Friday, October 5, 2012

Gimme some of that snark!


Dear ESB,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years now and he is definitely my "chosen person" or whatever. We have committed to spending our lives together and plan on adding to our family one day. We met while traveling, he moved to be with me, and we’ve been living together happily ever since. He recently accepted an exciting position an ocean away and we are packing our bags to move next month.

Cue everyone and their dog asking about engagement and marriage. I get so many questions and unsolicited opinions on marriage it’s crazy. “When are you getting married?” “Why aren’t you married yet?” “You should really wait for an engagement ring before you quit your job and move.” The questions are driving me insane. I used to be able to laugh about these ridiculous projections of others people’s beliefs on our lives, but with all the change I’m already undergoing it’s begun to feel extremely heavy. I am finding it hard to deal.

So I need some help... I have no idea how to answer people’s questions. The answer is so so complicated, there really is no answer. I don’t know when I’m getting married. Do I even need to get married? Am I somehow disappointing everyone if I don’t? Will my relationship never be as valid?

I also have a family wedding coming up so I'm trying to prepare for the usual inappropriate questions X 1000. At this point I think some ESB snark, ativan, and champagne are my closest allies....

*****

tell em you got married in a private wiccan ceremony and you're not permitted to wear your rings in public.











a*holes.


Photo by Michael Pudelka via c ktnon

52 comments:

  1. Take a drink every time someone asks you at the wedding. Though, if they're asking you constantly, maybe you want to limit it so you don't end up being the one who knocks over the wedding cake.

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  2. Seriously, people are so unbelievable. I get that people are curious when other's make choices that they themselves wouldn't or that are outside of cultural norms. But you have to be respectful and empathetic.

    I have some friends who do things differently and a quick read tells you that they don't want to defend it or explain it or talk about it. So I don't ask or push. It often means that I feel a little left out or like I don't totally "know" them but I'm respectful of their privacy.

    Of course, I support their decisions (and am just curious) whereas it sounds like the OP's relations DON'T really support it.

    I hate this most: “You should really wait for an engagement ring before you quit your job and move.” God, could that sound more old-fashioned (and like the OP is some flighty teenager)?!

    UGH.

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    Replies
    1. Right, because once you have the engagement ring, nothing can go wrong!

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    2. Am I the only one who thinks moving abroad for a good relationship even if I might not work out is totally fine? Worst case scenario, you get an adventure out of it. Best case scenario, you get adventure and a life partner. WIN WIN.

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    3. ...even if *it* might not work out

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    4. Julie, I am with you. I love moving, so if my boyfriend said he wanted/needed to move anywhere, I'd go with him. I lived abroad with a boyfriend before and when it really stopped working out, I moved back. Adventures all around!

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    5. I moved overseas with my boyfriend. It got me a European work visa and put us through countless trials that, I'm glad to say, we passed with flying colours. Moving overseas with someone is an excellent way to figure out if they're even worth marrying, IMHO.

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    6. I'm doing exactly that in 7 weeks and can't wait. Totally agree with you Julie and Anon.

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  3. Wait, someone's really said "You should really wait for an engagement ring before you quit your job and move"?

    I would have gone all Chuck Norris on them. Fucktards.

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  4. From a more technical perspective... When you start living abroad marriage makes visa apps astronomically easier. That being said, I moved across the globe without any promise but a puppy. It worked out well.

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    1. "How did you get a work visa if you aren't married?" was my first thought. We eloped because he couldn't get a U.S. visa for any significant length of time and we were so done with a long distance relationship- and one of my cousins also got married for this reason. I want the details on your visa.

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  5. As someone who has been with my partner for almost 9 years, lived apart for about 3 of them (an ocean between us quite literally) I understand the inappropriate questions, but most of the ones I got were of the "why are you guys together" or "haven't you event wanted to cheat on him if you live so far a part" flavour. If it helps, after about year 6 people stopped asking and just started assuming that we were as together as we ever would be and that a wedding might never happen.

    If you guys are happy try to ignore them, and know that eventually people will stop asking and just accept that this is the life you choose and love.

    Good luck and enjoy the adventure!

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    1. Oh god I feel with you! I was in a long distance relationship for 3 years (friendship for longer) with my now spouse. I can't tell you how many "friends" kept saying "OMG I don't know how you guys do it" With the tone of "you have to be nuts" to do that. And the "How can you know they aren't cheating?" and the "Well... We'll see in a few months if you still feel that way about it" The last being said by my in-laws...

      Seeing how most of the people who told me these things had messed up relationship anyway it wasn't really hard to ignore.

