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Last of the Unmarried Mohicans

Danger: This is a rant.

An interesting thing has been happening in my office over the last few years. Everyone has been getting married slowly but surely. The last two weddings will take place within the next 3 weeks and after that, the entire office will be married. Well, the entire office except me, two gay coworkers and another coworker somewhere in her late 40’s or early 50’s will be married, and for some reason, people feel the need to point this out to me.

You helped me celebrate the third anniversary of my 30th birthday a few weeks ago, so I’m not a Spring chicken and I’ve seen my fair share of weddings. Right now, I avoid them like the plague because I’ve found that I am not particularly fond of them and most newlyweds in New York are expecting cash gifts of at least $200 per attendee. Too steep for me. Anyway, I know what a wedding is like, and I certainly know what a relationship is like but the government’s incentives for married couples still haven’t convinced me to pull the trigger. Sorry George Bush, it isn’t working with me.

I’ve been with my BF since high school but for some reason, not a week goes by that someone doesn’t feel the need to ask me or him why we are not married or when we are getting married, or as happens at work these days, hints that it’s what I “should” be doing. I want to tell people that guess what, marriage isn’t for everyone. Our parents don’t ask, and our puppy doesn’t care, so why should anyone else? We’ve all seen the statistic where half of marriages end in failure so 2 out of 4 people are getting this marriage thing wrong.

BF would love this cake topper

What if I don’t want to get married? What if I want to be unmarried my entire life? Is that so bad? Will a large wedding budget and wedding ring suddenly transform my decade plus relationship? Will it suddenly make my relationship more meaningful? Will it validate our feelings or commitment to each other? Because if you think it will, let me tell you, my signature on a document won’t make me stay in a relationship that isn’t working for me, no matter the cost. Sure, being married would make things like making healthcare decisions on the others behalf and inheritance issues easier, but there are alternatives for that. Ask your committed gay friends.

Here’s the thing, if someone doesn’t ask your opinion about their relationship, their lack of kids, the hairy mole growing in on the left side of their face, or whatever, don’t give it. It’s none of your business. Everyone is different, and maybe I’m just the cream that makes this coffee special.

I reserve the right to change my mind and not invite you to my wedding.

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48 thoughts on “Last of the Unmarried Mohicans

  • I was with my ex for 16+ years and encountered the same inquiries. My go to when asked “Why aren’t you married yet?” was “I’m just lucky, I guess?” Fact is, all the same rules applied in our relationship and when it came to the end – neither had to pay a lawyer to get out.

  • You go girl! Er, don’t go!
    While Mrs. SPF and I got married we clearly recognize it is not for everyone! We have 2 sets of friends in our circle who aren’t married and may very well never wed. I&O have been together for 17 years and had their first child a few years ago. A&T have been together 6 years and have 2 lovely children together. Neither couple feels the need or desire to declare their love in a marriage. And we’re totally cool with that! (its just an expensive party – I can say this safely now that our wedding is 1.5 yrs in the books 😉 )

    • I’m not totally anti-wedding. I’m just anti-wedding for me at this point in my life. That’s all. I might not be alone since my brother’s been in his relationship for, gosh, 10 years or so and he’s not married either. I don’t bug them about it and they don’t bug me about it.

      • I didn’t take your message to be anti-wedding Sandy! Marriage, IMO, simply isn’t important for some couples and that’s cool by me.
        We loved our wedding (perhaps i’ll email you the links to the 6 part series Mrs. SPF wrote about our wedding – it was totally us. Small (68 people), 200 yr old stone buildings in the fall. But to each their own!

        • Stone buildings in the fall sounds lovely. I know that you and Mrs. SPF are very environmentally conscious, so I can imaging the leaves falling around Tudor(?) style buildings. You probably have lovely photos. 🙂

  • I’d say that if you’ve been together that long, you are ‘married’. You know each other, and you know that you want to continue to be together, so what would marriage add to what you already have? (Not to mention the fact that weddings are expensive :P)

  • I hope you both have wills as you have no rights without. I also like that you can avoid the marriage tax penalty and can maximize a two income house. I would check on the wills though if you have not done so.

    • It’s all taken care of! Insurance, healthcare proxy, “wills”, etc. He’s pretty safe if something happens to me but won’t get my liabilities as well.

