Just Engaged and Proposals

Quarter Life Crisis Dampening My Just-Engaged Mood :(

I am currently 26 and will be turning 27 in a few months. Since graduating college, I have had one of THE worst (self-proclaimed) quarter-life crises and it’s really affecting my just-engaged mood L

 

For the past half a year, I felt ready to move on to the next stage in life with my boyfriend of 8 years. We’ve been together long enough to where we have hashed out and compromised over most, if not all, of our individual differences; we both graduated and have settled into stable, growing careers; and we’ve bought a house together earlier this year (although it is currently being used as a rental property). So when my friends asked, I would tell them that I felt ready, and I truly did! My boyfriend and I even went and picked out an engagement ring setting together at the beginning of the year. Everything seemed to be in place for the next phase in our lives.

 

He recently proposed to me and although I was happy while in the moment, the quarter life crisis has kicked into full gear and I’m more than a little nervous. It’s not that I’m unsure of being with him for the rest of my life or that I want to seek out better options. But coming from a traditional family, I have moved back and still live at home with my parents after college. That being said, the boyfriend/fiancé and I have never lived together.

 

As childish as it sounds, I’m afraid of moving out and leaving my comfort zone. What really scares me is the dreadful reality that time doesn’t stop. Being engaged feels like a real step forward into adulthood. While I have demonstrated myself to be a dedicated worker and commit to my projects, this is a major life changing event that requires permanent commitment! It just sucks to think that my “girl years” (in my culture/family, you’re not a woman until you get married) are over and it’s a time I will never get back…


Has anyone else felt these jitters so early on in their engagement? L

Re: Quarter Life Crisis Dampening My Just-Engaged Mood :(

  • arrrghmateyarrrghmatey member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2015

    I am currently 26 and will be turning 27 in a few months. Since graduating college, I have had one of THE worst (self-proclaimed) quarter-life crises and it’s really affecting my just-engaged mood L

     

    For the past half a year, I felt ready to move on to the next stage in life with my boyfriend of 8 years. We’ve been together long enough to where we have hashed out and compromised over most, if not all, of our individual differences; we both graduated and have settled into stable, growing careers; and we’ve bought a house together earlier this year (although it is currently being used as a rental property). So when my friends asked, I would tell them that I felt ready, and I truly did! My boyfriend and I even went and picked out an engagement ring setting together at the beginning of the year. Everything seemed to be in place for the next phase in our lives.

     

    He recently proposed to me and although I was happy while in the moment, the quarter life crisis has kicked into full gear and I’m more than a little nervous. It’s not that I’m unsure of being with him for the rest of my life or that I want to seek out better options. But coming from a traditional family, I have moved back and still live at home with my parents after college. That being said, the boyfriend/fiancé and I have never lived together.

     

    As childish as it sounds, I’m afraid of moving out and leaving my comfort zone. What really scares me is the dreadful reality that time doesn’t stop. Being engaged feels like a real step forward into adulthood. While I have demonstrated myself to be a dedicated worker and commit to my projects, this is a major life changing event that requires permanent commitment! It just sucks to think that my “girl years” (in my culture/family, you’re not a woman until you get married) are over and it’s a time I will never get back…


    Has anyone else felt these jitters so early on in their engagement? L


    What the hell is a quarter-life crisis?

    To the bolded: it sounds like you're not ready to be married.
                                     Wedding Countdown Ticker

                                                   image
    InLoveInQueens
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I moved out when I went to college and never moved back so I'm definitely not coming from the same place as you; however, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was never ready for marriage until I met FI.  I'm 35.

    Can you explain more about your culture so maybe that can help our perspective?

    I've attended a lot of second weddings for people who will tell you they married in their 20's because they thought it was the logical next step, not because they knew unequivocally, without a doubt, that it was the right step.  My advice to you is to figure out which group you're in.  You could be having cold feet.  Or your gut is trying to tell you something.
    image
    lc07
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    You are not having a quarter-life crisis (is that even a thing?), nope you have a Peter Pan complex.  You just do not want the responsibilities of being an adult.   I'm not just talking about paying bills, but just everyday life of maintaining your own household.




    Can't really relate.  My parent moved overseas when I was 19.  They helped me pay rent because I was still in school at the time, but I lived on my own and maintained a household.










