Thursday, May 19, 2011

When Did Dating Have to Turn into Marriage?


Where along the path did being in a relationship turn into a 'if we're together for X number of years or months we have to get engaged or married'?

Can anyone tell me at what age this all switched over?

Or are you wondering what the hell I'm talking about?

Think of it this way. When you were in high school and you were just dating whoever and the 'i love you's' were being thrown out there and you all thought this was the person you were going to marry, but then you went to college and it was all over from there... well, at that point, it was all fun, and you most likely weren't ever going to get married to them (ok ok for the 1 off cases who actually marry their high school sweetheart)

Even in college, you could date someone and not have to think that you needed to marry this person in order to date them otherwise it was a waste of your time.

Now.. after college, I understand the part about growing up and wanting to settle down and blah blah blah.... but it really puts SO much pressure on relationships and almost takes out all of the fun. You can barely just enjoy the relationship or even the fact of not being in a relationship because people think once you are at this certain point, whatever age you have in your mind, that being with someone SHOULD result in engagement or it's a waste of your time.

Trust me, I want to get married and have a family and the whole 9 yards. But right now I am sort of digressing and wanting to be in a relationship to just have fun and not have the pressure to think...."Is this the guy I am going to end up with?" "Will I marry this kid?" "Should I introduce them to everyone in my family because he will be around for a long time?"

Those are questions I really don't want to deal with right now. I have felt those feelings a couple times now and I have been incredibly mistaken. I want to just be able to be with someone and not have to feel like I need to know what is going to happen with this person in a year from now.

My most recent relationship and even the one before that, I had pictured and planned what it would have been like to have married them etc... and you know what? They don't even exist in my life anymore. Shit changes and all of those thoughts and those family members that should have never even have met these people did, and I think all of this effects why I am moving backwards.

But it is also not a bad thing.

Too much planning and mapping out your life doesn't leave any room for mistakes or disasters that happen to occur when you have everything mapped out.

I like the guy I am dating, and I am not living past this moment. Whatever happens, happens.

If i have learned three things in my past relationships, they are:

1. Never bring them to a family event unless you have been dating over 1 or 2 years.
2. If you do, make sure they are in a crop-able position in the picture.

3. Let the natural progression happen, forcing it will only make things worse. 


Rhianne said...

I laughed so much at croppable position, is that wrong? haha

Even though I'm not in the same situation as you I understand exactly what you mean. I've been with my boyfriend for nearly 9 years and everyone is expecting us to get married etc... its really starting to stress me out :/

Neely said...

AMEN to not forcing things!

{Selma} Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Amen!!! Forcing always makes things worse! :(

The Snarky Narwhal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Snarky Narwhal said...

date who you want to date, that's part of life. if it doesn't work out, you still had good times with them, good memories. You just have to go out and make more with someone else.

Katherina said...

Frankly, I think the US is too focused on getting married some times. In Europe you don't feel that pressure at all... it's much more a go-with-the-flow...

Mo Pie, Please said...

Yes - that's my advice. Do not force things! It has to come naturally - sure you can talk about it (I did) but forcing it can drive the other person away!

PorkStar said...

You are very right about it all, especially the last part.

I don't mind introducing the person to the family even if it's a short lived situation. But everyone feels different.

If anyone outside of you and your date is putting pressure on the whole marriage thing, that is NONE of their business. You will marry when you are ready, when you feel like it, not when someone else dictates it for you.


Gracie said...

I guess it all depends on the person. I was always that kind of person who would only date if I knew it would go somewhere but that's just me. I've only had two long term relationships and I married the last guy :)

P.S. With the snail mail group just email me your details like address, if you mind sending overseas and any other things you want to add that would be awesome :)

BelleinBows said...

Omg, Amen! I have been with my beau for four years and while I do believe that I will marry him one day, everyone is always assuming we're going to get engaged when we travel or say "shouldn't you guys be planning a wedding by now." So annoying. Where is this pressure coming from?

Claire Marie said...

I seem to be commenting on all your recent blog posts tonight - but you've had loads of good ones lately that I just need to respond to! ;)

I'm in the same position, right now - and feel exactly the same as you. Honestly, I've had two serious boyfriends before now - one for 2 years and one for 3.5 years, and imagined with both of them what it would be like to marry them, have children with them - the whole thing. But neither of them are even in my life any more, and I've been left feeling hurt and empty when I broke up with both of them - full of empty expectations as well as obviously the heartbreak.

Now I'm in the early stages (and I mean early - couple of months) of being with someone else, and I'm living in the moment. For the first time, I'm working on the basis that if I still enjoy seeing him and spending time with him when I see him, then I'll continue to spend time with him and see him. And that, honestly, is about all there is to it right now - I'm trying to live in the present completely. And I'm happy :)

But it does leave me wondering - what's the point where it turns from just living in the moment to thinking seriously about the future? Hmm...

Sorry for the essay!

Claire x

Novelista Barista said...

claire u are right... and it sucks that it has to be that way and even though there isnt actually any pressure... in the back of ur mind u are always thinking about it.

sucks, but i guess thats the reality.

Jennifer M. said...

For me, I feel like it's not so much that a relationship SHOULD lead to marriage, but more that I don't want to date someone who I absolutely would NOT marry. Does that make any sense? Like, not that I need to know that he'll be the one I marry, but just that there aren't any major red flags in his personality that would be a complete detriment to a positive, committed relationship.

It's great to have fun and not take life too seriously, but there also needs to be that voice in the back of your head that guides you and grounds you. I enter into dating relationships with the intent to have fun and get to know a person, but I also keep in mind that if I should, down the road, become permanently attached to this guy, I want his traits and personality to be something I could support and get behind. Dating a completely loser, in other words, would be a waste of time, in my opinion, because he wouldn't even remotely have the traits that I'd want in a potential spouse.

This is not to say that everyone you date NEEDS to be a potential spouse, but just that that should sort of be the guideline by which we choose who to hang out with / date. We should surround ourselves with positive, uplifting people. People who make us better selves and whom we benefit from knowing. Then, if someday marriage comes into the picture, we know that that marriage will be based on mutual positivity, trust, and good things.


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