View Full Version : What's with the people who get married right out of college?

06-03-2002, 06:23 PM
I know everyone does their own thing in this life, but does anyone agree that it seems kind of clingy and dependent to get married immediately after college? I think people do this so that they don't have to face the tough stuff "on the outside"/"in the real world" alone. Sure, there's being in love, which counts for a lot, but does anyone think it's just too young to marry when you're 22/23? I mean, the psychology sources that I've read indicate that at 22 one is still an adolescent...it just seems to me that by getting hitched before tasting a dose of reality and handling the "real world" on your own after college is often hindering to your personal development and often a way to get a divorce on your record. Thoughts? Please refute this if you can.

06-03-2002, 07:22 PM
I definitely look at 22/23 as being too young to get married (nowadays...the past is different perhaps). But that's my personal feeling on it. I know friends who have pushed to get married at that age (they were in such a rush!) and wish they'd have waited. I would have loved to have had a bf there...but not a husband. I've done a lot of growing since graduating college and it's been a hard adjustment to make both financially and emotionally. I would think that the stresses and pressures of having a new marriage as well as adjusting to the pressures of the real world would put a strain on things.

I would love to hear the success stories, b/c I don't know too many of them!

06-04-2002, 09:55 AM
I hear you guys loud and clear. I definitely think it takes a few years after college to find yourself and to grow as a person. I don't know... everyone has their own opinion... I just don't see the point of rushing into something in your early to mid 20's... hell, I've had a few serious relationships in the past 7 - 8 years that have lasted between a year and two years and I'm still learning about my likes and dislikes and what I want. I'm 27, finishing up my masters and changing careers within the next year, and I don't see myself settling down until my early 30's. Take your 20's to have fun!!!;)

06-05-2002, 09:05 AM
I have success stories of people getting married right out of college. They don't include me (I'm *way* too young for that at 23), but they do give me hope.

One of my closest friends in college got married to his High School sweetheart. They knew each other for most of their lives (their fathers were roommates in dental school), but things didn't happen until prom of their senior year. They had a LDR for 5 years. Since she lived in D.C. and he lived in Georgia, they only saw each other about every other month. They would meet up in Pittsburgh (where he went to college) to spend a weekend with each other. About two summers ago, he took an internship in Baltimore, where she was going to school. This was the first time in their entire relationship that they lived in the same state, let alone the same city. Needless to say, he ended up proposing to her that summer and they were married a year later (after he finished his combined bacheolors/masters degree in chemical engineering).

When you see the two of them together, love radiates from both sides. I knew when he was a sophomore in college that they were going to get married. I have never met two people more perfect for each other. In fact, I went with my friend to Maryland to visit his wife (girlfriend at the time). I had to stop myself from crying, because I have never seen such love and appreciation between two people. When I look at them, it gives me hope about love as well as learning not to settle for anything less than love, respect and appreciation.

So where it may not work for some people, it does work. However, I do know what you mean about settling for second best. It just varies from situation. I think people are age either get married right away (age 20,21,22) or they wait until much later (28,29). The dichotomy is quite interesting... isn't it?

Just my $.02


06-05-2002, 11:27 PM
Here we are, in our 20's (mostly), with many/some of us saying that perhaps it may be better to marry later as you are likely to change and grow throughout your 20's and may grow apart if you get married too young. What I am worried about though is that we are probably likely to keep changing just as much throughout our 30's, 40's etc. While we may know ourselves better and be stronger people 10 years from now, we are still going to be constantly changing as we experience more in life... don't you think? And if that is the case, is there any difference to getting married later than earlier, really???

What do you all think?

06-19-2002, 09:25 PM

Why do you guys think 50% of American marriages end in divorce?

Getting married right out of college (20, 21 years old) you are still growing and learning things about yourself. You have just become legal to drink.

Yes, through out your life you keep growing but you know more about yourself in your late 20s or early 30s than you did in your early 20s.

06-21-2002, 02:46 PM
I think it is often the culture of the college that pushes this unhealthy trend. I graduated from a Baptist college two years ago, and all but one (&me) of my group of friends got married that summer. It is all about insecurity - who am I going to live with? Where am I going to work? What am I going to do with my life? It is so much easier to deal with it if you have someone next to you that won't leave. It is for stability and structure.

At my college, if you weren't engaged by graduation, you were an old maid. There was no hope for you. I remember girls crying during the last week of school because they hadn't found the "one" yet - what were they going to do- there was no hope for them! They should have been proud of their accomplishment of graduation, and instead they were miserable.

Here is an update on my friends - 1 is divorced, 1 separated 6 months after the wedding but recently have gotten back together, 1 is in counseling for her post-marital depression (that's what her counselor calls it), and 1 seems semi-happy.

I am so glad I did not join the trend. I am happy with my boyfriend and love my indepence.

