Society seems to think that millennials have absolutely zero interest in commitment of any form. It’s almost become a point of pride for us to shun the idea of marriage and proclaim that we want a career more than a relationship. But if that were true of every single person, then no one would ever couple up anymore, and we know that’s definitely not true. If you have romantic notions of what it means to be a couple, that’s totally cool. Hold them close and never give them up, because you should never feel guilty for the traditional milestones that you want to experience the next time you fall in head-over-heels, crazy love.
You need to move forward to be happy. That couple you know who has decided to never put a ring on it and never move in together? They may be all smiles now, but that probably won’t be the case 10 years from now. We’re human and we need to grow. It’s as simple as that. True happiness means moving forward with your life, and that means taking the next step with your partner, whether that means discovering the not-so-joyous parts of cohabitation or planning your wedding without becoming a monster.
Not having milestones to work towards is boring. If you and your boyfriend claim that things are fine the way they are but you’ve settled into a rut, both of you are lying and in reality super bored. When you picture a full, fun life with someone, don’t you picture all the milestones that the two of you can hit together, from choosing a coach for your new apartment (with a dishwasher! Yay!) to choosing a wedding venue? Milestones may be old-fashioned, but they’re still fun.
Everyone is doing it. When it comes to peer pressure, it’s not all that smart to copy what all the so-called cool kids are doing. But there’s a certain peer pressure that comes with traditional ideals of romance. All your friends are getting engaged and pregnant, and suddenly your ring-less finger is looking a little bit lonely. Everyone is growing up and going along with tradition, so why can’t you do that too? It’s totally cool to want those things, too. It doesn’t make you anti-feminist or lame.
Milestones are a sense of comfort in a stressful world.There’s only so many things that we can control in this insanely busy 24/7 culture. Hitting all of the relationship milestones – making it official, meeting each other’s people, moving in together, and so on – can be super comforting, like a pumpkin spice latte. It’s just as sweet. (Sorry, that was a lame joke.)
You can put a unique spin on tradition. So you want to follow tradition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it your way. Create some untraditional traditions of your own with your boyfriend and you’ll have it both ways: you can move forward while embracing who you truly are and being different.
Love changes everything. It’s true. You may be convinced you will never, ever be a mom and then boom, you fall madly in love and suddenly the thought of never having a family with this person is just nuts. Never feel guilty. You’re allowed to change your mind.
Ignoring milestones can make things awkward. We all have those friends who swear they hate commitment and are cool with just hanging out with a guy with zero talk of what it means or where it’s going. Let’s be real, that makes spending time with her and that guy super awkward. How do you introduce him? Can you ask how they met, or is that uncool? It’s too weird. If you’re the one in an undefined romance, you could be breezing along for six months thinking you can always commit later, and then you end up heartbroken when he says he never wanted anything serious. If you brought up the idea of hitting the first milestone (making it official), you would know that way sooner.
Guilt is a total waste of time. As far as I’m concerned, guilt should just never exist. It serves absolutely no purpose in your life. It’s only there to make you feel like crap, and who needs that? Focus on what’s really important – like the fact that you have someone amazing in your life.
Love is never easy. Don’t make it any worse for yourself. Even Nicholas Sparks movies which are arguably the most romantic films of all time feature tons of obstacles that tear the lovesick couples apart. If you’ve found your person and are happy, why beat yourself up for wanting a fancy wedding?
Following your heart doesn’t make you desperate. It’s hard to get the image of that stereotypical girl who is obsessed with landing a husband and popping out babies out of our heads. We never want to be like that girl. We have lives and dreams and hopes and awesome jobs. But you’re not automatically a loser just because you happen to want a traditional relationship. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy yourself. Love doesn’t come around all that often so hold onto it and leave the guilt behind.