He's Saying Marriage Never, She's Saying Am I Selfish?
I receive many terrific emails and comments asking for different aspects of dating advice. This comment came to me on my HUB "When Your Girl Wants to Get Married and You Don't."
It was so interesting to me, that I felt it deserved it's own HUB. Thanks for commenting Nicole, I hope my advice lends the insight you sought.
I'm having a silmilar situation. We have a bit of an age difference, which is a reason I'm more concerned. I'm younger 20s and not looking to get married or have kids any time soon. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is lower 30s and has been married for 8 years and convinced its recipe for failure. However, he really wants to have kids without ever wanting marriage. Both of our families have highlighted in some way that our relationship is not really serious unless we are married. My mother is of course highly religious and his dad has said comments along the lines of, "Well it doesn't matter what you do because you're not married". In the future, I would like to do the whole family number and get married and because I'm young, I have opportunities now to be the college girl and go out and about. I feel l am somewhat married already because we live together and he is older and more "settled" and I feel like I'm giving up a little bit of myself to stay with him and be "settled". Especially because, as a female, it's a little concerning when a man is standing in front of you telling you they want babies in the future but never want to get married because, lets face it, accidents happen and that would be a sticky situation to be in all around. What does it really mean if a guy doesnt want to tie the knot, ever, no matter what you think and whether or not there is children involved? So...we have been together a couple of years and I feel like I'm being selfish for up and leaving over the document...but I feel like its not fair to me to stay in a relationship when I never had the chance to at least TRY marriage for myself and I'm basically living with the ghost of his own divorce. So after a series of run-on sentences and such, I would like to know...is there a right thing to do here? Would I be stupid for leaving even if we are doing relatively well in our day to day relationship? Or should I just stay true to what I want for myself in the FUTURE? My justification has always been that I'm happy now and I don't want the marriage and kids now anyway, but the clock is ticking and its apparently not going to the next level... ever... even if a kid were to come into the picture. As always, the conversation comes up occasionally and usually generates an argument and ends with a , "Well, I don't know what I'll want in 5 years" coming from his end. Honestly, I would have to be a dumbass to believe that so, what 's the advice, Veronica? Should I stay or go?
You Should GO.
You said you already feel like you're giving up a little bit of yourself. You said you have opportunities to be a "college girl" and go out.
The real truth here is, you're not ready to be in this kind of committed relationship. And BRAVO to you for questioning, and admitting that accidents happen!
The feelings you're having of giving up a little bit of yourself are going to swell, and grow bigger and bigger over time. I guarantee they will not go away, they will fester and explode.
You will reach a point in your life when you do not feel like you are giving up any of yourself to be with a certain man, in a certain relationship. You will reach a point where you feel the opposite. I promise you, when it's actually right, you will feel like you are giving up a part of yourself if you do not follow your path directly into the "forever and ever" with your soulmate.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to your wanting to get married, and his not wanting to get married. Some people put way too much importance on the "document" as you said. And other people are just skirting commitment.
There is a right and wrong however, when it comes to be true to yourself. If you really look at the relationship in question, there's usually an indication of whether it is mutual satisfying or not. I'm the first person to say that if two people are truly in love, and ready, and thriving together, they need to work together on that "document" disagreement. Sometimes I can see that one person is just too hooked on the paperwork, and sometimes I can see that one person is clearly just not willing to make a full long term commitment to the other person.
You asked what does it mean when a guy says he doesn't want to tie the knot. Sometimes it means he doesn't want to marry YOU, no matter what he says. Sometimes it means he really doesn't want to ever get married no matter what relationship he's in. Sometimes he really means it, sometimes he doesn't.
Actions speak louder than words. And your partner's actions seem to indicate that he's pretty committed to you. I really don't think the HUB you commented on applies to you. I think he's most likely genuine when he says he just doesn't want to marry, and that it isn't anything specific to you. In and of itself, his decision states clearly that he doesn't really care what the needs of his partner might be. It's extremely indicative of the kind of "partner" he is.
Your families having religious beliefs and strong opinions is just bullshit. It really is. You can not live your life trying to please other people. It will only bring you heartache. Comments like what you do doesn't matter because you aren't married is uncalled for, pushy, and judging. It slights you, your rights, your opinions and your values. People that can't show you the respect you deserve by minimizing your life choices like that, really aren't worth your energy or concern.
The people that expect to be able to inflict their values on you aren't looking at your best interest, they are only considering theirs.
But Nicole, you don't sound like their comments really hurt you. You sound like you're adding in all the information, in the hopes of finding an excuse to do what you know is right.
I think the real problem you're having, is that you're smart. You're smart enough to see that you have a nice relationship with this man, and that if the only problem was your wanting a document he doesn't want, that there would be a solution or a compromise that would fix the unrest. You can see that he's a good person and that someday this might be exactly what you're looking for, with or without the document.
But deep down that isn't the problem. You admitted the heart of the situation when you admitted you feel like you're giving up a part of yourself. You are so very young, and in ten years when you are where he is, you may feel completely differently. But it isn't ten years from now. It's now.
And at this age, at this point, to feel like you're giving up a part of yourself and missing out on the life you should be living - being a college girl and enjoying yourself and your peers, going out and trying different kinds of relationships - well that is a price that is way to high to pay.
I think the odd thing about situations like yours, is that people want to think the "mature" thing to do is to be in a grown-up relationship. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The mature thing is to listen to your instincts. The mature thing is to explore yourself, and your options, and your life. The truly mature person in this situation would know that giving up a part of yourself and denying yourself the once in a lifetime experience of being a college girl in her early twenties, is just wrong.
50 years from now you will look back on this time of your life. Do you want to be able to say you really lived and experienced all the things life had to offer?
I guarantee you, if you don't pay attention to that inner voice that tells you you're missing out at this very young age, that you will be one of those people writing to me when they are 35 or 45 or 55 saying how they regret missing out on their lives, having children too young, and losing that part of themselves that is now long gone.
You don't need a reason or to place blame, to just admit that this isn't "right."
You answered your own question. You are in a relationship that is closed to the possibilities of what you think you want, AND you are clear that you feel you're giving up a part of yourself. Listen to your own words, Nicole. You'd know what to say to any friend in this situation that asked your advice.
Be true to yourself, Nicole. He doesn't want what you want. And you feel like you're losing a part of your very very young self. Let this relationship go.
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