After reading a Freshly Pressed Blog about being single, I decided it was time for me to write about being legally-single-but-none-the-less-spoken-for. 

As a side note – Men, just because there is no ring on my finger does not give you permission to continue to ask me out after I tell you I’m not interested, I’m in a relationship.  Please don’t think that you’re complimenting me by telling me that my boyfriend of two and a half years isn’t serious about me because he hasn’t proposed yet.  Also, telling me that you would have asked me to marry you by now does not impress me.  You don’t know anything about me, so unless you’re saying you’d propose to someone solely based on their looks, you have no idea if you’d want to marry me or not.  Please go blow it out your ass.

Having said that, a few of my friends, and one particular family member, seem to have trouble grasping the fact that yes, my boyfriend of two and a half years and I are in love, but no, we are not ready to get married, and yes, this fact is OK with me. 

Reasons why we are not ready to tie the knot:

1)  We’re broke.  I’m in debt up to my eyeballs, and despite the monthly payments I make on my credit cards, they still seem to be maxed out every month.  Christopher just started working again, and we’re struggling just to pay our rent.  Do you really think we should spend $10,000+ on a party right now?

My friends responses?  “You could start saving $5 per paycheck for a wedding.”  That’s all fine and dandy, but do you know how much money I have to last me until Friday?  $10.  Yes, that’s right, $10 and an empty refrigerator.  Thanks for the suggestion, but that’s not currently an option.  Also, if I’m going to start saving for something, it’s going to be a safety net in case things get really tight and I can’t pay my bills.  Don’t they say you’re supposed to have at least one month worth of salary saved up in case of emergencies?

Also in response to reason #1, we have, “well you could just have a cheap wedding,” and “God will provide.”  So in other words, sacrifice the wedding you want and just have punch and cake in my parents’ backyard (her actual suggestion), because being married is the most important thing in your relationship, nevermind your overall happiness.  Look, I know the wedding is not important, it’s the relationship and how you spend your married years, but can I get a little understanding here?  None of my friends would have gotten married for $250 either!  And as for “God will provide?”  I’m sure He is more willing to provide for my necessities than he is my vanities.  Just because you have friends that are professional photographers and were willing to do your wedding shots for free as your wedding gift, does not mean that I do!

2) I haven’t completely “found myself.”  I know it sounds corny, but I think the most important factor in any relationship is that each individual knows who they are and is happy with themselves.  I know people change, and you can say that you’ll never truly know yourself because you should always be growing and changing, but I think I should be a little happier with myself than I am now.  My unhealthy mind reflects in my unhealthy body, and I do not want to commit myself fully to someone until I am more comfortable with myself.

3)  Christopher wants to feel more secure in his career.  Please do not tell me that, as a Christian that thinks, “the man is the head of the house,” and “the man is the provider and the woman is the caretaker,” and “wives, submit to your husbands” that you cannot understand his desire.  Yes, his career of choice is scarier than a desk job, less guaranteed.  But don’t ask me to ask him to give up his dreams so that he can put food on my table.  I won’t ask him to do that.  I love him too much to expect him to put his dreams on the back burner for me.

Further differences between me and you:

My parents are also broke.  All of you got a hefty sum of money from your parents to contribute to your weddings.  I will not.  They will give me what they can, but that’s not much, and I’m okay with that.

I do not go to church.  I do not believe that God hates me because I’m “living in sin.”  I believe that if I am doing something wrong, I’ll figure it out and learn my lesson and move on.  That’s what life is about.  Learning from your mistakes.  I also believe that He loves me no matter what I do.  That the most important thing for me to do is to love others.  And that if you are judging me for my actions, you are kind of missing the point.

Your husbands all had their careers well under way before you got married.  Also, two of you married men in their 30’s.  Christopher’s got a few years to go before he reaches 30.

I do not feel that marriage is what will complete me.  I complete me.  Period.

I have dreams of my own.  I think I deserve to make those dreams become reality.  And if getting married is not part of that equation right now I can live with that.  Because when it comes down to it, I love Christopher, I know he loves me, and we are true and faithful to each other.   We talk about everything, we share our experiences with one another, we want to spend time together, we compromise when necessary.  We laugh and we cry and we celebrate, we learn from each other and we are growing together.  Can anyone really tell me there is something wrong with our relationship because we don’t have a piece of paper that tells us we are committed? 

Also, please don’t think it’s okay to suggest to me that the reason I am not pressuring my boyfriend into proposing is because my parents divorced.  Their relationship was completely different from mine, and while it may have taught me something about what a relationship shouldn’t be, it certainly did not scar me to the point of “forcing” me to not want to marry.   

Do I want to get married eventually?  Yes.  Do I think that piece of paper is worthless?  No, of course not.  But do I feel I need to have that, along with the wedding and the white dress and the bouquet, in order to make me a complete person?  No, not at all.  When we are ready to get married, if that is what is in store for us, we will take that step.  But until that time comes, I will continue to love and enjoy my partner.  Period.