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Hit in the head with wedding bells.

January 5, 2011

“That’s a long time, huh?”

Today, I ask you the advice.

I’m in a wonderful, happy, great relationship. We’re committed to one another, we live together, we have a dog. We’ve been together about 7 years and change.

No, we’re not married.

See? I knew you were going to ask.  How? Because without fail, people always do. People ranging from friends, to doctors to random, new acquaintances.  “So, are you guys going to get married?” or “He’s taking his time, huh?” or “When’s the wedding?”

Now, I have a variety of answers I give people.  Most of them based on the truth. We had a lot of reasons for not getting married earlier, and while we want to get married eventually, and probably soon – it wasn’t a priority for us.

And yet, every time someone asks me about my marital status, I get defensive. Not always outwardly, but … it does happen.  And sometimes I get insulted. I am pretty sure that while my boyfriend also gets teased about our long dating history, everyone is just razzing on him. But when it comes to women (or at least my experience)  the gist is always “When is he going to ask?” as if I have no choice, and am just sitting here, waiting and wishing and hoping.

And as a feminist, that pisses me off. Why does everyone assume that making a commitment is entirely based on the man’s decision? And as a romantic, it stings. Because, when some people ask – I feel like they are looking at me and wondering why we are “stuck.” Yes, even though I know we aren’t, and the fact that we haven’t been officially “engaged” is largely a mutual decision. Even now, writing this post – I feel the urge to explain why. And that … bugs me.

So, dear readers and advice lovers — what can I say to those who ask? I know they mean well, and I’m not actually upset with anyone for asking. The issue is more my own than theirs – but what’s the best response? One that says “I’m confident in our decision” and “Why do you care?” and “Can we talk about anything else?”

Help Me Pick Between:

  • A. “I’m sure that when we decide, we’ll be happy to share the news.”
  • B. “We will in our own time.”
  • C. The same responses I normally give, and just deal with feeling like I am making excuses
  • D. Other: _________________
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12 Comments
  1. Scott permalink
    January 6, 2011 12:52 am

    How about, “I haven’t decided if he’s a keeper yet.” 🙂

  2. January 6, 2011 1:17 am

    Ooooh, that’s annoying.

    I would say “we’re happy” in a slightly bewildered voice implying they’re weird to ask. And then I would try to trip them while they were walking away.

    Carolyn Hax would probably suggest you just say “wow,” which is her awesome suggestion for anything rude.

  3. January 6, 2011 9:25 am

    “I’m/we’re having too much fun living in sin.” This only works with certain people (as it may piss others off), but I like it b/c it tends to make people raise their eyebrows.

    Your relationship status really isn’t anyone’s business but your own, so if you can politely but firmly say (or imply) just that, people usually get the hint. You could also take the celebrity route and say “I don’t comment on my personal life.”

  4. January 6, 2011 10:09 am

    If you are going for something that won’t offend people, and if you truly aren’t upset (so you don’t want to shame them) I would go with A. Otherwise, I like the suggestions from Allison.

  5. January 6, 2011 12:22 pm

    I like B and what Meredith said. By responding with either of those, you’re not being overtly rude, but you ARE sending the clear message that it’s not an OK topic.

    My BF and I have been together about 4 years. No one has asked us this question, but we have discussed it somewhat at length. We may not get married, but we are committed to staying together. We love one another very much. While I like the idea of a wedding and party, I totally understand his reasons for not wanting to go that route, and I’m not concerned about having a piece of paper.

    Anyway, my point is that if someone were to ask me, I’d probably respond with B.

  6. January 6, 2011 1:50 pm

    None of your business so go f yourself? Haha or something less harsh, maybe. Tough one. You could just say you were waiting for the right time? Wedding planning is no joke and you should be prepared for spending all that time and money.

  7. Alana permalink
    January 6, 2011 3:43 pm

    I hate hate hate that question. I used to get it all the time when I was still dating my high school sweetheart from friends and family. We used to just laugh awkwardly and say things like “oh we’re waiting to finish school” or change the subject, when inwardly I wanted to yell at people “Are you serious? I’m only 21!”. A lot of the time it seems like what people are really asking is when are you going to have kids, which also brings up the feminist ” you wouldn’t ve asking me this if I were a man” issue. I never came up with a good solution. Of yours, I like A the best. It seems like an answer Ms. Manners would give saying that it politely nudges people to stop frakkin asking.

  8. January 7, 2011 2:58 pm

    I used to say “we have cats”. Oh wait, that’s when people asked if we were going to have children…

  9. January 10, 2011 9:12 pm

    It depends on your mood. if you’re feeling snarky, just tell them “Why do you care? You just want to know so you got something to gossip about, right?” If you’re feeling nice, just tell them you don’t know yet.. technically, it’s probably the most correct answer, as I’m sure philosophies change over time.

    So many people view marriage as some sort of “accomplishment”.. like Congratulations, you did it! Whereas, the congratulations should be directed to having a long-lasting, compassionate, loving relationship, not the start of one.

  10. January 18, 2011 3:57 pm

    How about:

    D. ‘Mind your own business asshole’

    xoxo – C

  11. mom permalink
    February 9, 2011 12:52 pm

    how about- when Eva lets us!

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