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Not a shotgun wedding

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 31, 2009 10:18 AM

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Happy Friday, LL people. I'm off to Maryland in a few hours for a wedding. I am going to eat some crabs and wear a purple dress. It's going to be quite a weekend.

I’m dumbfounded by my own advice today. But I stand by it.

Q: I am a 19-year-old college student in Boston. During my first year of college (last year), I met and fell in love with an amazing woman, a Boston University 22-year-old senior. In our short time together I came to the realization that she is the ONE! and that I didn't want or need anything else other than what she gave to me. We have an amazing sex life! (any guy who tells you a good sex life is not important is most likely a virgin). We trust each other to the extreme which is different than my past relationships. We communicate very effectively, and we treat each other like best friends. We simply love being around each other and sharing each other's company. And honestly, I cannot see any of this ever changing. Which is why I have asked -- and she has agreed -- to marry me in August (before the start of my second year of college!). I know that most people, if not all, would say that this is way too early in life and that I don't really know what I want. But those who know me know that I am very much advanced in maturity, my career, and my morals. I know what I want in life and I know that this is it.

So my question is does it matter that we have not conformed to what society says and waited until I at least graduated? Does love really have to wait? If we both feel that this is what we want, and we have a plan for our lives, why can't we just do it without having everyone on our case questioning our motives? I need a calculator to add up how many times I have been asked if she is pregnant in the last month! She isn't by the way.

If we are madly in love and we have the support of our immediate and most important family members, shouldn't that be enough to go ahead and make the life changing move?

I mean, no matter when a couple marries it's never a guarantee right? Whether I marry her now or 6 years from now we will still have to work just as hard every day to keep the relationship healthy. So what's the difference, really?

-- Engaged!, Boston

A: Engaged!, I can just picture you saying your vows: “My dear, I will always trust you -- to the extreme.”

Sorry. Not making fun. I just like how you phrased it.

Obviously, you’re young. Too young. But let’s forget about that for a second. You bring up a great point -- that marriage is never a guarantee. And I’ll tell you -- if you were getting married at 22 or 24, many folks would tell you that you’re still too young (and maybe they'd be right). And if you were 40 and unmarried, people might say something is wrong with you -- that you can't commit (and maybe they'd be right). People always have an opinion. Let’s forget about them and concentrate on you.

You want to marry her. You have a life plan. You believe with all of your heart that this will work. I don’t know why you feel you need to make it official right now, but you do -- your gut wants to put a ring on it.

Whenever people ask me if they should take a big risk, I ask them, “What’s the worst that can happen?” In this case, the worst that can happen is that you grow out of this love and get divorced. And … I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that wouldn’t be so terrible. In fact, it would be less painful than getting divorced when you’re older and actually own things.

And what’s the best thing that can happen? You stay married. You love each other and trust each other to the extreme for as long as you both shall live. Not so bad, right?

I don’t get why you have to make it legal. But if you feel you do, get to it. Tell the judgmental folks that you’re getting married because you’re changing her into a vampire, “Twilight”-style (yes, I’m still in my “Twilight” phase -- leave me alone about it). Or tell them you want to be on her health insurance. Or tell them you’re doing it on a dare. Or tell them -- it’s none of their business. Who cares what they think?

If we’ve learned anything from Love Letters, it’s that relationships are fragile, no matter your age or place in life. Even the best relationships, the ones built on maturity and self-awareness, are scary and breakable. It’s always a risk. We’re all just crossing our fingers with the best of intentions. Yours seem pretty good.

Now that you have my blessing, prepare yourself for the wrath of my readers. People? Did I just give a college sophomore permission to get married? I’d love your thoughts on the matter here. Letters to right. Twitters here.

-- Meredith

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240 comments so far...
  1. Wow!

    When my parents got married in the 60's it wasn't unusual to get married young. Still wasn't that advisable, but it was much more common than it is now. I do wonder why you HAVE to get married now - why you feel the need to make it legal. But, maybe you want to shout out to the world that she's the one?

    My only concern is that you might each be in a different stage of your lives. You'll still be in college, and if she's gotten a job she'll be working, which is different than being a student, trust me. Have you discussed how you'll handle that? That you'll be up until 2 AM and sleeping in until noon, while she'll have to get up at 7 to get to work by 9? And, assuming you'll be living off campus in an apartment together, will she be willing to let you go to parties, on road trips, and do other college stuff so you won't feel like you're missing out?

    But, if you're both mature and are able to TALK about these things, then you'll have a better chance than others at making this work. I've never been married, or close to married, so I might not know what I'm talking about, but I'd say if you both communicate communicate communicate and can compromise and respect each other, you've good a pretty good future together.

    My best wishes to you!

    Posted by OK Cupid Fan July 31, 09 10:43 AM
  1. Hi - If you guys are so much in love and this is the One, then what would be the harm in waiting a couple of years until you do graduate. If you both have such a dep love for each other then it will still be there in a couple of years, or at least it should. I believe that your college years are some of the best years of your life, you are supposed to grow and learn about the wolrd more and about yourself. you should take advantgae of that for right now and consider putting marriage and settling down on hold for just a bit longer. There's no harm in waiting, there is no harm in getting married either, but might just be a wiser decision to wait. If it is meant tobe the love will still be there when you are done with school, right? Good Luck

    Posted by JW July 31, 09 10:45 AM
  1. This is a happy Love Letter! AWESOME!

    Love doesn't hesitate and the LW is not hesitating. I think that's beautiful and even though you are young, you have just as much of a chance of being happily married for the rest of your lives than anyone else in love at an older age.

    My parents were thirty when they married and got married 2 months after their first date (NOT a shotgun wedding either). They just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I asked my mother how they could get married after only 2 months and she said, "Sometimes you just KNOW."

    Posted by Amazed July 31, 09 10:46 AM
  1. I can relate. I was engaged as a sophomore in college to a freshman. Needless to say, it did not work out. He wanted out of the engagement the start of his sophomore year, the beginning of my junior year. I was devastated, so I left the country for a junior year abroad program. He did ask to get back together my senior year, but I had moved on by that point. Currently, I’m a 30-something who is not married, and I am now wondering if I missed the shot to be with the love of my life. But, at the same time, I’ve had amazing life experiences on my own, living in other parts of the country and the world - experiences I may not have had being married at such a young age. Life is all about trade-offs.

    Posted by LuLuLemon July 31, 09 10:52 AM
  1. I think its fine to get married, but my advice would be to wait! wait until you can have a nice ring. I could barely efford food in college, nevermind a wedding or a ring! also I like the advice about difference stages of life, it is very different. My boyfriend works as a bartender and lives with his college buddies, I worked 9-5 and it was a tough adjustment when I wanted to go to bed at 11 and he had woken up at 3pm, and that was short term. If you are going to be together forever, why not just wait? have a spoken engagement, call each other fiance, but wait until you can really enjoy it

    Posted by E July 31, 09 10:52 AM
  1. Ummmm, Meredith? Are you feeling okay this morning? Are you sure the purple-dress-wearing/crab-eating excitement of this weekend hasn't gotten you? BECAUSE I THINK IT HAS.

    Engaged! - whooooaaa, slow down there ponyboy. You are 19. I don't doubt that you are in love, but you are 19. And she is only 22. You have not faced the challenges that both rip relationships apart, and that change ideals and life plans. You haven't searched for, moved for, or changed for a career - and neither has she. You haven't even gotten locked into a major yet! Whoa! You're killin' me!

    Listen, I'm not saying you won't be together forever. And I'm not saying that you aren't in love. I'm just saying that the legal expenses both of getting in to and out of a marriage are too great to make this risk worth it. Wait a few years. Wait 5 years - wait ten. In the meantime, feel free to live together and love each other - to the extreme! Just don't put your families and yourselves through the expense of a marriage/divource that is built on such tenuous circumstances.

    Posted by Fievel July 31, 09 10:53 AM
  1. I say you should absolutely NOT do it. Here's why.... college is an incredible time in your life, which you may not have realized yet because you have been distracted by lust. The most important thing you learn will not be found in a text book or classroom, it will be learned through college experiences. You will learn about yourself. You will figure out who you are and then determine who you want to be and how you want to get there. Maybe you are mature for your age blah blah blah... maturity does not mean you have it all figured out.

    I can tell you that the person I was my freshman year of college was a far distant memory to the person I was when I graduated four years later. My goals changed, my interests (including love interests) changed, I changed. And so will you. Before you can say you love someone enough to be with them forever you need discover who you really are first. And sorry, but you haven't. And no offense, no 19 year old out there has.

    I say sloooooow down. Anything worth having is worth waiting for. And if after you graduate and you see what direction your life is taking and you decide she is still what you want then do it. You are 19....there is plenty of time to be married just enjoy being young and carefree for now.

    Posted by Kathleen July 31, 09 10:54 AM
  1. Wow. I completely disagree with Meredith today. She must have "wedding fever'!!

    I don't understand why this young couple can't wait two more years before getting married. If they love each other and plan on staying together forever, then waiting two years shouldn't be a big deal. Maybe they can have a long engagement, and not legally tie the knot until he at least turns 21. This kid can't even go to a bar legally!

    I remember being 19, and I thought I knew a lot. Now it's ten years later, and when I look back on those years, I realize that I made a lot of mistakes and wasn't as mature as I thought I was. When I was 19, I was still dating my high school boyfriend and was madly in love. Then I went abroad for a year and returned and things just weren't the same. Why? Because I had changed. I had grown up a bit. Thank God we weren't married!

    I know Meredith says that the worst that could happen is divorce and maybe that's not so bad. Well, for one thing, divorce is expensive. Both parties have to hire lawyers to make it happen. Also, any property that was purchased together and any finances that are combined need to be divided and sorted out. Let's put it this way: I have never met one person who has gotten divorced who has described it as either "easy" or "not a big deal". Divorce is a big deal!

    Not to mention that you may be divorced when you're just in your twenties. I hate to say this, but unfortunately divorce does carry some stigma. On dating websites, you'll see that some people say that they will not date someone who is divorced. It's sad, but it's true. It's like damaged goods for some reason.

    Why not wait? She'll be there two years from now and hopefully 10 and 20 years from now. You have your whole life to make it legal.

    Posted by SassySarah July 31, 09 10:56 AM
  1. Forgive me people - I'm in a foul mood. I'm not one to judge - but today, I am. First of all, the LW is straight out of elementary school. "if I find a girl I loooooooove, I'm going to marry her" and he is on the way there. I mean, seriously dude - how long have you been going out - one year? Seriously? You want to marry her just so that you can dig your hooks into her so she can't leave unless she files for divorce? That is so asinine! I mean - come ON! Wake up! You're 19 almost 20 years old and you have the maturity level of a 7 year old (with apologies to the seven year olds who have more maturity than this guy).

    You make the argument- "Whether I marry her now or 6 years from now we will still have to work just as hard every day to keep the relationship healthy. So what's the difference, really?" oh it's a HUGE difference you have no idea what it's like to be married. Not only does she take your last name, but she gets half of everything you own and will ever own. Oh, the alimony will be TREMENDOUS! Here's a hint - look up 'alimony' in the dictionary and find out what it means. She's going to be set for life if you make any kind of real money when you get out of college. Oh you don't know what you're getting into! Danger, Letter Writer, Danger!

    Oh, before I go, one more quote from yourself " I need a calculator to add up how many times I have been asked if she is pregnant in the last month! She isn't by the way:"

    I needed a damn calculator just to approximate how many times I've fell out of my chair laughing at you for reading this! You really need to grow up buddy.

    PS: I'm really excited to read Brother Hoss, Brother Valentino and Brother Rico's comments about this. it should be a laugh out loud Friday!

    Posted by Admiral Antgro July 31, 09 10:57 AM
  1. Sounds like you are still in the "honeymoon period". Unfortunately, the honeymoon wears off at some point. There's a lot of boring crap in marriage, and also a lot of shared goals and compromise that goes on. Not to mention the major life change you have coming up when you graduate and go out into the world. I'd recommend finding out the following about your bride prior to getting married:

    1. How many children do you want to have? When do you want to have them? Do you envision someone staying home? And so on.
    2. What is your financial vision for us? Debt-free, house, car?
    3. Do you want to move somewhere, for example, close to your family? Far away?
    4. What role do you see religion playing in our future?

    Know this stuff before you go in.

    Posted by K July 31, 09 11:01 AM
  1. I'm happy that you feel so in love, and you are lucky to find someone you want to share your life with...I know at 19 I was no where close. If you feel ready, fine, who am I to judge. Just make sure you think it all through.
    One question that came to my mind was finances. I don't know your situation with paying for college, but if your parents are helping pay for your tuition now, will they help if you're married? They might think if you're mature enough for marriage you're mature enough for bills. Your soon-to-be wife might not want to take on another tuition burden. At any rate, I hope it all works out.

    Posted by gigi July 31, 09 11:03 AM
  1. My sister in law married at 16 and they were together til her husband passed away from an accident after over 35 years of marriage. It is the people involved, not the age, the race, the religions, etc. No one knows what is right for you but you. Good luck and hope it works out for life!

    Posted by techdood July 31, 09 11:06 AM
  1. I just realized you can't have known this girl for more than a year. You've known her for 9 months. Just love her without the wedding! you don't need to legally lock her down. again, just call her your fiance, make googly eyes at her, and be happy you arent married when she leaves you for a guy that is not 3 years younger.

    Posted by E July 31, 09 11:09 AM
  1. I don't think you are necessarily too young. Well scientifically, maybe you are. The last part of our brains to develop doesn't finish until our early 20's and guess what part that is - The part that makes long term judgments. However, when we are in love, that part of our brain doesn't function really well, anyway, no matter what our age is.

    Plenty of people get married at your age and are happily married. What worries me is that next year you two will be in different places. You'll be in college and she'll be out in the real world. (I assume. I guess she could be continuing her education). Undergraduate college is a very different world than just about anything else in your life. I worry that you will drift apart or struggle as you two live in different worlds.

    Why the rush to get married? Clearly, it isn't religious views about premarital relations. It sounds to me like you (or her or both of you) want the commitment in order to trap each other in this. You know next year things will be different, and you are afraid the relationship won't last until you have the marriage to force you to stay in it. Do you really want to remain together solely because of a piece of paper and a promise? If you two are meant to be together, you'll still be able to stay together and get married later.

    Oh, and don't worry about what people think. There's nothing wrong with listening to advice, but in the end it's your life and it's your happiness that matters.

    Posted by two sheds July 31, 09 11:10 AM
  1. I read this letters, but never commented before.

    I completely agree with JW. I think you both are making a huge mistake. Love aside, did you consider the legal implications of your decision? I promise you will change allot in the few years. She will too as she enters the real world. Are you really 100% sure you want to be tied together legally??? I dont know...I just dont think you have had the life experiences yet to be making this decision.

    Also I completely agree with your statement that having a great sex life is 1000% important in any relationship that is going to last. But how do you know she is the best you could have, if you are committing to never sleep with anyone else? Something to consider.

    Posted by Chuck Diesel July 31, 09 11:11 AM
  1. I got married right out of college. Now divorced. It was my first serious relationship and didn't know myself. Still, I would consider marriage IF I had known this person for at least 2 years (time to let the romance phase fade and reality set in...) AND you had life goals that were in alignment. Glad I have done that for myself or I would be married right now seeking a second divorce. Instead, it is just a painful breakup.

    Posted by sanity123 July 31, 09 11:12 AM
  1. If she is The One, congratulations on finding her so early! But if she really is The One, what's the rush to get married? If you wait, you can have nicer ceremony after both of you are in the workforce and have more money at your disposal.

    I don't doubt the legitimacy of your feelings. I've felt that way about a significant other before, especially at your age. But in time, I learned that S/O was NOT The One, and it was a good thing we weren't married: divorce sucks.

    Why put all the pressure of marriage on each other so quickly? You can still have a committed, loving, sextastic relationship without becoming legally-bound to one another. If your mind is made up to get married, no one can stop you. But you may want to think about it before taking that big leap.

    "The best way to get over loving someone is to marry them." ~Irish proverb

    Posted by The Cynic July 31, 09 11:13 AM
  1. The only concern I would have for you is how will you pay for school. If you are using financial aid, and your parents are on your FAFSA, to get married changes your dependency. If your love is working that may decrease your financial aid, and if she's not, then it may increase your financial aid. Also, is she continuing school? Note I am not a professional financial aid guru, please check with your school. Money is one of the hardest topics in any relationship, young or old. Figure out the how to continue school, where are you going to live, all the hard questions behind the lovey dovey. If you're all set & both on the same page, then best wishes! And boo to those who think “sure get married the worst that can happen is you get divorced young." Marriage is serious, & should not be walked into with map to a way out.

    Posted by smellycat July 31, 09 11:16 AM
  1. Mere,
    Oy Vey! Are you all GooGoo-eyed because you're heading off to a wedding this weekend? There are major consequences to this young couple marrying. What happens if they have an 'oops' baby in 18 months? Or try to stay together to avoid the 'I told you so' and finally pack it in at 35 - jaded and frustrated that they lost their '20's', never to regain them. They call it splits and now she's stuck as a co-payee for his $100,000 in student loans!
    I have seen this happen. It's not pretty. I know a couple that met at Northeastern and did the same thing. They had their daughter 18 months after the wedding. Things were shaky. He couldn't find work-she worked 2 jobs. He became a stay-at-home Dad-and hated it. She resented him. They tried to fix it with baby #2-they were 26 years old. The rest of us-his friends-were single and in grad school. He wanted to enjoy his 20s and started going out on weekends- having affairs with co-eds. She was stuck home with the kids.We were disgusted and started avoiding him. He lied like a teenager and said he was with us while he was out cavorting with his paramours. Baby #3 came at age 28-maybe a surprise-or maybe his wife was trying to reel him back in. Then there were 5 of them living in a 2 bedroom condo 30 miles outside of Boston. They divorced at age 32. A complete trainwreck-poor children.

    Posted by Wicked Witch of the East July 31, 09 11:16 AM
  1. Try not think of of it as conforming to what society says. Try to think of it as taking advantage of generations of accumulated wisdom and getting the benefit of experience which you do not yet have. One part of the experience of being a college student is that you are really, really sure that you know everything you need to know about everything, and that older people (except for your favorite professor) are clueless. When you get older, you'll realize that you actually didn't know very much at all and you made up for that with the bluster of certainty. I suspect your certainty over this relationship is more from that impulse. Maybe you are an extraordinary person who possesses uncommon maturity and focus. It's certainly possible. But more likely, you're doing yourself a disservice without even realizing it. This is one of the oldest stories in the world -- it's true love, everyone is against us. Try not to get so caught up in that exciting narrative that you forget that you only have one life and if you screw it up, you have lost chances. I don't agree with Mer that it is no big deal if you have to get divorced. Mer has likely not been divorced. I have -- twice in a sense (my own parents' divorce, which left me fatherless and on food stamps and my own divorce which was financially and emotionally devastating.) Believe me, it is something you want to avoid at all costs. So wait until you are finished with college. If the relationship is pure perfection, as you say, then the wait will be easy and harmless.