    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    InLoveInQueensMobKaz
  • You are not ready to get married.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    InLoveInQueens
  • I am currently 26 and will be turning 27 in a few months. Since graduating college, I have had one of THE worst (self-proclaimed) quarter-life crises and it’s really affecting my just-engaged mood L

     

    For the past half a year, I felt ready to move on to the next stage in life with my boyfriend of 8 years. We’ve been together long enough to where we have hashed out and compromised over most, if not all, of our individual differences; we both graduated and have settled into stable, growing careers; and we’ve bought a house together earlier this year (although it is currently being used as a rental property). So when my friends asked, I would tell them that I felt ready, and I truly did! My boyfriend and I even went and picked out an engagement ring setting together at the beginning of the year. Everything seemed to be in place for the next phase in our lives.

     

    He recently proposed to me and although I was happy while in the moment, the quarter life crisis has kicked into full gear and I’m more than a little nervous. It’s not that I’m unsure of being with him for the rest of my life or that I want to seek out better options. But coming from a traditional family, I have moved back and still live at home with my parents after college. That being said, the boyfriend/fiancé and I have never lived together.

     

    As childish as it sounds, I’m afraid of moving out and leaving my comfort zone. What really scares me is the dreadful reality that time doesn’t stop. Being engaged feels like a real step forward into adulthood. While I have demonstrated myself to be a dedicated worker and commit to my projects, this is a major life changing event that requires permanent commitment! It just sucks to think that my “girl years” (in my culture/family, you’re not a woman until you get married) are over and it’s a time I will never get back…


    Has anyone else felt these jitters so early on in their engagement? L

    Are you planning to move in together before you get married? Have you started planning a wedding?

    I'm the same age as you and I've never for a second doubted that I am ready to marry FI. I don't yearn for my "girl years" (whatever that means) because the life we are building together is way better than anything else. If for you it "sucks to think" about getting married, you definitely need to take like ten steps back.

    So I don't think your age is the problem - like PPs said, it doesn't sound like you're ready. Try moving out and either living on your own or with FI before you move forward with any plans. No need to rush into anything that you aren't ready for.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I disagree with those saying that you aren't ready to get married.  Just because a big change scares you doesn't mean you aren't ready for it.  Change is always scary and sometimes the best thing to do to get over the fear is to jump in with both feet.  And really, this isn't about you being engaged, it is about you realizing that you are truly an adult and with that comes with a lot of responsibilities and many of them aren't fun.

    Are you and your FI planning on moving in together prior to getting married?  If not, I would suggest you rethink this.  Yes, the two of you may have worked out a bunch of stuff in the years you have been together, but living with each other is a whole other monster.  Also, just because you are engaged doesn't mean that you have to get married tomorrow.  Take some time to get acclimated to your feelings.  And if your beliefs keep you from living with someone before marriage then I would suggest you and your FI talk about your living habits and also start discussing finances and how you are going to deal with them when you two finally live together.

    Look I lived with my parents until I was 25.  At that point I had no choice but to move out because they bought a place in a Florida retirement community and sold our family home in MD. Talk about being thrown into adulthood.  But I adjusted quickly.  H (who at the time was a BF) and I moved in together and started to build a life together.  Some days I hate being an adult. Some days I yearn for my younger years where my parents worried about everything and the only problems I had was deciding what I was going to do Friday night.

    So I don't think that you aren't ready for marriage, but I do think you are just scared of finally becoming the adult that you are.

    Knottieorniceteddygirl9missa011Knottie1442677185
  • I disagree with those saying that you aren't ready to get married.  Just because a big change scares you doesn't mean you aren't ready for it.  Change is always scary and sometimes the best thing to do to get over the fear is to jump in with both feet.  And really, this isn't about you being engaged, it is about you realizing that you are truly an adult and with that comes with a lot of responsibilities and many of them aren't fun.

    Are you and your FI planning on moving in together prior to getting married?  If not, I would suggest you rethink this.  Yes, the two of you may have worked out a bunch of stuff in the years you have been together, but living with each other is a whole other monster.  Also, just because you are engaged doesn't mean that you have to get married tomorrow.  Take some time to get acclimated to your feelings.  And if your beliefs keep you from living with someone before marriage then I would suggest you and your FI talk about your living habits and also start discussing finances and how you are going to deal with them when you two finally live together.

