I don’t have a time line for when I want to get married. If you would have asked me ten years ago “TK, at what age do you want to be married by?” I would have laughed and told you no one would ever marry me. Setting aside the poor self-esteem I had as a child, my point here is that I never considered marriage to be a key goal in my life. I knew that, if I happened to meet the right man, I’d want the relationship to lead to marriage, but I had no concept of a ‘dream wedding’ for my future
Fast forward to today and I find I am in a happy five-year relationship. We’re not married and, while we discuss it here and there, we still have no time line set. I’m sure the time will come when I really want to be married, but that day is not today. I’m only 23. Why do I need to rush into things? Who cares how long I’ve dated my boyfriend? We’ll get married when it feels right.
Sometimes, it feels like everyone cares. Everyone is asking and everyone is appalled that I haven’t gotten a ring,yet.
There are times where I get nervous about this attitude. Many of my friends are married and my Facebook is slowly being taken over by babies. People are visibly surprised when they hear I’ve been dating the same guy for five years and have no ring. Is it really that bad? Is there something wrong with being completely comfortable with things just the way they are?
It was with these thoughts in mind that I read ‘Stop Asking me “Are Your Married Yet?”‘ The woman behind this article is a bit older than I am. She’s nearing her 30s and is tired of this question. While I’m a bit younger, I can’t help but sympathize with her. My boyfriend and I hadn’t been dating for six months when the questions started. As I’ve gotten older, and attended the weddings of many friends, the question has increased.
This past weekend, I celebrated the birthday of a friend. One of the girls at the gathering told me she gives guys 18 months. In 18 months, she and the man she’s been dating need to have had a serious discussion about marriage or she’s done with the relationship. Her reasoning behind this is in a two-year relationship she had that ended up not working out. She views these years as a waste and is determined not to waste that kind of time again.
She is allowed to do what she wants with life, but, for myself, I find that ideology flawed. Can love really be so specifically planed? More importantly, were those two years really a waste? Did she not enjoy a moment of happiness?
The way I see it, every relationship we have serves a purpose. Even if it eventually devolves, our relationships take us to where we are today. Take my boyfriend. He chose the college he attended partly because of the woman he was dating at the time. They eventually broke up. As it would happen, I also attended that same college. Without that first relationship, we may have never met.
There are many ways in which a relationship affects a person. They may discover new interests, move to a new area or meet new friends. If the relationship dissolves, some of those changes will remain. A person is the accumulation of their experiences. It has long been my opinion that, if we like the person we are today, then we shouldn’t hate or regret our past. For example, there are some choices I made in middle school and high school that were motivated by low-self esteem. Those experiences taught me a lot about myself. They made me who I am today. While I may not agree with every thought and decision of my younger self, I would be a different person today with out them.
This is all to say that I have my doubts that woman’s two years were a waste, as she so claims. If D and I break up, I will not call these five years a waste. I gained a lot from our relationship and I can’t regret a single moment.
…but I’m still not 100% ready to get married. Don’t get me wrong, if he asked me to marry him today, I’d say yes. Behind closed doors I’d say, “yes, in about two years.” My boyfriend isn’t that kind of man though. He’s not the type of person who would go for a long engagement. He’ll ask me to marry him on they day he is ready to be married. Since I am in no rush, I have no problem waiting. People can keep asking if they want, but I’m not on any timeline. Marriage will happen in my life when the time is right and not a moment before.
How often were/are you asked when you’re getting married? Do men get this question as much as women? Is it really so odd that I never had a concept of the age I wanted to be married by?