It’s been said before, but not by me. Let’s talk about err’body getting engaged like it’s their job.
In the last week, five couples I know, including my younger cousin and his adorable girlfriend, have gotten engaged. Fun fact: I lost $20 betting one proposal wouldn’t happen during the vacation one couple was on and then it did. Coincidentally during this same time frame, my boyfriend’s best friend asked him if there was a proposal in our future later this year. Another fun fact: there isn’t. (Not because we don’t love each other and all that mushy junk, but more on that later.)
My point with all of this is that as the years pass everyone around me has started hurrying to tie the knot like Mario using a star to bypass his race mates on Rainbow Road. The goal is to cross the finish line first and apparently marriage is that checkered line. I don’t get it, and I’m starting to wonder if I’m alone in this. Is there something that I’m missing that seemingly everyone else is in on? Because honestly I don’t see what the rush is to walk down the aisle.
As a newly initiated member of the Thirty Club, it’s not like I haven’t been surrounded with others blossoming love for the last several years. Eight weddings last year alone would show you this is definitely the case. However, it seems that the engagement/marriage push is stronger than ever and I still find myself actively choosing to not drink the Kool-Aid.
When I was in college I had a serious boyfriend who honest to God thought we were going to get engaged. The relationship lasted three and a half years and I knew almost from the beginning that he wasn’t The One. Some would argue that I should have ended things as soon as I came to this realization, but I was of the mentality that if I’m happy with where we are and he wasn’t complaining or trying to push things, why should I cut it off? Isn’t the point of dating to try things and see what you like/don’t like and if you’re happy, who cares if a ring is involved? Apparently not a popular opinion.
Even if you aren’t on the fast track to matrimony, there seems to always be some outside pressure for an engagement. Family, your biological clock, your age, the amount of time you’ve been in said relationship. All reasons people use to convince themselves that it’s time to get down on one knee and take the plunge. And heaven forbid you escape your twenties without saying “I do’s” in front of the most important people in your life.
That isn’t to say that I’m bashing on everyone who is ready for this giant step of lifelong commitment. Of course people pop the question because they are truly, deeply in love with the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with. I’m happy for those people even if I can’t comprehend getting married at 26, 21, or even now at this very moment.
Personally, I just don’t get why it needs to happen immediately. If this person is your soulmate, don’t you have now until forever to change your last name? What’s wrong with enjoying the just dating ride and doing things in your own time? The world won’t end if you date for years and you’re both well into your thirties by the time you get hitched. Your mom might want grandchildren as of yesterday, but she’ll be joyous no matter when she gets them. Take a breath and wait.
My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over two years, and we’re both the scandalous age of 30 years old. I mentioned before that we aren’t getting engaged this year even though coworkers, parents, and friends have asked starting since before we hit that 2 year mark. We’re both on the same page and turn people down who are then more upset by this admission than we are.
I could give you a list of reasons as to why we don’t want to jump into the marital bed right now.
- I just got my own apartment a couple months ago for the first time in my life and living alone is great.
- My wedding dreams are hella expensive and not in the budget right now because I’m one of those weird girls who doesn’t want to force the whole bill on her parents.
- It’d be cool to lose like 20ish lbs before the bombardment of photos from proposal to bridal shower to bachelorette to wedding occurs.
Ya know, normal stuff.
But the real reason we aren’t wearing jewelry on our left hands, despite being an old couple who loves each other and knows it’s going to happen, is that we’re happy the way we are. Cheesy and gross, yes. But true nonetheless. We’re happy not rushing or conceding to what his mom says or what “society” thinks we should be doing. It’s simple and uncomplicated, at least to us, and it works. Just happy.
Ok, so what’s the real message of this sermon from the soapbox narrative about marriage? Basically to rub it in your faces that I’ve tricked a boy into tolerating me for longer than one night stand periods of time. (Kidding, but like it’s a feat many assumed couldn’t happen.)
My point is that you should do you especially in your relationships. And especially if that means taking your time figuring out what YOU want single, dating or otherwise. It’s really not a race. There’s no medal for beating your friends down the aisle. You do get wedding gifts, but will you ever even use that fancy china? Probs not.
Slow your roll, enjoy the ride, and get engaged (or not) whenever you damn well please whether that’s tomorrow or in five years. If they’re the right person, they’ll still be there.