I’m in Love But Feel Like I’m Too Young to Get Married

I’m in Love But Feel Like I’m Too Young to Get Married

I am 25 and my amazing girlfriend is 30. We have been together for 10 months now. But before we started dating we were just friends – strictly friends for about 6 or 7 months, there was no attraction at all, until I made a move on her. We met at a mutual friend’s birthday party and I had gone on a few dates with her best friend. Long story short, her best friend was not for me. We found out that we were living just a few blocks away from each other and began to hangout on regular basis. It was like I was hanging out with one of my boys, we would talk about our dates, sex, Ex’s, etc. As I got to know her more and more, I fell for the person inside. I made a move on her and it took her a week to agree that she wanted to give this a try and we did.

She is the BEST I’ve had in regards to everything I want in a woman. Everyone in my family loves her and vice versa. The puzzle fits perfectly. The problem is not her, it’s me. She’s 30 years old and if she’s in a serious relationship she wants to get married and she has all the right to. She doesn’t want to waste her time and I totally understand that. I spoke to her and told her how I felt and we are currently taking a break because I need to figure out what I want to do. I am truly divided down the middle. On one side I feel that I’m 25 and too young to get married and have my whole life ahead of me to live and explore. On the other hand, I have the best of the best and I know I would have an amazing life with her and I don’t know if I would find someone as good or better. This is my dilemma. I don’t want to get married to get divorced. What should I do?

Thanks for your help!

Thank you, David. I appreciate your question and am extremely sympathetic to you. This is the side of the dilemma that women need to hear more often – a good guy, who fell for his girlfriend for the right reasons, wrestling with his conscience, with no obvious path ahead.

The hardest part about this is that you’re attempting – at age 25 – to project how you’re going to feel in a few years. And, if life experience teaches us anything, it’s that this is next to impossible to do. In other words, you don’t want to waste your girlfriend’s precious time, but you don’t want to throw away your future marriage out of fear. I feel you, bro.

You don’t want to waste your girlfriend’s precious time, but you don’t want to throw away your future marriage out of fear.

I remember being 32, having a 38-year-old girlfriend, and being wracked by anxiety because even though I was madly in love, I wasn’t emotionally ready to be a husband and father yet. It’s not that I had more oats to sow. It’s that I was just starting my new career and hadn’t really gotten my feet under me yet. I wasn’t ready to buy a house or support children; I was barely supporting myself. My girlfriend didn’t understand and dumped me. It was for the best.

Some 25-year-olds ARE ready for marriage, but it doesn’t matter what everyone else does. It only matters how YOU feel. I think the best thing you can do is to have an open conversation with your girlfriend – and tell her everything you just told me. You love her, you love her family, you don’t think you can do better, and you want to continue to explore the relationship. Then see if you can come to some sort of compromise.

Hopefully, she will see the value of letting you come to your own conclusions instead of pressuring you to make a decision (which never ends well). Which is to say, that you can ask her for three more years to grow up, get on your feet career-wise, get to know each other better, move in together, and try the concept of marriage on for size before proposing. She should have every confidence that this gives her the best chance of marrying the man she loves instead of imposing arbitrary ultimatums on you. In return, you promise to let her know if, at any point, you can’t see getting married to her, so she can move on to the guy who will. Insecure women may scoff at this, but this is exactly how to handle a good, sensitive, conscientious boyfriend who is committed to doing the right thing.

If your girlfriend wants a ring fast, she needs to dump you.

Her alternative, of course, is to demand that you know for certain, at age 25, that you want to get married in the next 18 months – and force you to propose before you’re ready.

In other words, if your girlfriend wants a ring fast, she needs to dump you.

But if she wants to marry YOU, this is the most effective way to ensure you’re equally bought in to the lifetime commitment she desires.