    Look I lived with my parents until I was 25.  At that point I had no choice but to move out because they bought a place in a Florida retirement community and sold our family home in MD. Talk about being thrown into adulthood.  But I adjusted quickly.  H (who at the time was a BF) and I moved in together and started to build a life together.  Some days I hate being an adult. Some days I yearn for my younger years where my parents worried about everything and the only problems I had was deciding what I was going to do Friday night.

    So I don't think that you aren't ready for marriage, but I do think you are just scared of finally becoming the adult that you are.
    I think you're right that adulthood and moving out and such can definitely be scary. But it was the fact that OP was saying that the thing she isn't ready for is marriage, not moving out/the rest of adulthood in general, that seemed like a red flag. I also hate being an adult most of the time - it's basically the worst. Who likes paying bills, having to worry about saving money, etc.? I do miss someone else being responsible for all that.

    However, I never ever worry about being with FI or being engaged to him - that's completely separate. To me, that's really the very best thing about adulthood - this thought that I get to spend the rest of my life, including the constant realization that adulthood sorta sucks, with this person. So that's where I think I was coming from.

    OP, if you're stressed about moving out and moving on and scared about adulthood, truthfully, you're right to be - it's scary. But if you think about it and the thing you're also scared of is marriage, then I think you really need to consider if you're ready for it.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    nerdwife said:
    I disagree with those saying that you aren't ready to get married.  Just because a big change scares you doesn't mean you aren't ready for it.  Change is always scary and sometimes the best thing to do to get over the fear is to jump in with both feet.  And really, this isn't about you being engaged, it is about you realizing that you are truly an adult and with that comes with a lot of responsibilities and many of them aren't fun.

    Are you and your FI planning on moving in together prior to getting married?  If not, I would suggest you rethink this.  Yes, the two of you may have worked out a bunch of stuff in the years you have been together, but living with each other is a whole other monster.  Also, just because you are engaged doesn't mean that you have to get married tomorrow.  Take some time to get acclimated to your feelings.  And if your beliefs keep you from living with someone before marriage then I would suggest you and your FI talk about your living habits and also start discussing finances and how you are going to deal with them when you two finally live together.

    Look I lived with my parents until I was 25.  At that point I had no choice but to move out because they bought a place in a Florida retirement community and sold our family home in MD. Talk about being thrown into adulthood.  But I adjusted quickly.  H (who at the time was a BF) and I moved in together and started to build a life together.  Some days I hate being an adult. Some days I yearn for my younger years where my parents worried about everything and the only problems I had was deciding what I was going to do Friday night.

    So I don't think that you aren't ready for marriage, but I do think you are just scared of finally becoming the adult that you are.
    I think you're right that adulthood and moving out and such can definitely be scary. But it was the fact that OP was saying that the thing she isn't ready for is marriage, not moving out/the rest of adulthood in general, that seemed like a red flag. I also hate being an adult most of the time - it's basically the worst. Who likes paying bills, having to worry about saving money, etc.? I do miss someone else being responsible for all that.

    However, I never ever worry about being with FI or being engaged to him - that's completely separate. To me, that's really the very best thing about adulthood - this thought that I get to spend the rest of my life, including the constant realization that adulthood sorta sucks, with this person. So that's where I think I was coming from.

    OP, if you're stressed about moving out and moving on and scared about adulthood, truthfully, you're right to be - it's scary. But if you think about it and the thing you're also scared of is marriage, then I think you really need to consider if you're ready for it.
    No, I don't think OP is scared of marrying her FI.  And she never said that she wasn't ready for marriage.  What she said is that in her family you aren't considered an adult until you are married.  She said she was scared of moving out and leaving her comfort zone.  Basically she is scared of all the changes that come with moving out, becoming an adult and taking on all responsibilities that come with adulthood.

  • Thank you! I think you really did nail my point spot on. Like I said in my original post, I'm not afraid of being with my fiance for the rest of my life. He's everything I could've asked for. It's really as lyndausvi put it... I'm having a "Peter Pan Complex" with my fear of adulthood. It's the realization of the big changes ahead. It's the feeling that I'm transitioning from girlhood of "daddy's little girl" to adulthood of "so and so's wife"...

    I'm Chinese and this may not be a cultural thing, but more of a family thing. But my family doesn't consider us engaged until we throw an engagement party and thereby "officially" announcing our engagement to friends and family. The FI and I do have plans to move in together after the engagement party, which will come in the next few months or so (lots of details to still iron out). We do plan on having a longer engagement, possibly 2 years, which would probably give me some time to settle into the new changes.

