I think I would like to get married one day, but it's not a priority for me. I enjoy planning and organizing, so the thought of putting together all the little details (dresses, color scheme, location, food!) intrigues me. But I'm not going to feel bad about myself if I'm not married anytime soon.
I am in a long-term relationship and we have seen many people marry, including those who have been together for far less time than us. The timing is different for everyone and what isn't right for us may be perfect for someone else. We've attended the weddings of many friends and I've been a bridesmaid three times. But we've also seen people our age go through divorces. Sadly, even though we are on the same page when it comes to marriage, we still feel the pressure and judgment of others. Most people are just joking around and tell us they can't wait for the wedding day or ask me when he's going to put a ring on it. But others try to hide their judgment with snide remarks, such as, "We don't believe you can just date forever without taking that next step." Even though I personally don't believe the government has to be involved to legitimize a relationship, marriage is deeply ingrained in our culture. The stereotypical Disney princess story ends in a fairy-tale wedding. The wedding industry is one of the biggest and most profitable, and it is a well-known fact that businesses jack up their prices for brides, just because they can.
It's not to say that I haven't looked at engagement rings, dresses, or venues. It's fun to look at these things and think about the kinds of things I would like to have. But a ring that costs half of what my boyfriend earns in a year is not exactly realistic, and would he really be my soulmate if he was the type of guy to drop that much money on a ring? (My frugal side would not approve - spend that money on a vacation!!).That's a lot of what the wedding industry sells: fantasy. And while it's nice to look at these beautiful nice things, I know we can't ever afford a fancy wedding. And right now, I'm more focused on paying off my student loans and reaching for my dream of one day traveling the world.
If I do get married, I would like a nice ceremony. I don't really want a courthouse wedding because I do want to have a memorable day with all the bells and whistles. But marriage is not a quick fix for relationship issues and I don't think it's necessary to be married to someone to prove commitment. I remember having a debate about marriage in one of my literature classes and someone said that the "piece of paper [sic: marriage license] is proof of your enduring love." That is in no way true as we have seen divorces skyrocket and just because a couple is married doesn't prove that they are in love.
I just want a love that encourages me to be a better person. I want to be with someone who always has my back and helps me work towards my goals. I aspire to support them and grow together. Whether or not we sign a piece of paper to affirm that is not that important to me.