      Oh and the kicker was when we decided to get married, everyone kept acting shocked because apparently 22 is just TOO young to settle down. And now everyone think we are the sweetest couple...People ALWAYS have some shit to say about your life and relationship. Ignore them. Do what feels right to YOU.

      Good luck!

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  6. I am in the same boat as this girl and have found that a short answer shuts them up better than an explanation. "Not until we're ready" does the job.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Never apologise, never explain.

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  7. "Oh, we're not engaged. We're pretty happy with our life together as it is." And then change the subject to which of the passed hors d'oeuvres have they tried so far, or aren't the flowers lovely or what have you.

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  8. When my boyfriend and I moved in together this year and I told my aunt, she suddenly was busy and had to get off the phone. She then called three weeks later asking for clarification -- "When you say you "moved in together" did you mean the same apartment? Or just the same building?" And then she started in on the engagement talk.

    If it's just someone making conversation, I don't mind. But if they start sounding judgmental, I just end up telling my conservative relatives that I'm not going to discuss anything with them that I'm not ready to discuss with my boyfriend yet. Marriage is too big of a deal to me, so the peanut gallery doesn't get a vote in it.

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    1. that's good too. when it became clear that my conservative family wasn't going to stop asking though, i switched my answer to, "oh, not until everyone else can do the same." not necessarily true, but it shut a few mouths for the rest of that party.

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  9. "We prefer to have babies first"

    "We'll send you a postcard from Vegas"

    Having been with my love for over 8 years (many of those years away from immediate family), I had plenty of similar questions thrown at me from every Tom, Dick and Harry who figured they had a say in my love life.

    Have faith - once you move, you'll be FAR away from those pesky questions on and I agree with Anon at 6.53, people do stop asking after a while!

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    Replies
    1. Love these responses! Maybe she could tell everyone they are swingers...

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    2. "we want to have a baby first" is EXACTLY what i used to tell people. shuts them right up every single time.

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  10. You can always go with the ol' eye roll + "we don't need some piece of paper to make our relationship meaningful..."

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  11. I am in your same situation. My BF and I have huge families and they are becoming incredible nosey and rude about it. The BF is feeling a lot of pressure, and that is not the way I want to get engaged. I wish everyone would mind their own business. But alas their lives are kind of boring...
    I guess when you step back and look at it from a different angle it just means that they like you two together and see you together and moreover want to have a wedding in the future to look forward to. It is just human nature.
    I had planned a hundred snarky comments for when I was confronted by this question, but its just easier to be polite, its probably just small talk anyway and they don't really care. I found myself saying " You'll be the first to know!" Because it is polite on the surface, but then Ol’ Aunt Cathy realizes she will not be the first to know, because that would be weird, because your not that close, and oh ya maybe that question was a little too personal.
    What I am more concerned about it when I have babies and some freak asks me “are you breastfeeding? And for how long?”, and other crazy personal questions. Then I promise I will just say. “None of your business.”

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  12. I completely understand what you're saying. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 8 years and we get the question practically every other day.

    My go-to response is that I want a huge engagement ring... :)Only half true!

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  13. before we got engaged, my husband used to answer this question with "maybe when you stop fucking asking me that question." it sort of worked.

    or, nerd alert, this is from Game of Thrones: "When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves." I like it because it's a super dramatic way of saying NEVER, STFU.

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  14. Recently a random family friend asked me when I'm going to have kids, and I said "I'm sorry, I don't want to talk about something so personal with you." I'm going to keep using that.

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  15. I agree with all the above responses/answers. Also even if you do get engaged, the obnoxious questions never end... such as "You're getting married this October? Are you pregnant?!" or "You're getting married next October? Who's got the problem?" or "Well WHERE are you going to live? Have you talked to HIM about that?!" Life changes = everyone feels free to judge and be nosey.

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  16. Le sigh. "We never want to marry, we just want to get divorced." -adapted from Woody Allen

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  17. After year 7 or so, we told everyone that we were planning on getting married in 2025, and that any questions or nagging from family would only push the date back even further.

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  18. It doesn't stop. I've been married for just over a year, and my sister (who isn't married) is pregnant. Now the baby questions are fucking incessant!

    You just have to find your own special way of telling someone to fuck off. I'm still figuring it out.

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  19. We had YEARS of this. I finally started telling people that we were waiting to see if anyone better came along.

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  20. I dated my now-husband for 6 years before we decided to get married. During that time, my invitation to my own dad's wedding said my name and guest. By guest I suppose he meant that guy with whom I've been living even longer than you and your future wife have even known each other?! Now that we're married, people treat our relationship with so much more respect, as if it wasn't serious before. It's annoying, but that's the reality. And now that we are married, it's time for all the busybodies to start asking when we're planning to start a family (um, never). It really never ends.