06-22-2002, 10:21 AM
I admit that many people get married just because they want a wedding and not so much because they really want to spend the rest of their life with a p particular person but I get so annoyed with some people's reactions when I tell them I want to get married.

I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years. He's over 30. I'm getting close to 30. We've made it through layoffs, career changes, family problems and the like. I'll tell a friend that I really would like to get married to him and their eyes start to roll and they act like I'm the antithesis of feminism. As if my wanting to get married to a man that I love, a man who's been my only family in a new city and a best friend through good and bad----is going to throw the woman's movement back a few decades. THAT is what bothers me. There are very few friends I can talk to about it. Just saying "Oh, I'd really love to get married to my boyfriend in the next two years" starts the twitching and suddenly they're saying things like "Marriage isn't EVERYTHING" or "Concentrate on your career!" as if i couldn't do both. I never SAID marriage was everything. It's no like I even think everyone should be married. I've done the single thing and enjoyed that too. I was single through most of college and for a while after. I don't feel like I need a man to make me feel complete. I do however feel like I found a man that I want to create a life with----and it bothers me that "friends" can't be open-minded.

Anyway, that's my rant.

06-24-2002, 11:33 AM
Crazy girl, I was not referring to people like you. If you are nearing 30 and have been dating for 3 years, you should get married. In fact, I would think something was wrong with the relationship if you weren't moving towards that step. I was talking with disgust about the 21 year olds who are getting married after 6 months of dating. Your friends are just jealous if they don't think you guys should take that step.

06-24-2002, 11:38 AM
Ooops. I wasn't really saying it in retaliation to any of the previous posts. I just was venting on this board about marriage. Although, I think that there are some people who don't see the difference between the two situations (21 year old marriage and 27 year old marriage). They think that anyone who gets married when they're under 30 is making a big mistake and are too pre-occupied with marriage.

But was just venting, not attacking anyone's view . . . should have probably started my own thread.

06-24-2002, 03:54 PM
HOnestly, if you feel it in your gut that he's the one, he may just be the one. But it does need to come from his side too, sorry to say. Do talk about it, but I wouldn't give ultimatums. I want my future husband to look at our wedding day as special as I would imagine it, not as an end to freedom. I've met unfortunately too many men who I thought were single, but were engaged and still flirted with me (their friends tipped me off). Engaged is clearly off the market! Good luck and follow your gut and 27 is a lot different than 21. Hell, I'm 25 and I'm way different than I was at 22 for that matter!

07-10-2002, 04:31 PM
I am 25 and have been married for almost 2 years, very happily. My husband and I had been dating for a year and a half when I graduated from college (my husband never went to college - he has been a professional musician since he was 16) and got engaged on our 2 year anniversary (dating). We married shortly before our 3 year (dating) anniversary.
I will not say that I was completely prepared for marriage. I knew that I wanted to create a life with this man and that I wanted to be with him forever, but I don't think anyone realizes quite how life will change after marriage until they are there. Don't get me wrong...I love being married to my husband. Not being married, mind you, but being married to HIM. I don't think that you should make judgements and generalizations about how old or when in their lives people should be when they get married. Everyone's situations are different.
And, just a thought, but don't you think that part of the reason the divorce rate is so high is because, we, as a society, have begun to accept divorce as a viable option? I think we need to shift our thinking back to think of marriage as PERMANENT again.
Just a thought.

07-14-2002, 08:01 PM
I took a marriage and family class in college from a guy that was on his fifth marriage...so he really knew his stuff... :)

But some things that I did learn were about things that contribute to the failure of marriage. Here are a few..

1. Age. People who get married between 18-21 have the highest divorce rates.

2. College educated couples were less likely to get divorced...

3. Higher socio-economic class were less likely to divorce (probably because $ is the leading cause of divorce, and that relieves some pressure)

4. And waiting to have children...

That said, I knew a girl who got married when she was 17, and her husband was 16. They had to get married with thier parents permission. The shocker was she wasn't pregnant. Seem to be doing fine though...

Anyway, this is something I am struggling with as well. I am 22, my boyfriend 25, and I have decided I don't want to get married until I am 25 and finished with school, and since I am taking a year off, that will be 2005. So we will have dated 5 years. But sometimes I just want to do it, because our logistics are a pain.

I think the sucess of marriage is dependent on the indvidual. I think two independent, whole people getting married are different than two half people. Some people are whole at 16, some never.

But if it is true love, what is the hurry? I come from an economically depressed region where it is common to get married young. People also cook meth and have three kids and aren't sure who any of the dads are...I think most of these people don't see any other way.

Regardless of your age, I think everyone should go through pre-marital counseling before doing anything. I am amazed at the things people never cover...money, kids, career goals.

All that said, you could get married at 35, be financially sucessful, have a college degree and still not make it.