    Posted by JC July 31, 09 11:16 AM
  1. My parents got married in 1975. My mother was 19 and my father was 21. To this day, they are still happily married and love each other just as much, if not more.

    If you are both consenting adults (which you are), I don't think age really should matter. As long as you both love and trust each other, you can make it work and have a wonderful life together. Go with your gut. If you think she's the one, THEN DO IT!

    Congratulations and I wish you both the best of luck!

    Posted by LAS July 31, 09 11:18 AM
  1. Engaged....take your time. You don't have to get married now. You are much too young, both of you. You both love each and are committed to one another, so why rush? Finish your education, travel, make new friends, get established in your careers....it will only help to strengthen your relationship if you do. Marriage is a very big commitment, and so very few people are able to handle it at such a young age. I wish you much love and happiness with one another, but take your time.

    Posted by CandyGirl July 31, 09 11:18 AM
  1. I'm unclear on whether she is wearing an engagement ring and whether both sets of parents have been met with as a "serious" couple. Rituals in our society can sometimes seem to slow things down, but they exist for reasons. I've known more than one divorced young man who had assumed that because his parents were a stable, happy couple that a happy marriage would automatically fall into place when he himself fell passionately in love and proposed. I personally favored, and had, a one-year engagement, because I believe that allows some time for the couple (and everyone else) to get adjusted to the idea. Plus, planning a wedding in such a short time frame is pretty stressful. Even though we were married by a Justice of the Peace (quick and easy, after blood tests), planning the party we threw for family and friends took some doing. It is true that "sometimes you just know" and you do, and you live happily together, but marrriage is a whole different commitment than is a romantic love affair. Simply your financial arrangements (income, tuition, paying back educational loans) will be demanding. However, if you two are truly a meant-to-be-together team and are deeply compatible, go for it.

    Posted by still learning July 31, 09 11:18 AM
  1. Go for it! You already have said the most important thing.
    Whether I marry her now or 6 years from now we will still have to work just as hard every day to keep the relationship healthy.

    If you know that relationships are work, wonderful worthwhile work, then you have the best chance to actually make it.

    Posted by CouchMouse July 31, 09 11:24 AM
  1. Congrats! You are lucky to find someone to share the rest of your life with. However... until you can both support yourself financially, I don't believe you should get married. If you are supporting yourself now, go to the alter! But if you or your gf are still receiving an allowance, use a parents credit card, still live at home while not in school, still on their cell phone plan, etc, etc. you should wait until you and your gf can start your life together without the financial help of parents.

    Posted by NOT engaged July 31, 09 11:26 AM
  1. Mere-
    Caught your NECN spot on LL. Is that voice straight out of "Girl 6", or what? Is your area code 900? You...and that voice...in purple...look out! Have a great weekend.

    Posted by valentino July 31, 09 11:26 AM
  1. Admiral (#9)

    “Not only does she take your last name,”
    Says who?
    “but she gets half of everything you own and will ever own.”
    Says who?
    “ Oh, the alimony will be TREMENDOUS!”
    It's rarely given anymore, especially when the spouses don't have anything, and there are no children.
    What generation to you speak of, Admiral? What demographic? Upper middle class, 1950s?

    Misogynist much?

    Posted by reindeergirl July 31, 09 11:27 AM
  1. I am 25 years old and I can tell you first hand how much you are going to grow and change in the next few years. I never thought I would change all that much and even when I was going through it didn't realize I was changing and growing, but looking back at who I was at 19 and who I am today is a HUGE difference. I have always been more mature than my peers and wise beyond my years like you say you are but that doesn't mean you aren't going to keep growing up. I've learned it's all about life experience, not maturity. I was always mature but have now experienced a lot of things I never went through before that has taught me a lot about who I am.
    I don't want to be the Debbie Downer but everybody that I know that is divorced got married when they were in their early 20s and the marriage only lasted a couple of years. They were very much in love at the time but didn't know who they were yet as individuals and they just grew apart. You may think you know who you are but you still have no idea. She doesn't know who she is either. You learn so much about yourself when you're out in the world working and taking care of yourself (which even though you feel like you're on your own in college you still have the cushion and support of college life). If you're so sure about her then propose and have a long engagement. Maybe consider getting an apartment together off campus so you can start to experience the real world a little bit more and see how you do. It doesn't sound like she's going anywhere anytime soon. But if she does it would have happened regardless of if you were married or not and this way it will be a cleaner break.

    Posted by don't do it July 31, 09 11:27 AM
  1. I must say it's refreshing to see a young couple eager to marry because they love each other, and not because she wants a "nice ring", or because they both want to have a grand party thrown on their behalf.

    So many people marrying today are quite open about doing it "for the party", "for the gifts", or for some other reason related to acquiring material goods for free.

    Yes, they are young. Yes, he is still in college and will not get the "single college student experience". But come on folks! This guy is already in a committed relationship with a woman while in college. Marrying in a month is not going to cause him miss any experiences because he’s already given up the “single college student experience”.
    Go for it!

    Posted by Sigh July 31, 09 11:27 AM
  1. Get married next month, quit BU, get a blue collar job, take on a large mortgage, rack up debt, and start having kids ASAP. Why wait? Don't let societal norms dictate the timing. Go ahead and deal with the stresses of adulthood, parenting, and marriage now. Why wait 6 years? Frankly, it's childish to think that you have the rest of your life for that and at 19, you should be enjoying your freedom, dating wide varieties of women, and enjoying the benefits that college life has to offer. Everyone else is wrong and you are all knowing and very well advanced in the ways of the world.

    Posted by Czar Chasm July 31, 09 11:28 AM
  1. Personally, I think 19 is way too young for marriage. On the other hand, it sounds like the two of you are hell bent on doing it and seem genuinely happy about it.
    I say go for it. Half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, so if yours does fail, you're both still young enough to try again. If you are mature enough to handle it now, great. If not, you will have learned some valuable lessons. Just remember that you will only be 19 once, so make sure before you jump that you don't regret missing out on the things that 19 year-olds experience.
    Good luck!


    Posted by DrK July 31, 09 11:29 AM
  1. I don't usually comment here, but I can relate in many ways to this letter. I met my boyfriend years ago while we were both in college. He also wanted to get married when he turned 19 and I was 21. He wouldn't take no for an answer, and in the end. I had to break up with him. A couple of years later, we got back together, and, while not married, we're still together after almost 13 years. In retrospect, he agrees that I made the right decision, though it hurt him incredibly at the time. He realizes now that neither of us were in a position intellectually, financially, or academically at that point in our lives. And regarding academics, as a college instructor, I'm wondering if you have considered the financial impact of marrying in college. I'm not talking of living expenses. Talk to a financial aide counselor and see how this will impact your eligibility for federal/state assistance. I believe that your marital status does matter toward any aid you might be receiving. It certainly affects your housing, if you're in student housing. In addition, I teach at a community college, and see many of my students struggle daily to juggle work, school and family obligations.

    Best of luck to you, whatever you choose.

    Posted by Sonya July 31, 09 11:30 AM
  1. Getting Married at 19 is like sitting down in an empty room, throwing a blanket over your head, and locking the door. Furthermore, it can also be compared to being forced to eat your favorite cereal every meal and every day for the rest of your life. On the upside: with the advent of the internet, you'll have a endless supply of "spank bank" images to get you through the tedious "servicing" of your wife's "needs" when you are middle-aged with three kids. We all deserve our fates...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 July 31, 09 11:30 AM
  1. I agree with those posters indicating that the LW is too young to get married. I like the 'call her your fiance and make googly eyes at her' approach. Perfect.

    I normally don't bother to post, but wanted to voice my extreme annoyance at Admiral Antgro - you, my friend, are an ignorant @ss. Why must you assume that the LW, as the 'man', will make piles of money and that the 'fiance', as a woman, will take him for everything he has? It is at least as likely that the reverse will occur, especially as this woman is apparently willing to marry a 19 year old, 3 years her junior, and clearly isn't expecting him to support her at the outset. Please don't assume that every woman in the world is waiting for some male to support her.

    Posted by CMF July 31, 09 11:31 AM
  1. GO FOR IT!
    I'm in my early 20's and planning my wedding as well...
    Our society is focused more on Careers, Money and How high up on the ladder you can get. We live in a very selfish society.. Sadly.

    I commend you on not conforming and following your heart. The most important things in life are Love, Family, and how gratifying and fulfilling those bonds are.

    Your job title and all the money you can earn will never come CLOSE to bringing you that happiness.

    Best of luck! I'd say you're one of the few who actually see's whats important in life.

    Posted by EastCoastGirl July 31, 09 11:33 AM
  1. What a sad, sad state of affairs. This letter writer wants to tie himself down and limit his menu to one type of food the rest of his life. When he walks the campus and views hot chicks, he can't sleep with them because he's engaged. Clueless, engaged, married, a young parent, broke and stupid is no way to go through life, son. Are you so lacking in self confidence that you have to cling to the first girl that ever said yes to you? You mention sex in your letter. Sex must be important enough to you that you mention it. Say goodbye to sexual variety right now. (at 19, you haven't had anything close to the variety you could enjoy) Boston women are forever complaining about the lack of available men in this city. The comments from women in this column over the last few months alone should tell you that they are desperate, able and willing to throw themselves at anything decent. they are ripe for the picking sexually and you are throwing it all away for a 22 year old who will be wondering what it's like to sleep with the airheaded, musclebound doorman at The Bell in Hand by age 24. Just think, you will be divorced and paying child support before you even graduate college! Oh, wait a minute....you'll have to quit school and get a job. Oh, wait a minute....the economy is in the toilet and there are no jobs! Just refer back to Meredith's comments a week or so ago. Even Meredith admits that she wants someone with MONEY. If money is Meredith's number one priority, how do you think you'll be able to rip off her purple dress if you met her at her Maryland wedding in the future? The answer is that you couldn't because you would be a single parent, broke with child support obligations.

    It's time to wake up, get out of this situation and start devising a plan to set the record for girls slept with in one semester of college. Then, graduate with honors, find a well paying job, and then have sex with as many women as possible. It's really that simple. No wife, no nagging. No children, more money. More money, more grilled chesse.....got it?

    Meredith, the groomsman in the the bridal party with the biggest bulge is the one you want to bag this weekend. By bulge, I mean wallet bulge. Focus on the breast pocket of their tuxes. That's where their wallets will be.....but you already know that, I'm sure.

    Posted by leykis101 July 31, 09 11:34 AM
  1. For the sake of the column, I’m going to pretend that this letter is actually real.

    1. Where’s the part of the letter that asks for advice? You’ve already proposed, she accepted and you’re getting married in August. August starts tomorrow.

    2. The first supporting argument you had for the quality / strength of the relationship was “We have an amazing sex life”. You’ve either got the vapors or you’re sprung.

    3. Explain to me how after one year in college, you are “very much advanced in your career.”

    4. You’re closest and most important family members ought to be ashamed of themselves for supporting this. Married prior to Soph year in college to someone you've know for 10 months?!? To quote Ron White: You can't fix stupid.

    5. Clearly you and your fiancée are trying to prove something here. There’s no doubt that you have self-esteem issues and are trying to run a non-conformist act up the flag to garner attention. You love that people keep challenging you on it or asking you if she’s pregnant. You’ve built up a charade: “Aren’t we wonderful, we’re perfect, we have it all figured out, so we are not going to wait, we are going to get married and spit in the face of the establishment”). Sorry, but it comes across as pathetic and needy. There, I said it.

    6. Your quote: “Honestly, I cannot see any of this ever changing”. Again, you’re sprung. Your life so far has consisted of Momsy and Popsy supporting you, cutting your steak, and sending you off to a whopping one year of college. Of course, you don’t think anything will change. You have not even begun your adult life yet.

    That’s all the time we’ve got for today. Hope you enjoy the comments that your fake letter brought on.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 31, 09 11:34 AM
  1. Rico can''t believe that Meredith posted another nice letter...

    Rico loved Bike Friday and enjoyed a nice smooth trip into work today...With that here is what Rico thinks.

    Rico thinks you should follow your heart and if that means to the alter then go for it. Rico doesn't care about age and neither should you unless it is illegal of course. Rico also wants to reiterate Meredith's point of if it doesn't work out in a short time you will be divorced and still young. Rico is sure there are some jokes there. Look, 100% of all marriages end in either divorce or death, that is a fact. Prove Rico wrong? You could die today or another 100 years from now so live your life the way you want not the way others tell you is best.

    Rico thinks young love is wonderful but warns you to be cautious because Rico knows from his many years of running that BU has quite a few reasons to make your eyes wander. Rico trained for marathons and ran often along the BU campus on Comm Ave so he knows what he is talking about. Rico doesn't condone cheating but you'd have to be dead not to notice an attractive person. That being said if you truly in your heart want to marry this girl for the right reasons then go for it. Be prepared for a lot of work. Do not quit school whatever you do, that is the only added advice Rico has.

    Get outside and enjoy the day...There is advice for single guys in Rico's words...Run or ride or walk around the BU campus if you want to meet attractive single women. Rico hears there are a much higher number of women at BU than men.

    Love always and keep your sanity,


    Gears not Gas

    Posted by Rico July 31, 09 11:35 AM
  1. I'd recommend getting married in a church - if both of you are all right with that. Reason why - most require couples counseling first and the priest/person marrying you will run through a whole lot of questions about what both of you want out of life (kids, how you plan to take care of your parents when they are old, etc.). Everyone I know who went through this - my husband & I included - found it invaluable. And you'll enter into the marriage knowing that you are both on the same page about what you want out of life & the marriage.

    Good luck!!

    Posted by e July 31, 09 11:35 AM
  1. Don't do it, man! You're too young. You have a lot of living to do. Plus, you mention the amazing sex first. Yeah, sex is important, but so are many other things. I think you're leaving the little head to the thinking instead of the big head. Grow up!

    Posted by Think, bro, think! July 31, 09 11:37 AM
  1. Marry her because you know you want to.

    All this stuff about not marrying young is b**lsh**t. I think it's actually bizarre and abnormal that people wait past their lower 20s to get married.

    And don't take advice from people who tell you not to marry yet who still haven't managed to marry even though they are over 35, or from clueless college students who just aren't sure what they want and would be afraid to get married in the first place.

    You know what you want so do it. And stop writing in to strangers for advice.

    Posted by steve in W MA July 31, 09 11:37 AM
  1. People have already said this but I think it needs to be reiterated. College is a life experience like no other. You have crazy amounts of free time, few authority figures to answer to, few responsibilities and are living among thousands of people your own age. Many people find love during these years and think it will last a lifetime because it just works so well in the college environment when you can spend so much time together, responsibility free. You already know you can love eachother under these circumstances (which I feel is great, probably shows you'll be ok spending lots of time together as a married couple).

    I think what you also need to experience is how your relationship will exist once she has moved on from college. There is no doubt in my mind that you will remain in love and committed (i am a huge romantic and am hoping the same turns out for me as my boyfriend moves onto a different stage in his life), but it is something that needs experiencing. A real job, or even grad school, are totally different life experiences than college. You need to see if you two can maintain the same type of relationship in this environment since upon your graduation this is really what married life will be like. As other posters have mentioned, communication will be key. I would say maybe even wait til next summer. That's still pretty soon, but at least your girl will have one year out of college and you'll be able to see how the relationship grows during that time.

    Whichever you choose, goodluck. If you do get married this summer, just keep in mind that next year will be different. Maybe it won't turn out to be all that difficult, but it will definitely be different when she's no longer in college. Be very open and communicative with each other and respect each other's goals and wants.

    Posted by alsoinlove July 31, 09 11:37 AM
  1. Maybe you're asking if its okay... because you're not ready. Did it occur to you that if this were the %100 right thing to do (in your gut) then you wouldn't need to rely on complete strangers who don't know you, the girl and the relationship?

    Posted by sally7 July 31, 09 11:38 AM
  1. I'm just wondering that since, as you say, you know what you want in life and you know that this is it, why bother asking anyone's advice. It's your life and you should be able to do what you want. You did say that you had the support of family members. When someone writes a letter like this, I always wonder if subconsciously they aren't sure if what they're doing is right.

    Posted by KMB July 31, 09 11:41 AM
  1. I hate to be a downer (actually, i sort of enjoy it) but you've only been dating a year, not even! 'Love' is triggered by chemical reactions and for many people these 'love reactions' fade after 2-3 years. So, many people experience what they think is love, and then, after a few years, realize there love has faded. This, is ESPECIALLY common among young folks. Now, that is the science behind all of this. You probably want to tell me that I don't know what you're experiencing and that I have no way of relating, but that simply isn't true.
    My freshmen year of college I met and fell in love with the greatest guy I have ever known. I felt we would be together forever, (we still are together) but now, after 2 and a half blissful years of dating, I have to admit the 'sexual' attraction seems to be fading. Now, I am faced with a difficult decision of continuing the relationship or most likely inevitably ending it. I still love and care for him, but it may not be in a relationship sort of way anymore.
    For the record, the first year we were together we were convinced we were destined to be together. And the sex was awesome, just as you've described, but I'm sooooo glad I didn't rush in to marriage.

    Posted by Tuna Muffin July 31, 09 11:43 AM
  1. Dear Engaged, You should be thrilled, you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with! This doesn't happen to everyone. Enjoy it, savor it...every moment of it! My question is, Why rush the best part of the relationship, the fallling-in-love, staying-in-love part? Life and reality have a way of creeping in fast enough--- which is why I recommend you protect the romance and hold off on the whirl-wind wedding. Enjoy each and every phase of the relationship as it develops. Its a Win-Win situation, you found your soul-mate and you are savoring your relationship. Why would you want to rush that?

