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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.”


  8. 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.

  9. 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”) . “

  10. 30

    It’s interesting reading this article as the woman in a relationship where my boyfriend is pressuring me to get engaged before I’m ready. I have no doubt that I want to marry him someday, but I’m 24 and he’s only 23. I’m a music major in college so I have no money and I’ve had to rely heavily on my parents and Ive only been living on my own for several months. My boyfriend is 23 and he has a stable job and has lived on his own for awhile. However, he hasn’t thought ahead about how we’re going to pay for a wedding or when we’d get married or how we’re going to support each other financially without relying on other family members. Every time I try to bring up the financial and time commitments that come with weddings and being married, he gets upset. I don’t doubt that werew committed to each other or that we should get married someday. I just doubt that we have the life skills and maturity now ro make a marriage work.

  11. 31

    By saying “I don’t know if I would find someone as good or better” sounds like you’re not ready.  You have doubts and you are unsure of her as a partner in life even if you love her.

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