So to quote H Jackson Brown...

Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

But you also have to be the right person...

07-18-2002, 12:31 PM
damn, that's exactly what i've been thinking lately. i'm 21 and i have 2 friends who are getting married this summer (right out of college) and one who's engaged and i'm having all these ambivalent emotions about it. i even had a wedding anxiety dream last night - i was late. wphew- i need to vent. another of my friends just had a shotgun wedding. well here's the main thing i have to say besides amorphous questioning of motivation, etc.

all of my friends (girls) are taking there new "husband's" last name. and they have really pretty names already. this bothers me. i don't even think it's expected anymore - and our generation is the one that was supposed to do all those little feminist things that should go without saying. granted, maybe you just want a new name...but it seems like a huge symbolic identity jump. like shouldn't you be working on being tough and independent first? who am i to judge? also - people don't HAVE to get married after getting pregnant. commit to raising a kid yes. but why rush to the courthouse?

i guess it relates to how i feel like college was a static time in how i envisioned my friends- i thought i knew what was going on in peoples' heads, but now everybody's wildly diverging within 2 months and some people are going to have a disgusting amount of new possessions due to bridal registrys. ug- even the word bridal - it sounds like bridle. isn't that what you yoke a horse with?

i had my qlc last year when i dropped out of school for a bit and drove across the country which culminated in a big existential crisis and lots of debt of course. and depression...you know, pretty typical, although terrible at the time. anyway i'm experiencing a mild ripple effect i think. i'm still in school this summer so maybe that acts as a qlc buffer - or it's stressing me out so much that i don't notice.

at any rate - i think my boyfriends's qlc is rubbing off on me a bit. he's applying for jobs. by the way, any advice for helping friends deal with their stuff? he's like hyper-active - he's always cutting envelopes for his cd rom of his artwork with an exacto and watching tv and smoking and he can't sit still or relax. i try to distract him but i tend to be a lassiez-faire type. my relative zenness does not seem to be affecting him the same way.

i'm not that worried though, about me at least. i just want everybody to love themselves. but you can't just hand that to people. and i guess the second thing i would want is for people to have money, because that is a huge source of anxiety. like my mom said last night though, what's the big deal about being in debt? it doesn't hurt.

and the last thing would be at least a 7 year waiting period on a marriage lisence.

actually i'm not as bitter as i sound, or maybe i am - i just can't be completely happy about weddings right now, even the ones of the couples that i know are profoundly great. there's definitely an element of "i might puke" - and if not drink enough to make that a possibililty at the reception.

buena suerte everybody. this morning my boyfriend told me about this website. i said, are you having a qlc? he said, "a little one." i told him about the last song on the latest R.E.M. album - "you'll do fine." it's got a beachball in it.

07-19-2002, 01:32 PM
It's all a matter of personal preference :)

For example, my friend's mom only goes by her maiden name. She's a prominent psychologist in Hawaii, and she felt that everything she's achieved, she's achieved as Miss So-and-So. She felt that taking on Mr. XYZ's last name would be throwing away her identity.

I have a friend who got married at 20. She did the "modern" thing and hyphenated her name. So now, she's Mrs. ABC-XYZ.

I have several friends who have gotten married young (one got married at 23 last weekend :D ) and who have taken their husband's last name. One took her husband's name so that her child would have the same name as her. Another one hated her last name. Two or three believed in "tradition"

As for me, well, I'm more along the lines of keeping my own last name, or hyphenating it. However (and this sounds quite selfish or narcissitic), if I marry some one Jewish, I will take my husband's last name. The reason behind that... I'm Jewish, but I don't have a typical Jewish last name (think extremely Irish last name). I'm tired of people going to me "You're Jewish" or "When did you convert?" (I didn't... father's Catholic, mother's Jewish). To me, taking on a Jewish last name helps with "cementing" my identity. I know that sounds weird or crazy, but it's how I feel.

Anyway, as I said before, all about personal preference. Who are we to judge? :)

07-19-2002, 01:34 PM
forgot to mention in the last post... I consider myself to be a feminist :D

07-19-2002, 04:18 PM
I plan to take my husband's name when I get married---unless it's something horrible like Asshat or something like that.

My reason is that my name is very common---sort of like Jane Doe. I've had my student loans messed up, mail not get to my house, bank statements messed up, car repairs . . . all because there is always another person with my name in the computer system.

Lame reason but it will hopefully be a solution to the annoying problem.

08-27-2002, 07:41 PM
At a university I used to attend, a lot of the women who went to that school were not there to get an education. These women were there to find successful husbands. I thought the idea was archaic, and that they're lives would be hard, but now I see them, several years into their marriages, and they have things together for the most part. I am not about to encourage anyone to seek a husband in college....but every time I sit home alone on a Saturday night, I wonder a bit.