I’ve been in a steady relationship with my boyfriend, Doug, for five years, we have lived together for just about 3 of those years, he’ll be 29 in July, I’ll be 28 in April. So, why aren’t we married? Well, it’s not like we don’t talk about, but there are other factors…. oh wait, that’s none of your business!
I can’t tell you how many times I get asked when I’m getting married or why I’m not married or, my favorite, “are you guys going to get serious?” If it comes from a close friend or family member, I usually chuckle and then talk about how getting married, at the least the way we picture our wedding, is pretty damn expensive. At this point in our lives, we’re enjoying our time together, going on trips, being NYC foodies, getting drunk and spending too much money at happy hour. Is it wasteful? Sure, probably. It is it a smart investment in our future? Nope (unless you look at time spent enjoying each other’s company as an investment into our emotional future, but that’s not what people are usually looking at). But the thing is, it’s what we want right now. I love knowing that if Doug and I end up on LES eating Crif Dogs on a Sunday afternoon, and we happen to find our way into PDT (this happened btw, it’s pretty easy to get in w/o a reservation on Sunday at like 5pm) that we really don’t think twice about buying a few $15 cocktails. Had we been planning a wedding, I’m sure we would’ve just gone home after eating some hot dogs after a discussion going something like this, “that $60+ spent on drinks could go towards ____ at our wedding.” BOOOOOO, who wants that?!
“But Angela, once you’re married you can still do those things, and you’ll get money with all the wedding gifts! You can still enjoy each other’s company without spending money!” Yes, I know those things are true, Doug and I have had the same discussions. If you think I’m living with my boyfriend for 3 years and the discussion of marriage hasn’t come up, you trippin! Doug and I want to get married. We talk about that, along with where we’d like to buy our future home, how many children we want, potential names for those unborn children, and even child rearing strategies. We know we want to and are going to spend our life together, which is why neither of us sees the rush to get married. What’s the difference if we get married next month or 2 years from now? We’re still together, still living together, still building our life together. So while the whole “weddings are expensive!” conversation provides a lovely and real excuse to family and close friends when they ask, the real response (that I’m too nice to ever say) is, “why does it matter to you?”
But really, why does it matter to you?! Do you think Doug loves me less because he hasn’t put a ring on it? Or maybe you think that as soon as I get married, I’ll get knocked up and have an adorable baby for you to play with. Or maybe you’re insecure about being single at our age and you want to live vicariously through me. Or you’re engaged/married and now feel like you can only do things with other engaged/married friends, you know, since people instantly mature when planning a wedding. Or maybe you just want a reason to get dressed up and get drunk on our dime. Ok, I’ll give you that last one, weddings are fun! I know, I know, I’m being harsh and to be honest, most of my friends really only fall into that last category. Those other categories more accurately describe people that ask me about marriage that I’m NOT close too. Which also makes me question not only the reason they are asking, but why they think it’s ok to ask me that. It’s a personal question about our relationship. Unless we put it on the table for discussion, it’s not ok to ask about. It’d be one thing if I updated facebook status to “still waiting for Doug to prove he loves me with a diamond,” but I don’t, nor will I ever. Do people not realize it’s rude and intrusive to ask us about the future of our relationship? I mean, do I ask you when you’re going to get serious with your job and start making more money? Or come to your work happy hour and ask your boss when he’s going to give you that promotion, all while you’re standing next to me (I think that’s equivalent to people asking Doug when he’s going to propose while I’m standing right there)?
Perhaps social media has made us less aware of boundaries and/or have made our convos IRL a little ruder (I totally think this, and don’t get me started with people being on their phones when hanging out with friends). When people share every detail of their life on the internet, they tend to think that others not only want to know those details, but are willing to share their lives in the same way and want comments on it. Well not everybody is that way and people should recognize that. And recognize that I’m not in my relationship for your comments or approval. My relationship is between Doug and me and decisions about marriage are ours to make. If one of us wants your opinion on it, we’ll ask you. Until then, mind your own business!