  • Although I am married 42+ years, I find that question a little too personal. I also dislike the question, when are you going to have children too? As an older person, people ask me if I have grandchildren. I generally respond that my children are not married. I have wonderful neighbors who are in their forties without children. I would never ask them why they do not have children unless they brought it up.

    • Bless you! I have much respect for people married that long. It take serious commitment to your relationship to stand the test of time. Since you’re not in charge of your kids’ reproduction efforts, I think the grandparent question is a little nosy too. You’ll have grandbabies when your kids are ready and you’ll love and enjoy them no less than if they arrived any earlier.

  • Society pushes the crap out of marriage, making it out to be much more than it really is.

    I’m not married, but I’d be more than happy to just skip it once the time comes. I have the feeling the girl I end up with isn’t going to be so easy to convince though.

  • I think I am guilty of the annoying questions. I guess it’s often a conversation starter.

    I am also a victim of the questioning as well 🙂 Have been dating for 6 years but haven’t tied the knot. I don’t know if I’m ready yet. I agree that a wedding is just one big expensive party.

    We have something in common- we both met our boyfriends in high school! No wonder I like you 😉

  • Sandy,

    I’m so with you. who cares? Good friends in Brazil finally decided to marry after their two kids started pressuring them! They’ve been together for 20 and married for about 5.

  • We will be celebrating our 22nd anniversary in 2 days, but it isn’t because of a piece of paper. Marriage is a commitment that occurs in the heart and that is it. We were married long before the actual document signing and ceremony. You are absolutely right in your thoughts on this topic.

  • I love the title of this post!

    Agree, that’s just rude. Well, I would say that kind of thing jokingly, but never as a serious question. OTOH, my girlfriends (all quite traditional, want marriage and kids young, name changers, stay-home etc) have definitely bugged me, albeit pretty nicely, in the past. Like you guys, we’ve been together since high school, but that’s only five years in our case. I think one of my GFs in particular may have been a bit hurt that I got engaged before she did, because she’s expecting a proposal anytime and wants to start planning her wedding – whereas I won’t be having my wedding for a couple of years and marriage is less of a *thing* to me than her. I think she also thinks my refusal to change my name may be an affront to the whole marriage thing.

    • I definitely understand an appreciate people’s willingness and desire to get married. I just don’t think that others should PUSH so much…and really, people have been pushing a lot lately.

      I’ve had people tell me that I should get married and start trying to have babies even though I have never given an indication that I feel like anything is missing. It boggles the mind how invasive people feel that they can be.

      Do things on your our timeline. Don’t be pressed or pushed.

  • I love the person above that said “Just lucky I guess!”. I totally put that on facebook. Ahem, moving on. Rambo and I have been together 5 years and known each other 7. We’ve had the longest engagement ever and have often joked we’re Goldie and Kurt. A piece of paper is just that- a piece of paper. I’m sure people could argue with that logic, but to me, it’s a piece of paper, some tax benefits and whatever else the cool things are. I’m not religious so I don’t think of it as anything like that. It’s okay to not be married and it doesn’t make your relationship any less. Some people, treat their girlfriends way better than husbands treat their wives. I’ve seen it first hand!

  • Definitely your own business, just like people who decide to get married make their own decision.

    I can’t stand the “when are you going to have kids” question. Honestly, we may just decide not to. My mother is upset by this! She does have two other grandchildren, and I point that out. My husband’s parents also have two grandchildren, so as far as I am concerned, the pressure is off of us.

    Then again, maybe I will join the baby bandwagon at some point. The point is that it will be in my own good time.

    • The kids question I think it the worst of all. Some people can’t have kids and having people constantly ask just brings that up again. It’s cruel.

  • I don’t think that I will ever get married because I am just too focused on what I am currently doing with my work

  • I think it’s a completely rude question to ask. How is it any of your coworkers’ business? I have some coworkers who have never even met my SO.

    Congrats, by the way. If your relationship has lasted over a decade you’re well ahead of a lot of those prying married folks.

  • People ask me when I’m going to get married too… and I’m single! I don’t get it. At least I don’t have a long-term boyfriend who they can tease as well, I suppose.

    Congrats on having your wills and such set up! Those are way more important legal documents than a marriage license.