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  1. 1

    You’re a bit stuck, mate. I can totally understand your dilemma.  There’s no magic “marriage ready age” but for me, 25 definitely wasn’t it.  I was still having fun.  By 27 or 28, I was ready but at 25, I would have felt a bit trapped too.  On the other hand, I can also imagine your girlfriend’s ticking clock and her desire to not waste any time.  The most important thing in your message though was the fact that you’ve been together for 10 months.  The equation changes a bit since you were already friends before getting together but honestly most people, 25 or otherwise, cannot definitely say after 10 months that they’re certain they want to be married.  Even though the age difference itself is of little consequence for compatibility, it is very relevant when it comes to timelines.  For this reason only, I think the younger female and older male combination works much better than the opposite which is risk for both parties.  Your girlfriend agreed to date a man 5 years her junior.  She must already have made her peace with this inherent risk and if your relationship is as amazing for her as it is for you, I think she will give you the 2 or 3 years after a calm and reasonable conversation.  Good luck, dude!

  2. 2

    This is a tough one but I think Evan gave a reasonable solution here.  She may be older than him, but in the grand scheme of things, 30 is still pretty young!  If things don’t work out after 2 or 3 years, she’d still only be in her early 30s when she’s back out on the dating market and should still be able to find plenty of other options for marriage.  If she’s as reasonable as he makes her sound, I actually don’t think she needs a ring right this minute. I actually have far more sympathy for the 38 year old Evan dated, in terms of “wasted” time.  I do sympathize with why he wasn’t ready to get married back then (and agree with him that it’s a good thing he didn’t).  However, I also can’t blame her for not wanting to give him 2 to 3 years of her life, then risk getting back into the dating scene in her 40s with a dwindling pool, if it didn’t work out.  I’m not sure it’s quite the same situation when the 30 year old has more leeway and more time to give.

  3. 3

    The perfect solution for this situation is to have a relationship that isn’t exclusive. Then your girlfriend isn’t locked down (and neither are you), and if you meet other people who are a better fit in the meanwhile, then you have your answer. You could even agree to sexual exclusivity if it works for you.

    That way the pressure is off for both of you. Honestly, waiting three years in a monogamous pseudo-marriage (with all the risks and few of the benefits of marriage) isn’t fair to her. One year, maybe, but it’s ridiculous for her to shut down her options for that long on the chance that you MIGHT be ready by X date.


  4. 4

    I disagree with some of the feedback. When is the right age? What makes you think things will be different in 3 years? If it is working for both of you as you say then age is just a number. Set a long term engagement so she knows you are serious  and that gives you both more time to be sure this is the right decision. Stop what iffing and live for now. I got married  at 24 and my husband  was 26. We were married for 18 years until he passed.  Live life with no regrets and live in the present.

  5. 5


    I got married at 25. Most people ask why we got married so young. But, before that, when I told them we had been together for seven years, they would ask “when are you getting married already?” There’s no pleasing other people, so you should do whatever makes you happy.

    I agree with Evan’s general idea, but I don’t see any reason to set an arbitrary three year deadline. That is going to be too long for a women who knows she wants to get married. After ten months, you probably don’t know if you want to get married to her, but you should know if you are serious about the relationship, and you should know if you want to get married (and have kids or not have kids) some day. If your answer is I’m not sure, then you aren’t serious. Tell her this. It’s okay that you aren’t serious– you have no obligation to be serious–but she deserves to know where you stand.

  6. 6

    I must’ve been born in the wrong era. Either that or my views have changed since I turned 30 a few years ago. Either way, I think it’s not a terrible idea for people to get married before they have everything “figured out”. What’s wrong with growing together as a married couple? I’m sure compromises would need to be made regardless of whether or not two people are established financially. Basically, what it comes down to is, this guy is saying “You’re great and you’re exactly what I’m looking for in a life partner, but I’m not ready to be tied down yet because I’m still too selfish, and I want to have fun without any real responsibilities. So can we just ACT like we’re married for a few years (even though we both know we’re really not), and I can make my decision in my own sweet time while the last best years of your life dwindle away?”

    Wow. That’s an awesome offer, how could she pass that up?

    1. 6.1

      I completely agree with you, Holly! This arrangement doesn’t benefit her at all, except to give her a false sense that he is “committed” to– what exactly? Dating her for years while contemplating (essentially at his leisure) whether or not he actually wants to be with her forever? Sounds amazingly disempowering.

