Are we too young to be engaged


#1

I am 21 and my girlfriend of almost 4 years is 20. We have known each other since 2nd grade and began dating my senior year of high school, her junior year. We began dating after our first Steubenville conference and our entire relationship is grounded in our faith in Christ. I am graduating from college next December and I am considering asking her to marry me. We don't think we should be married for two or three more years and she's kind of expecting me to pop the question in a year or so. I want to ask her now because I have been with her for so long and my intentions are to marry her and I figure why not make this known concretely to everyone by asking her to be my wife.

I am not sure if this is the right thing to do or if I should wait another year before asking. I am going to have to ask her dad, step-dad and her mom and I do not think they may approve because of our age.

Any advice?


#2

[quote="RCWarrior821, post:1, topic:206709"]
I am 21 and my girlfriend of almost 4 years is 20. We have known each other since 2nd grade and began dating my senior year of high school, her junior year. We began dating after our first Steubenville conference and our entire relationship is grounded in our faith in Christ. I am graduating from college next December and I am considering asking her to marry me. We don't think we should be married for two or three more years and she's kind of expecting me to pop the question in a year or so. I want to ask her now because I have been with her for so long and my intentions are to marry her and I figure why not make this known concretely to everyone by asking her to be my wife.

I am not sure if this is the right thing to do or if I should wait another year before asking. I am going to have to ask her dad, step-dad and her mom and I do not think they may approve because of our age.

Any advice?

[/quote]

Personally, I would wait a bit - until schooling is done, you get a job, pay down any school debt and get some savings.

But that's just me, what do I know... :rolleyes:


#3

I would wait until you can officially plan the wedding and set an actual date. I'm not a fan of engagements that don't have any purpose than to show people that you are serious about each other. You shouldn't get engaged because you have to "show" people that its real or because your girlfriend has some kind of expected time table of when you should propose.


#4

Are you wanting a long engagement period then? I personally think that's a waste, a year at tops is what I think is a good amount of time to plan a wedding and then be married.

But personally, I think if you want to marry her, why wait? The perfect moment may never come, you don't know what God has planned for your life. Perhaps one of you will get sick, lose a job etc. So then if you're waiting for that perfect moment you'll be waiting forever.

I know people that got married right out of high school and are happily married and doing fine. Sure, finances aren't the highest at the beginning but with God it all works out.


#5

I have known people married at sixteen who have had no problems.

So you are not too young. What would you be waiting for anyway? A job; a house; savings? These things have nothing to do with marraige.


#6

No your not to young, but there are a lot of other things you need to consider, the primary question you need to ask is are you and her ready to begin a family.

"Any man or woman who enters matrimony with any other end in view save that ordained by God acts more stupidly and more foolishly than an umbrella parachutist.

The manufacturer of umbrellas makes his product for the primary purpose of shielding the purchaser from rain. He may foresee, however, such secondary uses as a shield from the sun or as a cane for support. No rational umbrella manufacturer would claim that his product could be used safely as a parachute. When used for its primary or secondary
ends, an umbrella can be a most useful thing. When, on the other hand, an umbrella is used for an end never dreamed of by its maker, it may be a medium of destruction.

The same thing is true of marriage. The primary end of matrimony is the procreation and education of children, and its secondary ends are mutual assistance and comfort of the parties, together with allaying of concupiscence. Anyone who makes use of marriage for any other ends is headed for disaster. Therein lies the secret of the vast majority of marriage breakups today.

Examine carefully the word matrimony. It comes from two Latin words, matris munus, meaning the "office of mother," and it implies that the man and woman are united principally that the woman, if possible, may have the privilege of lawful motherhood. For anyone to enter matrimony with any other intention is to act fraudulently."

I advise you to read this:

ewtn.com/library/MARRIAGE/CANA4EVE.TXT


#7

FWIW, I was 20, DH was 22 when we got engaged, then we got married almost exactly a year later.
We've been married 22 years:D!


