Please Stop Asking Me When I’m Going to Get Married

I’ve been in a relationship for nearly eight years. My boyfriend and I live together and have two dogs. I’m happy—sometimes disgustingly so. But like many of you in LTRs, I’ve gotten the question “When are you getting married?” so many times I’ve got my answer down to a science.

Most people ask innocently enough, but after the 2,497th time you’ve heard it, it’s annoying. And intrusive. It implies being in an eight-year relationship isn’t something to celebrate. Sure, they may be genuinely curious about the next steps in my life, but it’s gotten to the point where every time my boyfriend and I go on a trip together, there’s a wink-wink from friends, family and even totally random people who assume he’s finally (their phrasing) going to propose. Ask me if we’re happy, ask me about our dogs, ask me literally anything else.


Most people ask innocently enough, but after the 2,497th time you’ve heard it, it’s annoying. And intrusive.


If they press—well, you must have thought about it, like, yeah, of course I have because I’m a woman and the idea of being worthy of marriage has been ingrained into my brain since I was little thanks to our patriarchal society—I simply tell them I refuse to get married under the current administration. I really don’t want to get married in such a volatile climate. (My boyfriend probably tells them he’s waiting until I improve my credit score—valid.)

Other people think we need a marriage agreement before we’re a “couple.” Like my boyfriend’s uncle, who likes to say things to my face like “if you’re a woman older than 30 who isn’t married and doesn’t have kids, you’re useless.” (If my boyfriend and I do ever get married, he’s not invited.)

But every time they ask this question, they perpetuate the notion that marriage is the ultimate endgame, that it’s what’s best for my relationship.


Every time they ask this question, they perpetuate the notion that marriage is the ultimate endgame, that it’s what’s best for my relationship.


And after a while, it’s started to make me feel a little insecure. I’ve caught myself on more than one occasion falling into this trap, asking myself Why aren’t we married yet? Last weekend we were at a family barbecue and we got so many comments about not being married—my hand was held up at one point while my boyfriend was asked what’s up with the empty finger. I wanted to die of embarrassment and stand up for myself but instead ended up awkwardly laughing along.

The life we have created for ourselves is enough for us—sans binding legal documents. Shouldn’t it be enough for everyone else?

This post originally appeared August 24, 2017, on The Zoe Report.

  • Preach!!!

  • OMG, YES. This goes for those of us who are reaching 30 and single. Marriage isn’t the be-all-end-all! And an 8 year relationship is amazing! Who cares if you have a piece of paper that says you’re a couple? Marriage is just an old construct that isn’t needed for everyone.

  • Sinclaire

    Thank you SO much for sharing! I, too, am in an 8 year relationship…and I have now coined it as the “question of the year.” I’m often asked the same things you’re asked, and it’s so nice knowing that you share the same sentiment. Sometimes I’ll answer with, “Why aren’t you asking him? He’s the one in control of this whole thing…” Just know that I completely empathize with you, and it’s almost as if I’ve written this article myself. Here’s to the technically single (according to all things legal), yet taken (according to our LTR’s) girls.

  • phillyyogibear

    When I start to get annoyed with the question I tell people that we are adding 6 months every time someone asks. I know its not the most mature thing, but it sure stops the comments.

    • That’s hilarious!

  • Lulu

    Dead on. I have been asked this question (directly and indirectly) so many times, I have mini-fantasies about all the one-liners I would love to toss out there as a retort.

    “When I wake up one day and decide that instead of buying a car, I would like to have a wedding.”

    “When everyone can get married.”

    “Never, I am going to grow into an old spinster and love every minute of it.”

    “I can’t, I’m allergic.”

    …are all things I will never be able to say to the friends and family who care about
    me enough to ask.

  • Amen! I am in a seven year relationship and if I could have a penny for every time someone has asked when are you getting married I would be a billionaire. I also now know the feeling of constantly being asked so when will you get married that I try not to ask other couples the same question.

  • I’m turning 30 in less than a month and if I had a dime for every time I was asked this question (and “Are you planning to have kids?”) I’d likely be a millionaire by now. I’m so fed up with it. I don’t plan to get married or have kids. My partner feels the same way. If we feel the need to take our relationship to the next level, we’ll just adopt a cat or dog and call it good!

  • I’m a single 35-year-old woman and now I feel like shit (nevermind ‘useless’). I hate your boyfriend’s uncle. If I ever get married, he’s not invited to MY wedding either.

  • Kristin

    THANK YOU! I’ve been dating my boyfriend for eight years as well and this is my daily struggle. We just moved in together, bought a condo, and are so incredibly happy. Even though this is such an exciting time in our relationship, all everyone can talk about is when is he finally going to propose. It really does make me feel insecure and question why we aren’t getting married and having kids now. But right now, that’s not what we want. I’m trying really hard to ignore what other people think I should be doing and just enjoy the present! One day when we have kids and haven’t slept for days, we’ll appreciate these years where it was just the two of us!