      Instead, she should keep her options open, and put him exactly where he rates her– as an option to be considered (one among many), only to be upgraded when he actually does try to put a ring on it.

    2. 6.2

      Exactly. I can’t imagine a single woman on here in her mid-30s not wanting to reach out to her younger self we see in this situation and tell that poor girl to move on honey, don’t waste your best years attempting to raise a man who will leave the nest once he grows up.

  7. 7
    Evan Marc Katz

    Open relationships? Give him an ultimatum? Get married first and ask questions later?

    They have a great relationship. He’s a sensitive guy. He loves her. He does want to get married. At 25, feels too young right now to commit for a lifetime. All the pressure in the world is not going to help him make his decision. Only time will. If she wants him, she can give time. If she can’t give him time, she can dump him, only to spend three years looking to get back to this exact same place.

    Seems pretty obvious that she’s not wasting time in this young man; she’s investing it. The ladies who think that a man should propose whenever you feel he should propose lack a measure of understanding for the idea that a man’s needs are half of the equation in a relationship.

    1. 7.1

      What you said is all true, but I have to point out that I recall you did say in an old post that it is foolish to continue to invest in a relationship that’s going nowhere fast. Suppose she agrees to give him this time that he claims to need so badly (while also doing everything for him that a wife would normally do without getting a real commitment in return). What happens when she’s no closer to getting married in a few years than than she is now? This guy has been in an exclusive relationship with her for almost a year. Before that they knew each other as friends for six months. I’d say that’s a pretty good amount of time to figure out whether or not you’re a good fit for each other. So what’s stopping him? He wants to eat his cake and have it too, that’s what.

      I’m not married myself but I know plenty of people who are. From what I know of it, a good marriage requires selflessness and sacrifice, two things this guy clearly isn’t ready for. All of his comments are centered on him: what he wants, how she’s everything he requires in a mate, how he wants to live his life, blah blah blah.

      Please. The kind of love a marriage requires is selfless, sacrificial and seeks the best for the other person. If he wants to be a good husband (whenever that time comes), the time to start demonstrating that is now, not after vows are exchanged.

      If he really loves her the right way, and he can’t fathom getting married anytime soon, then he should do what’s best for her now and just let her go. Telling her to hold off on her dream of marriage and children so he can have a few more years to get in his jollies and make something of himself isn’t fair to her at all.

    2. 7.2

      If he were 30 and open to marriage I would agree, what’s the rush? He is 5 years younger though, he is questioning being ready to settle down at all – not just whether this is the right woman per se. That’s a different issue than two adults looking to settle down and trying to decide if this person is the right one or not.

    3. 7.3

      I think in the end it’s good that they are on a “break” (which to me just means they broke up basically). I say this because as a woman who not only didn’t get married until her late 30s (and is currently very happily married!), but also as someone who never thought she’d get married at all – I’ve discovered that things change very fast and unpredictably in life, and often when you’re completely not expecting it. Investing three more years into a “not sure about the intentions in the future” kind of relationship is like being stuck in neutral for those three years when you’d like to perhaps make plans for your life – whatever those plans might be. Sure they may be great together, but each person can have a good relationship with more than one person, i.e. there is no such thing as “we only have 1 soulmate, and we must find him/her”. Obviously they’re really not in the same stage of life, and for me that clearly means they’re not “meant” for each other. When you find the right person, you don’t dilly-dally. If you’re dilly-dallying, they’re not the right person, no matter how wonderful they are. This woman deserves to find a man who wants to be with her long term and knows it, and this boy deserves some time to grow up before finding his mate if he wants it. No one loses. The person I married in the end is someone with whom we both knew pretty soon after we started dating that we’d likely spend our lives together in the long term. It was pretty clear, plus we were both in a place in our lives where we knew that we wanted to get married at some point if we were in a long-term relationship. Before my husband, I actually never thought I’d get married and was completely expecting to be single forever. But things changed very fast and in a direction I wasn’t expecting at all. The same thing is very likely to happen to a woman in her 30s, as much as for a woman in her 20s, but the woman in her 30s is more likely to know what she wants and she should simply not second-guess it. Good for them for breaking things off, it’s the best for both.

