Post # 16
I think sometimes that advice is to make sure both partners are ready and it’s not just an arbitrary timeline for when people should be married by. Personally I think a lot of marriages are stronger nowadays because a lot of thought and preparation has gone into the relationship beforehand. That being said I completely understand how after a certain point you know it’s tme and you both are ready.
Post # 17
I always knew I wanted to get married, but I didn’t have a plan (i.e. meet someone in college, date for X years, and then [fill in rest of plan] )
I never really thought about why I wanted to get married, it just made sense because I want someone to share my life/ havechildren with (not that you need to be married to have children).
My husband and I were talking about if living together/marriage is different and we both agree it is- but only in a positive way. Having the legalness of marriage makes your partnership legitimate- if one of you is intensive care and there’s an option to pull the plug- your partner will be the one giving the go ahead. Plus, it’s sort of a comfort thing. This person is legally bound to me. My husband added if I ever wanted to divorce him the divorce would take a few months and give him a chance to work things out with me 🙂 If you’re just dating it’s much easier to walk away- even if you’re living together.
I think someone hit the nail on the head when they stated there are more divorces now a days so women/men don’t feel the need to marry (it’s going to eventually end anyway mentality).
Post # 18
Maybe the high percentage of divorce is causing women to learn to take care of themselves and not “need” a man to financially and emotionally take care of them because they are sufficient on their own. More women are getting pushed to be independent and I’m sure for many, finding “the” man and getting married takes a backseat to, say, finishing your education and starting your career
Post # 19
@msnelson13: His family situation probably has a LOT to do with it.
My FI’s parents divorced when he was in HS and it was not pretty. After that divorce (which involved infidelity) he decided he would never get married.
His father has since re-married (3rd marriage) so Fiance didn’t see marriage as a stable option or something he had a good role model for.
He and I dated for 6 1/2 years before he proposed. After 2 years he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me (and would have filed for domestic partnership) but I wanted to be married.
I knew based on his family situation I would have to wait. He know how important marriage was to me, but he had to come to terms with the fact that HE (a person who said he’d never marry) was actually going to get married.
He also had a lot of conversations with his dad and mom separately because his mom especially had bad feeling about marriages (she and I get along wonderfully and she loves that I am joining the family, but she wasn’t sure that my Fiance would be a good husband based on her marriage).
He also had to speak with his younger brother (who was also very affected by the divorce) to make sure that his brother understood his feelings of hurt were justified and my Fiance was not betraying him by getting engaged.
I had to take comfort in the fact that Fiance loved me and wanted to be with me forever, but it would take him time to propose.
I had to field a lot of questions from friends and family about when we would get married, but I knew it would happen, it just had to be once he came to terms with marriage and realized it wasn’t always a bad thing.
Post # 20
I’m with you! Marriage, then kids.
I live with my boyfriend as well. Didn’t want to. I wanted to either wait until we were engaged, or, have him propose if we were planning on moving in together–but, I had to make a decision when I needed to move out from my parents house (not for the first time, had moved home after college to save money) and I couldn’t afford an apartment without a roommate, it was either find a roommate and drive them crazy having my boyfriend over all the time, or move in with my boyfriend. I digress…
You did bring up an interesting point in that what you want is what your mother had. I’ve always found this interesting with me and my boyfriend
My parents got married in college, lived together in marital housing and supported eachother financially and otherwise through school. They then had my brother (mother was 25 and father 27) and myself (mom 27 and dad 29) while my mom finished with grad school and my dad worked. They then moved with their two babies in tow to the city where they started their career jobs. This is how I always envisioned things– I learned from my parents that you don’t have to have it all figured out and set before you get married– I’ve always had the attitude that all you need to get engaged is love, and all you need to get married is the money for the wedding to go with it.
My boyfriend, however, his dad proposed to his mother after 5 years of dating and an ultimatum. In fact, he waited until the last day of the ultimatum to propose. He wanted to be done with school, and established in a career first. They had two children– she was 30 when she had her first child and 35 when she had her second.
