While some of us dream of wedding bells, others cringe at the thought. But what do you do when you’re over-the-moon for a partner who doesn’t have the same view on marriage?
My mother’s parents have been married for over 50 years; my parents, over 30. My dad’s mother on the other hand has been married over 12 times. I’ve always wondered what she was thinking and how she could be so bad at it. Like if a person couldn’t figure it out the first 3+ times, why keep trying? Perhaps marriage wasn’t the right choice for her but she didn’t know any other way to do it. Considering the statistics most people who get married aren’t very good at it either, at least not the first time.
Even though the stable loving people in my life have successfully done the whole marriage thing, I personally don’t believe in it from a theoretical perspective. In elephant journal a few years ago I discuss the very matter. Mainly it has to be with my distaste for institutions that support the interlocking threads of oppression; and though many of my friends have done it in an attempt to “change the face of marriage,” I feel that I would just be conforming to it.
It’s a personal choice and sometimes I start dating people who have differing opinions on the matter.
Couples could be at any different stage of the marriage debate and the debate could leave them not seeing eye to eye. Perhaps one wants to get married today and the other isn’t ready to commit. Maybe one of them wants a huge wedding and the other one wants to runaway to Vegas and elope. When at this sort of juncture try following these steps.
Not Seeing Eye to Eye on Marriage? Three Steps to Get There.
Well, I guess this one is super-obvious, but the two of you need to have an open, honest talk about what you both want from your future, together or otherwise. That whole idea that one person is just supposed to wait around until the other person “pops” the question is actually not very healthy.
I’m not saying that thoughtful proposals should be tossed out the window, but knowing that you both want to do it and within the same timeline is pretty important to its success.
2. Decide if it’s a Deal Breaker
We all have our own ambitions and goals. The whole marriage decision comes from within. If you truly love someone but you want something very specific in your life and they want something else, what becomes more important? The things that may seem incredibly important at one point in your life may alter as your life changes and it’s okay to change your mind. It’s also okay to stick with your guns, but remember the choice is all yours.
3. Compromise or Walk Away
So there has been some discussion on marriage possibilities. You both know what each other want. Maybe it’s not the same thing. If it’s not and yet you still want to be together find a way to compromise. For example, if one of you is anti-marriage but the other one is totally for it, perhaps the underlying issue is actually loyalty, so the compromise would be having some sort of commitment ceremony instead. Or one of you wants to get married in June and the other December, looks like a fall wedding is in order.
It could something more serious, like one of you is ready and the other one is not even close. Does the ready one wait, or head out? There is no use being in a relationship with another person when the two of you want totally different things. It will hurt, but it’s better in the long run to be with someone on the same page.
It’s all about what the two of you desire and what you’re willing to do to have it. Consider what is most important, find an agreement that keeps the love intact or end it.
[image: via Sean Molin on flickr]