  8. 8

    Thing is, he says he’s “divided down the middle.” It’s not like he’s, say, in medical school and asking her to wait a few years till he’s done with residency because he KNOWS she’s the one and he’s trying to establish his career first, with a specific end date in sight. He’s not sure what the future  holds for them at all. It’s fine if he feels that way, but asking her to wait for years while he grows up is just ridiculous.




    1. 8.1

      Exactly. This is why I don’t like to date younger guys, though plenty have shown interest. Most of them are too busy trying to “live life and explore” to even think about getting married. We grow up way too slowly in this culture today. It makes us much more prone to being incredibly selfish, in my opinion. When everything in society is telling you, “Hey, you’re young, just have fun and take your time finding yourself, don’t get tied down!”, it’s only too easy to develop the habit of putting your own wants and needs first.

  9. 9

    David (The LW): “I don’t want to get married to get divorced.”


    This site gives a breakdown of divorce statistics for 1st., 2nd., 3rd. marriages  including by age for first marriages.



    Divorce rates are higher for second marriages, and even higher for third marriages.


    Presumably, the majority of people who marry for the second or third time are beyond their 20’s.  Marrying in one’s 20’s doesn’t increase the chance of getting divorced.  Marrying when one doesn’t feel quite right about it?  I believe that’s what ups the stats regardless of age.


  10. 10

    Ten months is pretty soon to decide to get married.  I don’t think many people will be ready to propose after 10 months of dating.  I feel like you should revist the issue in a year.  Keep dating her and, if in a year, you don’t see yourself getting married in the next 18 months THEN break up.  By then, you will be 27 and that’s plenty old enough to get married.  I know a lot of professional, urban dwelling males who got married at that age.

  11. 11

    The guy is only 25 and they’ve only been dating 10 months for crying out loud. She’s 30 and clearly has more experience and is ready to settle down. This guy needs to move on and let her find a real relationship. And she should know better.

  12. 12

    Age is not an issue here. Some 25 year old guys I know are in happy marriages with kids and they wouldnt have it any other way. The issue here is life priorities. Clearly these two have different life priorities. The girl’s priority is to get married & settle down. The guy’s priority is to continue to explore what life has to offer. There needs to be a healthy sort of compromise here with regards to timing. I’d say both parties could agree to 1 year. In 1 year the guy should know whether he wants to marry her soon. At the same time it’s a reasonable waiting time on the girl’s side. Anything longer than 1 year would be too long for a woman who is ready to get married and settle down.

  13. 13

    Yikes.  She should have known better than to date someone 5 years younger.  I think she should cut her losses now.



    1. 13.1

      No.  There’s nothing wrong w dating someone 5 years younger.  You just need to find someone on the same page as you.

      1. 13.1.1

        pat said: “You just need to find someone on the same page as you.

        And that is the difficult part in relationships.
        I’m 53, live in a smaller city in Canada, dated a few dozen women in my years, was married for 10 years from 25-35, and have never found any on the “same page” yet.  And now at my age, I really doubt I ever will.

  14. 14

    Is the reason he is to young or has doubts? I also worry about the idea he won’t find better.   Many people rush into marriage for the fear they won’t find better, now while this maybe true, it also may not be true.  If he feels rushed into it, and when times in the marriage get tough he may wonder did he make a wrong decision.  If a person is on the late 30’s I can understand the rush but they are both still young and waiting a bit longer is not going to hurt her chances.  Having been married for the wrong reasons and later a divorce based on the pressure to hurry and get married on the fear I won’t find anybody else and I married to young and the wrong person.  Waiting would have been a better choice.

  15. 15

    Sometimes we are in such a hurry to get married and have kids that it becomes more important than finding the right partner.   It’s a better investment to wait and be sure than rush for the sake of being in love with the idea of marriage and kids rather than finding the right partner.

  16. 16

    Well well well…

    The OP says he can’t see himself with noone else… Yet he is not scared to lose her… If he doesnt offer marriage to her, means he thinks he will find someone better… She, knowing that he is ready to let her go… She realises, that he is not sure she’s the one.

