General chatter - Long Term Relationships, but Not Married




PreciousMissy
06-25-2013, 07:16 PM
My boyfriend and I have been together over 3 years, but are not married. My friends understand to not ask us "when are you getting married?", but, before we came to this understanding it was practically once a month.

Just today, two acquaintances both asked me when we were getting married. One even asked when we were going to have kids! As a public service announcement, if you have single childless friends, don't ask them those two questions :dizzy: the answers to both are typically very, very personal.

Anyway, back onto my original post. Are there any other "single" couples out there that are happy being "single" couples? Or, are you part of a couple that wishes the other one would step up to the podium and say "I do"?

Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind getting married, but considering our current situation it would just be a legal formality. (wow, that sounds pretty cynical, doesn't it!)


FiftyFive
06-25-2013, 07:40 PM
Im one of those happily together, well not that happy, but anyways, I dont want to get married yet but I really donīt know if itīs because I just donīt want to or because I donīt want to commit to this one determined person... anyways Iīm in the same situation as you!

PreciousMissy
06-25-2013, 07:43 PM
I always get the "oh really???" look from people when they realize that we're not in a rush. As if there is something wrong with our relationship.


zoesmom
06-25-2013, 07:46 PM
I was one of those. I had been with my guy for 5 years and had had a child with him before he randomly asked me to get married...but it wasn't to be married. It was for insurance and tax purposes (rofl) We loved each other and still do...but we both were at the point that our love was greater than a piece of paper saying we were in love. We've been married not quote 2 years now (took forever planning our wedding...because we were in no rush, not because it was huge) and even went with an off color theme because well...why not? Afterall, we were only getting married for legality sake, so should make it fun and make it fit us. Say hello to the zombie bride from the zombie wedding (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jen83mw/6320665085/) :D

PreciousMissy
06-25-2013, 07:50 PM
zoesmom, I love the creativity!!!!

I want to feel great
06-25-2013, 09:10 PM
Hi there just wanted to say, me and my man have been together for 21 years ,we have two children ,right in the begining we both didnot want marrage .i think it is about how both of u feel about marrage.

Natasha1534
06-25-2013, 09:51 PM
I think the bigger issue is people that think that 3 years together is way past the point where you should be married. When my ex got engaged this past Christmas, he had been seeing his faincee just under a year. People were saying "IT'S ABOUT TIME!" What??? A year is just enough time to get to know each other!!!

What happened to courtship??? Why is everybody in such a rush to get married??? I have SEVERAL friends who are seriously upset if they haven't gotten a ring after dating a guy for 6 or 7 months. Yes, we're ALL looking for that special someone to share our life with...but maybe knowing him pretty well beforehand would be a good idea. Maybe if we weren't in such a rush to get married these days we wouldn't have the high divorce rate we have.

Call me crazy, but even though I want to be married to the love of my life more than anything (single right now, for the record), I am SO glad that I'm not 37 and on my 3rd divorce b/c I was in such a rush w/ the wrong person.

livelaughlovesunshin
06-25-2013, 09:55 PM
I was with my children's father for about five years. He asked me to marry him several times but I just never saw the point. My family always asked me when we were going to get married. I loved him, I just didn't want to get married. I still have no desire to be married. I don't fantasize about wedding dresses, decorating a wedding, or anything like that. LOL
I still get annoyed when people ask me why I am not in a relationship.

CherryPie99
06-25-2013, 10:06 PM
My husband and I were together for 16 years before we got married. Both of us are atheists and see "marriage" as something religious. We both commented we wished that straight couples could get into a civil union!

In 2005 DH's health insurance skyrocketed. So we decided on Sunday to get married and did it at the courthouse I work at that Thursday. So even though we love each other and have been committed for many years, our marriage is out of convenience.

Jen

Lecomtes
06-25-2013, 11:23 PM
Living in sin for seven years. ;)

SuperHeroTeacher
06-26-2013, 02:33 AM
Livin in sin for 21 years now! We are married in every sense but on paper. We have two kids together, a mortgage together, are covered on each other's health insurances, etc.

Contrary to the beliefs of our families, neither of us is against marriage, we've both thought about being married, we're just never in agreement at the same time... Now we're more than 20 years in, what's the point?

Buffinlovin
06-26-2013, 03:44 AM
I'm kind of in the same boat.

