Why do I feel this pressure? This pressure to settle down, get married and have a family. I know, it’s basically society’s expectations and I know the constant questions are curiosity and genuinely wanting to know rather than anything else. I’m only 26. Yes, I’ve been with my partner for 9.5 years. But I’m still only 26. And honestly, I don’t even know if I want those things. I really don’t. I’m not a big dreamer so it’s not like there’s a million and one things that I want to do instead, but I just don’t feel that marriage and kids are the right way for everyone. And it makes me feel selfish. That these things are expected of me simply because I’m straight, I have a partner and I’m young and therefore, they act as an expectation rather than a choice. But does that mean I have to do those things? The answer is probably yeah. Isn’t that a terrible thing to say?
I’m at that age where a lot of my friends are starting to get engaged. I’ve had friends who have met, gotten engaged, married, divorced and met new partners in less time than my partner and I have been together. I’m not judging, people are free to do what they want, so why do I get judged? Why do I get those comments; you know the ones. The condescending “oh so no ring on your finger yet?/When’s he going to pop the question?”
Are you serious?
Am I less of a person because my partner and I are not engaged? Does our relationship mean less because we haven’t made a public announcement of our commitment to be together forever? Clearly having made this commitment to each other privately is not good enough. It’s really not a case of if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it, it’s a case of it’s nobody’s business but mine and my partners. I know I sound hostile and alot of people think I’m jealous or something condescending like that but in truth, it’s me who doesn’t really care about getting married. It’s me who doesn’t want kids. It’s me who doesn’t want the things that makes the male typically run a mile from and my partner who is scaring me off.
It’s hard to explain the situation though. My best friend has been dating a boy who is 28 and he can’t understand why I’m with someone I want to spend my life with but don’t want to make that commitment to. If I’m honest with myself, I wouldn’t mind getting married. Like I said, I’m not against it, but I’m not for it. I’m quite blasé about it all. I’m not one of those girls who has spent their life dreaming about their fairytale wedding (despite having planned my perfect wedding) because I don’t think in this day and age it’s necessary. One of my concern is that weddings are very rarely about the couple. It’s about their families and friends and what they want and trying to outdo others. I would love to just elope and get married to my partner. Just me and him. But that’s not the case. I know what people say, that I can plan a wedding to be exactly how I want it to be. But most people know that that simply isn’t the case.
I love my partner and I know it hurts him to know that I don’t share his dreams, especially because we just expect girls to want to get married and have a family. And it’s something we have to deal with everyday. It’s something that is on the back of my mind constantly. It’s something that will make things more difficult for us in the future. Especially as we are planning to buy a home for us early next year.. But I know I’ll be the one to give in. I know I’ll make that compromise and again, compromise is the wrong word. Because I’m not compromising. And why wouldn’t I give him these things that don’t matter much to me? Why wouldn’t I make my mother happy to see me get married, why would I deny my father the chance to walk me down the aisle? I know I could do that for them, because I love them and I know they all just want the best for me and for me to be happy. But it’s hard to explain that I’m already happy without people feeling sad or sorry for me because they think I’m pretending. And I have nothing to pretend about. Why is a situation that I’m perfectly happy with, isn’t enough for others? I love my partner. I really do. And that’s why I’d do that for him. That’s why if he were to ever propose, I would say yes. That’s why if my mum wants to invite millions of people I don’t know, I’ll let her.
Kids are a different story. I don’t want kids. I don’t want to give birth to my own kids. I have no idea what bought this on but I just don’t want to. That’s a lie. I’m actually scared to have kids. I don’t know if I can. I don’t want to go into it but I don’t honestly think my body can cope with it. I’d rather foster or adopt but he’s quite certain he couldn’t do that. I don’t think bearing a child is something that I can give in to if I could when I don’t want that. It’s not something that you can take back. It’s a big ask because it’s likely that most of the responsibility of raising that child from birth would fall on me. And I don’t know if I could do that.
So where does that leave me? Does that mean I have to give up what I have now? Does that mean that everything I want now has to be put on hold again? I’ll have to deal with the constant questions of babies and marriage and all that junk no matter how inappropriate those questions are. How do we sort out what we want, to be able to lead a life together without either of us resenting the other for choices that are made?