  17. 17

    There is no perfect age for marriage. There are also 30 something year old men who have doubts about marriage. The lady is not asking for something impossible. But is the guy ready to start a marital life? He needs to self examine himself properly and let the lady know what he thinks. Then she can decide to stay with him or move on.

  18. 18

    When I was 30 the 25-year-old guys were no different than any 18-year-old looking to score.  This OP may be more mature and thoughtful than most, but I agree with other posters that it’s unlikely these two people will end up being married to each other.  While they clearly both enjoy the relationship, her needs at 30 (or 31 or 32) will become more urgent, meanwhile he’ll remain stuck between fear of loss and fear of commitment.  Marriage should not be based on fear.  Just my .02 cents.

  19. 19

    Here is my story. Me and my ex we were both in our 20s (I was 2 years older though).  We lived together and shared finances for almost 3 years. At 25 I was ready to get married. I loved him and wanted to take that last step. We talked about that and it turned out he had reservations similar to David’s: I was a good partner, he loved me, but he wasn’t “ready”. He was still in college (I already had my degree), working a part-time job etc. I wanted to have future with him and I stayed. A year later, after he graduated college and got a very good job right away, during our Christmas vacation, he ended our relationship the most humiliating way possible: he tried to chase my friend behind my back. She rejected him. He didn’t attempt to save our relationship (not like I would want him to). He said it straightforward that time: love was gone and he wanted to move on with his own life.

    Gladly, I was only 26. But I was feeling taken advantage of. After that, I decided to date older guys and never ever buy into “not right now” stuff anymore. If you love someone, you have no problem with doing it “now”.

  20. 20

    I would like to know the result of this story.
    Any chance for a followup?
    If he followed Evan’s advice and had a talk with her, my gut feeling is that no matter what he says, if it isn’t what she wants to hear (marry me) she is going to dump him.

    I have never yet, in my entire 53 years, known any couple or met any couple where the relationship was based on his priorities or their priorities.  It’s always based on her priorities.  Any relationship I have ever seen, the woman holds all of the relationship power.

    I always hear of men having to walk on eggshells around women (myself included in every relationship I’ve had).  If he says anything she doesn’t want to hear, or if his opinion is not the one that she gave him, *boom* she’s out the door.

    1. 20.1
      Mrs Happy

      DeeGee @ 20:

      Interesting. I see the opposite sometimes – men having the relationship timeline power. Usually with decisions around not wanting to marry or reproduce just yet.

      I know 3 women who will never have children because the men they were/are with were not ready, and the women missed their fertility window. Those men now either already had some kids from a previous relationship and were ambivalent about more, or do not seem to want any kids (and if they change their mind, they might find a fertile younger woman to reproduce with).

      I don’t think power is simply in the hands of one or another gender. It’s a personality/self worth/other factors equation.


      And overall I agree with the wise Lori Gottlieb – the #1 thing on our list of “wants” should quite simply be, find a person wanting the same bigger picture structure as you. (Wanting marriage, wanting kids, wanting to date, wanting to live together…whatever that may be) And this goes for either gender.


      It’s funny how the OP’s story can be seen from either side. From his point of view the optimal position is for things to stay the same, probably for many years. From her point of view, I’d say if she wants to bear children,  she should leave the relationship now. She can’t afford 5-10 years for him to mature into wanting marriage and kids, she’ll risk having no children at all.

  21. 21

    @A.D. – lots of hugs. I feel for you and your story, having always dated ‘not right now’ guys who don’t seem to be into me but I am just placeholder girl for them. That’s the sole reason for me not having dated for years. I am too afraid that I meet the same guy or that I play out the role of that guy by dating someone I’m not truly into. I’m 25 now. I’m alone but that fear just prevents me from dating…Anyway…

    In a way I can relate to what the OP is saying. Commitment is a big deal because you can’t predict the future or where things will end up and it may limit your choices. I definitely don’t think anyone should feel pressured into a decision. Any decision made with any hint of self-doubt is just going to crop up again anytime during a difficult phase of the relationship.

