Thursday, 24 January 2013
"A lady I will be, but a man's accessory, his handbag, no thank you. I will not be someone's ornament. I will not just be someone's honey, baby, sweetheart." -Deb Caletti
I hear so many stories of women with wedding fever, who scour Pinterest for hours a day, obsessively planning these events that will only last for a few hours and that they'll end up having to pay off for the next six months. While I'll admit that I have my fair share of wedding boards on Pinterest, I have no intention of getting married in the near future - and when I say "near," I mean that I don't plan on marrying until well into my late 20s or early 30s, if at all.
I am 22 years old, and my boyfriend and I have been together since November of 2009. With a relationship well into its third year, the topic of marriage has come up more than once. When we first got together, I was very upfront about the fact that I don't intend on marrying any time soon, and I thought that he agreed as well. However, in the last year or so, his tune has completely changed, not to mention the fact that his mother, grandmother, and sister already view us as engaged/married. Seriously, his grandmother bought me a fake engagement ring for Christmas, and insisted that C be the one to give it to me. Can we say creeeeeepy?!
I love my boyfriend more than any other man I've ever dated, and there's no doubt in my mind that if/when I decide to tie the knot, it will be with him. But that doesn't mean I want to be rushed into the process. Last night as we were eating dinner, we began talking about two of our mutual friends, who are a couple. These two friends are attempting to save money so that they can buy a huge piece of land in the middle of nowhere and begin a family. They want to live off the land for the rest of their lives, while raising their family.
Don't get me wrong, I think their dream is beautiful, and I admire any couple who wishes to be self-sustaining farmers, but I want so much more than that. I couldn't imagine a life in which all I ever amounted to was someone's wife and mother of their children. When I voiced these concerns to C, however, he was less than pleased. "I would be extremely proud if my greatest accomplishment in life was being your husband and the father of your children," he said. Once the words came out of his mouth, I knew that I was treading on thin ice and that if I didn't word my response appropriately, we would have ended the night with a huge fight.
After pondering my options for a few minutes, I finally said, "I love you, and I'm extremely proud to be your girlfriend, and one day I'm sure that I would love to be your wife, but I would be lying if I said that I would find satisfaction in that scenario alone. I have dreams and goals that are completely independent of our relationship, goals that I intend on accomplishing no matter what. But that doesn't mean I don't want to share those things with you, because I do. I just don't want to fall into the trap that so many other women find themselves in: deciding between their families and their dreams."
I'm not in college for my "Mrs." degree, and maybe because of that it's misconstrued that I have commitment issues. And hell, maybe I do have commitment issues. Of the three parents I have (I'm adopted, so I have a biological dad and an adoptive dad), they've been married over 10 times collectively. I'm so young, so why should I be concerned with marriage at 22? My boyfriend and I can barely make ends meet now, so how would we ever finance a wedding, let alone a marriage? My decision to wait for marriage has earned me fights with my boyfriend, weird stares from his family, and indignant responses from some of my friends. But the bottom line is that the decision to marry is ultimately left to C and me.
Have you fallen victim to wedding fever? Do you have a time-frame in mind for marriage?