My fiance and I were a blind date almost 8 years ago. After a year and a half of seeing each other, we moved in together. Another 2 1/2 years later, he proposed in front of the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas. I was truly happy at that moment, and I knew that this man was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

After him popping the question, though, I realized I wasn't really in a rush to get married. We always, to this day, get the questions "did you set a date yet?" "when's the big day?" "are you going to have children?" "What are your wedding plans?". I've learned to be non-commital when answering, but the truth is neither of us are ready to get married just yet. We are both severely overweight (me at 210 lbs, him at 320 lbs), and we don't want to go down the aisle looking like we do. We also want to move out of the apartment we are currently living in, and get a bigger place. I'm tempted to take the money that my parents are giving me, and the money his family is giving us, and put it towards a down payment on a house instead. If I had to choose between a wedding or a house, I'd want the house.

He does want a real wedding, which is okay, but not what I really want. I don't like being the center of attention, so I would prefer a Justice of the Peace wedding, and maybe a nice reception with friends and family instead. But I have to remember it is also his day, and he does like to have that attention (sadly for me, the ceremony is always about the bride).

To this day I have done absolutely no wedding planning except to pick out the song we will have our first dance to (So Close-Jon McLaughlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBhF3m1kCDs). And I had to fight him on this...I said if we are going to have a traditional-style wedding, I want my first dance to be traditional. He wanted Total Eclipse of the Heart by the Dan Band -_-

So yea...August 12th will be 8 years, and although we're engaged, no rush to get married :) We'll do it w hen we're ready, and not before that.

appyfizz
06-26-2013, 04:04 AM
Me and my guy have been together for almost 7 years now (will complete 7 years together on 12th August 2013)...well, we would have loved to be in a live in relationship before tying the knot however, things in India are different. Live-in is still looked upon as a bad thing. BF is keen on staying together till we take the final step and has asked me on more than one occasion but I am not that strong to handle that, you know going against the society norms and all. He understands. And we know we want to settle first before getting married and have kids. So a little more wait in order. But I see nothing wrong in remaining unmarried as long as you are happily in love together.

And yeah....we are also constantly reminded , asked regarding marriage by family and friends

ETA : OOhhhh, Buffinlovin....i just noticed we share the same anniversary date :)

nelie
06-26-2013, 09:16 AM
Although I'm married, I understand. We don't want to have kids and are asked about that a lot. We are not religious and don't think of marriage as a religious thing but I can see how some people feel that way. I am all for people doing their thing and marriage doesn't need to be a requirement for happy life together.

Wannabeskinny
06-26-2013, 09:24 AM
Why would you be annoyed at being asked a question? Does your annoyance maybe indicate that you do wish to be married? Because if you don't want to get married in can easily be nipped in the bud by saying "actually we don't plan on ever getting married, we don't believe in marriage." Nobody would ask you that question again, I know I certainly wouldn't if I understood your stance on marriage.

The thing about questions is that they really don't have anything to do with you. Even if you do get married those questions will never stop. Once we got married we got bombarded with questions about having kids. Once we had a kid we are now bombarded with questions about having a second kid. Who knows what kind of questions we'll be asked if we have another. Probably questions like "private or public school?" It just never ends.

If you are happy and comfortable with the decisions you've made then outside questions really wouldn't bother you. But if you long to get married and your BF is stalling then I can imagine that those questions would be irritating because they would nudge and reflect your own discomfort.

nelie
06-26-2013, 09:42 AM
I think it is the societal expectation that marriage and kids are required. I think being asked a question repeatedly or someone acting like you are abnormal wears on you. With me, when I say we don't have kids, sometimes people probe and probe and then say that we should. My gynecologist decided to probe me about it during an exam and the answer of we decided not to have any wasn't good enough for her. She is no longer my gynecologist. So I can understand. If people started asking married people why they are married(acting as if it were abnormal), then I can imagine they'd get annoyed after a while.

Wannabeskinny
06-26-2013, 10:00 AM
I can totally understand that nelie, it's like "I've answered this questions already, back off!" I get it. I guess personally I get a little confrontational and so people that know me know not to push me. I'm likely to say something like "are we having this conversation again?" or "gee, I love this question" or "having to bear witness to my friends' unhappy marriages I'm so glad we've decided not to" or "marriage may be good enough for you, but I want more out of my life" or "it's none of your business." If I'm annoyed enough by someone I just pretend like I don't hear them - then they look stupid because it looks like they're talking to themselves.

PreciousMissy
06-26-2013, 11:41 AM
Wannabeskinny, my close friends no longer ask this question. They know that I am happy with my current situation and am in no rush. I am divorced from rushing into a marriage at a young age.

Nelie managed to articulate exactly where my annoyance stems from.

krampus
06-26-2013, 03:02 PM
I couldn't tell you why but I would like to be married by 30 - but I am not ready for cohabitation with BF of almost 2 years and am about to sign a lease to live with my female friend/roommate for another 365 days.

