I DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED… YET

By on June 24, 2013
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I DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED… YET

LOOKING BEFORE I LEAP, DESPITE THE PRESSURE

“So where are you headed with M.?
“Dude, I don’t know!”
“Well, are you even headed somewhere?”

The seemingly stagnant status of my relationship is driving the people around me crazy, and by default, their reactions are driving me crazy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the “When are you getting married?” convo. They don’t get it. When Fida asked me to write about why I didn’t want to get married in our wedding-themed issue, I jumped at the chance. Maybe putting it in print and making my entourage read it will imprint my reasons in their minds (pun very intended). Here is a bit of back- ground for you: I’m 27 years-old and I’ve been in a committed relationship for four years. In Lebanon (and the rest of the Middle East), this situation screams marriage. I’ve never let anyone meddle in my personal life and harangue me with proclamations about the future of my relationship, but a few friends and family slyly manage to work their way in. I don’t know how they do it; I just know that I always end up defending not only my views on the subject but also my relationship, over and over again.

MY AUNT
“WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?”

“You went to university, you traveled, you’ve even worked! Now it’s time to build a family.” I usually shrug and mumble something along the lines of, “Yeah, whatever.” But what I’m actually waiting for is figuring out what I really want out of life. Do I want to live in Lebanon or will I move abroad? Because I’d make that decision with my significant other. Do I want to open my own business? Because I sure can’t deal with a marriage and a start-up at the same time. Am I ready to invest a good part of my income in a house and the expenses that come with it? Because I still didn’t get that Chanel bag I’ve been saving up for since 2009. So Aunty, I’m waiting on all those things and a thousand more. When I figure out what it is that I want, I’ll let you know.

FRIEND OF A FRIEND
“SO YOU’RE JUST DATING?”

If the only three stages of a relationship are dating, engaged, and married, then yes I’m just dating. However, my notion of a relationship also includes a commitment phase that does not include a ring on your right finger and a lame proposal on the beach. Is marriage all about validating your long-term relationship? Does your relationship cease to count if you don’t end up signing on the dotted line? Because my relationship is very valid. It has always been, and not getting married now doesn’t mean we’re not one hundred percent committed to one another. People that have been together for an extended period of time think they have to get married because it’s what people -parents, family, friends, society, and the neighbor’s dog- expect from them; it’s the norm. I’m happy “just dating” my significant other, even though our concrete plans only go as far as next summer, we know we want to really be together at some point (read: plan a future together).

MY (EX?) BEST FRIEND
“YOU’RE LIKE MY OTHER FRIEND, WHO’S ALSO VERY CAREER-ORI- ENTED. SHE DOESN’T PLAN ON HAVING A FAMILY ANYTIME SOON. SHE’S SELFISH.”

Is loving your job and working your ass off because you’re still young and have the energy (and no kids to swallow it up like a giant black hole) considered selfish? I don’t think so. Selfish people are those who let go of all their dreams to fit into society’s requirements and later end up taking it out on their children. I do have a type of selfishness in my personality: being in a committed relationship, I take my significant other’s opinion into consideration when making life-changing decisions. But being married, I’ll have to take him into consideration for most decisions, not just the big ones. Can I invite 10 friends over for dinner without giving him notice? No. Can I just drop everything and take a trip? No. When I have kids, can I go a whole year without taking them to my in-laws? No. Until I’m ready to give up on this type of freedom, I won’t get married. If you consider this selfish, then so be it. I’d rather be selfish while I’m single than while I’m married.

MY SISTER
“HEY, I SENT YOU LINKS WITH COUNTRYSIDE WEDDING PICTURES, DID YOU SEE THEM?”

And what exactly am I supposed to do with those? Drool over them? My parents and sisters only recently found out that my significant other and I were actually considering tying the knot (someday). It came as a shock to them and my sister Hiba immediately took on her maid of honour responsibilities. Themed wedding pictures, honeymoon packages… she flooded me with emails and messages, only leaving out the white dress! Her reaction was actually funny but it got me thinking that they might have been wondering (and maybe, worrying) if my partner and I were ever really considering marriage. A woman not talking about her wedding every second of every day –ever, in my case- does not mean she doesn’t want one at some point. It means she’s not there yet, or in my case not obsessed with the walk down the aisle.

I do want to get married in the future -I excluded cohabitation from my possible lifestyles a long time ago for several reasons that will have to be explored in another article- but most importantly, I want to decide when and how I will get married. All I know is, the time hasn’t come for me. Yet

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