Stop Asking Me When I’m Going to Get Married

Stop Asking Me When I’m Going to Get Married

Stop Asking Me When I’m Going to Get Married | Positively Smitten

Let me start by saying I’m completely, madly, head-over-heels in love with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for almost seven years (come June), of which we’ve lived together for three, and last July we rescued a dog that, at least for the time being, completes our tiny family. We survived the tail end of high school together, the rough beginnings of college, family issues, one of us losing a job, and that perpetual fight over who gets to pick what we’re listening to in the car.

Through all of that, I still consider him my best friend. Nothing makes me smile bigger or feel happier than when I see him after a long day.

That said, I’ve lost count the number of times people have asked me when we’re going to “make it official,” especially after finding out how long we’ve been dating, as if our relationship doesn’t really “count” unless there’s a license to prove it. When’s the wedding? When are you getting married? When is Bill going to propose?

These questions just go on and on and on as if Bill and I are perpetually riding the wedding version of “It’s a Small World.”

They tease Bill to “put a ring on it” (Love you, Bey, but I didn’t think that catchy song would be used to torture my boyfriend on the regular), they ask if I’m secretly planning a wedding, they wonder if I’m hurt we haven’t tied the knot yet.

Bill gave me a promise ring when we first started dating and I’ve worn it on my ring finger since, which has made it so I’m constantly fielding “are you engaged?” questions. It’s especially bad when it comes from people I see regularly, and who I’ve told repeatedly that this ring was just a gift from Bill, still ask me if we’ve recently gotten engaged/married when they notice it for the millionth time, I’m ready to pull my hair out.

Even my Groupons are getting in on it (this was sent to me last night – click to enlarge):

Untitled

I’m not saying I’m above getting married; that’s not the case at all. I’d be happy to be married already and to have skipped over all of that messy wedding stuff if for no other reason than to shut everyone up.

But I’m super-shy and sometimes self conscious and the idea of having a traditional wedding makes me cringe.

I’ve considered alternatives, like eloping (I can’t stomach the guilt I’d feel knowing friends and family members would be disappointed they weren’t part of “the big day”). I’ve thought of alternative weddings, too. But considering Bill and I have never been enthusiastic about parties, I can’t imagine it’d be much of a celebration when the guests of honor only half-heartedly attend and are the first to leave. (“Thanks for coming, guys – enjoy an extra piece of cake for us!”)

But all of that back-story is irrelevant, really, because here’s what it boils down to: I wish people would stop asking when I’m getting married, when I’m having kids, and when I’m buying a house. Maybe I’ll do those things, maybe I won’t. I don’t know. I don’t have to know. Even if I was 40, I still wouldn’t have to know and I would still be annoyed by the constant barrage of these questions. Why should I have to explain myself to someone else, family, friend, strangers, or otherwise?

My choices – and his choices and her choices and their choices and your choices – really aren’t anyone else’s business.
Let me say that again: it’s not your business whether someone is or is not married and why or why not.

It’s not mean. It’s not cold. It’s just true.

So when am I getting married? I don’t know. But I can tell you this much: whatever we do, it’ll be awesome, and it’ll probably involve pancakes.

13 Comments

  1. This is brilliant! I couldn’t have said it better. Amen.

    • Aww thanks Steph! This was partially inspired by the many conversations we’ve had about this. You get it. 🙂

  2. NOOOOOoooo you’re still getting married though right?

    😉

  3. Hey when you getting married? I got these questions all the time around 19-23 and I was with a huge douche and I was like I AM NOT THE MARRYING KIND SO STOP IT. I got really bitchy with them. SO they stopped and then everyone was surprised when I got engaged to my perfect husband. Haha. Still these “normal” pursuits for women are constantly pressed upon us and we’re made to feel odd if we don’t go along with them… Ugh.

    • I just don’t get the obsession. I understand part of it is just society’s constant barrage of YOU WILL NOT BE HAPPY UNLESS YOU FIND A MAN AND HAVE A BABY but it’s so frustrating. And, of course, women get it much worse than men — but for some reason, people berate Bill very frequently about why he hasn’t proposed. Sigh. It’s really frustrating. 🙁 Thanks for understanding though, boo.