EagleRiverDee
06-26-2013, 08:07 PM
I've been with my guy for 13 years. I often will refer to him as my DH or husband for simplicity but in reality he's my fiancé except it seems to be a permanent status. I do figure we'll take that final step someday, but we have no date set. He has kids from his former marriage, and I don't want kids. So that's not an issue. I got tired of people asking me, "Oh, when are you getting married?" which is why I often just refer to him as my husband.

mimsyborogoves
06-26-2013, 09:57 PM
I've been in an on/off relationship thing with this one guy for 3.5 years and we've never even said that we're officially "together". We just know we're pretty much each others' best friend and neither of us are ready to settle down for that kind of "forever" commitment -- we just really enjoy each others' company and we love each other and that's all that's really necessary for us. Why does there need to be an official title for a relationship for it to be a good relationship? To me, all that's really important is the bond you share with your partner and there shouldn't have to be a title. My relationship status is really no one's business but my own and I shouldn't have to explain it to anyone. I really care about this guy and he really cares about me. What else does there need to be?

Marriage is great and all but I don't think it's required for two people that love each other. Yeah it's easier for the legal/financial benefits, but why do you need a piece of paper to tell everyone that you love X person? Things like that just aren't that important to me.

Remington90
06-27-2013, 12:02 AM
i have been with my boyfriend for what will be 7 years in september. do i want to get married? of course. have we talked about it? plenty of times. but right now we're holdiing off. the main reason being finances which is very frustrating (my boyfriend had a serious back injury last year and hasnt worked since, yet). i get asked by family quite frequently, sometimes by friends. we've told everyone about our plans and whatnot, without getting too personal.

Sometimes I think about it and want it to happen tomorrow, other times it doesn't matter. the biggest thing for me is I know we're both with who we want to be, and we both feel the same way towards eachother. We have a mutual understanding and I know it will happen one day, but I'm not in a rush.

if your relationship is what YOU want it to be, nothing else should matter. If it makes any difference, we've been together since I was 16. I'll be 23 tomorrow.

GlamourGirl827
06-27-2013, 08:28 PM
My DH and I moved in together after knowing eachother for 4 months, and lived together unmarried for 6 years. It never really seemed that long to us. We knew we wanted to get marreid eventually but we were just waiting for when we were ready.
My BOTH of our grandmas were asses about it, because before we were married, they would not acknowledge each other at christmas, like my grandma wouldnt get him presents/cards anything and visa vera, it was very awkward and rude opening gifts for just me (or him) while the other sat there...they didn't even know eachother, they just both were stupid like that...generation or not, it was rude and we both had a talking to with our grandparents, they didn't have to acknowledge our boyfriend girlfriend, but we didn't have to go overthere either and have such a crumby situation.

I remember how rude some people were about not being married, even though we functioned like a married couple. When people ask how long we've been married, I say we've been together 13 years, instead of married 7...because I am not going to erase all that time just because we weren't married then.

Annik
06-27-2013, 08:37 PM
We've been 'together' for 22 years. We don't live together. No children.

Our relationship has challenged many people through the years. on the one hand, many people think it's odd that we don't want to get married. On the other hand, some people think that I'm leading him on. On the other hand some people think he won't do me the honor of asking for my hand in marriage.

I rolled my eyes at all of it. It works for us. That's all that counts.

Annik
06-27-2013, 08:39 PM
I feel I am too old to say he is my boyfriend so I call him my 'manpanion.'

Annik
06-27-2013, 08:45 PM
A joke:

Two old dithering aunts would repeatedly come up to a young unmarried adult niece at every family wedding and say "Oh don't worry sweetie, you will be next.'

This really bugged the young woman.

So at the first family funeral after the most recent family wedding, as soon as she saw the old dithering aunts, she went up to them to console, "oh don't worry you'll be next.'

BrittBit
06-27-2013, 08:46 PM
I think it's funny that people think 3 years is far enough into a relationship to take it to the level of marriage. I have been with my bf for 3.5 years and if he asked me to marry him, I'd think he was crazy! It's like, "I've only been with you for three years, NO I will not marry you!" Haha. It's not even a subject that is desired enough to be brought up.
When people get married so early in the relationship, I kinda feel like maybe they are doing it for the wrong reasons...generally speaking.

nelie
06-28-2013, 11:28 AM
I think it's funny that people think 3 years is far enough into a relationship to take it to the level of marriage. I have been with my bf for 3.5 years and if he asked me to marry him, I'd think he was crazy! It's like, "I've only been with you for three years, NO I will not marry you!" Haha. It's not even a subject that is desired enough to be brought up.
When people get married so early in the relationship, I kinda feel like maybe they are doing it for the wrong reasons...generally speaking.

