Love, Self

What It Is Like To Be In A Long-Term Committed Relationship When You're Not Planning On Getting Married

Photo: Joanna Nix on Unsplash
Long Term Relationship Committed Don't Want To Get Married

It starts when we’re little girls — we hear stories about Mommy marrying Daddy, or Cinderella marrying Prince Charming or Ken marrying Barbie. We actually make Ken and Barbie get married. We pick up Ken and bend his knee, shake him toward Barbie, as we make Barbie jump up and down and scream, "A thousand times! Yes!" 

We assign our stuffed animals seats and face them toward the altar. We Velcro Ken into a tux and Barbie into a beautiful white dress. We have Ken look on lovingly as we hop Barbie toward him, and hum "Here Comes The Bride". We whisper their vows and their "I Dos" and smush their faces together.

We bind couples together in matrimony because we think that’s how they belong. But what happens when a couple decides they don't want to get married? Or if one person in a relationship believes in commitment, but are anti-marriage? Or not interested in planning a big wedding?

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But as we get older, things get more complicated. We experience failed relationships, we start to realize that marriage is more than a wedding. While we love to imagine ourselves in the perfect wedding dress and our great-grandmother’s veil, we don’t imagine ourselves in ten years, awake at two in the morning finding something to fight about — because fighting is the only thing that isn’t boring about our relationship.

In 2019 we are used to hearing about non-traditional relationships, so an un-married couple may not garner any attention compared to someone who is in a rollercoaster of a committed relationship.

But still, many people often wonder why someone would choose not to get married. Well, depending on the person, there are a myriad of reasons to opt out of marriage.

We are all products of our experiences, and some of us have never experienced an example of a happy marriage. Others of us don’t believe in the government interfering with our love lives. While some of us have experienced our own failed marriages in the past, and have decided not to go through the pain of divorce again. 

Imagine standing in front of your friends and family, promising to love someone forever, and then breaking that promise — could you, even in good faith, promise to love someone forever again? How do you know what it takes to love someone forever? No one knows what that takes.

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I am in a committed monogamous relationship. I wake up everyday next to the same person, we make our meals together, we pay our bills together and we plan our lives together. We live our lives as a married couple traditionally would, however we don’t want to take the next step to getting married.

My grandmother often asks me, if we already act married why don’t we take the next step? It’s a logical question. But for us, it doesn’t feel like marriage is the next step in our relationship. There doesn’t feel like there needs to be a next step.

We are happy, we are still, and we are in love. We don’t feel the need to modify our lives.

The world has always been a competitive place, and social media has made it even more so. This sometimes puts us in a position to mark our lives with milestones: buying a house, getting married, having a child — but if you don’t want these things then it is hard to prove your life to other people. 

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Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.