I Want A Marriage, Not A Wedding

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Sometimes, it's just so easy to forget. First comes wedding, then comes... marriage.

I was that little girl. The one who fantasized about an ivory strapless gown, a black-and-white color scheme, elaborate orchid centerpieces, twinkle lights, and an outdoor (destination) wedding.

Consider me guilty. I was a major dreamer. And I still dream. I still want those things, the romance of it all.

 

Well, OK. Maybe the lines have blurred a bit; my ideal dress has changed, I realize a tropical locale might not be feasible, and I will not break down in tears if those elaborate centerpieces don't come to fruition. (However, the twinkle lights are not negotiable. Obviously.) 5 Celebrity Wedding First Dance Songs

Until I actually walk down the aisle—and believe me, I am nowhere close—I will probably think about what my future wedding might be like. It's a girl thing. Right, ladies? Most of us play 'mental wedding planner' just because we can, let our thoughts wander to champagne flutes, pretty place-cards and perfect bouquets... which we've no doubt discovered on Pinterest.

And hey, I think dreaming is just fine. Most of the time. The problem arises when we let our dreams cloud our judgment.

For years, marriage seemed like such a long way off. But I realize it's not anymore. It's a reality. More and more of my friends and family members are tying the knot. And as a young Christian woman, growing up in a traditional household in a Midwestern neighborhood, everyone's relationship seemingly revolves around the same question: When can we expect a wedding? What A Year In Marriage Taught Us About Love

Statistics show most people still want to get married someday. And it seems some women I know want to get married in the worst way. I worry about them succumbing to the pressure.

I know plenty of ladies willing to sacrifice everything to get to their big days. Some jump into relationships too fast, hoping their risks will end in "I do," but feeling all the while that something isn't right (ahem, Kim Kardashian?). Others stay in relationships too long, with partners who want different things, knowing they should cut their losses but afraid to start over when an engagement might possibly be on the horizon. Holiday Gift Guide For Every Love Stage: Long-Term Relationship

Someone close to me falls into the latter group. She has been in a relationship for six years. And for as long as I can remember, she has wanted to get married. Plan a wedding. Fly to New York to pick out her wedding dress. Slide on a shiny engagement ring. But she's spent most of her twenties in a relationship with one guy, thirteen years her senior, who has never proclaimed he wants to marry. She's been waiting for a proposal and wedding that may never happen. And in the process, she's lost her sparkle.