    I've been refraining from posting any photos or sharing any of the news on social media, because I really needed some time to bask in the initial happiness, then eventual Peter Pan Complex, before finally feeling ready. Once I do share it via social media, it would be as you said "jumping in with both feet" and embrace the imminent changes.
    BlondeBride2016
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Here's a good definition of quarter life crisis.  

    OP, I can somewhat relate.  When I graduated from college, I went straight into working and lived in my own apartment.  7 or so years later, I had doubts about if I wanted to be with my employer until retirement.  I resigned and took a job in a similar field, but for another company.

    When I bought my house (before I got married), I was definitely nervous about jumping into adulthood.  I now had to take care of a yard, pay property taxes, and would have to fix stuff for myself instead of calling the leasing office.  I was also nervous when I adopted my dogs.  I had 2 little furry creatures to feed, walk, and take to the vet.  

    I'm also curious what "girl years" are in your culture.
  • Thank you! I think you really did nail my point spot on. Like I said in my original post, I'm not afraid of being with my fiance for the rest of my life. He's everything I could've asked for. It's really as lyndausvi put it... I'm having a "Peter Pan Complex" with my fear of adulthood. It's the realization of the big changes ahead. It's the feeling that I'm transitioning from girlhood of "daddy's little girl" to adulthood of "so and so's wife"...

    I'm Chinese and this may not be a cultural thing, but more of a family thing. But my family doesn't consider us engaged until we throw an engagement party and thereby "officially" announcing our engagement to friends and family. The FI and I do have plans to move in together after the engagement party, which will come in the next few months or so (lots of details to still iron out). We do plan on having a longer engagement, possibly 2 years, which would probably give me some time to settle into the new changes.

    I've been refraining from posting any photos or sharing any of the news on social media, because I really needed some time to bask in the initial happiness, then eventual Peter Pan Complex, before finally feeling ready. Once I do share it via social media, it would be as you said "jumping in with both feet" and embrace the imminent changes.
    I don't know, I think 26 is a little old to still be thinking of yourself as "daddy's little girl." So if you are truly planning on moving out and stepping into adulthood, I think you are in for quite a shock. I do think it's smart to have a long engagement while you sort through all of this and wish you luck.
    kimmiinthemittenInLoveInQueens
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    nerdwife said:
    Thank you! I think you really did nail my point spot on. Like I said in my original post, I'm not afraid of being with my fiance for the rest of my life. He's everything I could've asked for. It's really as lyndausvi put it... I'm having a "Peter Pan Complex" with my fear of adulthood. It's the realization of the big changes ahead. It's the feeling that I'm transitioning from girlhood of "daddy's little girl" to adulthood of "so and so's wife"...

    I'm Chinese and this may not be a cultural thing, but more of a family thing. But my family doesn't consider us engaged until we throw an engagement party and thereby "officially" announcing our engagement to friends and family. The FI and I do have plans to move in together after the engagement party, which will come in the next few months or so (lots of details to still iron out). We do plan on having a longer engagement, possibly 2 years, which would probably give me some time to settle into the new changes.

    I've been refraining from posting any photos or sharing any of the news on social media, because I really needed some time to bask in the initial happiness, then eventual Peter Pan Complex, before finally feeling ready. Once I do share it via social media, it would be as you said "jumping in with both feet" and embrace the imminent changes.
    I don't know, I think 26 is a little old to still be thinking of yourself as "daddy's little girl." So if you are truly planning on moving out and stepping into adulthood, I think you are in for quite a shock. I do think it's smart to have a long engagement while you sort through all of this and wish you luck.
    This, and I'm glad you're moving in together.  I love FI, I can't wait for him to be my husband, but there were days when we first moved in together where I thought I made the biggest mistake!  I also think living outside of your parents home can help you sort out the good and bad of adulthood.  

    Also, just out of curiosity, why didn't you move into the house you bought together?
    image
  • Hey everyone. I'll try to explain my interpretation of "girl years" to the best of my ability here... It's really that I feel like my parents (especially my dad) is my protector and no matter what failures or issues I face, I always feel like I can turn to him. While I'm still my own person, under the "cultural lens" though, my father is essentially passing on this role to my FI/husband as I transition from "girl" to "woman", I hope this demystifies my use of terms (for the lack of a better one). 

