Getting engaged is one of a handful of things people anticipate most in their lifetimes. Short of landing a dream job, getting married and perhaps having a baby, committing to a shared life with the partner of your dreams is one of the biggest objectives the average man or woman wishes to fulfil in the course of a lifetime.
With this in mind, it is easy to understand why so many young couples rush into the act of getting engaged, often without the necessary means or preparation for sharing a life together. This, in turn, leads a number of critics to decry young engagements, stating that men and women should wait until their late 20s and 30s before making this kind of decision. However, for each advocate of a more ‘mature’ engagement age, there will be another voice proclaiming that there is nothing wrong with getting engaged while young, and that it is the love, rather than the age or any other factor, which matters the most.
For future brides and grooms caught in the midst of these two opposing opinions, it may therefore be hard to ascertain which side is correct. The answer is both. The truth is, there seems to be no right or wrong age to get engaged; however, both camps present solid points as part of their argument.
Love Conquers All… Or Does It?
Should somebody wish to find a culprit for the ratio of young and unprepared people getting engaged without thinking of the consequences, the media in general might be a good target. Hollywood films and glossy magazines definitely glamorise the whole engagement process, and with a large portion of their audience consisting of men and women of impressionable age, it is not hard to see how the relationships and stories relayed in such media could lead to a high number of young engagements.
What most people fail to notice about rom-coms and glossy magazines, however, is that the people depicted in their portrayals of betrothal are usually very much in the upper-middle class and have established and well-paying jobs. They are, therefore, able to support themselves and their partner, something most young adults leaving school or just landing their first job may not be able to do. As such, it is not infrequent to see young engagements falling apart due to lack of preparation, planning or simply due to personalities still in their formative stages. Unlike what the media will tell young couples, love does not conquer all, and that lesson is often learned the hard way.
On the other hand, getting engaged at a later age may take some of the thrill and excitement out of the entire process. While it is not uncommon to see older couples as giddy about their engagement as their younger counterparts, young people tend to be more prone to seize the moment and be swept away in the prospect of a life together. As such, a young engagement (but not too young) can often be a more fulfilling experience than one carried out at a later age.
At the end of the day, however, the fact remains: there is no right or wrong age to get engaged, and opinions on this subject will always vary. It is therefore up to the brides and grooms-to-be to ascertain whether or not they have the means and the maturity to take this important step in not only their relationships, but also their lives.