I don't think you can generalize the other way either. People get married for all sorts of reasons, I know someone who dated for 10 years, got married then got divorced a couple years later.

I had a few long term relationships when I was younger and marriage wasn't really a thought other than 'yeah maybe sometime in the future'. I dated a guy for a year in my late 20s and it was quasi broached but I didn't really have an interest. Then I started dating my husband in my early 30s and it just felt like the right thing to do so we got engaged a year after dating.

Desiderata
06-28-2013, 12:00 PM
This thread is a great reminder not to assume that your mode of happiness will fit perfectly onto someone else's life. Like a lot of social annoyances, it comes from misguided well-intentions - an irony that I find really amusing. People generally want others to be happy, and they think X equals happy, so they push that notion onto others. But someone else's happy might be Y, or Z, or no alphabet at all.

I try not to get too offended by someone else's insistence about my life anymore (I got married young, so it's not marriage for me, but definitely the whole "kids??" question). I do get really amused when it becomes clear that someone literally can't conceive of different life choices making you happy - no malice, just cluelessness. Talked to a 18 y/o a couple months ago who had been a child prodigy, but also pretty sheltered/naive for all the adult things she'd already been exposed to. She honestly just could not comprehend why children weren't an automatic next step in my life checklist. Her repeated questioning wasn't pushiness, but from not being able to understand. You'd think I'd have told her the earth was actually flat! I realize a lot of times the judgment we get from others isn't so pure in its benevolent ignorance, but nonetheless -- it's really funny to step back and look at how firmly the brain can latch onto an ideal of "what's supposed to be" and then try to push that onto everyone nearby. It's funny, and it's also a good reminder to restrain oneself from doing the same thing. :)

PreciousMissy
06-28-2013, 01:25 PM
I feel I am too old to say he is my boyfriend so I call him my 'manpanion.'

I love this!

BrittBit
06-28-2013, 05:49 PM
I don't think you can generalize the other way either. People get married for all sorts of reasons, I know someone who dated for 10 years, got married then got divorced a couple years later.

I had a few long term relationships when I was younger and marriage wasn't really a thought other than 'yeah maybe sometime in the future'. I dated a guy for a year in my late 20s and it was quasi broached but I didn't really have an interest. Then I started dating my husband in my early 30s and it just felt like the right thing to do so we got engaged a year after dating.


I realized that after I said that, I might offend someone. Sorry about that. I was kinda stereotyping based on people I know. For instance, a friend of mine got married because she has low confidence and thought she couldn't do any better. Needless to say, he treats her like crap. Another friend of mine is very religious and she believed that she HAD to get married because she had sex with him and didn't want to live in sin...he cheats on her often.
Even though these are sad circumstances, I know that sometimes everything is just right and fits. I do have a friend like you. She met this guy on a plane (coming to visit me) and a year later they were engaged. Now they are married, happy, and treat each other right. It's nice that you found a good thing, too. :)

nelie
06-28-2013, 06:11 PM
I realized that after I said that, I might offend someone. Sorry about that. I was kinda stereotyping based on people I know. For instance, a friend of mine got married because she has low confidence and thought she couldn't do any better. Needless to say, he treats her like crap. Another friend of mine is very religious and she believed that she HAD to get married because she had sex with him and didn't want to live in sin...he cheats on her often.
Even though these are sad circumstances, I know that sometimes everything is just right and fits. I do have a friend like you. She met this guy on a plane (coming to visit me) and a year later they were engaged. Now they are married, happy, and treat each other right. It's nice that you found a good thing, too. :)

I'm not offended but I think relationships vary. I think when you are younger (in general), you are more wary of long term commitments, at least I was when I was younger. As I got older, I was more open to the idea.

Lizzyg
06-29-2013, 11:56 AM
We were together just over 9.5 years when we finally were married. We really had no reason to NOT get married. It was hard because I wanted my Dad to be there and he was always out of the country for his job. So I just told my now husband in Jan of 2008 that we were getting married that summer. And told my Dad so he could plan his vacation. So romantic right? ;)

We have been asked since like the 2nd and 3rd year that we were dating "When are you having kids?" - and we started dating when I was 17! WTF?!? Anyway, from my family the questions of kids has stopped - because I think they've now realized we most likely are not having them (thankfully it was only extended family I don't see on a regular basis that always asked the kids question).