    Posted by right-on-Q July 31, 09 11:44 AM
  1. “Something Borrowed, Something Blue” Haiku

    Fraternity rush
    Convince hot coed to wed
    Toga, Toga, To…

    Posted by valentino July 31, 09 11:44 AM
  1. Are you out of your freakin' mind????? Unless you are doing this for religious reasons, NO MAN SHOULD EVER GET MARRIED... EVER!!!! Stay single and HAPPY!!! Women morph into the most hideous Hell driven demons the moment the words "I now pronounce you..." are spoken. Just remember, who gave who the apple

    Posted by aj July 31, 09 11:46 AM
  1. you have the whole rest of your life to be married; you only get 4 years of college. I'm a married mother of 2 and still reminisce about my college days - of freedom, partying, dating, friends, random hookups, etc. It was the most fun time of my life - and a time you can never go back to. The potential for marriage will be waiting for you after you graduate. I also remember my college boyfriend who I thought was 'the one" - if I met him in my late twenties he wouldn't even make it to a second date. You're too young to realize this now, so listen to the advice of the people who know.

    Posted by Anonymous July 31, 09 11:48 AM
  1. I fell in love young, and married later. I fell in love younger than you. I married at 24 with one year of college left- my wife had two to go for her masters. I never felt the need to proclaim my love or intentions to anyone but my wife (lover, friend, soul mate, whatever you want to call her). In my opinion, our love was the bond that would unite us in eternity, it didn't matter who knew or what we proclaimed to which group of people, or how many rings we wore. When the time came, and after a long 2-year engagement we were married in a relatively small, informal manner. It mattered to her that she get the wedding girls dream of, and so we did.

    We've been together twenty some odd years, married some twelve years, or something.

    I've never met another woman who could wrestle me away from the one I love. I've never doubted her love for me since the moment I met her and she's never had to doubt mine. And everyone thought we were foolish for falling in love so young, that it wouldn't last, that we'd grow apart. Needless to say, I don't pay much attention to other people's opinions about love, or many other matters- maybe you should trust your gut too. But take a step back and maybe think about a longer engagement if there is even the tiniest shred of doubt. It's an excellent escape valve-middle ground- purgatory for the skiddish.

    Posted by hippydippy July 31, 09 11:48 AM
  1. Sorry, but Rico's "Go ahead and get married young. If it doesn't work on in a short time you will be divorced and still young" attitude is absolutely pathetic. Such a sad commentary on the selfishness and miopic views of the author and in a more general sense, today's society.

    Quoting divorce rates is absurd. You should get married because you believe that you will be spending the rest of your lives together and because you will commit yourself to continuously working hard to accomplish that. You should not get married with the shrug of the shoulders and expectation that like many other marriages, it won't work, so I might as well get it out of the way while I'm young and can still get back in the dating pool.

    Posted by Dr. Tom Davis July 31, 09 11:50 AM
  1. Hoss you are so right!
    Just a word of advice - at 26 years old I have been engaged twice to two differnt men and fallen out of love twice in both cases. Yes, I thought they were the one; Yes, I thought I had something to prove; Yes, I thought my feelings would NEVER, EVER change. But guess what - now I can admit i was stupid at 19 and 21 - and I'm still not ready.
    Not getting married that young was the best thing I could have ever done. I hope you realize that before you tie the knot. I'm happy for you that you're in love, it's a
    beautiful thing - but keep it that way for now.

    Posted by snarfsnarfsnarf July 31, 09 11:52 AM
  1. I have to agree with Hoss that perhaps this letter is so absurd it may be fake. But if it is real, then I would caution you to wait to get married. Call yourselves "engaged" for the next couple of years if that makes you happy, but I think you need some time to cool off. You compared your gf/fiance to your past relationships, but you're 19. How many fpast relationships can you have had? You cite your amazing sex life as the first reason to get married. Engaged!, most sex lives of hot and heavy 19 year olds are pretty wild. That's the fun of being 19. I promise you, it will wane.

    When I was a sophomore in college, I was madly in love with my bf at the time. We were incredibly wrapped up in each other, and talked about the future, our kids, our lives to gether all of the time. And yes, we were horny 19 year olds and had a whole lotta sex (when we could steal some alone time in either of our dorm rooms). It was blissful, and fleeting. After a year and a half, the honeymoon wore off, and we broke up. I spent a couple of teary weeks bummed out, and then Imoved on. We only saw each other once more the rest of college, and it was at graduation. I suspect more than a few readers of LL had a similar experience, because that's what happens in college sometimes. Sometimes you meet the love of your life, and other times, it fizzles. There's no harm in waiting, at least until you graduate.

    By the way - if you do get married, you will become an independent student, and your financial aid will be affected by this - make sure you think this part through. Your spouse's financial information will need to be reported on your fafsa, and the feds will expect that you two will contribute much more of your combined income towards your educational expenses than your parents were expected to. Maybe you come from a rich family, and this doesn't even matter, but it is something to consider.

    Posted by veggiesaregreat July 31, 09 11:54 AM
  1. dude wheres my car??? go for it...i just think as peopel age they change and you are sure now and so is she...she could change and so could you...maybe you will change togethr...some people stay married for ever(65 YEARS) and that was old school and the idealic american way...obviously our society has changed and ideals and morals have slipped at tad...as hannible Lector said we covet what we see every day...hmmmmnnnnwhy doesnt that work for everyone?

    Posted by jimmiec July 31, 09 11:54 AM
  1. Dude- In five years, she will dump you and will not have any friends and wasted four years of the best partying of your life in college.. Sad. You are too young bro. Live it up in college, if you were meant to be then after you graduate and have sowed your wild oats then think about commitment..People go through like 3 or 4 changes by the time they reach 35!!! If I was smart of wouild have held off for a chic like Meredith!!! I know I'm sounding flip but please please please do yourself a big favor and slow things down...

    Remember- Variety is the spice of Life!!

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 31, 09 11:55 AM
  1. poor Rico is going to be riding home in the rain. it's pouring in the South End, and the radar shows is isnt going to let up anytime soon! so much for Bike Friday.

    Posted by southcoastlady July 31, 09 11:55 AM
  1. While I love the LW's enthusiasm, I think they need to give this relationship a little more time. Maybe have an extended engagement to make sure they get out of the honeymoon phase and then get married two years from now? It sounds like they could work out given their chemistry and mutual interests, but just see where that chemistry is a year or so down the road. Nine months is nothing, especially when you are that young and this is likely your first serious, almost adult relationship.

    If you guys don't work out, date your face off in your 20s. And don't ever look back. Nothing sadder than hearing people talk about the love of their life slipping away from them.

    Posted by fairlee76 July 31, 09 11:57 AM
  1. Get engaged and stay engaged at least until you've finished college. Keep your eye on the prize: your degree. Then re-consider where you two are going as far as job opportunities. You both want to be free enough to move together should one of you get a better job opportunity than the other one does.Take your time, there's no hurry.
    Keep using birth control so that you don't complicate your situation before you're ready to deal with it.
    Good luck!

    Posted by exvermonter July 31, 09 11:59 AM
  1. Prior to her, were you ever up in a hoohah without an umbilical cord attached to you?

    Didn't think so....

    Posted by Hadie Nuff July 31, 09 12:01 PM
  1. As a recent college grad, in my experience, many college students, male and female, think that they're a lot more mature than they really are. That includes me. At 19, I thought I was more mature than most older (real) adults. Almost 4 years later, I look back and realize that while I wasn't unusually immature, I was immature in the ways that a lot of 19-year-olds are.

    So now, at almost 23, I know that in 4-5 years, I'm going to look back at myself at 23 and think, "Wow, I really wasn't that mature!"

    You're 19. You're still in college. Things change a lot in and right after college. And I think both of you are quite infatuated. Every relationship has problems, and if you haven't run into them yet, it's going to be pretty obnoxious if you run into them after getting married, especially if those problems are break-up-worthy.

    But it's your choice, and I agree with Meredith: divorce is just divorce, not the end of the world (it's a break-up with the legal system involved).

    I do think your comment about guys who don't think a good sex life is that important must be virgins is incredibly immature, though. I bet you think that your sex life is better than she does.

    Posted by sabend July 31, 09 12:01 PM
  1. You said, "I know what I want in life." Well, apparently you don't or you wouldn't be asking strangers for advice.

    You said, "I am very much advanced in maturity." Then why do you sound like a nitwit kid?

    Now run along back to class and leave the"amazing" women seniors alone.

    Posted by TallGirl July 31, 09 12:04 PM
  1. You know what? Do it. Do whatever you want, and good luck to you. I strongly advise taking premarital classes. It saves a lot of heartache!

    Posted by AG July 31, 09 12:05 PM
  1. "Cameron has never been in love. At least, nobody’s ever been in love with him. If things don’t change for him, he’s gonna marry the first girl he lays, and she’s gonna treat him like shit, because she will have given him what he was built up in his mind as the end-all, be-all of human existence. She won’t respect him, ’cause you can’t respect someone who kisses your ass. It just doesn’t work.”

    That's all I can think of with this letter. My guess is, first girlfriend? Am I right? I think I'm right. The thing is, you're basically going to be getting married to someone you've known a year. When you're young, I just think that's rash. When you're older and know yourself a little better, I might believe it, but you just come off as too young for all of this. Wait. Do yourself a favor, do her a favor, and wait. If it's right, it'll be wroth waiting for.

    Posted by constellationearth July 31, 09 12:06 PM
  1. Let's say you are truly in love and there is no argument there. I think you need to explain to the readers what you and your girlfriend gain by getting married right now. You make a comment at the end about whether you marry now or in six years you will still have to work to keep the relationship healthy; agreed. But what are YOU gaining if you wed now? I think that is the point, because it comes across that you are only gaining risk.

    If you are really in love, does it matter when you wed? Does it matter if you wait? Offer answers and then we will really get a sense of the maturity you have self proclaimed.

    Posted by spaceman July 31, 09 12:13 PM
  1. Got married in 1998 when we were both (barely) 21- I was just out of college (early) and he had (what turned out to be) 3 years left. Best decision ever. We were 19 when we got engaged and waited a year and a half so his older sister could get married first. No regrets, good careers, 3 degrees between us so far, with one beautiful 3 year old and one on the way.

    It is possible to get married young and still finish school, and make financially responsible choices, and delay kids, and enjoy college, and your 20s, and...
    as a matter of fact, in many ways, two together was cheaper, and certainly more supported, than going it alone.

    Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. Some people (many, even) can't make it work long-term ever. Some people are disadvantaged by immaturity if they get married too young- though some are still too young, maturity-wise, at 45. A good clue is whether your families are supporting your decisions, they know you best and are the most likely to be able to judge if your view of yourself as ready and mature is accurate. Congratulations and God bless!

    Posted by Ravenfrog July 31, 09 12:16 PM
  1. @EastCoastGirl - Sex and money are by and large the two sources of marital friction. It's not unreasonable for people getting married to have a very frank discussion about both prior to the wedding. It doesn't make you selfish, it just assures that you and your partner are together on the "business" side of marriage. These conversations should also inevitably lead to discussion about "Careers and How high up on the ladder you can get", since items like children, where to live, faith (or lack thereof) and family are also close to follow. For example:

    Say that she wants to get married and have children a few years after marriage. She wants to stay at home, in a house they own and have him stay at work. It follows immediately that he needs to be employed in a manner that will allow this lifestyle to happen, and they need to aggressively save for a down payment as well as eliminate student loan debt so they can make it on his income alone and not get killed by the mortgage payment. If they can't make it in the Boston area, they need to seriously consider moving or changing the goal -- but what gives -- do they put off having children? Does she work and they do daycare? Do they put off the house purchase?

    I'm sorry if this dose of selfish reality intrudes on your fantasy marriage land, but it's a very real situation that lots of married couples face. I guess it might be considered "selfish" since they indeed are thinking solely of themselves, but that's life -- no one else looks out for you like you do.

    Also, if they seriously disagree on something, it's better to find out now than later. Keep in mind this can work in odd ways -- for example, the woman may be OK with daycare and working her career, and he could very much be against it, yet not willing to stay home with the kids since, you know, it's a MAN's duty to bring home the bacon. There's not really a way to compromise on this -- they need so know what each other thinks and believes before talking about it too late (like when she's pregnant)

    Love is only a PART of marriage, but no one likes to talk about the "business side". But it most certainly exists.

    Posted by K July 31, 09 12:16 PM
  1. I am sure that a married 19 year old will face a lot of challenges. But so will a single 19 year old, a married 25 year old, a married 40 year old, a divorced 32 year old, or even a 32 year old man who never married (i.e. me). Yes, you are taking a huge chance with this marriage. Then again, the sure way never to succeed is to never take chances. Other people might say that you don't have enough experience, but you will get plenty of experience. Life is too short to make all the mistakes you need to learn from, but you can (and you should) also learn from other people's mistakes. Yes, there's no certainty that the marriage will last. Well, nothing is certain, which means everything is possible. Even if this turns out to be a mistake, it means that you'll learn from such mistakes much earlier than most people. Wow, I wish I had half your courage 13 years ago when I was your age.

    Posted by Adi "poeticnerd.com" July 31, 09 12:19 PM
  1. I am sure that a married 19 year old will face a lot of challenges. But so will a single 19 year old, a married 25 year old, a married 40 year old, a divorced 32 year old, or even a 32 year old man who never married (i.e. me). Yes, you are taking a huge chance with this marriage. Then again, the sure way never to succeed is to never take chances. Other people might say that you don't have enough experience, but you will get plenty of experience. Life is too short to make all the mistakes you need to learn from, but you can (and you should) also learn from other people's mistakes. Yes, there's no certainty that the marriage will last. Well, nothing is certain, which means everything is possible. Even if this turns out to be a mistake, it means that you'll learn from such mistakes much earlier than most people. Wow, I wish I had half your courage 13 years ago when I was your age.

    Posted by Adi "poeticnerd.com" July 31, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Go for it. Follow your heart. But wait at least until your late 20s to have kids. Enjoy life alone together first. Kids will just put a lot of pressure on both of you. That will rob your youth, marriage won't

    Posted by Chico July 31, 09 12:24 PM
  1. I have one iron-clad guarantee: divorced by 25.

    Posted by PG13 July 31, 09 12:26 PM
  1. I was engaged in my freshman year of college. We waited until after college to live together, got married a year after living together. We still got divorced after 5 years of marriage (after following the social "norm"). There are no guarantees, for anyone. If it feels right and you really believe you are doing what's best for the two of you then do it, work at it and hope it lasts.

    Posted by Followed the rules July 31, 09 12:30 PM
  1. this is ridiculous. go retro and give her your class ring or pin her or something. there is no need to get married right now. no one is trying to break you two up (that i know of), so it sounds like you are afraid something will come between you, and you are trying to hold onto her by marrying her. sad, because i think you'll both have regrets later. very sad, because you're going to miss out on some amazing experiences being a college student. have you even considered how this will impact your financial aid? just saying....

    Posted by boredinboston July 31, 09 12:33 PM
  1. My mom was 19 when she married my dad... two kids and 25 years later, they divorced. It was intensely painful for all concerned. Please, please wait! If you love her this much, you'll still feel this way when you finish college and you're in a much better position to be a husband to her.

    Posted by sunshine July 31, 09 12:33 PM
  1. Meredith MUST be in a wedding coma - seriously. I totally agree with the responder who fell off their chair laughing. I can't believe this exists today. Who you are today vs. who you will be tomorrow is completely based on life experiences during and just after college. Why would you want to pass up the opportunity of a life time for someone you've known ONE year? You don't even know what life looks like outside of high school, you've only got one year under your belt.

    Personally, I think you should conduct a survey of people you know over 30 and ask any of them if they had found their first "love" at 19 and married them, would they still be with them today. I GUARANTEE you the answer is 100% NO. I couldn't even be in the same room today with the guy I simply couldn't live without at 19.

    BOTH of you - drink a tall glass of reality, focus on school (hello, tuition???), get good grades, go abroad, live life and don't look back. Or, follow your path and let us know one year from now how it's going. I guarantee you will NOT be together.

    Posted by big dummy July 31, 09 12:33 PM
  1. It's nice to read about someone who is genuinely and totally in love. It's a beautiful feeling, one of life's best experiences and the romantic part of me agrees with Meredith. But there's another voice in the back of my head screaming, "Nooo!!" And it worries me that this voice isn't screaming in your head as well. If you're that mature, you know by now that love is not enough to sustain a marriage.

    The reason I would advise against marriage at this time is precisely because you are "madly" in love. Marriage is a seriously commitment and you should be in your right mind when you make that commitment. Not only are you very young, but this relationship is very young. It should be tested before you move forward. The fact that you cast this marriage as going against societal norms, makes me believe that there is still an element of adolescent rebellion operating here. This isn't about conforming to what society says, it's about learning from what happens around you. The fact that you are pushing so hard for marriage makes me think that you don't have much faith that this relationship can persevere such tests without a legal document keeping it together. You ask "what is the difference?" That is the difference.

    The romantic in me acknowledges that I have friends who married at 16 and are now celebrating their 50th anniversary; I also have friends who proposed within three hours of meeting their beloved and have been married for 40 years. But such relationships are the exception that proves the rule. The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.

    Only you know whether you and this relationship are that exceptional, but the fact that you've written this letter makes me believe that you may already understand that you are not ready for this. Other people's comments only bother us when they tap into some already existing issue in our own minds.

    Posted by Nancy G July 31, 09 12:34 PM
  1. your question about whether its ok to conform to society's thoughts on this is what you are asking for advice on? i dont see a real reason to be writing in. you know what people are going to say to you and you arent going to change your mind so why ask? seems like you want praise or to flaunt your relationship. trust me sweetie, the years between 19 and about 26 or 27 are huge times of growth. when i look back on decisions and thoughts i had when i was 19 i cringe because i would never do or think those things now. the relationships you have when you are young are so much different from the ones you have later. why cant you just be engaged or live together for a while so you can be sure? there is no need to rush marriage. i was engaged at 21 and let me tell you i dodged the bullet on that one. now at 27 i am thankful i broke up with him and didnt marry him

    Posted by please wait July 31, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Well, if you know... you know. My parents married just out of high school and stayed married 42 years until my dad's death. They had their share of highs and lows and plenty of struggles and hard work. This lead to a great success, both professionally and personally. I wish you both the best of luck and start rolling up those sleeves.

    Posted by Kkinzer July 31, 09 12:39 PM
  1. Everyone is ready at different times. Some of it has to do with the person (goals, maturity level, etc); some of it has to do with the situation (how often does "the one" come along?). If you truly believe you are ready now, then go for it. Regardless of what happens, it will be a learning experience - and hopefully a very rewarding one at that. Best of luck to you both.

    Posted by Terminater5 July 31, 09 12:40 PM
  1. What is the rush? First off, if you are really in love and had no doubts you wouldn't be writing in to an advice column/blog to hear other people's opinions. But, playing devil's advocate, let's say you are sure and you just thought that you were going to get some validation in this decision (of course that would be a foolish assumption if you have ever read this column).

