"You Hang In There" -advice from a married woman

Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Last month I was at a wedding reception having a wonderful old time, like I typically do at receptions, when the woman sitting next to me at our table casually asked how long Chris and I have been dating.

"Oh just about seven years," I responded.

I could tell right away she didn't like my answer. Her tight face went from shock, to horror, and then immediately to pity in just about two seconds. And then she delicately patted my knee and said, "You hang in there."

Well okay.

Alright.

I'll do that.

So here's the thing. I don't mind that Chris and I have been dating for longer than "the norm." If I did mind, I wouldn't be doing it... And I don't even mind when people consistently ask me "so when are you getting married?" Hell, I think it's nice they're even interested or want to know about Chris and I, and it's a logical question after all.

What I do mind however, is when someone tells me to hang in there.

Hang in there. It just gives me this image of a sad pitiful kitten hanging on a rope, because that exact poster was taped up in my guidance counselor's office in elementary school. And yes, I had to see the guidance counselor/speech pathologist because I had a "speech impediment" as a child. Sally sells seashells by the seashore is a terribly evil verbal exercise for a kid with a lisp.

But I digress.

I don't like being told to hang in there because it makes me think I'm this little girl just waiting and praying for that one magical day when I can finally fulfill my dream of becoming... a wife! As if I really don't have much say in this rather large life step and my only choice is to sit around and twiddle my thumbs and Pin wedding ideas onto my Pinterest board called "The Day I Marry My Best Friend."

*disclaimer: I know some girls are waiting and dreaming of this day and that is completely fine! Cheers to them, in fact. We are all different people.  To each their own.
*second disclaimer: I don't have a Wedding board on Pinterest. 

I guess I just get a little annoyed that so many people assume every girl in a long-time relationship who isn't yet married, is just dying for that ring. But darn it, we just can't get a hold of it! For whatever reason we haven't managed to tame our wild bachelor boyfriends yet... Or whatever it is some people think about us sad lonely "girlfriends" who just can't talk our guys into marrying us... Because it's just not how it is anymore.

Chris and I aren't trying to be this uber modern couple resisting marriage either. We're just doing us. And for whatever reason, marriage isn't a huge priority at the moment.

So while "hang in there" might be good advice for a few, it's not for me. Because I don't plan on going anywhere, anyway. And even though I've also been told "our bond" just isn't as real as those who are bonded in marriage, we're doing okay. Our relationship feels real to us, that's good enough for me.

Whether we get married in two years or twelve, I guess we'll just hang in there together.

But thanks again for the solid advice, maam. I hope you give it to your daughter someday.

Burnnnnn.


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52 comments:

  1. I can't believe what comes out of some people's mouths! One Summer we had 9 weddings we were invited... we were in 2 & made it to 5 more. Yes, I wanted to be engaged & get married but, Oh Ma Gosh talk about people asking & wondering when it was going to happen for YOU!? I started telling people that I didn't know when it would happen, it was up to Matt & we may just live in sin for the rest of our lives anyways! :) It shut most of them up pretty quickly!

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  2. Wow. That is just the dumbest advice. Pity belongs to the women trying to trap a guy into marriage. I can't imagine how lonely and wretched that relationship would be. Keep on keepin' on and making each other happy.

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  3. THANK YOU. I, too, have been with my boyfriend for nearly 7 years, and I can't tell you how many sympathetic looks I've gotten when I divulge that bit of information. As if it were a decision that I had no part in, and I was just waiting for the day when someone else will decide the rest of my life for me. UGH. NO THANKS. I have specific goals to achieve before marriage, and so does my boyfriend. If that doesn't bother us then it shouldn't bother anyone else. Bitches.

    -Lindsay from Dearest Darling

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  4. OMG I can so relate to this. My now hubs and I were dating for 6 years until he proposed and then we were engaged for another 2 years. It was beyond frustrating when people would just throw this pity party when I told them how long we've been in a relationship. And now...I get the whole baby talk crap from my mother-in-law. Why can't people just keep their opinions to themselves?! Sigh...it never ends. I suppose my 26-year-old ovaries are all shriveled up now. There's no hope for me.

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  5. You two seem to genuinely enjoy each other as people (this conclusion came only from reading your blog and pictures but I like to think its accurate) which is more than a lot of married couples can say for themselves and thats the truth.

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  6. My mother: "We're not pressuring you guys to get married.. but like, when are you going to get married? He's not going to wait until you're over 30 is he?"

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    1. There's nothing wrong with waiting til after 30! I mean, you gotta spend (at least you hope to) the rest of your life with the same freakin person .. what is the damn rush?! ugh. i do NOT GET IT.

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  7. I couldn't agree more, with wedding season in full bloom I get more than enough comments like "is it hard for you to be at your younger cousins wedding?" since Bryan and I have been together for 5 and half years, and I always give the same response "nope, not at all. I'm happy for her that she found someone to spend the rest of her life with". For some reason people assume if we aren't getting married right now there must be some unhappiness in our relationship.

