Wednesday, October 1, 2014

GUYS: You don't HAVE TO put a ring on it.

When I tell people how long the H-Bomb and I dated before we got engaged (six years), I always get the same response. "You finally got him to propose." UM, NO.  I was twenty-five when we started dating and I didn't like the idea of getting married in my twenties. Most of our conversations about marriage went something like this:

Him: when do you think you'll be ready to get engaged?
Me: Engaged in a year, married in two?
Him: Cool, me too.

I realize we were one of those rare lucky couples who stayed on the same page over the course of our relationship.  There was no period of time where I was tapping my foot, asking him if he was ever going to want to marry me. We had conversations about it and I didn't have any freak outs, because we both made it clear it was going to happen, just not right away.

But when two people aren't on the same page when it comes to the M word, all hell can break loose. Singers Jason Derulo and Jordin Sparks just broke up this week after three years together and Derulo had this to say about the break up:

"What happened… in a nutshell, there was a lot of tension in the relationship for a lot of different reasons… There was a lot of pressures of marriage. There was a lot of arguing and stuff like that that just weighed on our relationship over time.....To be fair, it was not just from her either," he went on to say about the pressures of marriage. "It was kind of from everybody. That’s not the sole reason, but it definitely played a part."

He goes on to say that the tension weighed on them heavily: "We think it may have weighed on her more than it weighed on me. Yeah, she got frustrated a lot. She was in that frustrated space a lot and I think part of that was part of my problem."

So, I know every relationship is different but I have to wonder-- should women stop putting so much pressure on men to make it official?  Is it really healthy to force a guy into marriage if he's not ready? Obviously, when you're like-- 30+ and biological clocks come into play-- and you've been with someone for a long time and you're already living together-- it's a totally different scenario.  Ladies don't have time to waste. A lot of dudes out there are idiots and are dating terrific women who they should beg to marry them-- we all know this--but Sparks is only twenty-four and Derulo is only twenty-five. It's like-- slow your roll, people. A guy shouldn't get shit on, because he might need more time to see how he feels about committing the rest of his life to someone.

In her TED talk on feminism, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had this to say about marriage (If you've heard the song Flawless by Beyonce, then you've already heard this): "Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a good thing. It can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?"

True. Dat. 

Maybe if we took Adichie's advice and stopped teaching women to aspire to marriage and started teaching men to aspire to it, less relationships would go bust because of the M word. And boys, if you have doubts that marriage is for you, then read this old BLOW OFF post to see how much marriage actually benefits you.

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