There was a thread on another message board about what is a good age to get married at. This is what I wrote:
I know of a lot of people who got married young and are doing great. I knew Vampgyrl from high school and she got married when she was about 19 and she and her husband are still married [note: this person is almost 28 now]. I forget her name, but I met a girl on this board who got married when she was 15 and she has been married for 10 or 11 years [note: they got married because they were in love, not because she was pregnant or anything]. My friend Vrinda got married when she was 18 and she and her husband are doing swell, and same goes for my friend Teresa who also got married at 18. I could go on all night about successful marriages of couples who married young. Not to say it's for everyone, but it can and has worked out just fine.
I don't agree with ilfaith. Living on your own doesn't make someone any more "ready" for married. I have a lot of friends from my temple who come from strict Indian families and don't move out of the house until they get married. Even the few I know who moved out-of-state for college, it was never very far from home and their parents completed supported them (rent, food, tuition, etc.) Comparing them with my friends who did move out own their own, overall, I think the former did much better jobs taking care of themselves when they got married.
And I don't see what dating preferences has to do with anything. Dating someone who grew up in an entirely different world? Generally speaking, people don't care to date people from "a different world". We usually date people who we have a few things in common with. I can't say I dated anyone who was terribly different from me and it didn't affect my readiness for marriage. On a side note, neither did I have to rack up a black book filled with boyfriends to be ready for marriage either.
Same goes for traveling outside of the country. What does travel have to do with marriage? There are millions of people in the world who have never left their humble town or village and have lasting happy marriages.
Out of all the happy and successful marriages I have seen, regardless of what age the couples got married at, there's a running theme... all the couples have mutual goals (they agree on what type of lifestyle they will live, financial goals, number of children, etc. etc. etc. ); they share similar interests and beliefs; they can communicate; they are realistic about expectations; they are accepting of each other; they respect each other; they can compromise. Of course to know all of this, you need to be in touch with who you are first. But that doesn't mean you have to know yourself in every nook and cranny. Personal growth still goes on well after you're married. Some evolution will be purely your own set of beliefs; some will be b/c you and your spouse evolved together. And for any couple (newly weds or old timers), loving support from friends and family for when rough times come help out a lot.
Delaina, from the sounds of your posts, it doesn't seem that your feelings on the relationship are certain. If you and your boyfriend are in love and get along well already, I'm sure talking to him about what his plans for the future are (and all the stuff I mentioned up there^) will help you figure things out a lot better. Also a time line of when he wants to do all those things to see if it syncs up with what your plans are. Good luck with everything!
As for me, I met my husband when I was almost 20. It was a month before my 20th birthday. We got married when I was 23; he was 24. If it wasn't for the health problems I was having, we would have gotten married when I was 21 or 22. To a lot of people, I was "too young", but I think everyone has different goals and dreams in life. I was meant to be married. People even tell me married life suits me well and that I look better since I've been married. (One outspoken friend who's native language isn't English told me, "You used to be ugly, but then you got married and now you're so beautiful." Um, thanks, I think? LOL). Anyhow, we've grown together and are on the same wave length on all the important issues and even the smaller issues such as what type of furniture to buy. There is mutual respect and we communicate very well. We both already knew what we wanted out of life before we got married. While we haven't stuck to the plan exactly, we left room for improv and just roll with the unexpected changes that life brings.
Anyhow, to answer April's question I would need more information. Is it more than him being a hopeless romantic? Maybe he is just being possessive? Or he's insecure? Or maybe April just has all the qualities he is looking for in a life partner and wants to make sure the good one doesn't get away?