Need engagement advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-21-2003
Need engagement advice
1
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 9:53pm
I've been dating a wonderful person for the past 7 years. We met in college, I was 20, he was 21, and we've been together since our first meeting. While we have had our ups and downs, we have always managed to work things out. Currently, both of us are in graduate school in a different state from where we met and we live together. I am now 27, and since we are cohabiting, I am receiving a lot of pressure to marry him (from professors, friends, siblings, his parents). While none of this pressure stems from my own parents, I am still feeling societal pressures to marry him. I do believe we will end up together, but when I think of him proposing, I get this stressed out feeling that I cannot explain. After doing some internet searching concerning marriage readiness, I cannot seem to find anything that will help me. I've taken a battery of "marriage readiness" tests and always come up with the result that we are perfect for each other and ready for marriage! But, I cannot get this feeling of stress out of me. My main question is, for anyone that can offer me any piece of advice, is this stress normal? I know that relationships are hard work and require dedication and commitment to one other, but why is it I feel this way? In trying to answer this myself, sometimes I think I missed out on a lot of experiences. We met rather young, he's the only person I've been with, and sometimes I wonder what it would be like to date other people. But, when I think of breaking things off, that is the last thing I want to do. He and I have openly discussed marriage and he says he hopes we are married in the future. Can anyone advise me on how to sort through this myriad of emotions?--Thanks

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 3:44am
First things first...don't listen to what everyone is saying. You'll be ready for marriage when you are ready. Don't listen to those tests either. Just because it says on some computer screen that you are ready for marriage doesn't mean that you are. Keep in mind that an online test gives you only 3 possible answers, every relationship is unique and I doubt that you're true answer was always on the screen. Now as for the stress... How is your parents marriage? How are family members marriages? How is marriage viewed in your family? The reason I ask is, in many cases you're view of marriage comes from how you viewed your parents marriage. If you saw many arguments throughout your childhood, you might see marriage as a source of conflict. Have you heard many bad things about marriage? You've been in the relationship for 7 years. Is it possible that maybe you like the relationship where it is. Because marriage comes with expectations and roles. Some people view that as a burden, and a lot of people have wonderful common law relationships that go on as long as a couple who is married. I don't think that your stress is abnormal...its just a matter of figuring out where it is coming from. I hope I've helped! Take care and good luck

Catwoman