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Engaged and Underage?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/engaged_...e/series.jhtml

This is a new "news doc" (aka reality show) on MTV about young couples (18-21, not younger as the title would imply) who are in the final weeks of their engagement.

I watched the first episode (it's up on the link posted above if you have 25 minutes to kill and are curious) and honestly, it makes me a little sad, and a little offended. It's pretty obvious that this couple has some problems: within the first 5 minutes the Bride-to-be says something about the groom and his family and follows it up saying "but after we're married, that will all change", for one. When presumably asked why they were getting married, the reasons offered were "because he shares my Christian beliefs" and "because we have fun together." Clearly, like any reality show, this one will go out of its way to makes these people look like idiots. I kind of resent that, because it sends a message about all young and married couples.

Now, I'll be the first one to agree that there are a lot of 18-21 year olds out there who are too immature (notice, I did not say "young") to be married. But, the fact is, it's not all that uncommon and many people in that age bracket make it work. It was not uncommon even 30 years ago to be married by 20. Lots of those people are still married, and probably had a lower divorce rate than we do.

I honestly don't understand why people tell me to wait until I'm "established" (whatever the heck that means) before I marry Ian. We both are full-time students who each work over 30 hours a week. We know how to pay bills, neither of us have lived at home since 18. We both know how to hold down jobs and in 5 months (which is 6 months before the wedding) we'll both have our Bachelor's degrees. We've talked EXTENSIVELY about our future career and family goals and have discussed the compromises we're both willing and unwilling to make in those areas. We have a rough plan (but we know what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men!) as to what we'll be doing in 5 years and how we'll get there. At this point, any growing up we still have left to do (and honestly, I believe we grow up until we die, so saying I'll be done with at 27 or whenever these people suggest we get married is bs to me) and any "establishing" is going to involve each other anyway. May as well make the vow we've privately taken public.

It just rubs me thr wrong way when people hear I'm engaged and say "But you're so young!!" Really. What benefits are there to waiting until I'm 30?

What are your thoughts?
post #2 of 18
I watched this first episode too, Allie. We missed the first 5 minutes and by the way those 2 were acting, we thought they were about 17 (considering the title- Engnaged and UNDERAGE), but they were actually 21, and John & I were shocked that they acted SO immature.

I don't mind the age, being 21 and getting married- I'm 22 and ready, and I know people that are younger than me, 18- and married, everyone made a big deal that they were married already, and I'm not. Uh, to each their own!

Those kids on that show gave people a bad name who are getting married young. Makes everyone in that age bracket look immature, which totally isn't true.

This show should be interesting to watch anyways.
post #3 of 18
I haven't seen it, but from what you've said, I'd find it a little offensive too.

I was married 2 months after I turned 19 and I was engaged since 17. We've been together for 6 years now, 1.5 married and we share a 4 year old son together and our lives are very happy. You just can't stereotype younger people in the category of being immature.
post #4 of 18
From the social world, a lot of things can change (notice I'm not saying they do) because at 18 you're suddenly become an adult. If you can handle that kudos to you.

If you already have your life planned out and you're certain what you want to do, go for it. But if you're still undecided at 18 or 21, then your interests can change, job change, you can fall out of love.

Mainly its looked at as between 18-24/5 you're out of the house for the first time, you experience new people and possibly meet someone new. You don't have the same social crowd as you did in high school in some cases, so as you meet more people, your interests can change.

I'd say that 23 is the age that you start looking at your future, what you want out of life because by then you have a pretty good understanding of the world.
If you have someone by then, then go ahead and marry them. If you don't, well that's OK too.

And I'm not saying that 18 year olds shouldn't get married, it does happen though it seems that its once in a rare while nowadays.
post #5 of 18
It's really going to depend on the couple, but yes the couple on the first show was very immature. The goom is so attached to his mother and it was obivous that she did not like it. She said something like "I want to be with my friends and not have to deal with the stupid wedding"... or something along those lines. Yeah they both needed to take a few more years before they got married.
post #6 of 18
I think the majority of those 18-21 are too imature to marry ... But I am 29 and tooooooooooooo imature to marry ...

