I Want To Have Kids But I Don’t Want To Get Married

Growing up, I always thought things would happen in a certain order: meet a guy, fall in love, move in together, get married, have kids, live happily ever after. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that there are no rules and I can do things in whatever order works for me — maybe I can even skip some steps. Luckily, these days, having kids without getting married is no big deal, so I might just be able to have everything I want after all.

  1. I’ve never dreamed of the perfect wedding. Some girls know exactly what kind of wedding they want from the color of the bridesmaid’s dresses down to the hors d’oeuvres they’ll serve at the reception. All I’ve ever known is that I hate being the center of attention and I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on one day I probably won’t even get to enjoy because I’ll be too busy stressing over everything that I have to do to make it perfect for everyone else.
  2. Being married doesn’t guarantee anything. A lot of people want to be married before they have kids because they need the security. That’s definitely a valid feeling, but it’s not something I’ve ever worried about. Even if I’m married when I have kids doesn’t mean it will stay that way, so why insist on it in the first place?
  3. I’ve always known for sure I want kids. A lot of my friends either say they don’t want kids or they’re on the fence about it. I’ve always known for sure that kids are something I want. I’ve just never had that same feeling about marriage — I genuinely feel like I could take it or leave it and I’ll be fine either way.
  4. I would rather get married after years and years of being with someone. I’m not 100% against marriage. I’m willing to get married one day, when I’m as sure as I could possibly by that we’re in it for the long haul. Why not do that after being together for 10 years and having a couple kids together? I see no reason why you have to get married before starting a life together.
  5. I don’t think I’ll feel like I missed out on anything. A wedding is one of those milestones a lot of people want to experience at some point in their lives. Even if I do get married one day, the wedding won’t be that important to me. The actual relationship is the important part, and having a legal piece of paper really shouldn’t make a difference.
  6. I’ve never really been traditional about relationships. Being in a relationship has never been super important to me. I definitely want to find love, but I want us to be able to create the kind of relationship that works for us,  including have kids together, not just do what everyone else is doing because it’s expected.
  7. Commitment almost means more when it doesn’t come with a legal obligation. Breaking up is always hard, but I would assume it’s even harder to go through the legal system– which costs valuable time and money — it order to truly be free of someone. A lot of married people end up staying together just because it’s easier and I never want that thought to go though my head.
  8. I don’t want to ever stay with someone “for the kids.” Many married people decide to stay together for the sake of the kids, but there are plenty of people who grew up with parents who weren’t together and they’re just fine. If a relationship isn’t healthy, it’s not worth being in — not even for the kids.
  9. I want my kids to be open-minded about relationships. I want to teach my kids that they are free to be in the kind of relationship that makes them happy, and I think the best way to do that is by example. Marriage may be right for some, but it might not be for me, and I’m totally okay with that.
  10. I don’t want to wait too much longer to have kids. Doing the whole wedding thing takes time. Once I meet the right guy, I don’t want to wait longer that necessary to start a family. To some people, it might seem crazy to have kids with someone who hasn’t made a legal commitment to you, but what it really takes to be a good parent has nothing to do with whether two people are together or not, so I’m not going to make it a prerequisite.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.