Sick on a Sunday

Way Off There, Prudie

Posted in Random Rants by jamiemarie on July 13, 2010

Via Slate, Dear Prudence is asked the following question (emphasis mine):

My boyfriend of nearly three years still has not proposed. (He’s 31, I’m 27.) [4 sentences that boil down to “he told me to ask why he hasn’t proposed again in a year”] While I don’t doubt his love for me—he is very thoughtful, faithful, and supportive—I’m beginning to resent him for taking up these years of my life. I find myself fantasizing about being single, having fun, and eventually meeting someone who will want to propose after a couple of years. [more stupid babbling] But I’m worried that those four months will pass without a ring, and then another four, and on and on. What should I do?

And good ol’ Prudie basically tells her to bring it up again!  She makes a valid point that “emotionally checking in” with your partner regularly is a good idea, so the arbitrary 12 month period is dumb.  BUT…

What she should have told her is to lay off the neediness and either enjoy what she has, or move on to someone with goals more similar to hers – goals like getting married in a specific timeframe.  Setting an engagement deadline likely indicates that this girl hasn’t fully thought about what marriage really means: a legal contract binding you financially to another person for not just the duration of your marriage, but potentially forever after.

As cynical as that sounds, it’s the truth.  That contract is all that differentiates a married couple from one that simply lives together.  Okay, that, and an updated Facebook status and the option to change her last name.

The author doesn’t mention that she wants to start a family, buy a home, or anything that would actually benefit from a marriage license.  She doesn’t even mention religious tradition, prying family and friends, or any other external pressure to get married.  No, she wants a ring.

What about the ponies-unicorns-rainbows-and-sunshine argument: marriage represents two people’s love for each other and taking a sacred vow and whatever?  She already says she’s happy, and that he’s supportive and faithful.  Saying vows privately doesn’t make them any less meaningful than if they were in front of everyone you know while you’re wearing a fluffy dress (which, in my opinion, sounds awkward and terrible).  And if she knows they’re in it for the long-haul, why the hurry?  If they’re in a happy, committed relationship, there should be plenty of time in the future to really go the distance and do the wedding thing.

Although it’s hard to judge a relationship based on what she wrote – her choice of things about her relationship that she made the effort to point out sort of  indicate that she’s totally not ready for marriage.  Or, you know, real life.  Lady, you’re only 27.  If you and your boyfriend don’t want the same thing, move on.  Just don’t expect boys to be all up in the marriage idea just because your relationship hits 3 years.  You shouldn’t be either.

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