    Anyhow, back to my question - what is the rush? Mature or not, you are young - you are not even legal to drink and your bride is just barely legal herself. If you are in love, just enjoy it, why do you need to make it legal? Your college years are going to fly by quickly, just enjoy them. If she is truly the one then you have your whole life to be married to this woman. Are you afraid that if she is graduating she is going to get a job and have a life separate from yours? A life where she will be meeting men at work, who are older and - dare I say - more mature than you and she could be tempted to move on from you?

    Please give this relationship more time to grow and get to know each other better. If you met her your freshman year in college and you are not even a sophomore yet, that's not even a full year of being together. You are both going to change so much over the course of your lives, give it some more time before you make this big of a committment.

    Posted by CC July 31, 09 12:41 PM
  1. It's true, sometimes you just know. I was married at 23 after dating for about a year. This year is our 23rd anniversary, and we're still in love. I wouldn't change a thing. My advice is to be sure you talk about some tough issues before you are married to see if you are on the same page: kids, money, religion. Go to premarital counseling.

    My father-in-law gave us priceless advice: You can't approach a marriage with a 50/50 mindset, where you each give 50% to it. You've each got to give 100%.

    Compromise, civility in arguments, and commitment - to the extreme - are keys to a successful marriage. If you approach a marriage with an exit strategy in mind or the idea that “oh well, if it doesn’t work, we can get divorced,” you’re doomed. Hardship is inevitable and will work its way into any chink in your commitment armor.

    Our commitment to each other was tested before we got married by my parent’s adverse reaction to the idea; my husband is black, and I am white. My parents didn’t attend the wedding and disowned me. It took 20 years before that breach was healed. By forcing me to choose between them and my fiancé, they clarified my thinking and solidified my commitment. It sounds as if your commitment is also being tested, which I think is all to the good.

    Congratulations. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

    Posted by Redhead July 31, 09 12:49 PM
  1. You should expect people to question your motives because its kind of crazy. Maybe it will work out fine but at some point you may both regret missing your early, carefree adulthood and college life. These college years of partying, hanging with your buds, skipping class, working $hit jobs, living with friends, traveling, being on your own, etc. are important and you will look like a douche trying to relive this at 50 when you realized you missed it and you're stuck paying alimony and child support. You cant do that stuff with a wife. You should be thinking about your next spring break trip, not your honeymoon at this point.

    Marriage is great, but taking a wife is a big responsibility and it can be overwhelming at your age because you dont yet have a career, you barely have pubes, you probably dont have more than a dime in your pocket, and you have a lot more to learn about yourself believe it or not. All of these experiences, plus a few more years of maturity give you the tools to be a better husband so thats why I say wait a few more years.

    Also, this sentence you wrote "(any guy who tells you a good sex life is not important is most likely a virgin)" seemed kind of weird and sophomoric to me which is just about right for your age, a sophomore in college. Its cool that you are that much in love but you can still have that crazy love right now without getting married. Good luck either way dude.

    Posted by sexual chocolate July 31, 09 12:49 PM
  1. Meredith stated the worst thing that could happen was divorce. WRONG. The worst thing that could happen is that you have children and then drag THEM through the divorce as well. If you're doubting it so much that you write to this column, I'd say your gut is telling you that you're making a mistake by rushing into this. You should wait.

    Posted by Betty July 31, 09 12:59 PM
  1. Hey, I just want to say that I think you should go for it. A lot of readers have said that is a financial folly to marry this young. I say they are fools. You can make out like a scoundrel and just get a divorced if the relationship fails. How do I know you are probably asking?

    I am 22 and I actually married when I was 19. The girl was 19 as well, it was great and we are reaping all the benefits. Although I will admit we didn’t marry for love, we married for money and some sex ;^).

    My freshman year of college at BC cost me: $28,000 out of pocket.
    My senior year of BC now costs me: $2,200 out of pocket.
    A difference of: $25,800

    You see, when I file for FASFA for financial aid next year, I only have to put down her income and mine. So if we are both undergraduate and have basically no income (thanks to our parents) we get TONS OF FEDERAL aid money. This is as opposed to say, not being married, you still having to put your parents down until your 25 and if they are making big $$ you get none of that sweet poor peoples money.

    Also, because you’re married and have no income the government actually pays you money due to all the tax bonuses marriage brings. I work at a summer job under the table for my dad, I make $5000 and he reports I made $1,000. Yet when I file my taxes I get a return for $4000!! Crazy right?... I know. I take that money and lease my land rover for the school year. It’s awesome.

    Of course some will call this dirty, I will call it savvy. But either way.. It’s the law. So once again, go for it!

    Good luck! Have fun and wrap your tool if you know what I mean. Kids will ruin any sound future!

    Posted by Brian H. July 31, 09 12:59 PM
  1. Rico wants to just say he is soooo sorry he said it was OK to follow your heart and get married because if it doesn't work out and you get divorced you are still young and have a second chance.

    Rico should have said: Go finish school, live at home with mommy and daddy, only date on Saturdays and be home by 11pm. Don't have sexual relations until you marry and only marry after the age of 28 since your brain is only developed after the late 20's. Rico should have also told you to never think it is ok to divorce because you will inevitibly be sent to hell if you do so.

    Rico did not give divorce statistics in case you think otherwise, he was making a JOKE 100% of marriages end in divorce or death. THINK ABOUT IT and talk amongst yourselves.

    Rico also understands reality, DIVORCE is a reality in our society, those that think otherwise please proceed to the toilet and put your head in it and flush...TWICE. If you don't think it will happen to you then go back and flush again. Rico also knows we live in a society that screams opportunity...there are so many options/opportunities to stray from a relationship, to chankge a career etc...If you don't take a risk then what are you? Rico doesn't live life in a bubble and neither shoudl you. If it is right then it is right, if not then cancel now or become a statistic later. You have the right to choose and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Rico is looking forward to the ride home in the rain even though it may clear before he leaves.

    Love always and be safe this weekend,


    Posted by Rico July 31, 09 01:02 PM
  1. Oh, the warm fuzzies! Okay, this is really sweet and idealistic and everything, but now, ladies and gentlemen, for a little dose of reality:

    Everyone who has mentioned the financial aspects of marriage is correct. It costs money. And IF you are still dependent on your parents in any way, shape or form, wait. If you aren't, STILL wait. Because I said so. :-)

    I speak from experience. When I was in college, I was engaged at 21 years old. I thought I knew everything. My former fiance and I had dated for 2 years and felt the time was right. My family hated him, but I still "stood by my man." During our engagement, I saw a different side of him in terms of personality, financial decisions, and even his over-dependence on his parents. It was an eye-opener. He was only a year older than I was yet was still so immature. People change. I'm not saying they can't change when they're 25 or 35 or 50, but you are MUCH more apt to change significantly when you are in your late teens, early 20s. I am 27 now and look back and realize how immature I was as well. I've learned so much intellectually and have gained so much perspective. Sorry to sound mean, but you don't know squat. You only THINK you do. You have no idea if she's "the one." Trust me. I didn't know either and I'm glad my former fiance and I never got hitched. What a horrible mistake it would have been.

    As others have said, if things are as wonderful as you claim, you two will still be together when you graduate. I personally think that getting hitched upon graduation is still too young, but at least you'll have a solid education (and that means so much in this day and age) and some TIME together under your belt.

    Now, since you'll probably ignore this advice, I hope good luck is on your side.

    Posted by K the Great July 31, 09 01:04 PM
  1. "And honestly, I cannot see any of this ever changing."

    Ever is a long time, and the only constant in life is change. Things WILL change. The question is wether the both of you can adapt in order to stay together.

    (I got married in my mid 20's and will cellebrate my 30th anniversary this year.)

    Posted by BBQueen July 31, 09 01:05 PM
  1. Real doctors don't post DOCTOR in their posts. Chiropratcors seem to be the only ones that try to advertise they are doctors. real doctors worth their weight have no time to be on a blog dispensing advice, they actually have patients.

    Posted by doctor of what? July 31, 09 01:05 PM
  1. People grow and change throughout their lives, with tremendous emotional and experiential growth between late teens and late 20s. How I felt and lived at 19 and at 22 were not so different, however, how I felt and lived at 25 was significantly different from those younger years.

    How about an engagement for a year or two? Fiance is a cool word, and fun to say for a while. See how that feels, and see how reality shapes up in the next year or two when the rose-tinted glasses come off. Hey, it could be a great love story or a great train wreck.

    I didn't listen to advice when I was 19, sometimes to my benefit and sometimes to my detriment, so I don't expect you to really listen today. Good luck, kid.

    Posted by yupokay July 31, 09 01:06 PM
  1. There IS a difference between marrying young and marrying older: Divorce statistics are MUCH kinder on people who married later. In fact, there are THREE things that best predict divorce odds: AGE (people ~25-35 at first marriage fare much better), EDUCATION (the more educated you are at the time of marriage, the less likely you are to divorce), and MONEY (nothing generates stress like money woes). You have all 3 going against you, unless of course one of you (or both) have very wealthy families and you are fine with living at their expense.
    I think it's wonderful you found the ONE. Live with her. Travel the world with her during the summer, take a year off with her when you're done college to travel the world, THEN get married. You'll both be far more ready. And REMEMBER - statistically, marrying young IS a huge predictor of divorce. I guarantee you most young people walking to the altar feel they found the one and couldn't possibly be wrong. And yet...

    Posted by statistica July 31, 09 01:09 PM
  1. My college roommate of 4 years got engaged the summer before our sophomore year and married a couple weeks after graduation. They've been married for 15 years and have spawned several children. As far as I know they're still happy as clams.

    I say go ahead and get engaged with whatever ring you can afford, but wait to celebrate your nuptials at least until you can legally toast your marriage with a fizzy alcoholic beverage of your choice.

    Posted by RiversRage July 31, 09 01:10 PM
  1. Dude…if it wasn’t for guys like you, LL would be a vacant space. I commend you, sir. You represent the feeder system for tomorrow’s letters of tumult. We’ll see you back here in a few years…waiting with open arms…we’re going to need some new blood…some ripe juice. Just one wish…if you could work on it: If you could sleep or fall in love with your girlfriend’s sister or mom, you would absolutely explode the blog. Keep a journal.

    “One more for you” Haiku

    After school, love grows
    Have you seen her mother’s ass?
    Pre-Cana, Tuesdays

    Posted by valentino July 31, 09 01:14 PM
  1. Agree w/ others. It's July 31st and you are getting married in August, so why are you writing in for advice? More importantly what specifically are you writing in for advice about?

    FWIW, any female college graduate that is marrying someone who just finished his freshman year of college is almost as dumb as you (proof: your virgin "joke"), so go ahead and get married. You two deserve each other.

    Heck, maybe on her way home from her full time day job, she can swing by your dorm with pizzas and 20 ounce bottles of Mountain Dew for you and your roomate! Be a good husband let her have the desk chair to sit in though. You can sit on the bean bag chair.

    Posted by Bob Dwyer July 31, 09 01:15 PM
  1. I don't deny it is possible to meet the love of our life while in college. I did. I was 20 and he was 21. BUT WE WAITED. Actually, we waited kind of a long time. We dated for almost two years before getting an apartment together. Then we lived together 5 years before getting married. Sound excessive? Maybe. But we both felt Marriage is a really serious step. If you are so confident it will last, why rush it? And Meredith's advice that it won't be so bad if you get a divorced when you are young,...it's rubbish. (sorry Mere). My Mother's first divorce was in her 20s. (She married when she was 19). She says that getting divoced young was actually harder and more humiliating than her second divorce in her 40s. She said she was better emotionally equipped when she got older.

    Posted by betty July 31, 09 01:17 PM
  1. The purple dress has gone to M's head.

    LW, why the hurry? Why not just be bf and gf? If your love is so strong, there's ZERO risk here. Don't understand why you need to move to the next step. You can tell her you want to in a few years, but for goddsakes you can barely vote and you can't drink legally (not even the toast at your wedding).

    So calm down, stay together, enjoy your relationship, and make it legal when you're both grown a bit, experienced more life, and have a track record of being a couple behind you.

    Again, what's the rush?

    Posted by Alvin July 31, 09 01:17 PM
  1. Been there, done that! I remember being in college and feeling the exact same way the LW does. He sounds so infatuated! HIs hormones are raging! He thinks he's mature! I'm now divorced and can tell you that you change 100% when you transition from your 20's to 30's. There is a very serious possibility that the two of you will grow apart, which is what happened to us. When it did, it was the worst feeling in the world. The best thing to do in this situation is to stay engaged! Why do you need to get married next month? You are in a serious infatuation stage right now and need to get a grip!!! If not, there's a real and serious possibility that you will be making the biggest mistake of your life!

    Posted by dude,wait! July 31, 09 01:18 PM
  1. Mere- I think you're WAY off on your advice today, but not for the reasons some others have pointed out. What's up with your capricious attitude towards divorce? Your advice about marriage should NEVER allow for a cop out. Hellloooooooo- marriage at it's best is spending your life with someone you love and trust (and knowing 100% they feel the same). Marriage at it's worst is a job where you have to work at communicating & compromising with and supporting someone who could be on your last nerve. And all that happens in the same week! Marriage should never be about giving up and getting a divorce. So- Engaged, are you ready to commit for life and work at it daily? That's the real question you should be answering.

    Posted by Divorce is not the answer July 31, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Meredith, your "worst case scenario" can apply to two people in their 40's. Meredith, you also said "I don't get why you have to make it legal." Why not apply this to all marriages? Your advice on this is not very good right now.

    Dude, go ahead and get married. If you are in love, why not? You have a LOT of life to live, but the same can be said for people in their late 20's too.

    Just go for it if it feels right.

    Posted by YouAreAllMySons July 31, 09 01:20 PM
  1. I graduated from BU a few years ago. Not to sound stereotypical or judgemental but are you in ROTC? Most people I saw get engaged at BU were in ROTC, and i know of two of those situations that didn't work out at all.

    I'll say this, I was mature and independent in college and obviously stayed in Boston after I graduated. I think back about even the end of my senior year and can think wow I am so much different. Throughout my four years there I really grew and changed and made new friends each year, all of which influenced the kind of person I have become. Even now, my range of friends are much different than back in my BU days.

    I know how it is at BU, you feel like you're in your own little world, a BU world. Trust me, the minute you leave and move out of Allston and get a real job, the world becomes much bigger and you will change so much that your fiance may not even recognize you.

    That being said, wait a few years, the price of a ring is much less than the price of a ring + wedding+ divorce.

    Posted by Beentheredonethat July 31, 09 01:23 PM
  1. I had to Google Pre-Cana, being an uneducated Unitarian :) But I do agree with the spirit of valentino's haiku - get to know her family, too (and let her get to know yours). Unless you are lucky (like me) and have little contact with the in-laws, you also marry the family - and the parents just might indicate to you what your babe will be like 30, 40 years from now. But, amor vincit omnia, no? Yes?

    I think you're both too young. But what do I know - my child's been indoctrinated not to marry until she's 40. She likes that.

    Now I have to go and see if Bleako really is riding in the rain, and for more than 2 miles at that.

    Posted by reindeergirl July 31, 09 01:25 PM
  1. I would have to say that the fact that you are considering marriage when your life hasn't even started yet belies your lack of maturity... I know you say you are mature for your age, guess what, every kid says that. You haven't even begun to experience life yet, let alone the challenges that can present themselves. Live together for awhile, for a few years... let some stresses show up and see how it goes. There is no need to rush into marriage because your teenage hormones are telling you its the thing to do. Sorry to sound harsh, but at 19 (and I don't care how mature you may be or may think you are) you're not equipped to know what you want for the rest of your life – its a matter of life experience, you haven't had much yet.

    Posted by mtbr1975 July 31, 09 01:29 PM
  1. hey brian h... its the law? its against the law to work under the table and only report some. you are screwing people who are actually in need of "sweet poor people money". getting married so you can steal money from the real poor is morally bankrupt. and getting married for sex is the most retarded thing i have ever heard. get over yourself. you are no better than those drug dealers who live with their baby mamas in the welfare system and both of them drive a lexus. you are a crook and proud of it to boot!

    Posted by grow up!!!! July 31, 09 01:29 PM
  1. Comment #86 ("Doctor of ?") = Rico

    Posting a bunch with your own Name wasn't enough?

    Posted by Mike from Western MA July 31, 09 01:30 PM
  1. its YOUR life. Stop asking permission.
    Just go for it! and Congrats on the engagement!

    Posted by Sabs July 31, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Hey--

    I just want to let you know that I am 25, and was in love at your age, too. We grew up, and grew apart (and yes, we thought we wanted to get married, too). Today, I have no idea what he is up to, and it is much better that way. I have my life, and he has his. But, I realize this isn't about me...this is about you. So....

    What's the rush to get married? Why don't you just have a long engagement? -- I think thats smart at any age, actually. One year isn't very long of a relationship to know that it will last, and isn't that what it's about? I believe marriage should last. I wish you well either way, but I still think you should at least say engaged and hold off on getting married until you graduate college. A lot goes on in those few years, and there is a lot more at risk when it's actually legal. Just some food for thought.

    Keep us posted!

    Posted by Kristen July 31, 09 01:35 PM
  1. Ya know, I love this letter! LW - as long as you use very good, very reliable birth control and don't buy a place together, go for it! Some of the most solid, enduring marriages I know of started out really fast, really young, or both (there was an assistant dean of a college at BU when I was there who, if I recall correctly, married her husband after knowing him for three days and they had been married for decades and raised a family, etc.). Sometimes you really DO just know when you've met "the one." And not that I don't take marriage seriously, but if it doesn't work out, as long as there are no kids and no property issues, you can split up and know that at least you followed your heart. Good luck to you!

    Posted by Jen July 31, 09 01:35 PM
  1. My boyfriend and I started living together after we both graduated from undergrad. I started a full time job, and he started a Masters program. It was stressful for the both of us because I would come home exhausted from my 8-5, and he would be on a weird still student schedule. I would want to make plans for the weekends, and he couldn't participate because he had to study or work at his part time job.

    My advice to you is - wait until your relationship enters the "real life" mode. She's going to be working, and you'll still be a student. It sucks when your schedules are no longer the same. Plus, she'll be on a real salary, and it will be difficult for the both of you financially. Is she really ready to fully support you? Marriage will change how much you'll get in financial aid. You'll still be experiencing new things as a student, and she will be learning to settle in to adulthood. Wait. If you two are really in love with each other, it will still be there a few years from now.