So it seems like we both basically want what our parents had. Both sets of parents are still together and happily married.
But my philosophy is that you should just do whatever works for you. He thinks “I agree with my parents, we should be established in careers and done with school.” But his parents are less accomplished in their careers and neither finished school. Although my parents got married and had babies prior to finishing school and getting careers, they both ended up very successful and both with masters degrees. Your love life shouldn’t depend on your professional life and vice versa. Sometimes having an established relationship can give you the support you need to accomplish other things.
Post # 21
@msnelson13:I was pretty much of the opinion of “who needs marriage, i’m never getting married, I’m way too independent!”
And then I got married. (Probably because I met the one!)
Post # 22
I’m from the south and it was a exectation to marry in your 20s.
I think the comments you see, are from women who would never really do that. I wonder it myself. It’s easy to say what you’d do when you aren’t in that situation.
Post # 23
I don’t think you’re in the minority at all.
Your post made me think of one of the last scenes in Sex and the City (the first movie). Cari and Big are on the floor of the closet of the penthouse they just sold and Cari says, “We were so happy. Why did we decide to get married?” Big says, “I think we were afraid it would mean something if we didn’t.” That’s just how I feel about it. If you’re happy together, you really feel like you know each other and feel you’re right for one another, and you’re emotionally mature enough to make the decision, then why wouldn’t you get married? Obviously everyone’s situation and relationship is different, and by no means would I judge a couple for their choice to remain legally single, but I really, fundamentally don’t understand it.
Having said that, I am from the South, but I really don’t consider myself that traditional. Fiance and I moved in together before we were even engaged, and that didn’t raise any eyebrows in either of our families. If I found out tomorrow that I’m pregnant (I’m not!), the news would be happily received by our friends and families. No one would be scandalized that we didn’t do things “in order”, but I’d still kind of like to.
Post # 24
Well I’m not from the south but I grew up with parents that were from the south. My mother taught me at an early age to wait until marriage to live together and don’t have babies out of wedlock. Well I’m one out of two. I live with my SO now but I am not going to have kids without getting married. Marriage is important to me and I don’t intend on livng with my SO for the rest of my life just because were happy. I hope that answered your question.
Post # 25
I am 26 years old and I’ve grown up/currently live in the Midwest. When I was in high school and college, I was of that same mindset. I was going to meet the man of my dreams while I was in college, he would be 1-3 years older than me, we would get married right after I got out of college, or maybe a year later, and we would be having our first child at age 25.
That was pretty much all wrong :-). That school of thought certainly played a part in wrecking one relationship (though other factors definitely played a part as well). It added a lot of stress on me. In my church, many of my friends and cousins were married by 23 years old, so I thought I had to follow that schedule as well.
I am engaged to a guy I met in college. We met six years ago. He is two years younger than me–I never thought I would date a younger guy, much less marry one! Looking back, I am really glad that I didn’t follow that plan. Out of those church friends and cousins, there were about five couples that got married young. Two of those couples are now divorced. I know that I wouldn’t have been ready to get married that young.
With that said, I still view marriage and family as something important. My views are probably considered a little old fashioned compared to society today, but it’s how I am. I’m also a teacher and it is definitely frowned upon to have kids out of wedlock. I really like the idea of the commitment of marriage and what it represents.
I’m not saying if you get married young, it won’t work. I know now for me, it wouldn’t have.
Post # 26
Southern belle here as well… and yes, I’ve always wanted to get married. Even though I didn’t really have a marriage to look up to… my mom has never been married and though we speak, I’m not close to my father. He’s not married either.
I wondered that same thing when reading posts though… this is a wedding site. Aren’t we here because we want to get married? LoL. I understand that you should enjoy the relationship before engagement/marriage/etc.. but there comes a point when you want more. You want to go to that next level.
Not sure if it’s just a Southern thing or not, but I definitely hear ya. :o)
Post # 27
What I get from some of the Waiting posts / boards is really the question can you be happy without getting married or is it a dealbreaker for you.
