I went to my cousin Kaydee’s wedding two weekends ago. I usually think weddings are dull, but at least it wasn’t another funeral, right? And I do have fun seeing my bizarre family. The only annoyance I have is hearing the same thing that every unwed person gets asked at a wedding: “So when are YOU going to get married!?”
And someone ALWAYS asks. It doesn’t matter that I say I want to be single. I also haven’t had a date in years. And yet family members always bug me about it. I can endure it, though. But I feel that I need to help out other singles that may be more sensitive to such demands. So I’ll start by telling you married people that asking “when are you going to get married” isn’t always an encouraging thing to say.
Yes, I am speaking to married people now! I know it is difficult for you to understand; after all, marriage has somehow worked for you. But that is your reality; us singles may not have the experiences you do. For instance I heard an amusing story at the wedding. My cousin said she didn’t like her future husband when she first met him. She said he kept asking her out and she refused. But she finally gave in! Oh ho! And of course she learned to love him after many persistent advances! Ha,ha,ha! What a nice story! It must always turn out like that, right?
No it doesn’t. And rejection paints quite a different picture. Where the married person’s persistence is seen as sweet in retrospect, there is a version of the story where that persistence failed. And when it fails the same persistent actions are labeled as “obsessive,” or “weird.”
So you can perhaps glimpse why the “JUST KEEP TRYING!” advice doest fly. But what’s that? You still can’t grasp the situation? Let me attempt to visualize it for you, marriage-lover; let me attempt to show you the reality of failure. Imagine your spouse for a moment. And take all those fanciful stories of how “things just worked out” and toss them all in the trash. Imagine what would have happened if your spouse rejected you. No chance of reconciliation–they just decide to give up and leave.
But it doesn’t end there, not when we have this wonderful online world. Because you get to watch as they marry someone else. As they go on to say how wonderful their lives are; how blessed they must be to have met such a person! A person that isn’t you. And then you get to watch as they have the children you wanted to have. Am I making sense? Have you pictured it well? Well just imagine it happening again! And again. And again. And how infuriating it is––after all that––to have to hear someone ask “Well why haven’t you gotten married yet!?”
I realize that it’s difficult for a marriage-lover to visualize this. Because another thing I hear at weddings is “I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him/her.” They admit it right there: “I can’t imagine.” And if you can’t imagine a different perspective than your own, well, I suppose you shouldn’t be telling other people how to live their lives now should you?
And that’s all I can ask: that you try to put things in perspective. That’s what I’m doing every time I attend a wedding, after all! I try to imagine marriage as something beneficial for the people getting “joined,” even if I don’t believe that it is the path I should personally take.
Now let’s get this chapter started! I wish I could tie in my rant with the story somehow, but it’s probably just about monsters fighting again! 😉