    Posted by Julie July 31, 09 01:35 PM
  1. I was going to marry the guy I was dating that i was madly in love with at 19. I was going to marry the guy I was dating at 20 that I was madly in love with, same thing @ 21, 22 etc... point is they were all different guys. The honeymoon phase usually lasts 6mo. to a year... phenomenal sex, love spending time together, can't get enough, blah, blah, blah.. I thought I was mature then too, Get out in the real world and in 5-10 years look back and see how ridiculous you were, and if at that time you are still with this chick... MARRY HER.

    Posted by raining on rico July 31, 09 01:36 PM
  1. Hoss, you're the best. Something tells me I'd be intimidated by you in real life (no easy feat!), but your advice rocks!

    Dear LW: Do N-O-T get married. And if it is indeed a fake letter, get a life.

    Posted by BananaSeatBike July 31, 09 01:37 PM
  1. 19 year old guy wants to get married? What are you afraid you won't find anyone else to have sex with you?

    Posted by Been around July 31, 09 01:38 PM
  1. Finish college - pick this thread up again in 2012.

    Posted by Maryro July 31, 09 01:41 PM
  1. I met my now-husband at age 20, we dated for 7 yrs before we got married. I'm glad we waited -- I think my young mind would have flipped out and I would have gotten a divorce at many different points in our relationship if we had gotten married. I appreciated the flexibility, and knew that I was too young for something to be 'forever'. No matter how mature you are, you're 19. Listen to us old folks! Slow down, deep breath, and if you still love each other in 5 years, then talk.

    Posted by srlsy. WAIT. July 31, 09 01:46 PM
  1. I think that if both of you feel like you are meant to spend the rest of your life together and do not feel like waiting, then you should go for it. Life is too short to kip on postponing everything. Some people live their whole lives looking for that special someone and it just happens you found at 19.

    Posted by Sunshine July 31, 09 01:49 PM
  1. reindeergirl-
    Still thinking of your haiku. Nice work!

    Posted by val July 31, 09 01:58 PM
  1. Hey Brian H (#82)-
    Asshats like you are the reason hard working people like me get gouged with taxes. Just wait until you are out of college and are making decent money. Being married won't be so convenient to you any more, b/c you won't get any tax breaks. Or, do you plan on having a kid for that? IDIOT!
    PS- by not reporting your entire summer income, you are breaking the law. I hope you & your father get audited.

    Posted by Don't tread on me! July 31, 09 01:59 PM
  1. If you want a really compelling reason to wait until you're older to get married, all you have to do is look at US divorce rates. This is from divorcerate.org.

    Age at marriage for those who divorce in the US:

    Under 20 years old --- 27.6% for women, 11.7% for men
    20 to 24 years old --- 36.6% for women, 38.8% for men
    25 to 29 years old --- 16.4% for women 22.3% for men
    30 to 34 years old --- 8.5% for women 11.6% for men
    35 to 39 years old --- 5.1% for women, 6.5% for men

    That means that just over half of all divorces occur among people who are 24 and under when they marry. The rate declines dramatically once you've reached 25. And if you wait until 30, you're in great shape for the long haul. Of course, no one with a brain should need stats to understand that one's maturity and decision-making abilities improve with age.

    Posted by Rae July 31, 09 01:59 PM
  1. #82, I am a 20-year old female and may just have to get married soon...I can't afford college anymore.

    But yeah, LW, you are nuts. ENJOY COLLEGE! It's great! Spend all your time with FRIENDS (who will last forever, the wife is not guarenteed).

    Do you want to look back on your life and say "wow I wish I enjoyed the time I had."? It may be love, but give it several more years. If being together is the most important thing, the actual ceremony can wait while you are still together.
    Live without regret.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 31, 09 02:01 PM
  1. You are setting yourself up for DISASTER. You have NO IDEA what life is all about. You have NO IDEA who you are actually marrying. Nevertheless, you are of legal age so you are free to make the biggest mistake of your life. I just got to ask, is this a bit of teenage rebellion on your part?? You seem to enjoy that it's just two of you against the world... Good luck, you'll need it

    Posted by trueluv4eva July 31, 09 02:04 PM
  1. Whether your 19 or 99, ALWAYS know your future mate for AT LEAST a year before committing to a lifetime of togetherness, also freshman year is a year like no other and nothing from the major you picked to the finance you meet is likely to be the same the next year. Please hang on for another year, if things are the same next summer, than while I think your crazy, for all the reason mentioned by previous posters, go for it.

    Posted by JAD July 31, 09 02:09 PM
  1. Also, my sister, who was divorced well before 30, would have a few things to say to Meredith about her cavalier attitude regarding getting divorced while young. How can you even say something like that? Ugh. Divorce is nut-crushing no matter how old you are and you should NEVER enter a marriage with an 'oh well, whatever happens, happens' attitude.

    Posted by Rae July 31, 09 02:09 PM
  1. Admiral Antgro (#9) says: "I mean, seriously dude - how long have you been going out - one year?"
    Any adult who calls another adult (albeit a late teen adult) a "dude" isn't that grown up himself, now is he?

    I'm of the mind that if this young man (the LW) thinks this is the right girl and this is what THEY want to do, go right ahead. Life is a series of experiences. Perhaps divorce and alimony will be in a later picture; perhaps not. Perhaps the white picket fence, 2.2 kids and a dog will be in the picture. Who knows? Some 19yo know what they want; some don't.

    Would I ever have gotten married at 19? Hell, no! I wasn't anywhere near ready at that age. But there are many things I wished I had done differently when I was that age; you hopefully learn from all that you experience as you go through life.

    So if the LW wants to jump in with both feet, do it. Just realize that it isn't all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, especially when you realize that she'll be in the workforce several years ahead of you...what if her perfect job is 2,000 miles away while you're still in your junior year of college? Hopefully you've talked all this out. But if not - have fun living the experience.

    Posted by Linda July 31, 09 02:13 PM
  1. For all of those who have been supportive in your comments. Thank you, I really appreciate it. As to those who have not been so supportive, I accept your criticism and I will take what I can from it.

    However, I feel the need to clear some things up. First being that I do not attend BU, she did. I attend another university in the Boston area.

    Now that that's out of the way let me explain some of the finer details:

    1. Everyone's situation at 19 is not the same. I can write that I am advanced in my career and in my finances because I am, despite how odd it may seem at 19. My parent's do not financially support any part of my life, and have not done so since I was 16. At my age I have already received a full-time offer (contingent upon my graduation in 3 years of course) at Sikorsky Aircraft (a prestigious aerospace company in CT), which is a very well paying job and where I will be completeing my next two internships. That same company has also granted me a full scholarship to the university that I attend. Oh and they will also pay for me to get my PhD (I will be graduating college with my master's and bachelor's in mechanical engineering at the same time).

    She is a recent grad and will be a graduate student in Boston beginning this fall. Although she may not have the most high paying job at the moment, she is well on her way to obtaining one. In the meanitime, what she does make and my salary and our lack of any kind of debt is enough for our lifestyle. We have enough to afford two very nice cars (although we plan to sell one soon since there is no need for two cars in Boston), a very nice apartment in Downtown Boston. We can afford to pay all our bills and all of our vacations (we are both avid travelers).

    What I am getting at is that we are in no different financial situation that a couple in their mid to late 20's who have decided to wed. It is essentially a non-issue.

    2. My second point is that we have discussed virtually every topic possible when it comes to getting hitched. Where we will live in the future? do we want to live abroad at some point? how many children do we want? when do we want them? their names even. How far do we want to advance in our education? Do our individual goals match-up well with each other (and they do, perfectly I might add)? Who will be cooking, who will be cleaning (In our case we will split things up evenly since we both are very good cooks and we both know how to clean)? Everything here and more has been brought up and we know that at least the preliminary challenges are out of the way.

    3. Now, we are not naive, we know that there will be challenges, but what's life if we cannot overcome challenges. Yes I may be missing out on a typical college undergrads life, but who's to say that that interests me? What if my interests are sharing my experiences and my successes with someone that I love? Not everyone needs to sleep around and date various types of women to be happy. I am more than happy to have been able to find the woman that I will soon call my wife at such a young age. When it's all said and done, God willing, we will have a history together like none other. We will have shared things that very few other couples could even dream of. That is what drives me, aside from the fact that I love her unconditionally.

    4. Although it may seem to others that we are rushing into this, to us, it feels natural. It feels almost easy, not because we haven't faced any adversity or challenges alrady, but because when it comes down to what's most important, me and her, it's easy. I do not have to step out of element to make her happy (even though at times I try extra hard just because), I do not have to do anything that I wouldn't have done when I was single just to keep this relationship afloat. And the same goes for her. So to us this decision just fits with the plan we have made for our lives, it is not somehting that we are telling ourselves "OMG we have to do this NOW!". No, it's more like a "Why Not?" sort of feel. We love each other, aside from that we have all the other pieces required to make a realtionship work, and we have a PLAN for our lives, so "WHY NOT?" Aside from our age there is really nor argument against us doing this, and those close to us have realized that in the past few months that we've been engaged, which is why after an expected initial shock they are now supporting us.

    5. The last point I would like to make is that I really didn't write this letter seeking for advice on whether or not to go on with this move. I am going to do it regardless what anyone says because we am more than 100% certain that this is the right decision for our lives. I wrote it because I know how my family and friends have raected to the news, but those are people that know us very well and have been witnesses of our relationship. I wanted to observe how people who raelly do not know us would react to such news, what they would say? And to be honest I am very surprised at the amount of supportive comments that have been left here (especially Meredith's response, I didn't see that one coming at all). I didn't do it to self-glorify my story and it wasn't anything fueled by any kind of doubt. Because I have no doubt. If I did, I wouldn't be writing this letter because I wouldn't be getting married anyways.

    So again. Thank you to all those who were supportive and to everyone who wrote good advice, I will try my best to hold on to the words written here and I will put them to good use in my marriage. I will probably write another letter in about a year or so to update on our happy marriage. Take Care!

    Posted by Engaged July 31, 09 02:13 PM
  1. Thank you, val :)

    For the L/W, with a nod to valentino, who is the muse of these pages:

    White vines crawl his legs
    She takes in his moss and sun
    Drinks in his dark patch

    Posted by reindeergirl July 31, 09 02:20 PM
  1. Engaged....If #1-4 are really true, why do you give a crap what anyone else thinks? For someone who's supposed to be really smart, your need to know what strangers thinks is really dumb.

    Posted by Really? I don't think so.... July 31, 09 02:22 PM
  1. "You have the rest of your life to get married", "You're in college, you should be out picking up and transmitting STD's around at this age" "You're young, don't waste the few years you have left to act like an irresponsible twit" "What if she turns out to be a blood-leeching succubus?"

    Shooting from the hip now, I'm not going to say yes or no......... you are young, you are inexperienced and you are very green. Good for you. The only way you'll ever learn anything about yourself or life is through experience. And by experience, I mean bad experiences. Nodoby learns a thing when they're having fun. Speaking of experience, I went through the biggest challenges I've ever faced in life between the ages of 19-22 (and it had nothing to do with school related issues). I'm glad I had to go through all the trauma and tragedies at such a relatively young age, it made me grow up real fast and gave me a much deeper appreciation of life. Sorry to drag you down, but you will experience something similar to this if things don't work out for you. It will hurt for a while but it will make you stronger. And that's only if it dosen't work out.

    I don't see as much downside here as other people do: You either marry the love of your life and live happily ever after, or you learn an invaluable life lesson (multiple lessons, actually) and become much stronger because of it. Or it could be the single biggest regret of your life (not likely though) ;) Even if it's not the standard in this day and age (and don't put too much stock into that, the standards are now set by sheep who are afraid to lead and believe in group-think) and you're possibly being extremely narrow about it......it might not be a terrible idea.

    Even so, you should give it another year or two, not a very long time in terms of dating. The chances you both truly know each other after 9 months of dating are pretty slim. If you want to get married young, that's cool. But this is the last thing you want to be impulsive about. NEVER think with your heart, your heart will lie to you every time. Always think with the big head. That stuff you said about sex life is pretty funny, because it shows that you don't know a whole heck of a lot about what goes into creating a successful marriage or even relationship. Sex is a part of it, just a part.....and not the hard part either (although in your case it better be, baaaa-zing!!!!)

    Oh nevermind, go get married next week. One life to live. Better to spend it doing than thinking about doing.

    Posted by ResidentNitwitAdvisor July 31, 09 02:23 PM
  1. Per request. A definition and a fictional dramatization of LW's proposal.

    sprung: the state of being very attracted to a person, obsession often mistaken for love.

    As in:

    "What's poppin? I know we've only known each other for 10 months and I've just finished my freshman year of college and you've already graduated, but you've got me SPRUNG. I'm well advanced in my career at Dunks. They let me make the iced coffee now too! Oh and like, you and I will never change, so will you marry me? OMG! You will? How's next month sound? My Moms said she'll make all the arrangements Pops be layin' down the AmEx black card for us. August works for you? Cool. We're getting married and now I have something to write in my journal about when my prof asks us what we did over summer break! Yessssssss!!"

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 31, 09 02:24 PM

    I would wait to get married. Wait Wait Wait!!!

    It is so great to hear that you are so happy - but you are young. I am sure you are sick and tired of hearing that - but please listen to peoples advice. Most people don't know who they are until they reach their 30's. I usually agree with Meredith's advice, but why are we advocating divorce? YOU DO NOT GET MARRIED THINKING DIVORCE IS AN OPTION - EVER!

    I would stay engaged, but make it a long engagement. I was in a 5 year relationship in my 20's and I am SO grateful we aren't still together. I am a completely different person today than I was back then. Cliche yes, but if it is meant to be, it will be. Why rush it? Enjoy being young! Enjoy your college days - the real world is right around the corner.

    And of course your sex life is great - you are in your prime!

    Posted by T July 31, 09 02:27 PM
  1. Garrr! Hoss angry! Foolish man no make right decision. Hoss in disbelief when see letter from man! How man not know right thing to do?!

    Posted by Hoss is like a retarded caveman July 31, 09 02:30 PM
  1. I have a theory on why so many celebrities get divorced after only a few years. ..

    They get married too quickly because they have enough money to purchase a ridiculous ring without saving for months and they have enough money to throw a lovely wedding without going into debt, so they say "WHY WAIT?". They get engaged after 9 months, married after another 5... and then divored 2 years later. Why the rush? Your time together isn't any less special if you don't make it official/legal right away.

    Posted by Fram July 31, 09 02:35 PM
  1. You are way too young to make this kind of commitment. Sample the wares of the large universe of horny coeds before committing yourself to lifelong fidelity to just one woman (yech!). Either that or get her to agree to an "open" marriage so you can act on any temptations you are sure to encounter at various keg parties, etc.

    Posted by Lance Romance July 31, 09 02:35 PM
  1. Ha.... your update! I find this more ridiculous now than I did previously. You are still living in your little 19 year old bubble where you think everything works out the way it's supposed to just because you planned it! Well newsflash, nothing in this world is a guarantee. How do you know your fancy little aircraft academy or what have you will be able to afford the promises its made to you in the future? Businesses are struggling everywhere and they are cutting back on benefits they give to employees as well as cutting back on how many they hire. And she is on her way to getting a high paying job? HELLO! Do either of you pick up a news paper? Do you know what the current job market is like? Especially in Boston!!! And it could take years to recover. Please be realistic.

    And FYI--- you are naive. No one ever said (well maybe they did but not many) that college was about getting laid and getting wasted and having a great old time. It's about learning about yourself and enjoying life while you can still afford to be carefree.

    You really annoy me....I have a 19 year old brother and if he was acting like this I'd suggest he admit himself to some sort of mental health facility.

    Posted by Kathleen July 31, 09 02:37 PM
  1. You know what? Life is a crapshoot. You can spend your whole life preparing for something that will never happen, or you can get totally blindsided by something you never expected... Who knows what your future will be? It's impossible to predict. The best laid plans of mice and men..... Maybe she's your soulmate, maybe you'll end up divorced. Who knows. Just do what you want. I actually wish you well.

    Posted by KitKat July 31, 09 02:37 PM
  1. OK. So, you sound like you have your (stuff) together. You have a good head on your shoulders and know exactly what you want. But this begs the question - why did you write the letter? It appears from your follow-up post that it is some sort of creepy social experiment. Either that or you really ARE confused and you are seeking approval of some sort.
    I cna't seem to figure you out, but in any case your letter is boring and I hope Mere can throw us something jucier next week.

    (not DOCTOR)

    Posted by DrK July 31, 09 02:38 PM
  1. I read the original letter and Rico-length follow-up (#120). Sounds like you're as ready as you're ever going to be and you're going to do it anyway, so best of luck.

    What I DON'T get, even after reading #120 is why the heck you wrote to LL to begin with. You said, "I wanted to observe how people who raelly do not know us would react to such news, what they would say?"

    Why do you care? I still don't get it.

    Posted by Truman July 31, 09 02:39 PM
  1. Hey Engaged -
    Someone once gave me some standard advice that I hadn't realized at the time....
    "You can't help those that will not help themselves."
    I'm looking forward to you moving to Connecticut and working on attack helicopters. At, least you'll be in a nice quiet suburb of Milford in your little house with shrubs and that white picket fence that you can paint together with your wife, who will be banging her boss while you are planning how many kids you will have. The rest of us will stay in the city and enjoy our lives.
    Good riddance.

    Posted by leykis101 July 31, 09 02:42 PM
  1. Wow engaged...what's it like being perfect?

    Posted by big dummy July 31, 09 02:47 PM
  1. OK, so you are essentially skipping the college life and jumping right into settling down. Nothing wrong with that - the college life isn't for everyone. I'm still not sure why you wrote the letter. I don't buy the "I wanted to observe how people who really do not know us would react to such news" explanation. Who cares what a bunch of strangers think? You don't need anyone's approval but hers and perhaps your immediate families. Anyone else worth worrying about will get on-board over time.

    It sounds like you have a good plan, but just remember what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men.

    I wish you good luck and many happy, healthy years of marriage.

    Posted by two sheds July 31, 09 02:52 PM
  1. Rico's revised answer:

    Rico suggests that you not bother to read anything at all that you are seeing here and stop writing in. You are just way to f-ing smart for the rest of humankind and Rico and his cohorts are not worthy!!!

    Honestly Rico thinks you sound like a pompous a$$ looking to brag about anything and everything in your life. Sorry to spill the news but you ARE NOT MATURE and YOU ARE NOT that smart. You may be book smart but you will soon realize that you really aren't that bright.