  4. Holly (Gonzalez) Shackett March 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I’m married and now it’s the baby question. I recently had a conversation that went like this: “How long have you been married?”, “Just over a year.”, “So it’s about time, huh?”

    Oh, the internet is presumptuous towards me as well. Before I got married I was on a site called The Knot which helps organize wedding ideas and plans (although it only helped me realize how overwhelming it all was and I quickly called my mommy). So on our first anniversary I get this email from the website saying “Happy anniversary, we’ve rolled your account over to our sister site, The Bump! Happy family planning!”

    People assume that everyone else wants what they want. Another wonderful conversation I had once was when I told a former coworker about my thoughts of hey, maybe we don’t want children and she basically asked me why we were getting married if we didn’t plan on having children. Like loving each other and wanting to wasn’t a good enough reason…

    Also, I so need to point out the double standard between men and women on this issue! I get the baby questions, but whenever someone who knows my husband finds out he is married he always gets a reaction like, “Aren’t you too young to be married?” Now he’s older than I am, albeit slightly, but I just find it crazy that society as a whole seems to be simultaneously shocked that he is already settled down but that I am not yet a mother.

    And if you were wondering, yes, I’ve had this rant in my head for a long time.

    • I find it a little freaky how nonchalant The Knot is about the fact that they enroll its account holders into The Bump. Uhh, thanks for making a life-changing decision for me… internet website?

      I do wish I could shake everyone and just say “make your own choices and forget everyone else!” It’s hard to resist the pressure sometimes, though, because society makes it seem like these things (getting married, having babies) are just necessary for every single person. For some, of course this is the right choice/works for them, but for us all?

      I think your point about everyone assuming the choices that are right for them are right for us all is totally spot on. It’s hard for some to imagine not doing things their way. Also totally agreed about that whole dudes-shouldn’t-settle-down-to-soon, but oh-my-god-lady-why-don’t-you-have-10-babies-already?! What? Who is doing this awful math?

      Great comment, thank you for sharing! 🙂

  5. just in case anyone is actually keeping count or score or notice who is constantly asking the question. i would like to point out that to date neither one of you has heard that question from me yet. that I’m aware of anyway. when and if it ever happens we could not be happier if that is what the two of you want. as far as I’m concerned your already family and bill could have not done better. besides I’m not in a hurry to feel older.

  6. I LOVE THIS POST! Though I don’t get the “when are you getting married?” question, I do get a lot of the “what are you doing with your life?” questions. I’ve had so many discussions with friends about this. I know that people who ask are mostly just trying to start a conversation, their intention isn’t to judge, but it can be so frustrating how people feel entitled to ask. AMEN, SISTAH!!! PREACH!

    • It’s tough because I know people don’t MEAN to be rude when they’re asking. (At least, not most of them!) But still it adds this extra layer of pressure. I’d rather talk about the weather, probably, hahah. And sometimes that whole “what are you doing with your life?” question can just best be answered by saying “doing what I can” but that doesn’t satisfy people, it seems.

  7. Great post!
    I always wondered why I don’t have the inclination to walk around and ask: “why ARE you getting married?”, “why are you having a baby?”, “why do you want kids?”, “why are you buying a house?”. Could it be that I’m happy with where I am in life and don’t need to inquire about other people’s personal choices to perhaps validate my own??
    I get the “when will he propose?” question regularly. As if I know the answer. Really, what’s the rush??? How much will really change? The more I observe people, the more I realize that for some getting married is a personal success in life, another box checked (because all my friends are doing it), or just the beginning to their “playing house” fantasy. Those who get divorced 3 years later end up wondering “what happened?”. So silly.

  8. I love this post. I have been in a relationship for 8 years and i’m not even 30 yet, however the countless friends/other family members who are supposedly happily married and some with families, continue to bombard me with questions about how I am planning my life.

    As if it has anything to do with them at all, so why do they insist on asking me? I can feel my heart rate rising now just thinking about the questions!

    One of the other posters touches on ‘boxes being checked’ and I couldn’t agree more – many people do seem to see marriage/family as a measure of success in life, that’s something I’ve never understood. Maybe I’ll realise one day that the joke is on me, but at the moment I’m happy the way I am and just wish people would leave me alone!

    Thanks again for such an enjoyable post!

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