Dear Friends: Stop Asking Me When I’ll Get Married

July 12, 2018  |  
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As someone who has been with my boyfriend for five years…and live with him…and have a dog with him…I naturally get the question, “When are you two going to get married?” a lot. My friends ask it with smiles on their faces and excitement in their eyes. They aren’t being judgmental (or trying to be). I know they just think it’s a fun topic but, for some reason, I’ve always been a bit…thrown by the question. I feel like a deer in the headlights. I don’t have an answer to their question, and I’m fine with not having an answer, but I can tell that they read into the fact that I don’t have an answer, so I just feel trapped. They created this situation by asking the question, and now all eyes are on me. I didn’t ask for this conversation and yet, suddenly, I’m in charge of it. I finally decided to break down and analyze why the question bothers me so much, and here it is. Dear friends; please stop asking when I’ll get married. Here’s why.

Gettyimages.com/Shot of an affectionate young couple bonding together outdoors smiling happy

We’re enjoying ourselves

We are enjoying this phase. We really are! We’re just soaking up this lovely time when we are in a really stable, established relationship. We’re so comfortable with each other, we’re best friends, and we’re having the time of our lives. We don’t feel like anything is missing. Can’t you see that?

Gettyimages.com/Happy couple dancing by sofa at home. Male and female are enjoying in living room. They are embracing each other.

It de-legitimizes us

It’s kind of a bummer when, after just telling someone how happy I am in my relationship, my friend asks, “So when are you getting married?” I just talked about all the ways my partner and I are close and involved and you just pointed out the one way we aren’t.

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Do I look unhappy?

If I were complaining about not yet being married, that’d be one thing. But I literally am walking on cloud nine about where my relationship is, and I just told you as much. So when you ask when we’ll get married, it’s almost like you’re implying that I seem unsatisfied.

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You assume we will get married

The question also assumes that we are getting married, and I don’t love that. Maybe if the question were, “Will you get married?” I wouldn’t be as bothered. But “When” makes an assumption about a pretty major decision.

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It seriously may be a while

Just a public announcement: my boyfriend and I may literally not get married for a decade. So, if people are going to ask when we’ll get married, they’ll be asking for a while.

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It questions our commitment

I also don’t love the idea that we have to be married to be committed. We’re on a lease together. We share a pet together. We’re deeply involved in one another’s families. We show our commitment through our daily actions and not through a piece of paper.

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It implies we are running behind schedule

The question also implies that we are running behind schedule, which implies that there is a schedule. Whenever we do get married, that will be the perfect time to do it.

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It implies I need to know that answer

I don’t have to know the answer to this question, but I don’t really like how the fact that I don’t know it makes people think that my partner isn’t committed to me or that we aren’t serious.

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What do you want? A date?

I mean honestly, am I supposed to drop a date right then and there? Am I supposed to know the season, the week, the place, the flower arrangements?

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If I have a date, you’ll get the invite

Look, when we’re engaged, you’ll know. You’ll see the Facebook update and Instagram posts. You’ll get a phone call from me if we’re close. You’ll get the save the date in the mail. The information is coming eventually, so why push for it prematurely?

Gettyimages.com/Black businesswoman standing with hands on hips

I don’t push your milestones

I don’t jump right past celebrating your current stage in areas of your life and ask when you’ll move forward. I don’t ask when you’ll get a promotion, or make more money, or stop renting an apartment and buy a house.

Gettyimages.com/Women using digital tablet and drinking coffee in cafe

You just told me marriage changes nothing

It’s funny because, often, my married friends talk about the fact that getting married literally changed nothing about their lives. And then they ask when I’m getting married. Huh?

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Weddings aren’t exactly cheap

That’s kind of a huge expense to so casually assume someone will be taking on. How about I’ll get married when you get all the other friends together and raise $30,000 for my wedding.

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It may be personal

My boyfriend and I both come from divorced parents and honestly, that’s a big part of the reason we are in no rush to tie the knot. I don’t mind sharing that information, but not everyone is as open as I am. So the question could be intrusive.

Gettyimages.com/A group of three international female friends laugh while enjoying wine at a bar outside.

There are other things to talk about

We could dive into a 45-minute discussion about hypotheticals and ifs and maybies, but I don’t have that much free time to catch up with a friend so when I do, I’d rather talk about the real, concrete updates in my life.

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