#8

We were 19/22 when we got engaged and 21/24 when we were married, and had been together since high school. So, no, I don't think you are too young.


#9

I was 20 when I got engaged. I actually had wanted my now dh to wait until December when I would have been 21, but he proposed in July. :p We also had a 2 year engagement, but we were in college and had a (semi) long distance relationship. Since I was in college and was doing my marriage prep in my home town, we almost needed two years to actually complete the required marriage prep. It also made the planning as non stressful as possible. I could do my research, shopping, etc. over the summer instead of worrying whether it would conflict with my school work.

So no, 20 and 21 is not too young to be engaged. (and a 2 year engagement is not outrageous if there are reasons for waiting that long).


#10

[quote="RCWarrior821, post:1, topic:206709"]
... I am graduating from college next December and I am considering asking her to marry me. We don't think we should be married for two or three more years and she's kind of expecting me to pop the question in a year or so...

[/quote]

Are you going to propose because God is calling you to marry her now or because you're afraid that after college, you might lose her (especially if you move away for work)? The former is a good reason, the latter is not.

[quote="BrokenFortress, post:4, topic:206709"]
Are you wanting a long engagement period then? I personally think that's a waste, a year at tops is what I think is a good amount of time to plan a wedding and then be married.

[/quote]

Some people are engaged for a long time to save for the wedding. You can't do anything cheap anymore (see the thread in L&S where I talk about the $2500 church fee). You could tell her "lets start saving for a wedding" then propose when you have some saved, but that's pretty much already a proposal.

Also, some churches book 18 months in advance these days (particularly cathedrals) and even many "low demand" churches have a minimum 12 month wait between booking the church and the Rite/Mass.


#11

[quote="CoffeeHound, post:10, topic:206709"]

Some people are engaged for a long time to save for the wedding. You can't do anything cheap anymore (

[/quote]

That is not true, I got married in 2007 and cost me nothing at all, I made a voluntary donation to the priest and that was it.

You can't have a big imitation royal wedding for cheap but you can get married for cheap if all you want is the sacrament, which is all that really matters.


#12

[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:11, topic:206709"]
That is not true, I got married in 2007 and cost me nothing at all, I made a voluntary donation to the priest and that was it.

[/quote]

In some parishes, but not in others.


#13

I will refrain from answering the immediate question in favor of related advice. Have you discussed marriage with her? If not, it would be good to start a conversation on your plans for life and marriage. Where you want to live, how you want your children educated, whether you intend to operate a family business, etc. (possible opening line: "I'm starting to think what married life might be like. Do you want to share ideas?")

Whenever you do get engaged, please come back and ask for further advice. We married folk can help you through that step, too. :)


#14

I'm well aware of the necessities in planning a wedding as you can see in my signature we have two months left before ours. I don't think saving up for a wedding is really something that should be highest on your reasons for waiting.

You can do any number of things within the means of how much money you have. There's no reason to spend more money than you need to. If you need to save money on reception, well then host a barbeque or other dinner at a friend's or parent's house. And not all parishes require that much money like yours did, I'm rather surprised by that number but can see if it is a popular place to get married they may be deterring those who are Catholic in name only.


#15

[quote="JohnDamian, post:5, topic:206709"]
What would you be waiting for anyway? A job; a house; savings? These things have nothing to do with marraige.

[/quote]

I'm afraid they do. In a marriage, you commit yourself to take care of your spouse. If you can't afford a place to live or to pay your bills, what the heck are you gonna do? Live with mommy and daddy and let them support you both? Not in Miz's house. ;)

When my girls want to get married, they have to be able to support themselves and their spouses. If you aren't adult enough to support yourself and live on your own, you aren't adult enough to get married.

But with that being said, "age" isn't necessarily the determining factor. For some people, this could be 18 (or even younger); for others, sheesh, it can go on WAAAAY past college graduation. :eek:

Miz


#16

Read the courtship story of the Duggars. It's charming and inspiring. Their example shows that you don't need credentials or a lot of money to be successful. Faith and a tremendous work ethic go far, which is something most people have forgotten in their insecure drive to design the perfect life for themselves.

