Is marriage important to me?

Lately I’ve been talking about marriage a lot.  It comes up often because one of my colleagues asks me every week if my boyfriend has proposed yet.  Without fail, my Monday morning will open with “So, has he popped the question yet?”  Originally I used to just shrug and shake my head but now I find it more amusing to try to come up with a pithy response.  “Nope,  we’ve decided that marriage is less special now because they’re gonna let gay people do it”  or “Nah, my boyfriend’s already married so we’re trying to keep our relationship on the down-low” or “Not yet.  He’s waiting for my father to sweeten the deal with a generous dowry”.  That kind of bullshit.


All this talk of proposals and marriage has made me think about how dramatically my feelings about marriage have changed.


For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to get married.  Marriage was one of my life goals and something I thought I absolutely couldn’t be happy without.  I had a very idyllic perception of what married life would be like.  I imagined living in a beautiful house with my husband, who was extremely handsome and always smelled good. We’d spend a lot of time watching movies together, going on long trips and making out in our perfectly-made bed.  In my mind, once I’d found the right person, everything else would just be a snap.  There’d be no arguments, no uncomfortable silences and not a care in the world.  For me, marriage seemed like the ticket to a very happy life.


I should qualify this ideal by explaining my background a bit.  Like most girls my age, I was raised on a heavy diet of rom-coms and teen romance novels.  The happily-ever-after storylines definitely coloured my perception of what marriage should be like. The fact that most of these tales end with a wedding paints the picture that marriage is the goal.  The resolution of all the strife and struggle comes with that walk down the aisle.  In addition to this, I was surrounded by very happy marriages.  No kidding.  Among my parents, my grandparents and my aunts and uncles, there have been exactly zero divorces.  And this isn’t just because my relatives have chosen to tolerate one another until the sweet release of death, it’s because they really are genuinely happy together.  I was raised by a pretty good selection of contentedly married couples.  So it’s no wonder that marriage was something I aspired to.


In addition to holding very tightly to the idea that marriage was the key to a happy life, I was also aware of the status that marriage held.  Being married didn’t just mean getting to live with somebody who would make out with you whenever you wanted, it meant that you’d been chosen.  It was an affirmation that somebody felt that you were worthy enough to say “I want you in my life”.  As somebody who is chronically insecure, that kind of validation was pretty attractive.  My anxiety was also quelled by the idea that marriage was (in theory, anyway) permanent.  That it was a way to “lock down” a relationship so that I would never have to worry about heartbreak.  I felt like if I was to get married, not only would I be assured happiness, but I’d also be safe and validated.  Who wouldn’t want that?


As a teenager I felt pretty sure that I’d marry young.  My parents, aunts, and grandparents were all married by the age of twenty.  And I figured that my life would follow a similar timeline.  This feeling was cemented when, at 17, I met and fell in love with my first soulmate.  He was everything I wanted in a partner, and we had so much fun together.  After about two years of dating, talk turned to the topic of marriage.  Although we weren’t ready to get engaged yet, we agreed that we’d each found the person that we wanted to spend our lives with.  And so it seemed to me that I was well on my way to being married.


As a few more years piled on, I began to get anxious.  Although my boyfriend and I were still happy and close, we seemed no closer to getting engaged.  There were a few times when I thought “perhaps he’ll propose to me” and I ended up disappointed.  By this time, several of my friends had gotten engaged and a few had already married.  I was beginning to feel left behind, like I was going to miss out on something I very much wanted.  I vividly remember bringing home a bouquet I caught at a friend’s wedding and watching an expression of absolute panic spread across my partner’s face.  We were together for almost ten years before we admitted that we’d grown into two people who just weren’t really compatible anymore and parted ways.  I was 27, and the man I’d intended to spend my life with had just moved out.   As I sifted through the wreckage and tried to deal with the end of my relationship, I also had to recognise that a young marriage wasn’t on the cards for me.


In the years after my breakup, I became a lot more sexually adventurous. I admitted to myself that I was, in fact, bisexual and had several relationships with women.  I also had a polyamorous relationship that lasted about six months.  In each of those relationships, I was aware that any future wasn’t going to include marriage, at least, not a marriage that looked anything like the picture I’d envisaged as a child.  Additional I became more acquainted with the reality of what adult relationships are actually like.  That they aren’t always lighthearted, fun affairs filled with long makeout sessions and breakfast in bed.  Real people have real problems, real goals that don’t always line up, priorities that differ, finances and stresses.  Fights happen, people get upset and even the most loving relationship isn’t immune from conflict. I learned the hard way that marriage isn’t an instant ticket to happiness.


After a lot of dating and learning and self reflection, I find that I’ve really let go of my deep need to get married.  Now, I’m not saying that I don’t ever want to get married, but it’s no longer something that I feel like I need in order to be happy.  If I were to marry, I’d want it to be to someone who I feel is my partner, and that we were committing to building a life together and doing the hard bits as well as the fun bed make-outs and cute pet names.  I don’t feel like I need the validation of being chosen as a wife, and I recognise that marriage isn’t the secure haven I thought it was.  I also know that if I never get married, I won’t feel like I’ve failed.  I’d rather never be a wife, than to enter a marriage as blindly as I would have in the past.  If I do, I want to do it with my eyes wide open, and my heart and mind as well.




