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What If Love & Marriage Do Not Go Together Like A Horse & Carriage?

Illustration for article titled What If Love  Marriage Do iNot/i Go Together Like A Horse  Carriage?

Me and my old man have been together for over three years now; we've been living together since March, 2007. Which is why this article by my buddy and coconspirator Doree Shafrir in this week's Observer hit sometimes uncomfortably close to home. It's a musing of sorts on longterm relationships and cohabitation and why people get married or why they don't. Doree describes a cocktail party where she runs into an old friend. "When we started talking, the topic of my boyfriend came up, and then it came up that we were living together, and then Max looked at my left hand and said, 'Oh, I was just checking to see if you had a ring. But you guys aren't engaged?' This was a question-statement." She managed to capture perfectly the profound ambivalence of relationship status; even when you're happily ensconced in something serious, there's often internal and external pressures that make you question your choices.

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Some random acquaintance, like in Doree's piece, gets married after dating someone for a year, and you wonder why you're not married yet. You see your friends who got married and divorced before the age of 25 and were smugly happy that you didn't meet the same fate. You look at the sorority girls you knew who got married young and feel some combination of pity/contempt/envy and then feel bad about yourself for comparing your relationship, which is pure and true and good, to some false idea of what your relationship should be. But, as Doree points out, once you're deeply involved with someone, the niggling question you can't always ignore is "how do you know?" I have no fucking idea. Any guesses?

This Is When You Know [Observer]

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DISCUSSION

applejuice
applejuice

My husband and I got married at 20 and 21 - and I was not one of those people who you would have thought would marry young. But we were madly in love (had been for two years) and couldn't bear living in seperate countries only spending summers and short breaks together. The only way we could legally live in the same country was to get married.

I'm sure everyone thought we were crazy and this would never last. In fact I KNOW everyone thought we were crazy and this would never last!

I had trouble adjusting to moving (way back when) but 10 years on while that mad rush of young new love is in the past we are very happy and have two great little kids and one more (final one) on the way.

Would we have gotten married so young if distance hadn't been an issue. No, in all honesty I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have (I would have thought getting married at 20 was crazy - I kinda did think it was crazy even at the time but I did it anyway), but I am very happy with our life and I love my husband deeply.

Everyone is different and every relationship is different. Don't let yourself feel pressured by societies ideas of what you should do - either way!