I do still get the question from patients at work. It does get kind of annoying. Recently, I was talking with a patient and he asked if we had kids and I told him no - we have dogs. And he was like "oh you just must be recently married"....um no. It's hard for some people to get that we prefer our dogs to kids. :o:p

Anyway, I get it :)

Wannabeskinny
06-29-2013, 04:45 PM
I'm not offended but I think relationships vary. I think when you are younger (in general), you are more wary of long term commitments, at least I was when I was younger. As I got older, I was more open to the idea.

Really? I'd say the opposite. Although I love being married and it was always something I wanted since I was young I doubt I would choose to get married if I had to do it all over again. I'd be with him but avoid the wedding part, or maybe just go down to the courthouse. Come to think of it I only regret the wedding and all that money we spent needlessly and didn't even enjoy it much.

Anyway when I was younger I was more idealistic about marriage where now and used to be the ultimate level of commitment but I dot think that way anymore.

Natasha1534
06-29-2013, 07:09 PM
Why would you be annoyed at being asked a question? Does your annoyance maybe indicate that you do wish to be married? Because if you don't want to get married in can easily be nipped in the bud by saying "actually we don't plan on ever getting married, we don't believe in marriage." Nobody would ask you that question again, I know I certainly wouldn't if I understood your stance on marriage.

I felt the need to address this. I don't deal w/ it as far as marriage goes, but I have always dealt w/ it in reference to my decision to not have children. I was aware at the age of 12 that I did not want to bring any children into the world. I love children and I think they are an absolute treasure, but I do not want any of my own.

The repeated choruses of "oh, you'll change your mind when you meet the right one" and the horrified looks of "but you're a woman, you're SUPPOSED to want children!" get old, trust me. My last ex even told me "I didn't think you were THAT serious about it! That's an issue for me." I am ALWAYS upfront w/ guys when dating...I do not want children and will not change my mind but I am not adverse to dating men w/ children (my ex had 3 already).

It doesn't mean that I secretly desire children. It means that it's a personal decision that I've come to and, honestly, it's nobody's business but mine and my partner's.

novangel
06-30-2013, 12:21 AM
I'm in a happy relationship 5 1/2 years, living together almost a year. Both of us are divorced. Do I want to get married again? Not sure, not really a priority since kids are not in our future. I already have a 10yr old and my uterus is closed for business.

I had a friend (keyword: "had") that gave me a lot of crap about it. Marriage is not the end all be all for me like it is for her. Different strokes.

Wannabeskinny
06-30-2013, 09:18 AM
I felt the need to address this. I don't deal w/ it as far as marriage goes, but I have always dealt w/ it in reference to my decision to not have children. I was aware at the age of 12 that I did not want to bring any children into the world. I love children and I think they are an absolute treasure, but I do not want any of my own.

The repeated choruses of "oh, you'll change your mind when you meet the right one" and the horrified looks of "but you're a woman, you're SUPPOSED to want children!" get old, trust me. My last ex even told me "I didn't think you were THAT serious about it! That's an issue for me." I am ALWAYS upfront w/ guys when dating...I do not want children and will not change my mind but I am not adverse to dating men w/ children (my ex had 3 already).

It doesn't mean that I secretly desire children. It means that it's a personal decision that I've come to and, honestly, it's nobody's business but mine and my partner's.

I can understand how people can be very cruel about this, even more so than marriage. I was open to the idea of having kids, but I was also open to the idea of not having kids too. I knew that if I had a fertility problem I wouldn't pursue it to the degree some of my friends have who have resorted to IVF etc. I have one child and I don't think I'll have any more. But I remember when I was pregnant or before I was pregnant people would tell me "you don't know real love until you have a child." That statement still makes me really really angry, it negates all the love I've experienced in the past from parents, family, friends, and romantic love. Yes, love for my child is intense, but I am insulted by people saying that I don't know real love until I have a child.

pnkrckpixikat
06-30-2013, 05:08 PM
I have been with my DH for just shy of 4 yrs, we lived together for 2.5 yrs and have been married for 8 months. Honestly we only got married because the student housing at the university I transferred to was about $150-200 cheaper than the cheapest housing nearby but wouldn't allow him in the apartment unless we were legally wed.

We already knew we wanted to spend our lives together, but would we have gotten married anytime soon had this NOT been the case? Probably not, we always planned on finishing school and starting our careers first.

Terra1984
07-13-2013, 02:29 PM
My fiance and I are engaged to be married on June 5th 2015 but he isnt in any rush to get married, We just celebrated our 2nd anniversary in June but anyway even though we are gonna get married we dont want kids either