Things I Love Thursday 18/4/2013

Welcome to another edition of Things I love Thursday.  Every week I list all the things that I’m feeling happy about this week, and I encourage you to do the same.

This week, I love:

DSCF6963– Celebrating the engagement of two of my closest friends.  Kath is Ross’s sister, and she and I are pretty close.  Last week, Ross and I got a very giddy phone call from Kath to tell us that Evan had proposed to her and that they were getting married.  Wait a moment, surely I must have a better picture of them than this one…


Ahh, that’s more romantic.

Not only are this gorgeous couple tying the knot, but Katherine has asked me to be her maid of honour.  I must admit, a tear was shed when she asked me.  I am so touched to be asked to be a part of their special day, and I am really looking forward to helping out with the wedding preparations.

– Popcorn.  I went to a party last weekend where they had a popcorn bar.  The host kept bringing out vats of freshly popped corn, which you popped into a little bag and then chose from about thirty different flavours to sprinkle over your snack.  It was amazing.  My favourite was the vanilla dream.  Mmmmm.

DSCF8008-Catching Jellylorum cat-napping on my dressing gown after I got out of the shower one morning this week.

– Movie dates with my parents.

-Listening to Amy Winehouse at top volume.

DSCF8007-Purple nail polish.  This one is Let’s Talk from Sinful colours, and it’s such a gorgeous shade.  It tiptoes along the line between purple and blue, and I adore it.  Sorry about the chips.


-Finding a pair of fab biker boots for under $50.  I’ve been after some pull-on, flat boots for a while now, and I found these at Big W.  They are super comfy and really warm.  I think you’ll be seeing a lot of these boots in the near future.

– Having my mother sneak into my kitchen to do my dishes while I was getting changed for a mother-daughter outing.  I hate doing the dishes, and she knows this, so it was really sweet of her to jump in and help out with that.

– Lord of the Fries.  When we were in Melbourne on the weekend, I had Lord of the Fries for the first time in over a year.  Man, I’d forgotten how great their French Canadian fries are.  The only problem is, now my fries cravings are stronger than ever!

DSCF8011-Ross surprising me with a new Hogwarts mug, to replace the one I broke.  This one is slightly bigger than my old one, which is great because it holds more tea.

– New Dr Who.

– Getting my first ever ASOS order in the mail.

– Emails with old friends.

– Anticipation for seeing my cousins this weekend.

What do you love this week?  Don’t hesitate, just leave your own Things I Love Thursday list in the comments!

On Kardashians and gay marriage

Marriage is a topic that I’m very passionate about. Last week, when I heard that Kim Kardashian had filed for divorce after just 72 days of marriage, it sparked my ire.



I am a firm advocate for marriage. I don’t believe that everyone has to get married in order to be happy. I know several couples who have been together for decades, who have children and have no desire to tie the knot. These couples are no less elated than the happily married couples I know. Marriage isn’t for everyone, and I don’t believe that it’s a necessary ingredient for a happy relationship. However, I do believe that if you decide to take the plunge and get married, it should be taken seriously.



Marriage is a commitment for life. It isn’t something that you rush into without seriously thinking about whether you’ve chosen the right person and whether you’re suited for married life. It’s one of the most significant life decisions a person can make, and it should be treated as such. When you get married, you vow to love and cherish your partner, to the exclusion of all others, for life. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t believe in divorce (because, let’s face it, there are loads of legitimate reasons for getting divorced) but I am saying that divorce shouldn’t be seen as an escape route to be used when you get bored, or if things aren’t going your way.



I believe that a person should enter a marriage with the honest conviction that it will last for life. I don’t think that it’s okay to treat marriage as a temporary state- as something to do until the novelty wears off. A person who gives their marriage less time than it takes to brew beer is not taking the institution of marriage seriously.



Which brings me to the topic of gay marriage. I strongly believe that gay marriage should be legal. I believe that two people should have the option of committing to one another for life, regardless of their gender. I think it’s pretty poor that in Australia marriage is reserved for heterosexual couples.



There are many arguments that people who oppose gay marriage throw out that are utter BS. Among these arguments is the idea that allowing homosexual couples to marry would undermine the institution of marriage. I’ve always been confused about exactly how allowing gay couples the option of solidifying their commitment to one another by getting married would sully the idea of marriage. I don’t see how the gender of the people in a marriage relationship affects the validity or quality of their commitment.



However, I do see how douchebags like Kim Kardiashain getting married and divorced within a three-month period undermines the institution of marriage. The fact that straight people are able to get married in a big, white, internationally-televised wedding, declare their eternal commitment to one another and then call it quits a couple of months later is a joke. This is the kind of behaviour that damages the idea of marriage. It turns marriage into another social event, a temporary state of being, rather than a lifelong commitment. More than this, it’s a slap in the face to homosexual couples who would like to get married, and who would take that marriage seriously.



It’s ridiculous that Kim Kardashian can marry and divorce before the ink is dry on her marriage certificate, and that this behaviour is allowed because of the simple fact that she has a vagina and her partner has a penis. Meanwhile, homosexual couples are fighting for their right to have a marriage certificate at all. This paradox makes me angrier than I can put into words.



Do you think gay couples should have the option to marry? Do you think that Kim Kardashian’s behaviour is more undermining to the institution of marriage than allowing gay couples to wed? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.