    You remind Rico of people he has known over the years...One such person comes to mind that was also going to be living in a fancy condo downtown while working at a high paying job at a company that today is OUT OF BUSINESS. This same guy had the same story as you with the nice car, good job to go to, etc...and he ended up graduating with a ton of debt and unable to buy a tie at Macy's because his card was overcharged.

    Rico suggests you get your head out of your A$$ and start to see the reality of life.

    Rico thinks you are a TOTAL FOOL. Wear a helmet so when you fall, and yes you will fall, you protect that head of yours from further damage. Also, watch out for wifey #1, she'll be getting some good love elsewhere because she hasn't experienced life yet either.

    Or maybe Rico is wrong and you are both two hideously ugly people lucky to have found one another and broke each others cherry and will live happily ever after?

    The more Rico read the less Rico paid attention to your letter and thinks you need an enema since the $hit is coming out the wrong end.

    Good luck with that,

    Love always,


    No Rico did not post other than the Rico posts, he is not doctor like someone suggested. Rico does have an advanced degree though.

    Posted by Rico July 31, 09 02:52 PM
  1. What is it with the recent surge in LWs who write in for advice and then follow-up with a posting expressing that they already know it all? Is it a function of so many LWs being young (today's) and/or naive (Mr. Manners from Suffolk) and/or narcissistic (Amy from NYC)? if you know the answer, don't ask the question.

    Posted by fairlee76 July 31, 09 02:54 PM
  1. Meredith and CREW are NICOMPOOPS!
    I stand by it today !

    Posted by not dumbfounded at all July 31, 09 02:58 PM
  1. E!, I’m amused by your "amazing sex life " comment. At 19 you have no idea what you are talking about in this dept. No shame in this, I thought the same way when I was your age. Now, at 48, I know what amazing sex is. I had it this morning with my wife of 25 years. If you are lucky, you will know what I mean in about 30 years. So good luck.

    Posted by July 31, 09 03:01 July 31, 09 03:00 PM
  1. Can't say I've been a Rico fan.... but post #136 was pretty fantastic!!!

    Posted by Kathleen July 31, 09 03:03 PM
  1. Hey OP I read your update.

    Go go go OP!

    Good luck to both of you!

    Posted by steve in W MA July 31, 09 03:09 PM
  1. Engaged,

    There mere fact that you wrote this letter, read the responses and then replied justifying your decision to a bunch of strangers says that you are not ready to make this commitment. Your response smacks of a five year old ("I know that"). Nancy G pegged it - You are still in the throes of an adolescent rebellion. As such, you will not listen to the advice that you asked for (re-read your letter, you did ask). I do hope that you are exceptional and that it works out for you.

    Posted by Ruthless Reader July 31, 09 03:16 PM
  1. Fraud.

    The letter is suspicious, but the follow up comment (#120) which is chock full of lies and tall tales is proof enough that this is a complete phony. Hope the time you spent googling background info on your story was worth it. As an aside, I loved the brutal grammatical and spelling mistakes.

    You are dismissed.

    Posted by Hoss July 31, 09 03:17 PM
  1. Engaged -- after reading your update, I think you're turning out to be something of a pompous a$$. So arrogant... and you've got it all figured out at 19.

    Best of luck... boy, are you going to need it!

    Posted by sunshine July 31, 09 03:17 PM
  1. I agree with PG13. Divorce is guaranteed as the puppy love wears off

    Posted by cynical July 31, 09 03:17 PM
  1. LW an 'DITH is either DRUNK or get off the S**T or POT!

    ' I will always trust you -- to the extreme.'
    'Sorry. Not making fun. I just like how you phrased it.'
    it is true in many cases, apart from being may be - weird and funny.

    'Tell the judgmental folks....Who cares what they think?'
    why are you telling them ?

    'We’re all just crossing our fingers' who ?

    'I don't really know what I want...I know what I want in life'

    'my question is does it matter that we have not conformed to what society says' you said who cares about judgmental folks?

    'So what's the difference, really? '

    'let's say you are sure ...that would be a foolish assumption if you have ever'
    only a fool makes a foolish asusmption, FOOL!

    Posted by Dith turns purple July 31, 09 03:18 PM
  1. if it is not a shotgun wedding ? what kind ?
    purple crabs ?

    Posted by do tell July 31, 09 03:20 PM
  1. So, Engaged (#120)-you wrote "I am going to do it regardless what anyone says...". I wrote it because... I wanted to observe how people who really do not know us would react to such news, what they would say? I didn't do it to self-glorify my story and it wasn't anything fueled by any kind of doubt. Because I have no doubt." Your second letter sounds very young and 'in your face'. An example of your youth is in your original letter in line 1 - you start off saying how good the sex is in your relationship. Definately a top priority for a young guy! Since you are set in your ways and getting married any miute now- please explain why you wrote the letter in the first place! If you are as mature and established as you say-why do you care 'how OTHERS will react'. Which 'others' are you talking about? It makes me wonder what your parents and friends are saying. Frankly if you are an adult, and making a well thought-out decision, why would you care what anyone thought? The bottom line is no matter how nice your cars and apartment in Boston are-you are still ONLY 19 years old! Please don't discount the opinions of those LL reader who are not rushing out to buy you engagement gifts. There are many of us with advanced education (MBAs, MDs) or just "PhDs" from the school of life. We are not an uneducated or inexperienced group. Age does matter. But hey, your a sophomore in college and your mind is made-up. Good luck, it's your life.

    Posted by Babe-o-licious Harvard Doc July 31, 09 03:20 PM
  1. Engaged,

    Why ask a question on an advice site if you believe you already know the answer?

    Posted by Veritas July 31, 09 03:21 PM
  1. Does love really have to wait? Who cares what they think?

    Posted by who cares ? July 31, 09 03:21 PM
  1. Dude, if you go through with this you should be ready for a divorce. She is a graduating senior and about to enter the working world and you are going to be tied to your studies for the forseeble future. She is ripe for an office romance and she will dump you or cheat on you, or both. You should just wish her well and start sleeping with other college students.

    Posted by Kay-Man July 31, 09 03:23 PM
  1. 'I am very much advanced in maturity, my career, and my morals.'
    do tell which degree you got and from where ?
    Iam sure you have not graduated !

    Posted by 19-year-old college student July 31, 09 03:24 PM
  1. "I will always trust you -- to the extreme.”
    are you ?

    Posted by someone isn't ? July 31, 09 03:26 PM
  1. I just read the LW's update, and I just may go kick a puppy now.

    Posted by Rae July 31, 09 03:28 PM
  1. #119 - Linda, I said 'dude' because it is a reference that I'm sure the LW would understand. It doesn't speak to my level of intelligence or anything of that sort. Fact is, most people should tailor their response to the individual, not some DR. PHIL BS that is cookie cutter cutout stuff like I see other people have in here. You have the nerve to call me out. If you want to take shots, do it on the basketball court or in a bar. Don't call me out expecting not to get a response in return.

    When will you begin to relate to the youth of America?

    Posted by Admiral Antgro July 31, 09 03:29 PM
  1. if you do take marriage seriously, but if it doesn't work out,
    and there are kids and property in the horizon,
    how to split up knowing that you followed your heart ?

    Posted by serious or not ? July 31, 09 03:30 PM
  1. I married my college sweetheart at 21, right after graduation. Now married 20 years. I would not change a thing. No matter what age you marry, there will be ups and downs, and you will change over time. That would also be true if you married at 30 or 40.

    The one thing I do recommend is pre-Cana or pre-marital counseling if available through the church or place you plan to marry.

    Go for it. Congratulations.

    Posted by Married young, still in love after 20 July 31, 09 03:33 PM
  1. #26 Reindeer girl - Listen to me. I know you post on here all the time and I'm sure you have your fans and all of that stuff. You even go as far as to step on Valentino's style and write a haiku of your own. simply genius! Continued success.

    (Not so) Strangely enough, I didn't see you address the LW's plight besides a couple of sentences, did I? When you prioritize someone else's comments over the LW's in terms of response, what does that say of you? Clearly, I think you need to be reminded why you're here. Can you make it more about the LW and less about those people who comment on it?

    If you wish to retort, do so in a non-combative way, because yelling never gets women anywhere with me(n).

    Posted by Admiral Antgro July 31, 09 03:36 PM
  1. Ok, the follow up makes things more confusing. It sill makes no sense as to why you wrote to Mer in the first place. The explanation "I wanted to observe how people who really do not know us would react to such news" really doesn't clear things up. If you feel you are ready to get married then just do it, why do you care about the reactions of people who don't know you. Personally, I think you are too young, but why does my opinion matter when you're not asking for anyone's advice?

    I know several people who got married while in college (or right after) most of them I don't stay in touch with and don't know how things worked out, but of the two that I do, one is divorced and one is still married. I also have a friend of a friend who got married at 18 and is still happily married 25 years later. Yes, this could be the love of your life and you will have a great many years together. But, I still don't understand why you don't wait until after college and have a real wedding with your friends and family in attendance or why you wrote the lettter in the first place. For that matter, I also don't know why I'm even bothering to respond at this point.....

    You are going to do what you are going to do, hope it all works out.

    Posted by CC July 31, 09 03:37 PM
  1. here's what my concern is, you are 19. Are you fully self-supporting? Will you expect your folks to continue to pay tuition and whatever else they are kicking in for? Have you and your bride to be spoken to your parents about what impact your being married will be in terms of financial support? BU is expensive, living in Boston is expensive, and I think many parents will take the stand that if you choose to make an adult decision to become married then you are adult enough to take care of yourself, financially.

    Posted by sibdee July 31, 09 03:37 PM
  1. I married my first husband in my mid-twenties after knowing him for three years. Everybody kept telling me that I had hooked the handsome prince (big bucks, gorgeous guy, famous family), The marriage lasted seven months. Five years later I married a terrific guy after knowing him for 8 months and living with him for a minute. That was 30 years ago, and we are still happily married.

    Nobody can tell you what is right in a marriage, you have to make it work for yourselves. Have a great time at your wedding!

    Posted by Kimball'sMom July 31, 09 03:40 PM
  1. You've got a a fast car
    We go cruising entertain ourselves
    You still ain't got a job
    Now I work in the market as a checkout girl
    I know things will get better
    You'll find work and I'll get promoted
    We'll move out of the shelter
    Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

    Posted by valentino July 31, 09 03:44 PM
  1. I know of a girl who was 16 and pregnant, they got married....over 25 years later
    they are still married. I on the other hand was almost 27 when I got married, and I got divorces after 13 yrs.

    Why don't the two of you move in together for awhile first? See how things go from there?

    Posted by violet500 July 31, 09 03:53 PM
  1. Give my one good reason why you can't wait until after you graduate to get married!!!! If she's worth marrying, she'll still be there 3 years from now to marry you.

    I just got out of school, and I can't count how many people i know getting engaged or married, regardless of whether they've been dating 4 years or 4 months! I'll never understand how some one doesn't see the risk in getting married when you haven't really gotten to know the person and see all sides of them. You need to make sure you still love the person after the "honeymoon" phase of the relationship is over. That's when you really get to know the person, not in the period where everything is still exciting and new.

    My generation is full of morons.

    Posted by Al July 31, 09 03:56 PM
  1. It's very possible you'll grow apart from each other. I changed a lot when I was in my 20's. I'm now in my early 30's and have a better understanding of myself. Focus on getting your education and enjoy the relationship as it is.

    Good luck.

    Posted by Been There, Done That July 31, 09 04:05 PM
  1. #120 – Engaged. Seriously? Really? Why did you write the letter? As #131 – DrK said, as some creepy social experiement?

    Here’s how people who don't know you are going to react to you and your new wife: I don’t give a F&*K about you, what you do or who you do it with, so long as it does not impact my life. However, you have impacted my life, your letter has been an epic waste of my time. These are minutes I can never recoup.

    Don’t ever write in again.

    Posted by LuLuLemon July 31, 09 04:07 PM
  1. this kid (yes kid) is a braggart and a fool. you think you are such a hot little ticket! why write in to an advice column if you are so perfect and all your ducks are in a row? soooo much can change in 3 years. who knows if that job will still be waiting. maybe not. but... i digress. you met this girl at probably the first time you had been away from home so of course there is a bond there. stuff happens tho! and btw i have been on my own for quite a long time as well, my parents didnt pay for anything since i was about 14. i paid for college myself, no prestigious company that your family probably has connections at, paid for it. so dont give me that holier than thou crap. you are lame.

    Posted by yuk. July 31, 09 04:09 PM
  1. I have to disagree with Meredith on this one. True love is not fragile. True love endures.

    I fell in love young too (15 to be exact) got married @ 25, separated @ 26, back together @ 27, and going strong since.

    Marriage is wonderful & amazing, I’ll bet that you’ll learn more in your 1st year of marriage than your 4 at BU. Marriage is also challenging and consuming. Why not get married when you’re in a position to dedicate the majority of your time and effort to building a foundation for your future without detracting from school & college life?

    IMO, making the decision to get married is one of the biggest ones you’ll ever make. Take your time… Enjoy where you’re at right now. Go to school, be in love, do fun stuff, go places. MOVE IN TOGETHER (sorry, can’t stress that enough). Learn how to be an individual and a couple successfully. Argue & learn how to disagree. What’s important is that you learn about each other and yourselves. Don’t let fears of losing your relationship cheat you out of this chapter of your life. Build memories about this wonderful time to last a lifetime.

    Posted by yep July 31, 09 04:11 PM
  1. p.s. And it's official - I'm a Hoss fan.

    Posted by LuLuLemon July 31, 09 04:12 PM
  1. It's great that you're in love. Marry the girl. Just not now.

    A lot of people have written to say that what they thought to be true or eternal at 19 didn't turn out to be that way a few years later. Uniformly, they urge you to wait.

    I'm sure you'll dismiss that advice. That's the natural inclination of youth. The younger you are, the stronger is the tendency to believe that what hasn't happened to you personally can't have any relevance to your life. The younger you are, the greater your willingness to believe that how you feel today, you'll feel forever.

    But here's the thing. All those folks, whatever their ages, remember what it's like to be 19. They know how different they were at 20, and 21, and 22. They know how a relationship changes after a year, or two years, or five years.

    But you don't.

    The folks giving you advice have experience and insight that you simply can't have. That's not a knock on you. That's just life. To ignore their advice is not a sign of your confidence; it's a sign of immaturity. An adult, whatever his age, learns from those who have knowledge or experience he doesn't have.

    Go ahead, get engaged now. Live together. Luxuriate in your shared joy and the thought of your life together. But if you're truly sure about your love, you'll wait a few years to get married.

    Posted by Jasper's Buddy July 31, 09 04:14 PM
  1. My Parents got married when they were 19, and 29 years later they are still together. Don't worry about what people say; unless your close friends and relatives are telling you not to for some reason (and it sounds as though they aren't!) then get married and enjoy it! Life is short!!

    Posted by Newlywed July 31, 09 04:19 PM
  1. nincompoop

    Posted by stand by forever July 31, 09 04:20 PM
  1. A consideration you might not have thought of: How will this effect your financial aid for school? If not at all, or for the better, then don't hesitate. If this will negatively impact your financial aid, you might want to think twice before proceeding.

    If this is not an issue, then I wish you all the best! My husband and I married young...about six years earlier than any of my friends...and because we make an effort to both grow together AND give the other person space and support to become the best person s/he can be, we are very close and very, very happy!

    Posted by merilisa July 31, 09 04:22 PM
  1. I read your follow-up, and I have to say I am impressed. I think 90% of what you shared is critical to successful marriage. You've put my mind at ease that you have proven to be able to financially support yourself. And yes, you have the right attitude and it sounds like the two of you have thought this out.

    If you were my son (and did I mention you're barely 2 years older than my daughter?), I would counsel you about that last 10%....

    I think it's a bad sign when you have ZERO doubts about getting married! No, you don't want to be riddled with doubts, but I think it's natural to have a teeny tiny bit of doubt - especially considering how high the divorce rates are. It's that doubt that keeps you on your toes, working on areas of potential challenge that may arise, and making it so you are not taken completely by surprise when challenges do arise.

    Just a thought, and best of luck to you.

    Posted by anecdotal evidence July 31, 09 04:27 PM
  1. Valentino - you ate your Wheaties today. Outstanding.

    Engaged, sex is like oxygen - it's only a big deal if you ain't getting any. And all of us were breathing deep at 19 years old.

    If you have to write a letter like this, you're not ready.

    Posted by Joe July 31, 09 04:31 PM
  1. I just read the update from Engaged... why waste our time! I regret reading and commenting on your letter.

    You seem so full of yourself.

    Posted by Been There, Done That July 31, 09 04:31 PM
  1. Admiral-
    How do you like your eggs? poached?

    Posted by sam i am July 31, 09 04:34 PM
  1. Dear Engaged,
    I am a 30-something year old cougar and would like to make the offer that if things don't work out for you and your fiancee, I am available and would welcome just about anything in the extreme you can offer.
    Now, get on with your bad self and make some pretty babies.

    Posted by Sally July 31, 09 04:38 PM
  1. Again, I have agree with Hoss that the letter is fake. The LW's follow up put the nail in that coffin. How can you be financially independent from your parents but also a full-time student, and able to support yourself with "two very nice cars and a downtown Boston apartment?" Where are you getting income? Student loans? I have never heard of a company agreeing to pay for someone's education before a person has worked for them at all. You've completed 1 year of college, but you're so brilliant that a company is willing to fund 8 additional years of post secondary education for you?

    This begs an even more important question: why the flip do I care enough to respond to this madness a second time? Engaged - if this truly is all legit, then good luck to you. I still don't understand why you bothered to write in in the first place if everything is so perfect. Perhaps you are seeking approval and feedback for a decision you have already made - quite a typical characteristic for the young and immature (not that there is anything wrong with being immature at 19), but you have so repeatedly told us how mature you are, so this can't be the case, right?

    But, nonetheless, good luck. I wish you the best.

    Posted by veggiesaregreat July 31, 09 04:40 PM
  1. I'd rather be in Maryland, eating crabs with purple-clad Meredith, than have sex, of which even the good variety isn't hard to come by. But good Chesapeake Bay crabs? Now that's taking it to the next level!

    Posted by Bony Melon July 31, 09 04:41 PM
  1. You say that this is what you both want and that you are sure that it is right for you. If that is true, why are you writing here? I can't help thinking you must have some lingering doubts and you are looking for the readers here to either validate your feelings or talk you out of it.

    Look in your own heart. Only you and your fiancee can know whether this is right. I wish you both all the luck in the world no matter what you decide.

