so-bad plan b and that she should risk going through an unhappy marriage because out of 80 years of life left to her in country of 270 million people she may never fall in love again, so grab this dude now, after only 7 months?”

    That said, I totally get Sarah’s enthusiasm and optimism. I do think she should wait, regardless of whether sex is involved (as a few commenters have questioned. I really don’t see her as some virgin ready to be deflowered through marriage.) I think it’s awesome that she’s sure she wants to marry him and spend the rest of her life with him. I also agree she should wait to do so. To underline what some others have said, oh, I wish I could send a letter to my 20-something self!!!

    As for Hadley #25 “honestly tell me that a potential husband’s financial prospects are not (or should not be) a significant (not the only, not the major, just a significant) factor in a woman’s decision to get married to someone (and in my opinion, it should be if motherhood is in the cards).”

    Again (big sigh) why are her financial prospects assumed to be lesser? What about a trophy wife’s life is appealing? Seriously! I can only imagine: gym, tan, plastic surgery, only to be exchanged at 40–it sounds exhausting. You, yourself, mention life ends at 40, basically. Let me tell you something about 40, since I turned this year and still am regularly carded. I am twice the woman I was at 20, and men recognize that. I have more dates and better prospects now that I’ve turned 40 because I’m confident, smart, stylish, interesting, and in many ways better looking. I only wish I’d started having Evan’s advice when I was in my 20′s… What can I say, but his Finding the One Online program has worked wonders for me.




  28. 28
    Luxe

    Hot diggity damn! Time for me to pan me some gold!
     
    Ok.. I understand wanting a financially stable guy and all (I do too). But going for the rich guy because in the worse case scenario of divorce you get a nicer alimony check (cha-ching!) sounds a little… do I dare say…. golddigger-ish? ;) I do see what you are trying to say Hadley. I just don’t completely agree with you.
     
    Cat, I agree. Sarah could end up being the major wage earner. We just can’t tell since she’s only 21 and hasn’t even gotten her degree finished while her BF is 26 and should be starting to get his career going (unless he’s taking a while/doing grad school etc).

  29. 29
    Helen

    Sarah’s letter sounds as though it were written by me, many, many years ago.  The only difference (EVERYTHING else was the same, right down to each parent’s comments and my hubby’s age) was that I was 22; and that we waited longer than 6 months to get married.

    We were students. We had no money and no idea what jobs we would have in the future. We each made efforts to meet the others’ families. Now we’ve been married over a decade and have 2 kids.

    When you find the right one, yes, you do want to keep them.  It doesn’t have to do with money, and it doesn’t have to do with looks. It has to do with finding someone who is kind and patient and devoted, with whom you feel mutual respect and can get along in a very comfortable way. That is the person you will love through thick and through thin, and the love keeps growing. 

    Dare I put in my unromantic two cents here: that mutual RESPECT may be even more important than romantic love when deciding upon a partner? When the respect is there, the love grows and keeps growing even after 10 years, and it is wonderful.

    I think Evan and all the commenters may have glossed over one point that TO ME is absolutely crucial.  Her father gave his blessing. Fathers don’t give blessings lightly.  They hold onto their daughters tightly.  My dad gave the exact same blessing and warning of not having to do anything too soon.  But I guarantee you he wouldn’t have given his blessing if he hadn’t thought we would make it through the long haul, even if we married right then.

    The daughter’s comment about divorcing her parents does seem immature to me, though, and I hope it is more motivated by the heat of the moment rather than a genuine intention.

    Finally: Evan, are you going to become a parent soon? :)  One of your comments seemed to suggest that.

  30. 30
    Denise

    #25 Hadley

    Agreed on determining if a man is able to support a family, and how the woman feels about that.  Coming from a marriage where I was the breadwinner and that took way more of my masculine energy than was good for our relationship, I tell my daughter to make sure she considers this when deciding to get married.  However, let’s assume he makes huge money, does that make him the best husband for her?  I would argue not necessarily, ask those women who have very successful husbands what their lives are like.

    In this situation, these two are in their early 20′s.  Kindof difficult to determine there’s going to be a huge, fat payout in the end.  (which still feels cynical)

    In general, going into any marriage thinking ahead to the possibility of divorce is probably not a good sign!

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