    I also have gotten quite a few "you can't give relationship advice because you aren't married" type comments when people are giving advice to the bride to be. Which is fine, except when the people who although married have been with their partner for less time than Bryan and I have been together don't get similar comments. Personally I like to think that I know a thing or two about making a relationship work after 5 and a half years, but apparently until I put on a white dress and say "I do" in front of all my friends and family I know absolutely nothing.

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  8. My boyfriend and I have been dating over four years and I constantly get asked when we are gonna get engaged. We have 6 weddings this summer/fall and with everyone we attend I get more ideas to do and not to do! I am happy where we are at in our relationship right now!
    xo Ashley from The Ashley Maria Blog

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  9. i'm 31...in the south...and all of my friends are married or engaged or dating someone serious. i get asked all the time now "why aren't you dating anyone?" bitch...dating is hard. there are a lot of losers out there. i don't know why y'all are concerned about me NOT dating, b/c i'm not. i'm doing my best. and about 3 years ago my mom emailed me to tell me she set me up an eharmony account and wanted me to check out "john" from whatever city. that's true shame.

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  10. Why can't people just ever mind their damn business?

    This reminds me of my former mother-in-law always asking when we were going to have kids.

    Umm, maybe when your son gets a job?

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  11. I can't believe she said that to you, although at the same time I can. It's so easy for people to take someone else's situation and try to "apply it" to their own lives and feelings and history... even if it's different from how they did it. It's not right, but I think is the automatic thought process. I say girl- YOU JUST DO YOU!!! Happiness is different for everyone, as it should be... since we're all... different. YEP!

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  12. I think this article rocks! I am neither married or dating, plain ole single and people seem so concerned some times! Do your thing!

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  13. Yep, I got that more than a few times after my H (then BF) and I hit the 5 or 6 year mark? Now we're married and it's the constant kid questions or "So do you still work?" questions I get. Lovely!

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    1. but I wonder what people ask once you're married and have kids? like more can they want?

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    2. They want to know when you're having the next kid that's what.

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  14. My now hubby and I dated 10 years before we got married. It was what was right for us. We knew 100% we were ready and committed. My parents dated for 10 years as well and were married for 37 years. I say what's right for you is best!

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  15. OH.MY.GOD.

    I keep trying to come up with words but my jaw is still on the floor so it's difficult. I just got married this past April, and it blows my mind the way that people think your life must be complete now that you have a state issued piece of paper saying you're a "real legitimate couple." Someone recently asked me, "So is marriage everything you dreamed it would be?" Oh TOTES- I've spent my entire life dreaming of cleaning up after two people and being dutch-ovened on a regular basis. When will people get it through their thick 1930's skulls that marriage isn't when life STARTS and women don't need men to SAVE them? Seriously blows my freaking mind. If you guys are happy, then you are doing life RIGHT. And everyone else can promptly shut the fuck up.

    END RANT. For now.

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  16. Like you eluded, I'm sure she had good intentions; but hearing that is a joke. 'Thanks.. I think.' Is usually the response I give people like that.

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  17. This drives me absolutely nuts, mostly because the people who ask don't know me very well and it's always that same full of pity response you described. I could go on a rant and say a lot of mean things about the type of woman that asks this question but I won't because well, I'm pretty sure everyone else has already covered it.

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  18. My fiance and I have been together for 6 years and engaged for 3 of those. We also have a daughter together and I have a son from a previous relationship....I suppose I should "hang in there" too! I just don't see the rush to get married anymore. Especially when I've seen lots of people date for a month, get engaged and then get married 3 months later and divorced a month after that. To each their own as long as you are both happy, what does it matter? It's obviously working for the both of you!

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  19. I could have written this post, right down to the speech therapist lines. We are in the seven year boat as well with no plans of changing that anytime soon and people act like there is something wrong with us. Our parents have just started saying they will just have to adopt some grand kids or something. Hint taken.

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  20. I totally feel you! That pressure is 100% unwarranted! I've been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year now, and my parents are kind of giving us a wink and a nudge every now and then. Like hello, I'm 20 years old! Tons of my friends are getting married and having kids, but I'm in no rush at all. It sounds like you're already committed and happy, so what's a legal document and a ring got to do with it?

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  21. Go to Argentina and you won't get any slack at all for not being married... The majority of couples never marry and it's seen as something that mostly the uber rich or the uber religious do. We met families all the time where the couples had been together 20 years with 6 children and didn't marry. It's all about cultural expectations I suppose.

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  22. That lady really had no place to say that. It's like the same thing when people are like "why aren't you pregnant yet??" Uggggghhhhh

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  23. Love this! 7 years over here as well, and we're happy as can be. I have a ring and it was gifted out of love and all the goodness. Wherever it takes us, it takes us :)

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  24. Damn, I wish I had known about Argentina like Bonbon said, they seem like my type of people. Old people don't know what the heck is up and can be super rude at times.

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  25. Couldn't have said it better myself. We dated for 8 years before getting married. Partly because we started dating when we were 19, the other part because we were fine with how things were. Like you said, we were doing us. We didn't need the piece of paper to be happy. And now that we are married, nothing has changed.

