There I was, minding my own business before class when an older man decided to walk up and introduce himself. He had asked me about my introductory post for the class, and I responded with, "Yeah, I'm the one who just got engaged!"

His reaction was not what I expected.

I sat uncomfortably as this man, whom I'd just met, went on a tangent about how I am too young to get married and how I will be wasting the rest of my life by getting married so young. Then he asked how old I was. Upon learning I was 21, he continued trying to convince me not to get married.

After minutes of awkwardly smiling and nodding the man finally left me alone, and I desperately avoided any interaction with him for the rest of the class. After feeling judged and insulted by a man I didn't even know, I was left to consider his comments for the rest of the day.

After this interaction, these are the conclusions I reached...

It is so inappropriate to react negatively upon hearing of an engagement, especially to someone's face. This is one of the happiest moments of their life, and your negative opinions need to be kept to yourself.

Your personal opinion for what age is best to get married literally means nothing to anybody but yourself. Some people want to wait until they are 40 to get married and that is completely valid. Some people want to get married in their early 20s and that is also completely valid. It is also OK to get married straight out of high school, just as well as it is OK to never get married.

Marriage is a very individualized, personal process, and only the people involved can have an opinion on what the right time is.

There are plenty of statistics available that tell people when the optimal time to get married is, so your personal opinion probably has no factual basis and is just annoying to hear about unless you are specifically asked.

Some people believe there are other important things to do before you get married, like travel or complete school, or get your dream job. Those are all great things to do, but they don't have to be prioritized over marriage. Marriage can sometimes be the highest priority on someone's list, and that is also OK.

As for me, I am 21 and engaged to my fiance who is soon-to-be 23. We have been together for almost 3 years. We have incredible role models who have demonstrated endlessly what great relationships and marriages should look like.

We have very similar values regarding our futures and family life. He is working at his dream job very close to my hometown, where we both are excited to live. We will not begin planning the wedding until after I graduate in three months, and the wedding will take place over a year from now.

Not that it is anyone else's business but mine and my fiance's, but we are doing just fine, and we are certainly ready for this next step.

Regardless of anyone's inappropriate comments, we will still be getting married, and we have the full support of all our friends and family. So next time, just keep it to yourself and say "congratulations" like everyone else.

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