I think that sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the idea of getting married and planning our futures that we forget to enjoy and appreciate the relationships we already have.
The questions regarding “well why do you need/want to be married anyway….why can you just be happy like you are” I think are the necessary counterbalance to what can sometimes be an almost all consuming desire to get married and can also provide a welcome change of perspective.
Post # 28
My SO and I have just had a child together (our amazing son is 3 months old) and have a dog. We have been together for about 2.5 years and living together for 2 years.
I never felt the pressure to get married when we lived together and had our puppy or even when I was pregnant. I always knew he was “the one” and we openly talk about each other as husband and wife. We haven’t done things ‘the right way around’ either. My boyfriend passed away 4yrs ago, and we met at his funeral, and then a while down the track we started seeing each other slowly and we are getting engaged in the next few months.
To us, marriage is ‘just a piece of paper’ and we are purely getting it for legal reasons (to make things easier with our son). Our relationship will not change at all; even if we didn’t get married and things got ‘too hard’ neither of us would just leave. I personally feel like a wedding ring doesn’t make it any harder to walk away, married or not if someone doesn’t want to be in a relationship then they will leave. Besides, if a marriage certificate is the only thing that’s stopping someone from leaving their relationship then they probably shouldn’t be with that person. Divorces have ruined the institution of a ‘forever marriage’ like it used to be.
Even though getting married isn’t a huge deal to me and we are getting married for the legal aspect I still want to have a nice day. Our ceremony won’t be anything flash, just something very small with immediate family. I’m on this site because I don’t know the first thing about wedding planning!
I just think everyone has their own views, some people need marriage for themselves and some don’t. It doesn’t make one person better than another, it just means we all value different things.
Post # 29
If you had asked me two years ago, I would have replied that marriage isnt that important to me, mostly because I never thought I would partake in it and didnt want to.
Step into the future and I never realized how convention or traditional I actually am. I want a faithful partner, a wedding, the 2.5 kids, and to be married to one single person for the rest of my life. Quite a turn around for me. I think with maturity and also with considerable dating experience, women tend to find that suits them best; I would have never guessed 2 years ago that I would actually be with someone I could stand, let alone want to marry and have all that tradtional stuff with!
Now, I know myself better, and I think as women move forward they ultimately know themselves better. In that sense, I think the majority could be that still tradional concept of having a marriage, but for many, the idea of having a lifetime committment (the idea behind a marriage afterall) is something they can have without anything legal.
I think that just speaks to how being unconventional has established a considerable norm, as much as being traditional was the majority norm before. Ultimately what has changed is the fact that women as a whole have alternatives to actually being married, and this is recognized in society, and has a considerabe following; which is different than the past where alternatives were not established, or even communicated in soceity. I think mostly the diversity of non traditional relationships has grown, that demonstrates a “decline” in the tradtional mode of family units.
anyways, thats just my two cents!
Post # 30
I haven’t read all the responses, and I’m not southern, but I think the vast majority of women still WANT marriage. I just don’t think they NEED it as much. They can be financially stable & even have kids without being married. But I would say pretty much every women I know wants that commitment and stability of having a legally bound husband. I know I do. Even though my parents had a messy divorce after a 30+ marriage, it just makes me want to work that much harder on my own marriage. Having a broken family makes me realize how much I miss that solid, stable family unit and how important it is.
I had one friend who was with her boyfriend for years and years, they had a child together, and he didn’t want to be married. She always seemed to agree that they didn’t need to be married and would tell me “oh, it’s just a piece of paper. we already have our family.” But one day the guy manned up and proposed and she was OVER THE MOON. Just a piece of paper, huh?
Sooo…I think since women don’t need to be married for financial reasons or otherwise as much as they did in our grandmother’s generation, they can be more picky about who they choose, guys are also waiting longer or dragging their feet more because they can obtain sex easily without being married, so they don’t feel as much pressure to committ..but I think deep down it is something most women really want, although maybe the path to getting it these days is longer and or harder to navigate. just my 2 cents.