“You Hang In There” -advice from a married woman

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.


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.


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