One of the most common questions I get about my relationship, aside from how we met, (everyone thinks we met online because of our fifteen-year age difference, but we did not) is, “are you going to get married?”
It’s a very reasonable question. Greg (my boyfriend) and I have been together for almost eight years, we have two children together, and we have lived together for the majority of our relationship. We share finances, we are on the same phone plan, I nag him about being disgusting and he nags me about throwing the entire contents of my closet on the bed when I get ready. The obvious trappings that make up a marriage. Oh, and we are in love with each other, we are attracted to one another, and all that shit.
But before I get into all of this, let me preface by saying that we do want to get married someday. And I also want to clarify that I do not think people who want to get married, or who are married, are wrong. Because they aren’t! Because people can do and say and feel however the fuck they want.
But what about our relationship isn’t a marriage? Why is a wedding a “requirement” for a relationship such as ours? There would be no real difference to our lives except some nice jewelry and the added insurance and tax benefits. Does it make us more of a family? Does taking his last name make us more of a unit? In my opinion, those things are not reasons to get married.
Sometimes the biggest incentive I have for getting married is so I won’t have to say “my boyfriend” anymore. I sometimes refer to him as my partner, but I read somewhere that gay couples were the first to adopt that term for their significant others, and feel slighted when heterosexual couples use it. And I certainly don’t want to offend the LGBTQ community, especially since have fought (and continue to fight) so hard for their rights. Also, when I say “my boyfriend,” people assume that Greg is not my children’s father, so now I basically open with a monologue when I meet new people and say, “My boyfriend Greg, who is the father to both my kids, we live together, we’ve been together for eight years.” It’s exhausting.
I am constantly at odds about my feelings regarding marriage. Sometimes I feel like I should be married because it’s the norm, it’s expected. Sometimes I feel judged because I am not married, as if I’m settling for a status that I don’t actually want, but pretend to be comfortable with. Sometimes I feel like I am letting my daughter down because she has begun to ask when are we going to get married, and maybe she feels insecure about this and I need to remedy those feelings of unease.
After all of the doubts and insecurities wear off, I reflect on the reasons why this delayed wedding doesn’t bother me.
It’s all very simple.
Greg is my best friend and I am very much in love with him. He loves me unconditionally and is a great father to our children. We are involved parents and share all the same values that are important to a committed relationship. We are excited about our future together and this family we have created. I feel so secure and loved every day. A ring on my finger won’t make me feel more in love with him.
When I think of all that mushy crap, I remind myself why I don’t really give a shit about when I’ll get married. Because I don’t need it. Because I already have what I am looking for and what’s next is simply an event to put a rubber stamp on it.
All this being said, I have our entire wedding planned already. I know my color scheme and the type of dress I want. I know I want a DJ over a band and I even have the menu planned out. Look, when you’re together eight years you have a lot of time to plan the wedding you are in no rush to have.
I want to get married to Greg. I want to declare my love for him in front of all our family and friends. I’m simply not in a rush to do it.
Like I said, the ring would just be a really nice piece of jewelry. Like really, really nice.