My mom always rubs it in how she was married at 18 ... seh forget s the divorced by 21 ... then remarried and divorced again part...
post #7 of 18
I met hubby when I was almost 19 and married before 21. I would have married him much sooner but he made me wait. We have been married for 6yrs (7yrs this Dec.). As long as someone is over 18 the age should not matter when it comes to marriage but the maturity level should.
post #8 of 18
Really depends on the maturity of the couple, some 18-21 yr olds still act like 15 yr olds. I married at 23, he was 28. We've been married going on 5 years.
post #9 of 18
I didn't watch the show, but I don't think you're "too young" to get married at all!!! I was married a month after I turned 20 and I'm 26 now with four children. And my marriage is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! I never knew that marriage could get BETTER as you went along - I always had this fear in the back of my mind that the more me and "whoever" I married were together the less I would like him. I'm happy to say that it's worked in reverse! We have a great marriage, and I do NOT think that we were "too young" to marry. I know 40-somethings who should NOT be married... they just don't know how to serve another person in a give-and-take relationship. Age is only a part of being mature, there are other factors involved that have nothing to do with the number of years you've lived on the planet, IMO.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess View Post
It's really going to depend on the couple, but yes the couple on the first show was very immature. The goom is so attached to his mother and it was obivous that she did not like it. She said something like "I want to be with my friends and not have to deal with the stupid wedding"... or something along those lines. Yeah they both needed to take a few more years before they got married.
Yeah, but they were only getting married for one reason: sex. Did you notice how they talked about their virginity and wedding night for a good half of the show?

And that poor girl is just really not aware of the albatross around her neck. Sweetpea, you marry the family, too. It's gotta be especially bad when you live in their backyard!
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
Yeah, but they were only getting married for one reason: sex. Did you notice how they talked about their virginity and wedding night for a good half of the show?

And that poor girl is just really not aware of the albatross around her neck. Sweetpea, you marry the family, too. It's gotta be especially bad when you live in their backyard!
I know!!! I wonder if they even went to pre-marriage counsiling at all. I know my FH and I want to get married because we want to be together. The couple just really did not seem to be thinking of the marriage at all. The parents should have sat the two of them down and seriously discussed it, my parents did and I was 23 when I got engaged.
post #12 of 18
I don't think it's the age that's the problem, it's the maturity level. At that age some people are mature enough to realize the commitment thier making, and make it work. However there are also people that are to immature to realize what thier getting themselves into.
post #13 of 18
My husband and I had quite a controversial marriage.

We had known each other for less than a year when we got married. My mom is BIG on organizing family events and she wasn't to thrilled about her youngest daughter going off an getting married without her having any say at all.

I was 21... My husband was 36. I'm black, he's half spanish/half mexican. He was raised catholic, I was raised baptist (though he's really a deist and I'm an atheist). But strangely enough, our core values are in synch and its sometimes scary how much alike we are!

We had no doubt that we would spend the rest of our lives together. I was immature then, and I'm still immature today... But then so is he and everyone else I know (even my mother). I have grown tremendously since he has come into my life. He's the best thing that has ever happened to me!

Sorry, that was a bit OT. Only half of our marriage was 'underage'. From what it sounds like, that couple wasn't ready to get married. But I don't think it has anything to do with their age or even their level of maturity. What level of maturity should one have to get married? Does one ever revert in their level of maturity? My husband and I have pillow fights and wrestle and throw food at each other!!! (for going on 6 years now!)

I think maybe neither of these people in the show understand the commitment and sacrafice that a marriage takes (*sigh* how I miss my dear friend Jimmy Choo!). I don't think thats something thats dependent on some kind of maturity scale that anyone outside your relationship can hand to you. Call me a romantic, but I think its something you just know!
post #14 of 18
I dont think its the age, and the immaturity, heck i know alot of 50 year olds who have the same maturity level as i do! :toungue2: and its not the age factor at all! Its on the couple, you know if they are meant to be because they just glow!!