If God is calling you to be together, at this point, you're old enough and so is your girlfriend. You will have time as you prepare for your marriage to think and pray through things in more depth, together as a couple and with the help of a good Catholic priest.

I believe that adults wait far too long to marry in our current culture. They spend the remaining years of their youth indulging themselves or trying to find themselves, and postpone marriage until their late 20s or early 30s. A lot of sexual sin and broken hearts are the sad result of this trend, and it's not like fewer couples are divorcing because they are marrying older. Life is so short, if you know she is the one, why wait any longer?

amazon.com/Duggars-Counting-Raising-Americas-Families-How/dp/141658563X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280177576&sr=8-1


#17

[quote="Miserys_Fence, post:15, topic:206709"]
I'm afraid they do. In a marriage, you commit yourself to take care of your spouse. If you can't afford a place to live or to pay your bills, what the heck are you gonna do? Live with mommy and daddy and let them support you both? Not in Miz's house. ;)

When my girls want to get married, they have to be able to support themselves and their spouses. If you aren't adult enough to support yourself and live on your own, you aren't adult enough to get married.

But with that being said, "age" isn't necessarily the determining factor. For some people, this could be 18 (or even younger); for others, sheesh, it can go on WAAAAY past college graduation. :eek:

Miz

[/quote]

My mother has told me that.... Very wise advice.... :thumbsup:


#18

[quote="CoffeeHound, post:10, topic:206709"]
Some people are engaged for a long time to save for the wedding. You can't do anything cheap anymore (see the thread in L&S where I talk about the $2500 church fee). You could tell her "lets start saving for a wedding" then propose when you have some saved, but that's pretty much already a proposal.

Also, some churches book 18 months in advance these days (particularly cathedrals) and even many "low demand" churches have a minimum 12 month wait between booking the church and the Rite/Mass.

[/quote]

I was married in a cathedral just last year. I understand what you're saying about the fees, BUT I just want everyone to understand that those fees are for a full-on wedding.

The church will not always volunteer this information to you- I know that my parish didn't with us. But at ANY CHURCH you can can get married with a simple ceremony/exchange of vows for free. Sometimes there's a suggested donation to the priest, but that's it. The Church can't charge you for a sacrament.

Just call your parish and tell them you only want the sacrament. You can exchange vows in front of a priest, usually before or after a Mass, or during a daily Mass, at no charge. You'll still have to go through whatever marriage-prep the diocese requires and usually at least a 6-month waiting period.


#19

[quote="ac_claire, post:18, topic:206709"]
I was married in a cathedral just last year. I understand what you're saying about the fees, BUT I just want everyone to understand that those fees are for a full-on wedding.

The church will not always volunteer this information to you- I know that my parish didn't with us. But at ANY CHURCH you can can get married with a simple ceremony/exchange of vows for free. Sometimes there's a suggested donation to the priest, but that's it. The Church can't charge you for a sacrament.

Just call your parish and tell them you only want the sacrament. You can exchange vows in front of a priest, usually before or after a Mass, or during a daily Mass, at no charge. You'll still have to go through whatever marriage-prep the diocese requires and usually at least a 6-month waiting period.

[/quote]

I don't want to rehash the argument I'm having here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=477086 But that creates two classes of Catholics: poor that can afford the "bare bones" sacrament and the rich that can afford the "upgraded" sacrament.


#20

[quote="CoffeeHound, post:19, topic:206709"]
I don't want to rehash the argument I'm having here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=477086 But that creates two classes of Catholics: poor that can afford the "bare bones" sacrament and the rich that can afford the "upgraded" sacrament.

[/quote]

Looked at the other thread. I don't understand the need for an argument? If you have the money or want to spend the extra money for a wedding, you can. If you just want or can only afford the sacrament, then get the sacrament for free.

Same thing with the wedding gown and the fancy rings and the music and flowers and the expensive honeymoon, etc. Those things are real nice, but not necessary.


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