If you’ve been dating someone for three years, but you don’t want to tie the knot, what do you do?
Dear Sexes: My girlfriend and I have been together for three years and everyone is bugging us to get engaged. It’s not that she’s not “the one” for me, but I just don’t have any interest in changing things. My girlfriend acts like she’s cool with just living together, but she’s dropping hints lately. If I got offered an ultimatum, I’d walk rather than get married. Is that so wrong?
She Said: Lesson #1 in the She Said Bible: Marriage does not solve any problems. Ever. Marriage doesn’t make you love someone more, or make them love you forever. Marriage is simply an agreement to create a family together. It can be helpful for the purposes of taxes, property, and your Baptist grandmother, but that’s about it. It is a valuable institution to some, and that’s important, but it will never solve any problems.
What I’m trying to say here is that you’re right, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Especially if you’re relatively young. Life is long, enjoy the moment, and know that there is NOTHING wrong with you for not rushing into marriage. When you’re ready for marriage, you’ll know it. And then it will be great.
PS Ladies—stop buying into our wedding-obsessed culture pressuring men into marrying you! You will only pay for that a few years down the line when you’re at home with a baby and he’s banging hookers against a wall in Union Station. Fact.
He Said: A few things: Can you imagine being married to anybody? What do you see when you look into the crystal ball of your hypothetical future? Can you IMAGINE being married to your girlfriend (of three years) one day? And does that day look happy and promising, even if it’s distant and somewhat cloudy?
If you can’t imagine it (in a positive light), it’s time to move on. It’s OK if you personally don’t want to get engaged/married. But now that you’re in a committed (perhaps monogamous?), long-term relationship, you have your girlfriend to consider. It’s possible, but unlikely she has your same laissez-faire approach to marriage. More likely, she’s hoping you’ll change your views, and eventually tie the knot. If you honestly don’t foresee that happening for you, it’s time to man up, be honest, and break your girlfriend’s heart. Otherwise you’re just delaying the inevitable—you’re still going to break her heart, AND all the while you’re wasting more and more of each others time.
Remember, your girlfriend has this special thing called a clock—a biological clock. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock… P.S.—That’s not just your girlfriend’s biological ticking. It’s also the clock ticking on your youth (and good looks).
If you have a question for Eli and Josie, ask it here.
Originally appeared at SheSaidHeSaid.