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Your Take: Pressure Cooker Engagements & Ticking Biological Clocks

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Let’s say you’re in your mid-twenties and you’ve been going out with someone for a couple years and you think you know each other pretty well, where you want to go, blah blah. It’s getting to the point where you’re going to have to start talking about engagement, if that’s in the cards, what your plans are, blah blah. It’s also getting to the point where all of your friends and siblings and everyone around you is getting engaged (at least the first wave after college) and perhaps you feel a little left out. I’m painting a pretty broad scenario here and essentially the question comes down to this, what do you do when one person in the couple really wants to get engaged and the other is not in as much of a hurry?

How is this related to personal finance you might so? Well, other than the fact that this is the rest of your life (unless there is a divorce, but that’s not how anyone should approach marriage) and is probably one of the most important personal finance decisions of your life (though this itself isn’t one of those spender marrying saver situations, which would make it more personal finance related).

Fire away and enjoy the weekend! It’s a real humid sizzler in the Baltimore-DC area.

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6 Responses to “Your Take: Pressure Cooker Engagements & Ticking Biological Clocks”

  1. Anne says:

    There are good and bad reasons to get married. Your post title mentions a good one (a ticking biological clock, assuming the couple wants biological children). The body of your post mentions some not-so-good ones (all your friends are getting married, you just have some vague notion that you’ve been with your partner so long that it’s “time”). In this day and age, where most people don’t face social stigma for cohabitating outside of marriage and where women have our own careers, I don’t really see a point in getting married unless you want kids.

  2. plonkee says:

    What do you do? You wait until you both want to get married. Stereotypically, its women who are in more of a rush to get married than men and most women want to wait until they’re asked, so that’s kinda what they have to do.

    If you’ve been with someone a long time and they don’t want to commit, you probably need to ask them why. Similarly if you want to get married and they don’t, you need to talk about it. And blame the societal expectations as necessary.

  3. saladdin says:

    I am 33 and have been “dating” the same person for over 3 years.
    But in my opinion, marriage does not work and there are some people not made to marry or have kids. I am one of those. My girlfriend knows this and has never mentioned marriage to me. She also does not want kids.

    Too many people realize this after they have gotten married or have kids.

    I, in no way think that two people have to be married to make a “commitment.”

    saladdin

  4. Velvet Jones says:

    1. Fertility for both men and women take a nose-dive in their mid-thirties. In spite of all the armchair biology experts out there, this is not some female phenom.

    2. It’s up to the two people to decide if marriage is for them, first and foremost. If so, they should discuss when it should happen. They are the two people involved in the relationship, not everyone else. It will help them to keep that in mind at all times.

    3. If one person wants to get married but the other doesn’t, clearly that relationship needs to end. If the other person is “not in such a hurry” then that needs to be discussed. Depends on how long they’ve been involved, goals, how they view marriage, etc.

    Marriage is a huge deal on so many fronts. You are right, you posed a very broad question that’s a little tough to answer directly. For a personal finance perspective, I view marriage as a contract. A potentially expensive contract if broken. :) Hence one I refuse to enter into with someone that is fiscally irresponsible. On the emotional side, I love the idea of having someone to share love, life, and it’s experiences with. In my opinion, marriage is a beautiful thing with the right person.

  5. Amanda says:

    Well, first off I’d say that I don’t think that having children should be the *only* reason to get married. Some people choose to get married and not have children, and that’s perfectly acceptable. That being said, I also think it is totally reasonable to NOT get married while still maintaining a commited relationship. Marriage isn’t for everyone, children aren’t for everyone, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive either.

    As for your question, I’d say that if a couple were in this situation, they’d need to sit down and have a serious conversation about their relationship and where it’s going. If they aren’t on the same page, it may be better to figure that out now rather than sit and wait it out…

  6. Jim M. says:

    You run. You run far, far away. Where she (or he, but who are we kidding…) will never find you. Probably to a place with lots of alcohol. A bar sounds nice. I will see you there.

    All kidding aside, you should, um… See, you need to… Well, it’s like… Yeah, a bar sounds perfect.


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