    I think finding a guy in the right phase in his life is key. You don’t have to be outright asking if marriage is him. You can think about realistically where he is in his career, whether he’s settled in one place and what his friends are doing. Obviously that doesn’t guarantee anything but at least you know what his priorities might be from the beginning.

  22. 22
    Peter 51

    Get engaged. Set a date for marriage 1-18 months in the future. If she has to say yes to a proposal an a particular date, it might clarify the issues in her mind. If living together is within your beliefs then do so and share the finances, even if you don’t share a bed.

  23. 23
    Oddly similar situation

    30 year old me just broke up with my 26 year old boyfriend of  year. He wasn’t sure what he wanted, and nothing he said gave me any indication that something serious could happen. I don’t want kids/marriage for at least another 5 years, but I think he felt like he had to make the decision now and not waste my time. I broke up with him because he constantly told me that he was not looking for anything serious, and couldn’t see how things would work out given our age gap, despite being a really great person and partner. If I had thought he would consider giving us a go, taking a bit more time and checking in again in a year or so how to see we felt, I’d have stayed. But to hear constantly his fear and uncertainty about us, and ultimately about me (and mind you I was not the one starting these conversations)? Nup. I did not want to wait around like a bad smell waiting for him to make up his mind about me. I want to be wanted, not held at arms length.


    If you want things to work out with your girlfriend, you will take your time, relax, not panic or make hasty decisions, and while doing that sort yourself out over the next year, two or three so that you two can grow together, dream together and build a life together. If it doesn’t work out, at least you were honest and unafraid to try. You could be 35 and financially secure and she 30, and still not be ‘ready’. It’s down to you and her, there’s no formula.


    Good luck!

  24. 24

    As someone mentioned above, checking for similar life goals/projections beforehand is KEY. The fact that they were friends prior to dating says alot about how they feel about each other as people and sets the stage for honesty. Although attraction and connection may be there, those qualities do not guarantee proper timing and relevant life goals. If marriage and kids are a must for one person but optional for the other, things can get pretty heated and uncomfortable for everyone. These talks are best had prior to dating. I once totally turned a guy down on initial contact because I asked if he wanted to get married and he said no (we were both college freshmen at the time and he had approached me to ask for my number LOL). The point is that if someones vision for their life is uncertain, unthought out or does not align to YOUR values, you should know that a relationship will be more challenging. However, you can still remain friends so as to keep that persons value in your life and if things change in the future, they change. If not, youre still freed up to find the love and life that works for you. Im 33 now and am currently dating a guy for about a year and some months. Hes currently unsure of exactly WHEN he’ll be marriage ready but says that he is not here to waste my time, that he is open to marriage and that we are still learning each other as people. I can honestly say that his statement didnt have me “jumping for joy” lol but I did respect his feelings and honesty. For me it means that theres maybe a 70/30 chance that we will one day jump the broom. In the meantime, I am living my life on my own terms and working towards my own happiness; whether a ring is included or not. Relationships and marriage are great things but they may not ultimately be for everybody. Being able to know what you ultimately want is key.

  25. 25

    It is my first time visiting this website as I was looking onto this subject too. I am in the exact same position as OP except I am 24 and she’s 30. I really love and care for her a lot, she’s the most important person for me, yet I just feel not ready to accept such responsabilities (her body clock is ticking so she wants a ring and babies pretty soon). My financial situation is not at its best (but not bad) but I dont care abt that… The problem is not there, I just don’t feel ready and I can’t really explain it… Still I do not want to waste her time, it hurts me a lot to think  that I am wasting her time and that she has go through the bitter feeling that I am not sure to take this last step with her.

    I’ve read a few comments here and I can clearly see how some women think. Most of the comment from women see the point of view of the girl, which is understandable, but you don’t really put yourself in the guy’ shoes either… I believe it is not as simple as “shit or get off the pot” as most of you are implying.

