A Modern Relationship for a Recent College Grad

Danny and Me

How soon is too early to think about marriage? How do you
approach your 20’s knowing that some girls want kids before they turn 30?

I’ve been with my girlfriend for eight and half months. We’re both just 22 years old and she’s already expressed interest in getting married by age 25 or 26. Her plan is to settle down and have three kids by the time we’re in our early 30’s.

Personally, I don’t know what to think about all of that.

I certainly don’t have a problem with having kids, and I do plan on marrying this girl one day. But, the world is a very different place from the time my parents were in my shoes. Couples used to meet in college and get married soon afterward.

Well, she and I did meet in college, but didn’t start dating until the end of our senior year. Currently we both live with our parents, and have successfully maintained a healthy long distance relationship. Thankfully, we’re both motivated to work, save up money and move in together in the near future. Eventually, we’d like to move out west and start a family.

But, here’ s where the problem comes into play: Student loans and job security make it very difficult to predict and plan for the future as a couple.

Starting out in the real world, establishing a career is tough. Very few people at the age of 22 are rolling in money with a first or second job. So, how can I possibly be expected to give her three children by the time we’re 30, if I can’t even afford a ring yet?

I guess only time will tell. What I do know is that I need to start saving my money now.

This is a major trend in today’s society. More and more news reports notice couples getting married at a later age. Why? Well, different people have different reasons. Yet, some young couples still want marriage not long after they graduate from college.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my girlfriend. But…

THOSE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!

At least give yourself, your partner and your career a chance before jumping into a lifetime commitment like that. Don’t take marriage lightly, spend a few years after school living together to see if you’re both truly meant for each other.

At my last job, my co-worker who was 24 married his girlfriend while she was still a senior in college. Their case was special, they were longtime sweethearts from a small rural town where the culture is much different from suburbs and big cities. Regardless, I’m very skeptical and I find it troublesome to see people getting married that early.

Like many people in this country, I come from a family of divorced parents. Who else has seen a parent divorce at least once, and still not find their soul mate far into their middle-aged years? Love, marriage, and having kids has no script. There is no written order or timeline for when to reach those milestones.

With the way the economy and job market is now, many recent college grads are struggling to get off on their own feet, save money, pay off student loans, and figure out their careers. As important as relationships are in life, it’s just tough to find a way of prioritizing what’s most important. I love my girlfriend to death, and I promised to stay with her forever. However, she and I both owe it to ourselves and our families to start our lives on the right track.

It’s easy to draw up a 3-year, 5-year and 10-year plan for where you see yourself in terms of a job, living situation and finances. It’s not so easy to see that plan through to perfection. Life throws plenty of curve balls at every one of us. I believe my 20’s are all about experiencing life, enduring tough situations, growing together with my girlfriend, and learning from my mistakes. As a young adult, but merely still a kid in the eyes of my elders, I’m responsible of taking charge and living my life.

So therefore, although it might be tough to think about, I don’t have a problem with adhering to my girlfriend’s master plan. I want the same things she does in life, and I realize as a future husband and father, I’ll need to sacrifice a lot. I already need to sacrifice a lot for her, as an honest and committed boyfriend.

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