    Posted by Tricia July 31, 09 04:46 PM
  1. To Engaged #120 - I'm surprised a girl from BU would want to marry a guy with such poor writing skills, or have you not finished WR150? Why don't people proofread anymore?

    Posted by Miss Mandy July 31, 09 04:51 PM
  1. tomorrow is august...is it possible that meredith is actually attending this guy's wedding?? hehe. engaged, why don't you forget the 1 year update and give us the 10 year update. then we'll all have a clear picture, you and your bride included.

    Posted by boredinboston July 31, 09 04:53 PM
  1. LW -

    You say you're ready to meet the challenges. ~shakes head~ the problem is that the challenges are abstract to you, you haven't even come close to experiencing the problems yet. Not the real ones. The measure of the strength of a relationship comes from the ability to weather the bad times. The crises, the traumas.

    Seriously. Any two people can have a good time. Any two people can have great sex. Any two people can learn to live together. Hell, even love each other. But only after you've experienced a few of life's true tough spots will you really and truly know each other. No matter what you think life has prepared you for up until now - the pressure, stress, sacrifices and responsibility of maintaining a marriage...? Sorry, you don't have a clue.

    I'm not saying you won't make it necessarily, I'm truly not. You're clearly going to go through with it anyhow. Hell if you;re as stable as you're trying to convince us all, then I'm not sure why you wrote to Meredith in the first place.

    But since you're asking for advice, I'm giving it. All I'm saying is that if you think you've thought of everything - you haven't, trust me. You think where you live and when you'll have kids are the only curve balls life is going to throw at you? There are life complications that you haven't even started to imagine yet just waiting for you both.

    Just get her a ring, man. Get her a big fat diamond ring the size of your head so that she can glow and show it around with the "I'm engaged, look at my ring!" arm-outstretched prance, and prove that you're committed. If you last until you graduate - then start planning the wedding.

    I wish you the best.


    Posted by Ceej July 31, 09 05:28 PM
  1. It's all part of the adventure. My plan was exactly the opposite of Engaged's. I was going to play the field until my thirties - then find the love of my life. Life had a good laugh - I was head over heels at 23, and am still married at 50. Enjoy, and may you be as happy as we are.
    Mere - enjoy the trip!

    Posted by Amaryllis81 July 31, 09 05:33 PM
  1. I don't normally comment but I feel compelled to do so now. I am 20 and my fiance is 22. We are in a similar situation. We have been together for 3 years and have been living together for 2. He is in the work force so, fortunately, he doesn’t experience much of the insane judgment that I do, being in college. I understand that you feel ready and I can soo empathize with people being "on your case."
    Both my fiance and I "started young." I won't go into the details but in my more rebellious stage I experienced many different types of men; I know what I need in a person. We have talked each other to death about how to guarantee that out commitment will hold meaning over time. The truth is; you are right, you cannot guarantee it. The only thing that you can do is put serious thinking and understanding into your situation. Everyone is different and only YOU know what your relationship is like. Just like my fiance and I are the only ones who know how compatible our morals and goals are.
    My fiance and I have decided to wait. We both wear wedding bands because for us it is a symbol of our commitment. However, getting married is just not realistic in terms of money and probably because I do not feel that "making it official" is super important right now.
    I think that it is great that you are brave enough to stand by what you believe. I cannot tell you whether or not this is a good choice for you because I do not know the type of person you are. I do not know whether you are simply impulsive, or if this decision is based on a lot of reflection and understanding of the character of both you and your fiance.
    I think that in this case, all you can do is ask yourself some honest questions, and work at the marriage like any couple would. Just stick to your guns, it can be VERY difficult dealing with all of the nonsense and judgment people throw at you!

    Posted by s July 31, 09 05:39 PM
  1. I just wanted to chime in about rushing into marriage. I understand that you have no doubts (that's a red flag, Anyone serious about marriage should have some doubts). I agree with many of the others that you are making a mistake, albeit for a different reason. Your relationship is young, as you are. By marrying so quickly (as opposed to quickly making the decision to marry ), you are skipping over one of the best stages of a relationship - the engagement. It is a wonderful time in the life of a marriage; most couples remember it fondly. It is a time when people and relationships mature and mellow.

    Posted by Zoogirl July 31, 09 05:47 PM
  1. I don't usually write comments but I will b/c I agree with Meredith. I got married right in the middle of college. My husband (21 years later) was a few years older. We had known each other several years and had the support of family. I knew that I would be able to finish college, the finances were already in place, and things worked out fine. It was great being married young because we had tons of energy and tons of fun. Now we have a really long history that helps to keep us tuned into each other. Writer, if you're reading these comments, don't let them get to you too much. You have to make your own decision.

    Posted by loopa July 31, 09 06:28 PM
  1. As Rico said, all marriages end in death or divorce. The thing is, when one is making the vows, one doesn't say, "Till death or divorce do us part." I find it offensive that anyone could think, "well, the worst is we'll get divorced." Especially, as another poster mentioned, it might not be just the two of you, but also kids affected by the divorce. It could also be devastating to your parents. And bank accounts.

    Posted by Sasha July 31, 09 06:38 PM
  1. Engaged, are you a Spanish speaker? In Spanish, "carrera" means "course of study," as in engineering, computer science, psychology. Even with that definition, you're not too mature in your "carrera" after one year. In English, "career" refers to the work you do AFTER finishing your education or training. I, for example, have been a teacher for 30 years. I think one could say I'm "mature" in my career. You have NO IDEA how the whole ed plan you have worked out will actually play out. To say nothing of the actual career. Getting married before you have a "career" in motion is folly.

    Posted by Sasha July 31, 09 06:44 PM
  1. @#82 Brian H. Your a senior at BC and your still confused about "you're" and "your"? I hope someone from BC see's (couldn't resist the apostrophe) you're posting on here and check's through all the students named Brian H. and FINDS YOU, you morally depraved Catholic (???).

    Posted by Frico July 31, 09 06:50 PM
  1. Yes, love has to wait. That's how you know it's love and not lust. There's no reason to get married so quickly. Commitment isn't perishable. If you're in it for the long haul, you'll know that in 3 years when you graduate and get your first real job.

    Posted by Ashley July 31, 09 07:10 PM
  1. I don't think it's about age, but about experience. Have either of you really had your heart broken? Have you ever had to break up with anyone? How dependent are you on your parents, both financially and emotionally? How much have you emotionally lived? I dated a guy when I was 19 that I thought I could marry until he cheated on me, told me in explicit detail what happened to make me jealous, and broke my heart. I've had good relationships and bad and that makes me a better girlfriend now. I'm in a very happy, long-term relationship at 25 and feel like I can be a better person to my boyfriend because I've failed in the past. Make sure you're emotionally mature to handle marriage before you attempt it. I had the worst time of my life with that relationship at 19, but I don't regret a thing because of what I learned.

    Posted by gradstudent6 July 31, 09 08:03 PM
  1. Val, you said you're getting married in August. Is this letter perhaps your version of a bachelor party, i.e., have fun pulling one over on 'Dith and pals with a fake wedding letter?

    BTW, haikus are improving (don't mean that as it sounds) though R'Girl is giving you some competition! Let's suggest to 'Dith that we have an "All Haiku Comments Day." Talk about reining in Reeks, no?

    Valentino's, yes
    Haikus are the best (evah)
    'dith in purple dress

    Okay, I don't have the touch..........YET.

    Posted by Sasha July 31, 09 08:15 PM
  1. I would not expect a shotgun wedding to be necessary in this day, L/W. Women can support themselves, and those who call out-of-wedlock children the b word are just plain mean. There are also adoption and other family-planning resources if you or (your beloved) feel unready to start a family.

    I'm not amongst those surprised you have money of your own. My nephews went from yard work to Website designers, and in just a few years, before they age of 20, they were both making $100,000+. But I think 19 is very, very young today. I'm waiting for waht's-her-name to kick in with her opinions about living today. She's late today.

    Posted by reindeergirl July 31, 09 08:18 PM
  1. Life is short and age doesn't matter, so do what makes you happy. Anyone who tries to rain on your parade is either jealous or not ready to be married and is therefore terrified for you. Best wishes on your impending marriage!

    Posted by Beth July 31, 09 10:18 PM
  1. Look at all of the people getting married in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who are unhappy. If you feel you are ready, then go for it.
    Don't listen to what anyone else says... all that matters is that the two of you are happy!

    Posted by Cynical2447 July 31, 09 10:59 PM
  1. First let me say CONGRATS to you ENGAGED!!! It is you and your fiance's life and no one else has a right to say a thing!! Some people just know what they want and they do it or they regret it. I think if you don't get married now, you WILL regret it! I got married at the age of 21 and I was pregnant. I come from a large Catholic family and that was the thing to do. I am divorced with a 26 year old daughter. Do I have regrets - not really. I have a fabulous daughter and a great ex-husband. He's a great Dad and I'm a great Mom (I tell myself that anyway). I don't think I knew then what you know now!! I wish you much happiness, I got a feeling you don't need it!!

    Posted by ProudCatholic July 31, 09 11:31 PM
  1. Can we now refer to 'dith as pretty in purple, aw shucks,
    all this romantic bliss has moi thinking silly like Engaged.
    but # 19 reeled me back in " The Bluster of Certainty"

    That term sure has many apps

    Posted by mike in salem August 1, 09 02:18 AM
  1. I hate to sound like a dummy here but was Valentino
    trying to sound like Tracy Chapman or was that an
    inadverdaent slip up

    Posted by mike in salem August 1, 09 06:11 AM
  1. #82, Brian H. You cheat and brag about it. Your father taught you how to cheat and, no doubt, brags about it. And you chose a Catholic college why?

    Posted by Kates Nonna August 1, 09 09:13 AM
  1. Oh, dear, LW. I just read your update. It shouldn't matter to you what other couples experience and your belief that you and your wife will experience things other couples never dream of, etc. etc. is very troubling. You are reminding me, unfortunately, of a very dear friend (great education, job, supportive and lovely wife, two beautiful teenagers) who had a devastating bi-polar breakdown in his 40's. When you speak of agreeing already about lifestyle, children, etc....let me tell you, children usually don't fall into line with the parents' idealized ideas...they are their own little people and can be very challenging. This blog should be a reality check for you, but somehow I don't think you are on the level. If you had a guaranteed career with any top-flight (pun intended) firm you wouldn't dream of publishing the name of the firm. Now, how about sharing the blog with your fiancee and asking her to write an update? I'd like to suggest to her that she not rush into anything.

    Posted by still learning August 1, 09 09:25 AM
  1. Ignore all the haters! My husband and I married when I was 21 and I faced mountains of judgment from people who were more concerned about making themselves feel and look superior than they were about seeing me happy and fulfilled. I've had more fun in the nine years I've been with my husband (three of them married) than most of the judgmental, "sensible" people have ever had, all of them put together, in their entire petty, bitter lives. We have a blast every day and our relationship has, thus far, only improved with time. So if you want to do something that makes you happy, don't let the unhappiness of others bring you down! Find other people who are genuinely happy with their lives without feeling the need to judge and condemn, and surround yourselves with THOSE people-- they'll be loyal friends and add joy to your lives! I am happy for you and I wish you all the love and fun in the world!

    Posted by JinMet August 1, 09 09:42 AM
  1. An earlier commenter had it right. Missing out on your carefree early-adulthood years will be the biggest mistake of your life. The biggest. And you will spend the latter half of your life trying to make it up for it, but without much success as you will be a sad old broken man tied down by a real job, child support, and divorce/alimony obligations.

    By the way, you do realize that you are getting married in THE worst State to get divorced in, don't you? Get a July 2009 issue of the Boston Magazine if you can find one still find one on the shelves (or from a friend). Read their article on this topic.

    Also, don't be of the mindset that "If I blow it with this girl, I will never find a cool girl like that ever again". That is B.S. That's called a "scarcity mentality" and it is the most self defeating attitude that a guy can have. Great girls, like great guys, are like city buses (or T trains). If you miss one, another one comes by shortly.

    You are on college dude. Every single reader on this article/comment board would cut off and donate a limb if they could relive their college years again. You are blowing yours. It's not too late.

    Posted by Peter August 1, 09 09:52 AM
  1. All these folks accusing Admiral of being from the 1950's, have you heard of the "Alimony Reform" debate going on in the Mass House and Senate? Have you heard that our laws on these matters are from the '50s? The 1850's!

    Don't call the man a misognynist because he is pointing out a legal reality. You have no right to be outraged at the man until these laws are changed. Learn about the issues, write to your congressperson, and help the laws get changed. Only after that will you have any kind of moral right to get angry at Admiral's statements. Until then, he is just pointing out the truth and a legal reality.

    Posted by Tom August 1, 09 10:01 AM
  1. Go For It!!!!
    You sound like you know what you want and really love this girl. I have to agree with Mere and Rico on this one (Sorry Hoss). Forget what people think about you. HATERS will alway hate! Someone will always have something to say whether you are doing good or bad. Marry this girl and be happy til death do you part! Love her like Edward loves Bella :)

    Posted by LilShorty98 August 1, 09 10:10 AM
  1. My main thought is that you will miss out on a special time in your life where you and you alone, can see and do anything without the responsibility of children or a wife. You can date different women (I get that right now you don't want to date or see anyone else but your love), go out with guys, travel to Europe or South America, pursue your passions without the restraints of marriage. Marriage is sacrifice, period. This doesn't mean it isn't wonderful, it can be. However, ask anyone in their mid 30's or older. Are you the same person that you were at 19? the majority will tell you, their life views and views of self are very different. This time from 19 - 24 is an important time to experience life no holds bar. People mentioned in their parents generation EVERYONE got married early but society and friends supported it...it was the "NORM. That societal support system isn't there anymore. Ultimately, you have to make your own decisions, I do think what is the rush? If she is the one then getting married NOW or getting married in 2 years shouldn't make a difference. When you are committed to someone your behavior should reflect that. Is there a fear you won't make it together unless you are both saying "I do"? You have the rest of your lives to be married. You can get engaged now and get married after college. See how the next few years go being exclusive. But you are an adult, young but an adult nonetheless. You make the decision. Patience will serve you with this huge life commitment. I wish you only the best!

    Posted by Lisa August 1, 09 10:59 AM
  1. When my grandmother met my grandfather she hadn't turned 18 yet and he was in his early 20s. She knew after their second date she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. He thought they ought to wait but decided to be impulsive (quite out of character for him). They got married after knowing each other 8 weeks and were happily married for over 60 years! My grandfather said it was the best decision he ever made. So I definitely think it can work. Best of luck!

    Posted by Mimi August 1, 09 05:25 PM
  1. I met the love of my life in college the first week of my freshman year - I was 17 (I turned 18 later that month) he was 18. We never had eyes for anyone else. We knew from the first few months we dated that we were meant for eachother. He proposed Sophomore year and I accepted. But guess what? We waited until we were 25 to get married!!!! Why? Because we both wanted to be done with school (he went to law school), to pay for our wedding, to start off life together right. We loved eachother so much, there was no harm in waiting. 13 years later we are still so in love, have the house, the wonderful daughter, and a wonderful relationship. No rush. no rush. True love will wait.

    Posted by veggirl August 1, 09 08:24 PM
  1. Wait!!!!

    And I say that as someone who was engaged at 18 -- married at 23. We both finished college -- and learned plenty along the way. Like -- we needed to be settled before kids. We waited 9 years.

    I say this as someone who will celebrate a 32nd anniversary this year. And still in love.

    Posted by arhus August 1, 09 08:42 PM
  1. You are so young and I know you feel right now that nothing is going to change but as someone approaching 40 I can tell you that from 19-20 until now I have changed a lot. If you love each other and I believe you do, I would wait. Nothing changes - continue on the same path, love each other, grow together, save money etc. and then get married. Give yourself some time to grow more anf grow into you are meant to be

    Posted by Trixie August 1, 09 10:28 PM
  1. Lots of opinions expressed here... I just know that I am really, really glad that I was not held to a lifetime based on a decision I made when I was 19. I, too, was financially independent, was recruited heavily during college and thought I had the world by the tail.

    So much changed between 19 and 24 or 25. The career was not what it turns out I wanted, the man I was in love with turned out to not be the ONE! even though I was sure he was at the time, and my life took a new, exciting direction.

    Give yourself some time. It doesn't have to be too long, but make sure that the rest of your plan is really what you want. Then you can bring yourself fully to a marriage that doesn't need an out-clause.

    Posted by PlymouthGirl August 2, 09 08:42 AM
  1. In reading Engaged's follow-up I actually believe him and guess he is attending Olin in Needham; they give free college for 4 years to brilliant future engineers so the job offer etc. does not seem so far-fetched since I know that a lot of employers looking for that kind of talent go there to recruit....and will then pay for extended education after Olin is done....

    I still think wait but who knows?

    Also to #82 - totally gross.

    Posted by Trixie August 2, 09 09:13 AM
  1. And writing to an internet advice columnist would be a sign of that "advanced maturity" you're so very proud of?

    Luck to you, my friend.

    Posted by prairiemike August 2, 09 10:53 AM
  1. Ah, is not young love a wonderful thing? You can feel the euphoria and excitement of this boy's heart in his words, can you not? It's a wonderful thing. It has sustained our species low these 30,000 years. When one is sexually mature, a female able to birth, a continuationg of the genes fuels the drive of love to go wild to go forth and multiply in rapture. Lovely. Lovely. I enjoy reading it.

    My Dear son, how I love a romantic, it will serve you very well in life, whomever you marry, but, though this pains me a bit to say, you are experiencing the euphoric drive of love. Oh yes, love is a drive, much like hunger. And to make it legal gives you, what you feel, is some control over it, your hope of it never changing, you dont want this feeling to ever go away. But it will change. Loves goes in cycles, from passionate drive, to routine, to eventually, strong unselfish bonded friendship/admiration love. The final phase is the strongest one, if you get there. It is the most unselfish, the least conditional, the most dedicated.

    What you are also experiencing, is the immaturity of your frontal lobe. The frontal lobe in the human brain is responsible for...readers????...anyone know? Yup. Impulse control. That feeling you get when you want to jump into something and that little voice in your head from someplace else that says, "well, think about it, is this really a good idea???" That voice, is your frontal lobe, and my dear dear lovely boy, you do not have a fully developed frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is responsible for making good sound decisions that keep you well for longetivity. WHile it is advantageous to send boys to war with immature frontal lobes, making them probably more brave, more frearless, doing all those things soldiers do to sacrafice themselves because it needs to be done, jumpinginto something to personally put your future at risk is not a good idea.

