Although we’ve evolved past marriage being something that everyone does, there are still some people who are into the conventionalism of it—and all its benefits. I’m not talking about the benefits of being able to say, “Cool! Someone is in it to win it with me!” but the other benefits, too, like tax breaks, shared expenses, double income, and, of course, getting to be princess for a day at your wedding. Woohoo!
Then there are those who are totally down for the long run, but just don’t think marriage is necessary. Which is awesome for them, but what happens if their partner is hoping they’ll put a ring on it? Then what? Drama!
We asked the ladies their thoughts on being in a committed relationship with someone who has zero intention of getting married EVER.
Is it totally cool, because convention sucks anyway? Simply awful, because the dream of a having a big fat rock on your finger will finally make your life complete? Or do you think you’d be able to change that thinking in time, so you’d stick it out?
Here’s what they had to say.
Commitment doesn’t need marriage. But if it happens, it happens.
“I got married when I was 18, and divorced at 25. My life goals were to be remarried by the time I was 30, and definitely to be remarried before my ex-husband. When I started dating Ryan, at first it was this casual thing, but when we fell in love I had to re-evaluate my priorities because he was staunchly anti-marriage. I had to decide what was more important to me: a piece of paper declaring our relationship or the relationship itself? I decided, after a lot of thought, that I didn’t need to be married as long as he was committed to me and I was committed to him. And then he proposed to me less than a year later. So, you know, it all worked out the way I wanted, but I think even if we hadn’t gotten married I’d still be as happy as I am with the ring on my finger,” says Colleen, 31.
“Been married and divorced. When I started dating again I knew that getting married again wasn’t on my list of absolutes but was an on the table discussion topic depending on how important it was to the person I was in a committed relationship with. I’d do it again, but it’s more important for me to know my partner is committed to me than to have a ring and a piece of paper to confirm it,” says Jen, 36.
“I’m happy with [commitment without marriage.] What we have is pretty much a marriage anyway. Who knows, we might get around to it some day. But for both of us, it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth,” says Joan, 29.
“[Marriage is] not that important. I was with the husband for 5 years before we put our commitment down on paper, and the main reason we did was financial—taxes are easier, and it was the only way for me to get health insurance at the time. Honestly, if we lived in another country with universal health care and where there weren’t so many benefits for married folks, we probably wouldn’t be married,” says Becky, 30.
Nope, don’t need it or want it.
“I’m into [commitment without marriage.] I never plan to get married anyway, since I don’t think the state needs to be involved in my personal life, so somebody who felt the same way would actually be a good thing for me. I really believe you can have commitment without marriage, and while it makes sense for some couples to get married, I can’t see it ever making sense for me,” says Cate, 25.
“I’m the girl with zero intention of ever getting married, so this is ideal for me!” exclaims Sarah, 36.
Marriage should be an option… eventually.
“I have some conventional splinters in my bones. I’m not into big rocks or showy weddings, but there’s a piece of me that hangs onto some romantic vision of what being married means. The reality likely differs for most, but I’m going to hang onto this last bit of optimism for a little while longer. For me… I think marriage has to be on the table. No rush… just an option,” Kathy, 33.
“The average marriage in the U.S. lasts about 8 years. My last relationship lasted just under that. I don’t regret not getting married, because we discussed it multiple times and neither of us was ever like, ‘Yeah! Let’s do it!’ In fact, some of the worst discussions my ex and I had were about all the things the other person would need to change for us to be able to get (and stay) married.
But now having NEVER been married, f*ck yeah, it matters to me. I’m awesome and I deserve a dude who not only recognizes this awesomeness, but wants to wake up to it every day, and not these wishy-washy introverted a**holes I have the poor fortune of crushing on time after time after time. What I want is for a man of my choosing to get up in front of everybody we’ve both ever known and publicly declare his total devotion, undying love, and dedication to making me blissfully happy. And then I’ll do the same thing for him. We sign a piece of paper. The End. If a guy is like, “Baby, I love you. We live together. We’re fully incorporated into each others’ lives and familial relationships. You cook me dinner and fold my clothes, and I vacuum on Fridays and take the cat to the vet. We have a joint checking account, GGG sex, and I want to stay and grow with you as a person. You’re phenomenal. BUT! I don’t believe in marriage.” Um . . . what? Sorry, no. I’ll say it: I think it’s cowardly,” says Diana, 36.