    For the lady who said that “after 10 month of relationship and a bit of friendship he should know”, no offense, but I think you need to reconsider the whole world if you think people are all the same and apply the same standard to each situation…

    Anyway, I don’t think I have any piece of advice to give you as I’m in the same boat, I’ve just felt saying that I feel you, OP, and hope you reach a decision very soon. You will have regrets regardless of your choice if you are pressured to choose and both of you will be hurt. I have a deadline of 3 month at best to decide. Maybe I will let you know the outcome 🙂

    1. 25.1

      Absolutely nothing wrong with not being sure. But if she’s sure and you’re not, better to not delay the inevitable and instead cut the cord while she still has a reasonable chance of finding who she wants to be with for life. If a woman wants to have children and is with someone who’s not even sure if he wants to be with her long term, unfortunately she has to move on. You’ve got time, she likely doesn’t, or at the very least not as much. I’ve always believed that delaying the inevitable just ends in undue bitterness and regret.

  26. 26

    LONG BUT PLEASE READ!!! I’ve been online reading articles after articles for so long. I’m 99.9% exactly in the same situation now except my relationship with her is  3 years. I just turned 25 on Feb. 5th and she is very soon turning 31. We have been openly battling this for about a year and ive secretly been battling it about 6 months prior to that. We fell in love hard, so hard for me i said (not promised) things like marriage is a possibility for me to only her but I knew that I wasn’t truly ready. See, ive been living in this stinkin town my whole life and still living between my parents and her place. Never once i got to experience the life of being on my own. Non- Autonomous adult i think the term may be? Fortunately my father has a lot of slack with me and I basically have my own separate living quarters at my residence. Besides the point, i told her what she wanted to hear for the first year of our inseperable relationship. I was establishing a small business here as well as she already has her own 5 year reputation for awesome hair and nails @ a salon along with has 2 kids that are not mine. So any moving would be a very serious hard change on her. And I don’t just wanna move close, I’m talking somewhere where its warm all year. State to another state. ( UHF. timing, life goals, my selfishness. WRONG!) After the affectionate first year I then started to feel that unexplored fantasy of a ramblin man was going to vanish from ever being reality. Along with that mistake I’ve made a bigger one. While I was feeling pressure from her marriage hopes and her claim that im her one love, i knew i loved her and wanted her happy so at our 1yr  6 months i made her a promise engagement with authorization from her father.  I really thought to just grow balls and really started to feel like I’d marry her.  The next week i realized what ive done and then opened my 6 month secret problem to her. Verdict was a month later from all the fighting I left her on my 24th birthday. Still we’re talking but not exclusive couple for 4-6 months and well we merged together again because to me she showed signs of improvement on all the typical strains relationships have. I still loved her but knowing we needed work, she still claimed Im the one. Now when being single and enjoying it with my re-friended old buddies that I rarely saw when dating, I’d say she sorta pressured me again by not moving on, which made me feel so loved that I owe everything another chance and that marriage would actually be nice ( I committed to the second chance and apparently she claims im perfect for her but i don’t think like that. I don’t believe in the true love. I feel she should a moved on that chance.) We are still solidly inseperable besides work hours and give or take when i want space which is hard to be allowed to me without any fuss from her. I am liking it and feel i could do this for the rest of my life with some small condition. She still pressures me but I’ve learned to be assertive in the caring right way. This moment now, since its been a year again the conundrum pressure to make a decision is back on! here is where I find myself. Actually both of us are seperately looking for answers right now online. Our friends and family are exhausted by now. I believe that what truly feels good at the present time is the advice or path to use, whether its from something or someone its not the wrong answer. A future either new or repetative will always come alive and you chose to make it good.  But I’m also cut in half, I am very well leaning to just cutting the chord because my desires to move are very strong but my statue of guilt of leaving her and the two boys is also. However, after reading this particular article i realize the solution more clearly. Evan is right, ask our partners how where they think they feel the relationship is going to head. Yep, open up. But i think she should allow a 1 year grace period if needed is max. A year is honestly quite some time and too long to suffer so 2-3 years I agree is excessive. If your not ready by the then face it and leave at first notice. All the pros and cons need to be covered. And about our partners age needs to be expressed. I started the realationship thinking age does not matter, i still think that it doesnt but its a serious thing to adress first. They’ve lived a good 28 years of conscience thought and development.  Being 30 means that they are given another 30 maybe 40 years of pure beautiful time to develope a marriage. I feel like I’ve almost already been through marriage being with her and its only been 3 years. If they can find a marriage by 40 (and they will because of the experience we’ve learned)  they will have a good 25+ year marriage. A lot of little beautiful moments can happen in only 5 years. Come to a decision soon, and get married within the next passing year.