Some people are ready for marriage sooner, and others later. It depends on the person not their maturity level
post #15 of 18
I believe some people can make it work. But they must be mature enough to make it work. And I think those people who can make it work are a minority.

I was 15 when I started dating Lance. We were engaged at 16. And we wed on my 19th birthday. We have been married for 8 years now and we couldn't be happier. He's also 10 yrs older than me. So yeah he was breaking the law for a bit. But he also had my mothers permission.
post #16 of 18
I can only speak for myself here, but I know that the person I was at 18 is a completely different person from who I am today. I feel that my maturity level was about the same then as it is now (I was mature for my age when I was younger, and now I think I'm immature ), but it's the life experiences that have made me a different person. As Indiana Jones put it, "It's not the years, it's the mileage." Was I ready to get married ten years ago when I was 18? Heck, no! And I didn't even want to; I planned on travelling the world and living the fun-filled single life for the rest of my days. Also, the woman I was at 18 wouldn't have been attracted to the man who is now my fiance; at that stage in my life, we simply would not have been compatible. Today, we are: we're perfect together. But I couldn't have known that ten years ago, and so had we met then, I would have passed on a perfectly healthy relationship because J wouldn't have fit what, at that time, I considered my "ideal" mate to be.

Does this apply to all people aged 18-21? No. I've met a lot of teenagers who were most certainly mature enough and who knew themselves well enough at 15, 16, 17 and so on to know what they wanted from life and who could have made the right decision about who they want to spend their lives with. I've also met a lot of 40, 50, 60-year-olds who will probably never be mature enough, or experienced enough, to know what they want. I can understand the fears some older people may have that young adults are rushing into things by marrying young -- after all, if your potential life expectancy is upwards of 75 years, why rush into marriage now when you've got the rest of your life for that? On the other hand, though, if you know what you want now, and you're ready to make that commitment, why should you wait when you could spend the rest of your life with the one person who fits you best? And if it doesn't work out, isn't it better to find that out now when you can make changes more easily and learn from your experiences, than to wait ten or twenty years when it might not be so easy to adapt or change your plans?
post #17 of 18
Okay.... so I don't know about other people that age, but those two aren't ready to be married. If you watch the part after the show, once they are married, they are still only talking about sex. I mean, it's all well and good if you want to wait til marriage for sex. But it seems like a lot of people who do end up getting married so they can have sex... which is about the worst reason ever.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Okay.... so I don't know about other people that age, but those two aren't ready to be married. If you watch the part after the show, once they are married, they are still only talking about sex. I mean, it's all well and good if you want to wait til marriage for sex. But it seems like a lot of people who do end up getting married so they can have sex... which is about the worst reason ever.
Which, I mean, fine. part of it is MTV's editing...BUT they'll use what you give them, you know?

I am one of the few engaged (and "underage", even though there's nothing underage about being 22 at the time of our wedding) people I know who is NOT basically in it for the sex. To me PERSONALLY, physical intimacy is a big part of relationship development and realizing compatibility. Of course, you have o already be at a certain point in both your personal development and your relationship to get there, IMO, not to mention having to be educated and mature enough to deal with family-planning and contraceptive choices. Maybe it just sort of freaks me out that these people are jumping into a marriage with what is a HUGE part of the marriage unexplored and unresolved. But, like I said, that's how I view my relationships.

Why am I getting married young? Well, for one, because I don't feel like I'm giving anything up that I can't live without. I've thought through extensively what people my age MIGHT be givin up by getting into a marriage while in their early 20's, and they're not things I want for myself anyway. Ian and I at a point in our lives where we have this nice opportunity to start a life together...and like I said, at this point, everything we'd do would be together anyway. I know that I won't be in the same place developmentally that I am now in 5 years, and that Ian won't either. But I don't think I'm going to morph into a totally foreign person, either. I don't think we do that. Our lives are like paintings...Ian is the person who cah help, not hinder, mine. I feel the same way about him. And we don't think it's going to be easy or be a panacea for all that ills us....but we feel that the other person will not only work for it, but is worth working for (uuuggghhhhh bad grammar!)
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