I Want To Spend The Rest Of My Life With My Boyfriend But I Refuse To Get Married 

I’m head over heels in love with my current boyfriend. We live together, share our lives, and plan on staying together for as long as humanly possible. However, even though I want to spend the rest of my life with him, I never want to get married.

  1. I can’t be positive my feelings won’t change. Six years ago, I thought I was in love with the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He turned out to be a raging alcoholic and emotionally abusive. I love my current partner and he’s a completely different person than my ex, but based on my previous experiences, it seems unrealistic to assume that my feelings can’t change just because I’m head over heels in love right now. People grow and change, life happens, and sometimes the person you thought you knew turns out to be someone completely different. How can I be sure my feelings won’t change after we get married?
  2. I want to maintain some level of independence. I am first and foremost my own person, and my partner knows and loves this about me. Having a certain level of independence is important to me, and legally binding myself to another person feels incredibly restrictive to me. Even though I want to be with my partner forever, I need to feel like I would have the freedom to leave if I needed to. As a person who’s been in abusive relationships before, this is so important to me.
  3. I don’t want to have kids, so I don’t really see the point. When you have kids, getting married makes sense because of all of the barriers that unmarried parents can face. Plus, it’s more cost-effective to share incomes when you have children to raise. I know for a fact that I don’t want to have kids, so getting married feels unnecessary.
  4. Marriage isn’t the only way to affirm a lifelong commitment. I understand that people see marriage as an incredibly romantic and spiritual way to affirm your lifelong commitment to each other, and I respect and admire that. I love my partner to the moon and back and would love to spend the rest of my life with him, but there are plenty of other ways to make this commitment and affirm our love that don’t involve legally binding ourselves to one another.
  5. Divorce sounds terrible. I’m a child of divorced parents, I have friends who are divorced, and I’ve seen enough rom-coms over the years to know that divorce is terrible. Splitting assets, fighting over who gets the flat-screen, spending thousands of dollars on lawyers just to dissolve a marriage contract… no thank you. It would be so much easier if we continued to live our own independent lives and be in control of our own assets while sharing a beautiful love and relationship on our own terms.
  6. The institution of marriage feels oppressive to me. I know I’m not the first one to say this, but the institution of marriage feels oppressive to me as a woman. I’ve never been interested in “belonging” to anyone else, much less putting that ownership in writing, making it legally binding, and celebrating it all in a virginal white dress. Barf.
  7. I’ve seen so many marriages fail. It’s hard to feel confident that a marriage wouldn’t end in divorce when I’ve seen so many marriages fail over the years. Plus, a lot of the marriages I’ve seen have failed because of the stressors of marriage. Expectations and dynamics change as soon as you become legally bound to each other, and this can cause a lot of discomfort and tension. How can I feel good about marriage when I’ve seen it hurt so many relationships?
  8. If it does end, it’ll be a whole lot easier if we aren’t married. My Venus is in Leo so I’m incredibly prideful about relationships ending and when they end, I absolutely need to cut all ties in order to move on in a healthy way. If we were married, that ending would be so much longer and more drawn out and complicated than if we weren’t. I’m so terrified of putting my fragile heart through that process.
  9. We can define our relationship on our own terms. Marriage is only one way to define a relationship, and there’s no rule saying that we must get married in order to be in a healthy, happy, long-term relationship. My partner and I want to come up with our own ways to create meaning in our relationship and commit to each other.
Hannah is a freelance writer, researcher, self-care enthusiast, and devoted cat mom. She loves writing, learning, singing, live music, travel, and supporting other women in living their best lives!