Prince William and Kate Middleton recently announced their engagement after an eight-year courtship. Did you read that correctly? Eight years. Granted, they both were 20 when they started dating but let’s be real, eight years is a long time to be someone’s girlfriend, whether he’s the potential king to the royal throne or Joe the bus driver from around the corner. Johnny Depp recently said he likes things the way they are with his longtime ladylove, Vanessa Paradis and would only marry her if she wants to. One of my work colleagues recently got married after being with his girlfriend for over 10 years. 10 years!
When I was dating, I never had a set rule on when I wanted to get married. I just knew whenever it happened, that would be it. But I also think I’m rare in that category. Most of my high school and college classmates married when they were in their twenties and started families around the same time frame. As more people are putting off marriage or even just completely doing away with it, it brings up an interesting question: How long would you wait? Does it even matter?
How long are you willing to wait to marry your love?
Before I proceed, I need to clear about something: Marriage isn’t for everyone. I have mentioned that plenty of times throughout the blog and I firmly believe not everyone should get married. I am not saying one shouldn’t get married based on sexual orientation. I believe it takes a strong person to get married and actually plan to stay that way. (And just for the record, gay people have the same issues in their relationships as straight persons).
Back to the topic, how long should one wait in a relationship before deciding they want to wake up and smell the other person’s stank breath for the rest of their life? For me, I always had a two-year limit on any marriage-related discussions in a relationship. Not saying a person should have to wait two years to marry me but if marriage isn’t at least seriously discussed within two years of dating, I’m calling it a wrap. Noticed how I didn’t say I had to be married within two years of dating; I needed to have an inclination of where the relationship was heading towards. Now if the person said, ‘Eventually, I would like to marry you but even after two years, I’m not ready,’ then I would’ve waited. Call me stupid or call me naïve. I’m a sucker for love.
Now, would I have waited 8 years? 10 years? I don’t know but something inside me tells me, I wouldn’t have. Truth to be told, I’m pretty impatient. I know good things come to those who wait but let’s not be ridiculous here. Waiting a few years is one thing; waiting until your newborn just started middle school is another. When I was planning my wedding, I read about a woman who was getting married after 20 years. 20 years! At that point, I thought, ‘Why bother?’ You’re already living together, have children, why get married?
As open-minded and moderate as I am, I’m still traditional in some ways. I know everyone has to test-drive a car before you can buy it, but you only test-drive a car for a short time, normally within minutes. You’re not driving it until you’re leaning towards buying it or you feel you’re ready to take on such a challenge. Think about it the next time you purchase a car at the dealership. How many times are they going to let you test drive it before you actually buy it?
So I’m opening this up for a V-spot open and frank discussion. I know everyone is different so I’m curious to hear the opinions of this one. How long would you wait? How long have you waited? What advice do you have for the coupled-up but not quite married?
And there you have it,