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Proposal Problems...

Dear sam, I dunno what to do about me and my boyfriend. We've been going out since we were 16 and we are really happy together and have a really good time together, but a few weeks ago it was my birthday (my 18th) and i went out with some of my mates and my boyfriend to celebrate. After the outing before everyone left my boyfriend proposed to me...and I was just...um...suprised?! Like i was excited because i would really like it if we could spend the rest of our lives together but we are just too young. We can't afford a wedding and i dunno if my parents would want to help us out, i haven't even told them yet what happened. I don't think we'd be able to afford for a wedding until we were at least in our mid 20's when we've got proper jobs and i just feel it'd be wierd to have such a long engagement. I don't want to break up with him but is it wierd to be engaged for a long time?

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Sam

Hi there,

Deciding to get married is a big decision. It's okay to feel unsure about what you want to do. There are a lot of questions to think about, such as what this commitment will mean at a young age, the costs of having a wedding and how to afford it.

You don’t have to do anything you’re not feeling ready for. You said you’re really happy in your relationship. There should never be any pressure for things to move faster than you feel comfortable with.

There’s no right or wrong amount of time that an engagement should last for. It wouldn’t be weird if you decided to be engaged for a long time. Everyone’s situation is different. It’s important to figure out what you feel is right for you and your situation. Some people do have very short engagements, but others choose to have very long engagements. Both are normal.

Communication in any relationship is important, so you should talk to your boyfriend to let him know you have mixed feelings about getting married. If you’re feeling like this isn’t something you can talk about with him, I think you should think carefully about what it would be like to be married to someone who is hard to talk to.

If you have a good relationship with your parents then maybe you can also talk to them about all the things that are going through your mind. Whatever you decide, you don’t have to cope with this alone. It's a really big decision to make.

Talking with your boyfriend might help you both to see what options you have. Breaking up doesn’t have to be an option if both of you don’t want that to happen. You could decide to have a very long engagement, but you could also decide you want to keep things as they were before. It might help to think about what choice feels right for you before speaking with him so you understand your own feelings first.

The decision you make also doesn’t have to be the final one. Sometimes feelings and situations can change along the way. What’s important is what feels right for you at the time.

Remember you can always talk this through some more with a ChildLine counsellor.

Take care,
Sam

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