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  26. I relate to this so hard. The best is when acquaintances who are engaged after only a year of dating give me unsolicited relationship advice. Thanks! Rude much?

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  27. Man, people are annoying! Did you say she was older? I think older folks have this vision of what a life is supposed to be, and marriage is right up there before everything else, and then babies, etc. I think we all have our own ideas of what we want, and we don't need to be told "hang in there" by older ladies at a wedding.

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  28. I've been with my BF for almost 5 years and we just bought a house together. But the question remains the same - when are you getting married?? As far as I'm concerned, we've already made the commitment. Plus, we have our beautiful dog-child. What more do we need? 😉

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  29. You know what's funny is that 90% of the blogs I read I think the husband looks like such a douche. Like I hate the face of so many blog husbands for some reason, haha. But your boyfriend seems adorable, and I don't cringe when I see a smiling photo of you guys together! So go on dating someone whose smile isn't 5 inches wide, wearing salmon shorts, and sunglasses on a rubber string 24-7!!

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    1. Haha I'm cracking up over this comment. I read the last line wrong and I was thinking, hmm I've never seen Chris wear sunglasses on a rubber string before. And then I assumed you were just referring to his fat neck because he can usually just rest his sunglasses on his it because it's that wide. And then I finally figured it out. It's been a long ass day...

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  30. Wow. Just wow lol It really doesn't change anything. Josh and I just shrug when people ask how married life is because really, nothings changed. We've lived together most of our relationship (we get weird looks on that one too because people don't bother to ask why before they judge) so really nothing has changed but my last name.

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  31. Hahaha, I’d been with my boyfriend 7 years before I got the ring. Everyone asked when we were getting married, having babies etc etc all the time.

    Then we got engaged and had a ‘surprise wedding’ 3 months later and everyone was all like ‘well, that was quick’. Can’t please some people.

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  32. I hate the assumption that everyone's life has to fit in the same mold as everyone else's. Sometimes I do get impatient with my significant, wanting to get to the next "step," but I also wonder if that's really because of what I want, or if it's because society has taught me to want it. Because where we are now is pretty awesome, and not having kids = so much flexibility and freedom! What's the rush again?

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  33. I actually am engaged, which I barely mention because I don't think it really has any bearing on me as a person, or anything I'm talking to most people about. But it's also not a conscious decision, it's just irrelevant 99% of the time so it's not always on my mind. If I do happen to mention something peoples' eyes light up like I've just told them I'm giving them £1million. It feels like, in the eyes of newlyweds and women-of-a-certain-age, finding a ,an who'll tolerate me is my one true life achievement. Sigh.

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  34. What drove me nuts was that when we did get married, the "when are you having kids" question popped up immediately, and when we told everyone we were waiting for me to finish up school I was chided for "making my poor husband wait". Ummmm yeah he wasn't ready for children at that point either.

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  35. I personally love the phrase..."giving away the milk for free" what the hell does that really mean…just say it! Sex..it’s not milk people.

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  36. I work with a pretty wretched fellow who I'm certain believes that every woman on this earth just aspires to be someone's wife. He got married a few weeks ago (after a very short relationship), and when I found out that I was going to be on PTO the same week as him, he said, "Ooooh you getting married too?!?" After I explained that I was gettin' my bridesmaid on for a dear friend's wedding out of state, he replied, "Oh yep, always the bridesmaid and never the bride, huh?" KLHSFIOU3454KAJSFJK;;!!!!!! Seriously, people. Just go home.

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  37. I loved this post because it's something I deal with constantly. I've been with my guy for almost 10 years and honestly already consider ourselves married, I mean we do have a house and a dog. Walking down the aisle and signing a piece of paper just isn't for us and what I find funny is our relationship has lasted longer than a lot of "real" marriages out there. People just need to mind their own business and realize not everyone shares their same point of view on subjects.

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  38. I swear older people especially women are the worst. They are just so judgmental at times. You guys do you and enjoy your time, who cares what others think.

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  39. The Stages of "good intentions" questions.
    1. How are you still single?
    2. When are you getting married?
    3. When are you going to have kids?
    4. When are you going to have another kid?

    My response to these now and in the future is, "It's none of your damn business."

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  40. Yikes, sounds like she probably should think before she opens her mouth. Why do people say things like that?

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  41. The worst. I'm only 21 and I still sometimes here "so when are you getting married?" As if there is nothing else I might be working towards in my life right now. Like maybe my college degree.... /sigh

    You do you girl. Some people are forever stuck in the 1930s.

    --Katie at Paperback Planes

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  42. Ugh some people should just keep their mouths shut...what a stupid comment! You guys seem to have a great thing going..why do people just assume the girl is sitting around waiting for that proposal. The truth is many times it is the WOMAN or both that don't want to take the trip down the aisle. People can be so ignorant. Let's just hope that SHE "hangs in there, bless her heart."

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  43. I get the "when are you getting married" question a lot. My response is "when he's fully trained".

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  44. 1. I love this post & 2. I especially love the "whether we get married in 2 years or 12" line... aren't you getting married almost exactly 2 years to the date after hitting publish on this post??

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