- 11 years ago
Let me preface this by saying that I am a Southern girl, with fairly traditional views of marriage and family. I grew up dreaming of meeting “the one” in college, dating for about 1.5 yrs, getting married after graduation, starting my career while he starts his, and then having kids and a labrador (or 2). (I have to recognize the irony at this juncture of how that’s precisely how it happened for my mom.)
Sure, life has not gone as planned. It never does. I didn’t meet “the one” in college, or even in law school, and I didn’t get married soon after. I met my man on EHarmony, and then he moved in with me without my parents formally knowing (it’s kind of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation). And we have two dogs. And have been dating for 3.5 years. And no ring. And no kids. And yes, we have similar traditional Southern values about marriage and family….he’s just having a hard time with the whole “being ready” part.
I know that my values of wanting to be married, and not wanting to have kids before marriage, are not the same as everyone’s values (and I know some people don’t want to have kids at all, which is fine). And I have no problem if your values are different….it’s whatever works for you. But I assumed (perhaps b/c it’s just a general presumption in the South?), that *most* every girl wants to be married if they meet the right man, and then later (if she wants kids) have kids after she’s married.
But having been on the WaitingBee board for a couple of months, I’ve noticed that, whenever someone posts a thread venting about how their SO has made them wait so long (we’ve all done it!), I am shocked at the overwhelming number of responses that ask: “well why do you need/want to be married anyway….why can you just be happy like you are”.
I certainly understand that it is becoming more common in this day and age for some couples to not marry. Both that and the concept of pregnancy first then marriage have both seemed to become “hip” because of the increasingly common occurrences among celebrities. Again, I have no problem with couples living together before getting married (I do!), or choosing not to get married at all. To each his own.
But my question is: Is the concept or commonality of truly deeply wanting marriage as a woman really that waning in modern society? I thought that the percentage of woman who don’t want/need marriage was quite small….and that I was part of an overwhelming majority of women who truly wants marriage at some point, but from observation on this Board, it seems to be a resounding message of “who needs marriage anyway…just be happy in your relationship as is.” Am I in a shrinking minority on this issue….is it really that common for women these days to not really want/need marriage? Am I just in a bubble in the South? Or are my sentiments about marriage (i.e. wanting to get married one day) still the overwhelming majority?
Of note, this is not an attack, a judgment, or an assertive statement. This thread is just intended to be an inquiry about a sociological movement of women and marriage. I am asking b/c I am curious about your different perspectives, based on the varying backgrounds and geographic locations of people on this board.