In the last few weeks quite a few girls I went to High School with got engaged and/or married.
My graduating class are all around 25 years old now; we graduated in 2007. It’s a fairly average and appropriate age in our society to get engaged/married.
Seeing all of the positive comments on Facebook with each announcement; “congratulations!” and “I’m so happy for you”, make me think back to my own engagement and wedding.
I shared my feelings on a Military S/O Facebook page; how seeing those comments makes me a little sad since the majority of the comments I got when I was engaged were “why?” and “are you pregnant?”
The most common response I got form the other spouses was “they are haters!” and “they are just jealous!”
I do not think that the people who made those comments to me when I got engaged at 19 were “haters”.
First off, 19 is very young in our society to get married. Where as 25 is acceptable and average. So of course the comments will be different.
Looking back at the responses I received when I announced my engagement, I see two different motives to the negative comments:
#1 – people my own age who are nowhere near that phase in their life and simply cannot understand why I would want to get engaged.
I was a Sophomore in college when I got engaged. Most of my friends were single and focusing on school. Those who were in relationships were not living with their significant other and not planning to until after graduation. Marriage was a much further off event in their life plan.
So when they asked me “why?” when I told them I was getting engaged; I don’t think that they were jealous or “haters”. They simply didn’t understand why and have no desire to be in my shoes.
Now that I am 25, most girls my age would love to be engaged. So when my former classmates post their ring pictures on Facebook the comments of “I’m so happy for you” are genuine. Those women would love to be the one with the ring.
#2 – adult family friends and family members who are worried that I am making a mistake and don’t want me to be hurt.
It took me a while to realize that when my parents and other relatives did not immediately break into “congratulations” when I announced my engagement, it was coming from a place of love.
They were older. Had been married, divorced and married again. They were looking at me as a child in their eyes, just barely out of my teens. They saw me as someone to be protected from pain and hurt. To be protected from making mistakes.
I’m 25 now. When I see girls who are 18/19 getting married, I think they are babies. I think that they might be making a mistake, and I want to protect them from that potential pain. I image my feelings are a small comparison to what my parents felt when their little girl decided to make such a life changing decision.
So as much as I am jealous of the positive comments that my cohort is receiving on their engagements and wedding; I get it. I understand that my age made the difference. They aren’t haters or jealous, they are just a reflection of the society that we live in. A society where there is an appropriate age to tie the knot, and an inappropriate age. I happened to fall into the latter.