    • I don’t know when it became okay to ask people these questions, but I hear it being directed towards women more than men. We’re expected to be married off by thirty with a baby at least on the way. I guess some of these people haven’t received the memo that this isn’t 1950.

  • I don’t know when it became okay to ask people these questions, but I hear it being directed towards women more than men. We’re expected to be married off by thirty with a baby at least on the way. I guess some of these people haven’t received the memo that this isn’t 1950.

  • I didn’t take your message to be anti-wedding Sandy! Marriage, IMO, simply isn’t important for some couples and that’s cool by me.
    We loved our wedding (perhaps i’ll email you the links to the 6 part series Mrs. SPF wrote about our wedding – it was totally us. Small (68 people), 200 yr old stone buildings in the fall. But to each their own!

  • People really consider it their business what the legal status of your personal relationship is?

    My opinion is like many of the others – “marriage” is not something bestowed by a piece of paper and state recognition. If you’ve been together ten years, have wills, powers-of-attorney (MUCH more important than a marriage certificate), etc., then you’re married. Or not, if you don’t want to be.

  • People really consider it their business what the legal status of your personal relationship is?

    My opinion is like many of the others – “marriage” is not something bestowed by a piece of paper and state recognition. If you’ve been together ten years, have wills, powers-of-attorney (MUCH more important than a marriage certificate), etc., then you’re married. Or not, if you don’t want to be.

  • If you’re in Atlanta, can I arrange a lunch between you and my parents, so that you can explain to them that the world is not going to come to an end if their daughter doesn’t marry RIGHT THIS SECOND!! You’re fortunate that your parents aren’t hassling you about it; mine have gone as far as to buy a ring for me. Yes, that’s right — my dad gave my boyfriend a diamond ring so that he could give it to me. Pathetic!!

  • If you’re in Atlanta, can I arrange a lunch between you and my parents, so that you can explain to them that the world is not going to come to an end if their daughter doesn’t marry RIGHT THIS SECOND!! You’re fortunate that your parents aren’t hassling you about it; mine have gone as far as to buy a ring for me. Yes, that’s right — my dad gave my boyfriend a diamond ring so that he could give it to me. Pathetic!!

  • My husband and I were engaged for quite a while before we married in a small beachside ceremony, so I was definitely not a stranger to the “When’s the date?” question. It drove me crazy! I don’t believe that marriage is for everyone, so asking is just kind of rude. Good luck fending off the questions!

  • The morning after I got married, I woke up and you know what I realized the difference between being married and just living with my boyfriend was? Not a damn thing!

    I’ve been (mostly!) happily married for over 10-years now and I’m glad we took that step, but I do think a hell of a lot of unrealistic ideals and expectations get placed on marriage, which can’t fail to lead to disappointment. I’ve always thought that goes a long way to explaining the 2 in 4.

  • I’d like to point out that weddings and marriage are two completely different things. I can see a lot of the objections people have to weddings, but just because weddings can be expensive messes isn’t a reason to oppose marriage – which costs very little. you can certainly be opposed to both being married and to having a wedding, but they are worth addressing separately.
    I think a lot of the problems with marriage today come from the focus on weddings. People want a wedding, and they plan a wedding, and they get excited about a wedding, and they tend to forget completely the marriage.
    One can have a great marriage with no wedding involved.

  • I completely understand. I have been married for almost 5 years. Everyone, every single day of my life ask us “WHEN ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO HAVE A BABY?” or “GUYS ITS TIME TO HAVE A BABY NOW. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” It got to the point that my husband, said “what’s your interest? do you want to father our child?”? OMG!!!!- WEll, I am happy in my marriage and love my husband. It will be us to for a VERY long time. If we EVER have kids it will be up to us.

  • I completely understand. I have been married for almost 5 years. Everyone, every single day of my life ask us “WHEN ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO HAVE A BABY?” or “GUYS ITS TIME TO HAVE A BABY NOW. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” It got to the point that my husband, said “what’s your interest? do you want to father our child?”? OMG!!!!- WEll, I am happy in my marriage and love my husband. It will be us to for a VERY long time. If we EVER have kids it will be up to us.

  • Totally agree with this rant! I’ve been in a relationship for 6+ years and do not see the point of throwing all my savings at one day! Jeez!

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