  27. 27

    25 is not too young to marry.  Millions have married at that age and happily so. If he is personally not ready, that’s entirely an individual matter.

    But I’d like to know what is all this “fun” he’s going to have without the woman he loves?  If his vision of a happy life necessarily excludes her, then what is he doing with her at all? If he dreams every night of all the other chicks he needs to bed-which is what I suspect the euphemism “explore” means-I would tell him “have at it” and wouldn’t look back.

    It is completely unfair and unrealistic to expect her to wait 3 years for him to grow up. There are plenty of good men already mature who would probably be great partners for her. My advice would be for this young man to hurry up and find this giant trail of women who are waiting for him and fully cut her free. She should not have to endure a relationship with a man who feels marrying her would be the end of “fun.”


  28. 28

    I agree  -what’s with this “I have my whole life ahead of me to live and explore” as a reason  to not want to get married?  The idea that being married somehow stops you from living and exploring is quite bizarre – all it does is give you someone to live and explore WITH.  I have been married most of my life from age 22 (admittedly to 3 different men!) and in that time have lived in 4 different countries, travelled the world, worked in 3 different high-earning careers, learned to speak a foreign language fluently, worked on an Aid Project in the 3rd world, now own a farm… and who know what life still has in store for me! I was also single for about 8 years in my 40s  – with one 2 yr relationship during that time and lots of dating – I would say it was the least dynamic period of my life, I have certainly done more during my marriages than I did when I was single. If the OP views marriage as so restrictive and limiting, why would he want to get married at all EVER? Who is ever “ready” for that sort of tedium??

    1. 28.1
      Steve in Big D

      Helene @ 28

      “I agree  -what’s with this “I have my whole life ahead of me to live and explore” as a reason  to not want to get married?  The idea that being married somehow stops you from living and exploring is quite bizarre – all it does is give you someone to live and explore WITH.”

      Helene, that sounds nice in theory, but in reality a marriage partner can decide they don’t want what you want when it comes to living life.  I saw it in my own marriage and in the lives of other married couples.  And these differences can cause considerable friction and unhappiness.  One thing is certain: If you aren’t married, you don’t have anyone telling you how to live your life.  You can save or spend as much money as you want, go where you want to go, and spend time with people you want to spend time with.

      There is no ideal state of being married/single in life.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I think it is disingenuous to suggest that being married has no downside when it comes to pursuing one’s goals and dreams in life.

  29. 29

    Well, it would be important to marry someone with compatible goals and dreams to your own, the aim being  that with some adjustment, our own aspirations can be accommodated within the structure of the relationship as life moves forward.  It can be the case that after many years our own goals and dreams can change and may end up very different from our partners – this was the case in my second (15 year) marriage and led to an amicable parting of the ways. None of us can accurately predict how we will feel in the future, let alone how our partner will evolve, so all we can do is pick someone who is reasonably aligned to us as far as we can tell… if a point is reached where the 2 partners want very different things then there is nothing wrong with agreeing to part company – that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have got married or that  marriage as a  structure was not a good way to live whilst you were together. I think it is good for marriage partners to go into marriage with the aspiration that it is a lifelong commitment, but this is what it is  – an aspiration,  and a worthy one at that. However like world peace, it may not be achievable in our lifetime and if at some point it emerges that staying together no longer makes sense for 2 people then an amicable change of plan is fine… Marriage should not be a constraining influence in our lives, but one which actually facilitates us achieving our hopes and dreams through the support and encouragment that it can offer. I do find it depressing this idea that some people seem to have that “you go out and enjoy your life and do all sorts of great things…and THEN you get married (“and all that stops”) . “

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