    Hey kimmiinthemitten. Thanks for the advice! We didn't move into the house we bought because it's frowned upon to live together before marriage. It's a traditional mindset, but something I embrace and value. And as Maggie0829 said, I'm aware that living together is a whole other monster in itself, so it's freaking me out a bit.

    nerdwife - I'm totally anticipating (albeit frightfully) the big shock of living together. I guess "daddy's little girl" can have many different interpretations. For me, I'm exceptionally close to my father and he'll always be extremely (over)protective of me. He's my protective shelter and will support, guide, and encourage me regardless of the circumstances. Under my interpretations of the phrase, I think that no matter what age I am, I'll always view myself as daddy's little girl. Except, the transition feels as though he's passing on this torch to my FI. 
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Hey everyone. I'll try to explain my interpretation of "girl years" to the best of my ability here... It's really that I feel like my parents (especially my dad) is my protector and no matter what failures or issues I face, I always feel like I can turn to him. While I'm still my own person, under the "cultural lens" though, my father is essentially passing on this role to my FI/husband as I transition from "girl" to "woman", I hope this demystifies my use of terms (for the lack of a better one). 

    Hey kimmiinthemitten. Thanks for the advice! We didn't move into the house we bought because it's frowned upon to live together before marriage. It's a traditional mindset, but something I embrace and value. And as Maggie0829 said, I'm aware that living together is a whole other monster in itself, so it's freaking me out a bit.

    nerdwife - I'm totally anticipating (albeit frightfully) the big shock of living together. I guess "daddy's little girl" can have many different interpretations. For me, I'm exceptionally close to my father and he'll always be extremely (over)protective of me. He's my protective shelter and will support, guide, and encourage me regardless of the circumstances. Under my interpretations of the phrase, I think that no matter what age I am, I'll always view myself as daddy's little girl. Except, the transition feels as though he's passing on this torch to my FI. 
    I'm highly uncomfortable with the thought that one man is my protector and he passes that role onto someone else.  I'm my own person and if heaven forbid, FI was hit by a bus tomorrow, I'd be fine pragmatically speaking (I'd be a wreck emotionally of course).  However, I have no religious or cultural influence telling me otherwise.  

    But if I grew up in a household where my dad took care of everything, I can understand the peter pan syndrome.  My dad is Deaf and his parents viewed him an invalid basically and did literally everything for him including cook him dinner every night until they passed away.  Sadly, I don't think he emotionally became an adult until the last 10 years.

    I'm confused though, is it okay to live together after your engagement party?
    image
    nerdwife
  • I think I understand where you're coming from. I had a "quarter life crisis" (thanks to us millennials who invented this new craze), but sort of for the opposite reasons from you. When I was still living at home, I was in a job I hated because I just took it right out of school, and FI and I had been together 5 years but were not engaged yet. I was just antsy, I felt super stagnant and miserable. Now it's 2 years later, FI and I live together, and I'm in a job that I love. So if you ride it out, these things usually sort themselves out IME.

    Also - I come from a super traditional Italian family. From what I understand from friends, Asian culture asks for even more strict adherence to tradition, so it's natural you feel uncomfortable with something that deviates or alters that (i.e., moving in with FI, having another man in your life). My father is also, after FI, the most important person in my life, and whether I am 5 or 50, I know I could call on him for anything. It is just how he operates. I feel perfectly independent and that FI is 100% my partner now, but I know that my dad is there no matter what, if I needed him, and that is a very nice and secure feeling to have. Are you worried that might change for you when you're married? That may be part of your anxiety. For me, I know it will not, and I imagine your father will always be there for you. You're his daughter. That will not change based on your marital status.

    You said you're newly engaged, so just take a deep breath. Don't rush into planning before you work through these feelings. Please keep open communication with FI about these things, he's your partner and probably feels some of this coming from you. He may even be feeling the same way. There's no rush to get into the wedding hoopla. A wedding can be as big or as little a deal as you want it to be, so do whatever feels natural for you (and whoever is helping pay, if that is not you).

  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    OP, I encourage you to create a relationship with yourself where you can take care of you. Rely on your own work, social, and personal abilities. I do believe a strong community is important and also encourage you to build supporting relationships in life. I do not think putting all of your eggs in one Dad or H basket is sensible.  I think if you feel confident that you can look out for and take care of yourself in life and take the pressure off of your father and your FI, you will feel happier and more confident in everyday life. No one person like your dad or your FH should be solely responsible for your safety, well-being, and future. 
    nerdwife
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