Like so many other people in a long term relationship, I’ve been asked this question countless times over – So, when are you getting married?
More often than not the people that are asking me this question are doing so with big smiling faces who are genuinely eager to find out when Craig is going to pop that important question and present me with a beautiful ring, claiming me to be his future wife. Most of the time I kind of shrug the question off and give some half-hearted answer of “awk, I don’t know, maybe a few years down the line?” and that’s it, the conversation kind of ends.
Occasionally, I’ll get further questions along the lines of “When are you having kids?”, “You’ve been together for years, you might as well get married”, “You already own a house together though”, “When are you making me a granny?” – Sorry mum, not any time soon.
When these questions pop up, I always have the same thoughts. Why is this the be-all-end-all for relationships? Why are the goal posts set as marriage and babies? Why can’t people just be together and not have to go through some huge ceremony to prove they’re committed?
I mean, Craig and I have been in a relationship for seven years, we own a home together and we are fur-parents to many an animal. Why can’t this be enough? Surely this is plenty to show that we’re committed to each other? I’ll be the first to say that if things ever fell apart between us I would be absolutely devastated and it would impact my life in a huge and severe way. It would impact me the same way even if was wearing a ring on my finger, I’d still be devastated, married or not.
So why do people feel the need to ask these types of questions?
A lot of the time the people asking the questions are genuinely curious and don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Some of the time it’s my friends deliberately trying to make me awkward cause they think it’s funny, so there’s that too. Curiosity aside, when you think about it, these types of questions are incredibly personal, or at least they should be.
Marriage and babies are, for the most part, shared between a couple. Two people, that’s it. It’s a huge decision to want to get married or have kids and it’s a decision in my opinion that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
So when did it get to the point where a seemingly normal person can start prying into your relationship to try and get a handle on where you are in it. Because here’s the thing, you’re judged on every answer you give to the question “When are you getting married?”.
“Maybe a few years down the line” – They’re obviously not that committed.
“I hope they pop the question soon” – They’re obviously desperate and clingy.
“I’m not a fan of marriage” – Maybe you’ve just not found the right person yet.
“We’re not really thinking about marriage right now” – They must be having relationship problems.
There’s not really an answer that I’ve given in the past seven years that hasn’t been met with either scrutiny or further interest. Most of the time I just answer with “I’m not sure how I feel about marriage” and then I hope that the conversation is dropped, but it never is.
I guess most people see the questions as being harmless. But when you’re asked this by someone who is merely sitting next to you in an office, who doesn’t know you that well or what your relationship is like, it’s kind of intrusive. In fact, it’s not even kind of intrusive, it’s just intrusive. However, it seems to be the done thing, which is why everyone thinks it’s normal table conversation to ask someone in a couple when they’re getting married or having kids.
Why I don’t like being questioned on when I’m getting married.
Here’s the thing, I have very specific views on marriage. In all honesty, I almost don’t get it.
I don’t understand the want for a huge ceremony and event that’s going to cripple me financially, force me to have my picture taken the entire day, parade me in front of my entire family and friends and at the end of it be so tired that I won’t even get to enjoy the fun part I assume is supposed to happen at the end of the night and probably just fall asleep while still wearing my wedding dress.
To me, and this is just MY opinion, I feel like marriage has lost it’s meaning. People get married after being together for a year, have this huge ceremony where they declare their undying love for one another and then get divorced a year later. And I get it, shit happens. You might think that you’ve found that absolute one and want to lock them down in a marriage right away and then a year later you find out that they use mouthwash before brushing their teeth or put their socks on first then pants, I don’t know. I just know things can happen and it sucks when they do.
My point is, why feel the need to validate your relationship with marriage?
You’ve just found someone amazing and you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Congrats! You don’t have to rush to walk down the aisle or spend thousands of pounds proving to your family and friends that this is it, you’ve found your soul mate. Why not just be together? Save your money, go travelling, get matching tattoos (but good ones that can pass off as a normal tattoo if you ever break up), spend time getting to know that person inside and out.
For me, marriage just seems like it’s the next step into adulthood, a step that everyone expects because it’s just what is done. You go through school and university, get a job, meet someone, get married, have babies. Well done, you’ve completed adulthood, here’s a cookie and £20,000 in debt for your ceremony and all the stuff you had to buy for your kids.
After saying all that, would I ever get married?
In all honesty, despite everything I’ve said, I would still consider getting married. If Craig asked me tonight to marry him, I’m almost certain I would say yes.
I’ve known Craig for nine years and we’ve been a couple for seven of those years so I’m sure I know him pretty well that even if we were to get married, we’d still be exactly the same couple. Except we’d both be wearing wedding rings so really nothing would change. I wouldn’t want a huge ceremony, I wouldn’t wear a huge ball-gown wedding dress, I wouldn’t spend £10,000 on a fancy night that is essentially just dinner then drinks, I wouldn’t force people to give speeches or expect expensive presents from people.
However, if things go pear-shaped between me and Craig, and I somehow met another person that was willing to put up with how annoying I am then by some chance that someone decides to propose, I would probably say no. But, it’d never get to that point because I’d have already told them all my feelings on marriage anyway.
The point of all this is, stop asking me when I’m getting married.
I’m going to stop answering nicely from now on and just retort with “It’s not really any of your business” and then carry on as normal. This response will be coated with a lot of attitude if you’re not really someone I’d consider a close friend or family member, you’re a casual acquaintance or worse, you’re only someone I’ve known for a few days. Which has happened. Recently. I didn’t enjoy the awkwardness that followed.
If I do ever decide to get married then you’ll be the first to know as I’m sure my mum will post about it on Facebook anyway.
Marriage for me is something that’s shared between two people, not two people and facebook, instagram, twitter, anyone you come into contact with, your neighbour that you never speak to and the person delivering your food at wagamama’s. So, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, stop asking me when I’m going to get married. If it ever happens, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. If it never does, then I’m not missing anything I’ve never experienced anyway. Simple.
For those of you wondering.
These are of course just my opinions, I have absolutely nothing against people who want to get married quickly or have a huge ceremony etc, you do you! If that’s your thing then brilliant, I’m sure you’ll have a great time and you’ll enjoy your night just like any other person getting married.
That’s not me though and marriage isn’t always for everyone, and that’s okay too! Just something to remember the next time you go to ask someone in a couple when they’re planning on getting married as it’s not always an easy question to answer.