That wonderful institution where you commit yourself, for better or for worse, to another person for the rest of your life (well, in about 50% of the cases). I’m not against marriage…not at all. But I was also never the little girl who dreamt of her wedding day. I wasn’t some sort of feminist super-child. I played house, and with Barbies, I guess I just never considered a wedding worth my imagination time. Some things never change 😉
For those of you who have been around the blog for awhile, you’ll likely be familiar with at least some of my story, but I’m going to recap for the newbies (welcome!) I’m 31 and have been dating the same guy since I was 19…that’s 12 years of non-wedded bliss (mostly bliss, nobody’s that perfect). We own a house together, along with two dogs and two cats. Almost all of the big purchases I’ve made in my life we’ve done together. When you move out of your parents and in with your boyfriend, you don’t exactly bring a lot of stuff with you. So we’re committed and all common-lawed up, and that means there’s no easy way out (emotionally, financially, legally).
Have we talked about marriage?
Absolutely, and we’re on the same page. It will happen one day, but at this point, we’re happy with how things are and don’t see the need to have a marriage certificate to make things feel more real. It is important to me that we are married before we have kids, but that’s also something that’s not in the cards right now (and I’m still undecided if it ever will be). I don’t like the idea of not having the same last name as my children. Did you know that it’s recommended to get a letter of permission from your husband to travel with your own children if they have a different last name from you? Maybe it’s for selfish or lazy reasons, but I don’t want to have to deal with that.
So, until there’s a trigger, why change anything?
My Biggest Problem w/ Marriage
Honestly, my biggest problem with not being married is that it’s really weird calling your partner of 12 years your boyfriend. He’s more than that, and it feels so high school. But what’s the alternative? My common-law partner, my spouse, my significant other? Not great options. Depending on the situation I alternate between a few, but it always feels awkward. My friend always refers to him as my husband because it’s easier. You know what though? If that’s my biggest concern, then I don’t really think getting married is the solution.
Why Not Just Do It?
When there’s a decision to be made, I make it, fast. I’m not the kind of person who can handle having a big decision hanging over my head. For example, we bought our first house within a week, and it ended up being the first house we looked at. I also bought my car on the same day I decided to start looking. I weigh my options and don’t consider my decisions rash, I just don’t delay them a second longer than necessary. Unless it comes to choosing somewhere to eat for dinner, the bf (see, awkward) will attest to the fact that I’m hopeless at that. Big decisions are kind of my jam, small decisions, not so much.
You’re probably wondering why I’m procrastinating about the whole wedding thing. Well, I don’t see it that way. I have made a decision that I don’t want to get married right now. I’m allowed to change my mind in the future, but for now, it’s not a choice that’s hanging over my head.
Weddings are Hella Expensive!
The biggest reason I’m not ready to get married is the cost. Even a small, low-key wedding will cost thousands of dollars. I see it all the time. Those Pinterest posts that brag about how someone got married for only $2,000 (here, here, and here). That’s still TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS! And I’m not exactly the person who is going to go as cheap as possible for my wedding; I have kind of splurgy tastes.
Plus, the best way to keep wedding costs down is to DIY as much as possible, and I’m not that crafty and just don’t have that much time (patience).
You know how sometimes you grow out of things? One day you are playing with Barbies and the next you’re learning to put on makeup. Or you start out thinking Smirnoff Ice is delicious but then figure out that beer is more your jam. Or you think you want a big lavish wedding but realize a small backyard ceremony is more your style.
That last one is me (ok, they’re all me). If I got married 10 years ago, I would have been 21, and it would have been more about hosting an epic party than about what I said in my vows. I’ve grown-up and matured, and even though I’ve done that with the same person by my side, I’m a different person now. Back then I would have spent probably $20,000 on a wedding and gone into debt to do it. Now I would spend maybe a quarter of that and save up the money before I took one step down the aisle. Waiting until you know who you are and have a handle on your life makes you more prepared for the challenges that come with being one-half of a relationship.
Divorce is Scary
A staggering 40 percent of first marriages end in divorce. I’m not going to assume that I’m immune to a break-up because I’m not officially married, but that stat freaks me out.
It’s also expensive. For an uncontested divorce (aka best case scenario), the average cost is $1,353, and if things don’t go quite so smoothly, then that average cost jumps up to $12,875. I don’t know about you, but I have much better things to do with my money than pay lawyer fees.
Being Un-Married is Kind of My Thing
Honestly, I feel like being the girl that hasn’t gotten married has sort of become a part of my personality. I’ve been tackling those ‘when are you getting married’ questions for almost a decade and I don’t even hate it anymore. It’s a little like how I don’t watch Game of Thrones and have never seen Back to the Future…I’m kind of proud of it.
If I go and get married now I’ll be another one of those married 30-somethings, instead of being an un-married 30-something who’s been dating the same guy forever. We might be a growing group but we’re still a rarity. Weird? Probably, but I’ve never claimed to be normal 😉
It could be argued that marriage is the next logical step for us (and trust me, it has been), but I don’t see it that way. The timing doesn’t feel logical or right to me, and I’ve never really been one to listen to other people anyway 😉