My Boyfriend Of 10 Years Still Hasn’t Proposed & I’m OK With It

I met my boyfriend right after finishing college. We were both figuring out what we wanted from life and weren’t looking for anything serious. Fast forward 10 years and we’re still together… and he still hasn’t proposed. Someone women might be upset about that, but not me.

The only people in my life who care are the ones who are obsessed with marriage.

 A few of my friends keep asking me when I’ll get married. They know my boyfriend and I have been together for a while and they want me to be happy and have the benefits that traditional marriage offers. Some of my friends are married and some aren’t, but the ones who ask me when I plan on tying the knot are the ones that value marriage way more than I do.

Marriage is seen as an achievement to be celebrated and I’m not feeling it. 

I see this all the time. Marriage announcements are celebrated and endorsed and getting married is seen as a major life achievement. A party is thrown, gifts are given, a big debacle is had among the bridal party on whose job it is to call the friends and family, who should be the one to arrange the venue, whose job is it to detain the bride and keep her away until the surprise party is revealed… you see where I’m going with this.

Divorce is seen as shameful, which, WTF? 

While marriage is hailed as one of the best things to happen to two people, divorce is met with shame and pity from friends and family. People don’t send congratulatory notes or presents. No one says things like, “Yayy! You’re finally getting divorced!” Divorce is seen as a hurdle to overcome rather than something that happens when two people who gave it their best shot just aren’t meant to be. I’d rather not even put myself in that position.

Domestic partnership is a thing if we’re that desperate. 

Having a written document stating our commitment to one another almost feels antiquated. Of course, it’s helpful to have legal rights representing my relationship, but many (not all, I know) of these are covered under a domestic partnership. The institution of marriage is just that to me—an institution created to help the government put sanctions on who can and cannot be together under law.

I’m not a child just because I’m not married. 

Walking down the aisle is seen as another rite of passage, a step further into adulthood, and those of us who choose to maintain a partnership without marriage are seen as children or not fully “grown up” by a large part of society. I suppose that’s because after marriage, the expectation is that you’ll have kids. And god forbid you might not want kids—that just won’t do. I don’t want marriage or kids, but I assure you, I’m a grown woman.

We’ve discussed it, so it’s not like he’s avoiding popping the question.

Just because he’s never proposed doesn’t mean we haven’t talked about marriage. After all, we have been together for 10 years! We’ve discussed the idea at length and decided it’s not right for us, at least not right now. We’re happy with the way things are and feel like we’d be forcing ourselves into something neither of us really want just for the sake of placating friends and family. No thanks.

The life we have now works for us just fine. 

Getting married, or having one partner to grow old with for that matter, are not pre-requisites for life. As I said, my boyfriend and I are happy just the way we are. We don’t need marriage to carry our relationship. By many standards, the life we lead may not appear normal to others, but we’re OK with that because it works for us.

I know my boyfriend loves me.

I don’t need our love validated by others. While celebrating a partnership with friends and family can be nice, I certainly don’t need to hear praise about our relationship. I’m confident enough in my life, my self, and in our relationship. I don’t feel the need to be bound by a piece of paper. Sometimes I feel like women get caught up in the idea that marriage is their savior, a lifeline they can call upon or use against their partner when times get tough. You should/are expected to act or be a certain way or do a certain thing. Marriage is many things, but to me, it’s not a raft to use that will bring me and my relationship to safety. Honestly, I don’t think that kind of thing exists, and anyone that believes that being marriage provides them with a safety net is kidding themselves.

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