    On a related note, my mom has cancer and one of her "friends" asked her what she did to get it, and what regrets she has, and how she thinks she will use this experience to change her life. My mom, by the way, is one of the kindest, healthiest people you will ever meet.

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  21. my husband and i were together 9 years before we tied the knot ... for insurance.

    my best answer to the "WHEN ?!?!?!!" question is "I DON'T KNOW."

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  22. Maybe they are just genuinely looking out for your well being because they care about you. They don't want to see you move across an ocean and then this guy decides he wants to taste the local delicacies (know what I mean?).....Maybe the answer should just be honest and sincere: " I don't know if we will get married. But we are very committed to each other and I'm excited about the move and our new adventure together!".

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    1. that's good the first 873 time you get asked, but not after yeeeeaaaarsssss

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    2. They've been together for five years! If they were married, no one would expect the guy to taste the local delicacies, why should they expect it if they are in an obviously committed relationship? Give me a break!
      All relationships, married or not, are only as serious as you make them. A wedding ring or contract or even babies does not stop a lot of people from being shitty. So these folks who are genuinely concerned, but probably just boring, need to get a clue.

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    3. Right, because a certificate would prevent 'tasting local delicacies' (GAG).

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    4. why does it have to be the guy deciding he wants to run off with someone? This is such an old school, not to mention sexist, concept - like marriage is some kind of 'insurance' for the woman.

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  23. YESSSSSSSSSSSS ESB, yesyesyes.

    wiccan ceremony. GOD I WISH I'D THOUGHT OF THAT!

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  24. "He's still married to his ex-wife" (albeit separated for a long time)

    This shut my mother up...

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  25. I've been with my boyfriend for 13 years so I am very use to hearing this question. Here's what I know, I'm in a committed and happy relationship where I feel loved and supported everyday. Everyone else can go fuck off.

    I also take comfort in this... My younger cousin got married 3 years ago. I honestly didn't even know she was in a serious relationship when I heard she had gotten engaged. Her very noisy mother cornered me at the wedding and was all "When are you getting married??? I mean really blah blah..." Guess what the marriage didn't even last a year. Marriage does not always equate happiness.

    Also, don't ever ask a married couple when they are having a baby. For all you know they are having trouble conceiving and really it is none of your business unless they choose to make it your business.

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    1. exactly. as soon as the honeymoon is over (sometimes even just the ceremony) the questions on when are you going to have kids starts popping up all over the place. then if you do have children, they'll ask "was it planned or a surprise", then they'll ask if you're using formula, then they'll ask about school, until one day they're asking when your kids are getting married. some people just have to ask dumb questions.

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  26. I feel you sis, me and my guy had been together for 10 years + some dating time. Everytime there is a wedding or a baby is born the families get extra noisy. And we are the older brothers, my younger sister got married last month and his younger brother and wife got a baby 8 months ago.
    While having a few mojitos my friends told me thah the next time somebody asks why we do not have a baby I should say "I really like it in my a**s", and that probably shut them up, I´m beggining to embrace that idea LOL

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  27. Related, but not an answer to the post: What are your opinions on asking, "do you think you guys will get married?" I ask this sometimes when Im chatting with someone who says they've been in a long term relationship, out of curiosity/idle chit chat. I like to think that the "do you think..." is different from "WHEN" as it implies many possible answers (i.e. "yes, one day," "maybe," "we don't believe in marriage" etc). But maybe any question of this nature is too nosy? What do you think?

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    1. This wouldn't offend me because you're assuming that we will get married. However, if I didn't know you very well, I might feel uncomfortable answering this question. It's just not something I'd want to talk about with someone who isn't a close friend.

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    2. *you are NOT assuming that we will get married.

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  28. "When are you getting married?"
    "16"
    "Sorry what?"
    "You're the 16th person to ask me that tonight."
    "Oh."

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  29. Whenever we were asked my now husband would act pained and say 'I was actually just about to propose but you've just ruined the suprise. I'll have to push it back another 6 months now. Thanks a lot!'

    It would make people uncomfortable everytime.

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  30. Just make up a future date or tell people you did it already. After 10 years of being together. We decided it would be easier to get married then to continue to defend our non-martial status (I am all about ease.) But we eloped, I kept my name and we don't wear rings. We did have a fun party to celebrate. Over drinks with a friend awhile back he observed "no wedding, no ring, no photos, no name change, hmmmm I don't think you really got married!"

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