Considering marriage equality as a fair and just option for all couples, not a requirement. Just because marriage isn't in the cards, it doesn't necessarily mean chucking the relationship. People are realizing it's not an all-or-nothing proposition. Instead of forcing it, meet a Q reader below with more good choices than they realize.
I’m having fun with the person I’m seeing, and we’ve been doin’ dat thang we do for a long time now. Now they want to ruin it with marriage.
Theoretically, I can see their impulse to nail down a good thing. Personally, it’s hard to imagine anything, much less a relationship, as permanent.
Even if I do entertain the idea of growing old with someone, there are about a thousand ways that this person is so not going to be the one. Sorry, it’s just true. There’s big love but also a lot of little annoyances that add up.
How do I tell them? Should I tell them at all? Should I consider going through with it to keep what we have going? Should we just break up? Help!
Dear Funtime Futilist:
Life is almost exclusively transient, that is true. Through that lens, people can appear to force deeper meaning where there isn’t any and play emotional games that are unwinnable.
The good news is there is no game. The bad news is you are losing. Your no-budge realism wants to make the most of what is, but you miss the satisfaction of what could be.
What makes being human worthwhile is recognizing patterns amid the chaos and creating emotional connections. Even as they misread your signals and the situation, your significant other might have a leg up on this simple truth. They may also be the type that sees your faults and loves you anyway, though you only mention the annoyances coming from their side.
So about all those “shoulds” in your questions: By no means should you consider marrying this person or breaking up with them at this time. By all means, you should reach for the not-so-secret key to unlock your problem: Communication.
Two people who are not on the same page will rarely get there by deciding individually how to handle things. All will be revealed by sitting down and keeping it real. Sitting by yourself, you can’t decipher whether or not to keep going or break it off.
The art of the heart-to-heart is actually easier since you’ve been together for a long time. You know them well enough to be honest and open. Maybe “I would never marry you” is not the way to phrase it, but the honest truth is still that you don’t want to get married and do want to stay together. That’s a good start.
The other half of the equation comes from them. After putting your truth on the table, listen up for theirs.
If it is a deal breaker that your visions of the future don’t align, that’s a good thing to know sooner than later. If chilling in the now can work for both of you, even better. Your partner may just need you to recognize and appreciate the connection.
If you do stick together, stay true to your own premise: Focus on the now and stop trying to predict the future about how you’ll feel later about the relationship, even marriage.
Illustration by Brad Gibson.
A version of this column originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue online here:
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