    Also, you are changing and growing, in your brain, rapidly, at this age. Which is why the biggest indicator of divorce is.........age when married. Other factors weigh in, economics, and yes, though some hate to hear it and are obviously too lazy to look it up, cohabitation, but age is the killer.

    Think of yourself five years ago? What was important to you then? What styles, what movies, what were your tastes? How much did you change in these past five years? Well, guess what, in the next five years, you will change that much again. Not until the brain matures do we slow down this lightning speed pace of emmotional growth and that happens around age 24/25 when we start to become literally better at making long term decisions.

    Have fun with this wonderful relationship, but either do not get married, or if you do, do not have children until you are at least 26.

    Best of luck.

    Posted by A few Grey Hairs and whole lot of life behind them August 2, 09 03:34 PM
  1. Ah, is not young love a wonderful thing? You can feel the euphoria and excitement of this boy's heart in his words, can you not? It's a wonderful thing. It has sustained our species low these 30,000 years. When one is sexually mature, a female able to birth, a continuationg of the genes fuels the drive of love to go wild to go forth and multiply in rapture. Lovely. Lovely. I enjoy reading it.

    My Dear son, how I love a romantic, it will serve you very well in life, whomever you marry, but, though this pains me a bit to say, you are experiencing the euphoric drive of love. Oh yes, love is a drive, much like hunger. And to make it legal gives you, what you feel, is some control over it, your hope of it never changing, you dont want this feeling to ever go away. But it will change. Loves goes in cycles, from passionate drive, to routine, to eventually, strong unselfish bonded friendship/admiration love. The final phase is the strongest one, if you get there. It is the most unselfish, the least conditional, the most dedicated.

    What you are also experiencing, is the immaturity of your frontal lobe. The frontal lobe in the human brain is responsible for...readers????...anyone know? Yup. Impulse control. That feeling you get when you want to jump into something and that little voice in your head from someplace else that says, "well, think about it, is this really a good idea???" That voice, is your frontal lobe, and my dear dear lovely boy, you do not have a fully developed frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is responsible for making good sound decisions that keep you well for longetivity. WHile it is advantageous to send boys to war with immature frontal lobes, making them probably more brave, more frearless, doing all those things soldiers do to sacrafice themselves because it needs to be done, jumpinginto something to personally put your future at risk is not a good idea.

    Also, you are changing and growing, in your brain, rapidly, at this age. Which is why the biggest indicator of divorce is.........age when married. Other factors weigh in, economics, and yes, though some hate to hear it and are obviously too lazy to look it up, cohabitation, but age is the killer.

    Think of yourself five years ago? What was important to you then? What styles, what movies, what were your tastes? How much did you change in these past five years? Well, guess what, in the next five years, you will change that much again. Not until the brain matures do we slow down this lightning speed pace of emmotional growth and that happens around age 24/25 when we start to become literally better at making long term decisions.

    Have fun with this wonderful relationship, but either do not get married, or if you do, do not have children until you are at least 26.

    Best of luck.

    Posted by A few Grey Hairs and whole lot of life behind them August 2, 09 03:34 PM
  1. I knew at age 19 that I had met "the one". He was 24. We waited until I was 25 to get married, we waited another 5 years to have children. In 2010 we will celebrate 15 years of marriage.

    My parents were married at ages 18 and 20, I was at my fathers college graduation. ;-) This year they celebrated 40 years of marriage.

    Do what feels best for you.

    Posted by Me August 2, 09 08:38 PM
  1. why complicate a good thing? If it's great now, it will be great after you graduate!! Don't rush things, your only 19!

    Posted by Julie August 2, 09 10:16 PM
  1. I was in a similar situation with a serious girlfriend as a sophomore in college that I wanted to marry. I didn't marry her but I wasted a lot of time being committed to her at an age when I should have been experimenting with as many women as possible, at a time in life when those young women were also interested in experimentations. Now in my mid-30's I regret that opportunity!

    Posted by Lovelorn August 2, 09 10:36 PM
  1. Hate to sound so cynical and pessimistic, but to me, it doesn't bode well when the first thing you can gush about the relationship is the "great sex"! Yikes. I mean, come on, every 19 yr old that is having sex is having "great sex". Oh, but she's amazing and the two of you have "effective communication". Almost everybody falls in love in college, and that's great. It's part of the experience of figuring out who you are and learning about love, appreciation, and yes...also great sex. But, I don't get what your rush to marriage is for? There's a reason why you didn't start the letter off discussing deep core values, common life goals, how your strengths/weaknesses complement each other, how your family backgrounds shape how you are as people and how it will affect your relationship, etc...and that is because you ARE too young to get married because if you weren't, THOSE would be the things you would be highlighting because believe me, when you have some experience under your belt and some more life lessons...not just in relationships, but life in general, you will know there is more to a relationship than good sex, amazingness and good conversation. This isn't front of mind to you because you don't even know about the existence of this, let alone the relevancy to a relationship. . To answer your question...no, there are never guarantees about anything. Life happens....people fall out of love, people die, jobs relocate, and millions of other scenarios, but that doesn't change the fact that there are times to be more ready for something and know the key requirements vs not being ready for something and ignoring clear signs so that you mistakenly think you are ready for something that you aren't.

    Posted by bklynmom August 2, 09 10:57 PM
  1. Statistically, I'm sure you know that the odds of staying together are not in your favor. I'm guessing that you haven't had to deal with family problems or money issues. Have you even had your first argument yet?? Have you ever been really angry with her? I think it is wonderful that you are so in love but for a marriage to work, you need to see your partner clearly. You need to recognize her faults and accept them. And if you don't think she has any major annoyances or quirks, then you just aren't seeing her clearly yet. Being in love and loving someone for the rest of your life are 2 different things.

    I truly wish you all the luck in the world and I hope that you spend the next 75 years together. But, if you wait until you are 21 to marry, you could celebrate with a champagne toast rather than apple juice or soda...Just food for thought.

    Posted by happilymarriedwith3kids August 2, 09 11:01 PM
  1. Dude. Relationships stay in the "infatuation" stage--the one you are presently in--for approximately 18 months. Then things change. Not necessarily in a bad way, but they will be different. Engagements usually last a year for a good reason. Get engaged when you graduate (if you must) and then wait that year. Because the worst that can happen isn't simply that you get divorced. It's that you have a really ugly divorce and children are involved (whether you intend to have kids soon or not). Start thinking with your head and not your other head.

    Posted by JRC August 3, 09 09:03 AM
  1. #192 Frico 'Your [sic] a senior at BC and your still confused about "you're" and "your"?' I'm sure you'll say it was intentionally or maybe you'll slyly call it "ironic" but we all know that's not true. Or at least you know it's not true, which is all that matters. Leave the grammar policing to the literate, please.

    Posted by BastaPoppyBasta August 3, 09 10:06 AM
  1. I met my husband my freshman year of college. We dated all through college and got married after graduation. I'm now 38 years old and we are still married, but we are not happy. I look at him and see how much each of us has changed in the past 15 years. We're completely different people, which makes sense given that one truly "grows up" throughout their 20s. I know this now, but wished I knew it then. We have 2 kids and we are trying to make it work for their sake. But if the person I am today met the man my husband is today, we wouldn't have even dated. For your own sake, wait. Experience life, grow, go on adventures and figure out who you really are so you don't end up like us, married, with kids and pretty sure we married the wrong peperson.

    Posted by Meg August 3, 09 10:33 AM
  1. Engaged,
    You original letter & follow up sound like they could have been written by different people, the tone & language is so different, which leads me to conclude that either your letter is fake or you are for real but not quite as mature as you think.

    Assuming it is the latter, I cannot help but add my 2 cents (okay maybe I'm going to empty out all the loose change in my pocket) in response to your follow-up:
    1. Congrats on seeming to have a stable financial situation & a career plan all worked out. BUT you are being slightly naive to assume you're all set. Economically a lot can change in 3 years. The economy may have recovered in general by then, but that's no guarantee that Sikorsky will have orders flowing in. So unless you have the promise of 2 internships & a full time job in writing, don't count on it.
    2. It's great that you've picked out baby names & decided who will clean the toilets, but just because you're both on the same page now, don't assume that will be so forever. As a result of your experiences, you will change, she will change, and even though most of your experiences will be shared, maybe your changes will not be in the same direction. Keep talking to one another or risk an unpleasant surprise when she says she wants out.
    3. I was once engaged to a man who had thought he didn't need/want the stereotypical college life & got married at your age. That marriage ended in divorce. While we were engaged, he started regretting what he missed but didn't have the guts to make a clean break. After I broke it off, he promptly started dating someone half his age, mostly cut himself off from his "old" (in both senses) friends, and married her after dating less than a year. I hear he's miserable. For your fiancee's sake & for yours, I hope you're not like him.
    4. "Why not?" is not a sufficient reason to get married or to have a short engagement, as many have reiterated. If your relationship is so easy, then it should be easy to wait too. And the biggest reason to wait is to make sure that you still feel you are right for each other after the euphoria of falling in love has worn off. But this is a moot point, since you're getting married later this month no matter what anyone on this board says.
    5. Okay. This is just weird. Back to my original statment - either this letter is fake (experiment for a psych class or other humanties requirement perhaps?) or you are much less mature than you think you are. Personally, I think you are being disengenuous about not looking for advice. You have doubts or someone close to you has doubts about the wisdom of this marriage, and your real motive for the letter is to obtain validation for your hasty decision.

    So best of luck. I have my doubts, but maybe you & your fiancee will be among the few who beat the odds.

    Posted by Seen it before August 3, 09 10:42 AM
  1. I THOUGHT I was in love once when I was 19. Twice, actually. I was too immature to mistake attraction/infatuation with love. I didn't realize that at the time. Why? Because I was only 19! Got married to the actual love of my life...when I was 31.

    Posted by JOWOW August 3, 09 11:47 AM
  1. Wow - I can only imagine what the 7 yr itch will bring - or better yet - YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS - you'll probably top the charts on both....

    Posted by Been around from around this town August 3, 09 01:02 PM
  1. I got married at 21 (20 years ago) and while I didn't plan on having children for 5 years - that was my plan I got pregnant within the first month. What can I say birth control failed. While we have had our ups and downs 20 years later we are still married still love and respect each other. I was also very mature for my age (husband wasn't LOL!) and didn't have the pressures of college. I worked full time at the time. My mom died shortly after the baby was born and in 1990 we were dead broke after the baby. I mean dead broke! Even though we made it so far I look back and think "what were we thinking???? we were kids who didn't have a clue" So all this being said what is the hurry? I think I got married too young. Glad it worked out but 19 is tooooooo young. What is the rush? Love and enjoy each other now. There is plenty of time for marriage down the road.

    Posted by B August 3, 09 01:12 PM
  1. Things change when you get out into the "real world", so wait...what's the rush?

    Posted by Chloe-OBrien August 3, 09 01:20 PM
  1. The first thing he mentioned is sex. It's the primary motivator, maybe the only real one. He is immature. This relationship will fail.

    Posted by BobL-FF August 3, 09 02:05 PM
  1. I didn't read any of the other posts so I am not sure if anyone's brought this up, but - are you sure you aren't gay? I mean, bragging about your fulfilling hetero sex life and yet still desperate to get married and thus prove your hetero-ness at such a young age, it sounds like a really desperate young gay man trying hard not to be gay.

    If you truly love her, no big thing, but if you are marrying her to be your beard, that's really a sad and horrible thing to do to some hot young 22 year old.

    Posted by NotAndysGirl August 3, 09 02:17 PM
  1. Enaged, when do you drive off into the sunset with Minnie Driver? Don't forget to leave the note in your therapist's Southie mailbox.

    Posted by PatD August 3, 09 03:12 PM
  1. It should be a law that nobody can get married unless they are at least 25. Live together and see if that works.

    Posted by liveinsin August 3, 09 03:30 PM
  1. Being in love and having amazing sex is a lot of fun.

    Paying bills and discussing whose turn it is to do the dishes is not much fun.

    Think about that for a minute. Because you are about to turn your life from the first to the second.

    Posted by DontDoItYet August 3, 09 03:55 PM
  1. I'm only 24, and just got married 3 weeks ago. My husband and I started dating in the 10th grade. We knew we wanted to get married when we were in college too. But we also knew we were too young and needed to experience life. He proposed when we graduated undergrad, but we still had a 2 year engagement since we both went into grad school. Just because we didn't get married until 3 weeks ago didn't change anything. We've been living together for the past 2 years, and have practically been married. And let me share a little secret - since being married absolutely nothing is different except my last name. Making it legal doesn't change anything. If you really love each other, then just have fun until you're graduated, have jobs, both find jobs in the same state (harder than it sounds), and can actually settle down. Have the long engagment - having a fiance is fun. It builds up the excitement of the wedding longer.

    Also, has she lived with you yet?. 19 year old boys, from experience, are slobs. And yes, you still are a boy. Don't you want a bachelor party where you can legally drink alcohol? Don't you want to be able to legally have champagne at your wedding?

    If you absolutely love her, then there will be absolutely no problem in waiting.

    Posted by meg August 3, 09 04:01 PM
  1. I bet you just use her because she can "buy you booze".

    Posted by Been around August 4, 09 11:31 AM
  1. I'm right there with Meredith. If you guys live happily ever after, awesome. If you don't, that won't kill you. I've been divorced, and you know what? It didn't kill me, either. As far as growth experiences go, it's right up there as pretty much the most important one I've ever had.

    I often think, when I read comments to Love Letters, how desperate we all are to Get It Right. To avoid heartache, or heartbreak; to make perfect decisions that will lead to perfect happiness; to somehow avoid all the pain and mess and drama and misery that just naturally come with being human. Sometimes I think when I read these letters…"whatever." Just do whatever seems right, and if it turns out to be wrong, eh. You'll figure it out, and you'll learn something in the process. Maybe you’ll get it right the next time, maybe not, but you’ll just keep on bumbling through life like everybody else, doing the best you can.

    And because everyone, including me, loves to give advice, we get all histrionic and tell people they MUST do this and NEVER that and EVERYONE knows and it’s OBVIOUS that…and we act as though we, brilliant and sage advicegivers that we are, are not bumbling along, screwing up about half the time, putting our lives back together as best we can, learning or not learning, stumbling forward.

    LW, good luck to you. Marry the woman you love. Do what you can to make it work. If you both grow into entirely different people who can no longer stand each other – get a divorce. Move on. Try again.

    Posted by MelissaJane August 4, 09 03:37 PM
  1. Couples, husbands & wives - kill each other all the time.

    Posted by Spooky August 4, 09 04:31 PM
  1. Late to the party, story of my life. But, I will stand in opposition to most of you, and say to the guy: DO IT. I agree with Meredith and MelissaJane. And I'll explain why.

    I went to college in the 70's. Those of you old enough to remember know that it was a pretty sexually open time, so we did not need no steenkin' engagements. In fact, many of us saw marriage as a sort of cop out, a tip of the hat to the previous generation who was hung up on paperwork and convention. WE, brave souls creating a brave new sexually free world, felt that commitment was for dorks. So, I met the love of my life... and lost him, in my yearning to be 'free.' I was 17, so what the heck did I know? I wanted to go taste the world, I did not want to be 'tied' to some other person for life. When he wanted to get serious, I headed for the high country, and convinced myself that the loss would be made up for by the experiences I would not miss out on by being chained up to one man.

    The Eagles are right: "Freedom, well that's just some people talkin'. Your prison is walkin' thru this world all alone." I had some wonderful adventures, sure I did. But like MelissaJane above, I can tell you that most of them would have been a lot more fun with someone to share them with.

    Other interludes, other lovers, new experiences. I moved all over the country. I met lots of interesting people. Over the years, he was the one I always wondered about. Where is he now, what is he doing? Does he even remember me? For all my insistence on freedom, I was never one for one night stands; all of my relationships were lengthy, but all eventually ended. All were missing... something. And at the end of every failed liaison, I found my thoughts wandering back to the man I met in college, so long ago. I eventually realized that the reason these relationships failed was because they were being held to his standard. Oh, I told myself that I was idealizing him because he was in the past; I told myself had we remained together, he would have joined the string of failed lovers for one reason or another. I told myself my instincts at 17 could not possibly have been reliable; look how much more I knew now, and I still wasn't getting it right!

    Fast forward 25 years, and by accident, Chance, Fate, or what have you, I cross paths with my soul mate yet again. To my credit, I may not be a fast learner, but I can see through a brick wall in time. This time, I had sense enough to accept the gift that the Universe was offering to me. I decided I would be cautious, play safe this time, try not to mess things up by moving too fast. Uh-huh. After a single telephone conversation, we decided to meet to talk about old times. Two weeks later we moved in together. That was ten years ago...

    Sometimes, you DO know. Yes, even at seventeen! What a horrible thing to fail to listen! It is easy to forget, that just a very few generations ago, seventeen was an old maid... I have asked myself a thousand times, what might my life have been like had we remained together, how much farther along in our lives might we be now if we had had each other as partners instead of the disastrous choices we made in each others absence? What might our children have looked like, how might our lives have been different? Yes, it is entirely possible that we would have imploded, that we were not ready yet, that this is why we needed 25 years to figure it all out, but I don't really believe it in my heart of hearts. What I believe is, *I* cost us the best years of our lives, together, because I was a coward who was unable to come to grips with the fact that children spend all their time looking for fun, while adults spend their time CREATING fun.

    LW, MelissaJane and Meredith are right. Yes, even at 19, you are not too young to know what you want. Many of the people telling you about how you should 'wait' to have your 'college experiences' act as if having those experiences WITH someone somehow damages them. I am here to tell you: not necessarily. The memories I have from the time I spent WITH my love, in college, are the only ones that still shine after all these years. I can't remember the names of the majority of the people I went to school with, even the ones who were 'good friends' at the time, but I can tell you every weekend my love and I slept late holding each other, and fondly remember movie theaters and restaurants long since turned into expressways, because WE went there together. Together does not ruin any experience, it enhances it. Go for it. Like they said, what is the worst that can happen? If it fails, yes it is another learning experience. And so you might lose some of your 'stuff' if you have guessed wrong. If THAT is more important to you than losing a chance at your long term happiness, or is somehow integral to that happiness, you have a LOT more problems than just getting married too young. Don't make the mistake I did. Leap for that brass ring. If you miss the mark, at least you will have tried and have the bruised knees to show for it, rather than the rest of the stupid lemmings who sit on the nice safe ride and never even try for fear they might fail.

    Posted by Joust September 12, 09 02:33 PM
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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