Weddings can be a lot of fun to attend. You get to dress up, see old friends, and celebrate the promise of eternal love between two people.
But let’s be honest. If you are attending your second, third, or fourth wedding and your +1 is your longtime boyfriend or girlfriend, things can get a little awkward.
Sometime during the event, family members, friends, or possibly even complete strangers are bound to ask that dreaded question: “So when are you getting married?” If you and your partner don’t really have an answer, it can create some awkward moments.
Unfortunately, this question isn’t reserved for weddings. Whether you’re attending a family gathering, hanging out with old friends, or getting your nails done at the salon, sometimes it seems like you can’t escape the questions about when you’re finally going to marry your boyfriend or girlfriend.
It can be exhausting, frustrating, and demoralizing. Perhaps worse, it can cause friction between you and your partner. This is something that I know all too well as an Oregon relationship coach.
So how do you deal with this situation without having to avoid eye contact with your significant other for the rest of the evening?
Have that talk.
It doesn’t have to be a serious talk, but getting married is a serious decision. Ask your partner how he or she might address the issue the next time you are at a family gathering, wedding, and so on.
Being aware what your partner will say when these discussions come up can prevent you from hearing an answer that surprises you (and possibly causes a conflict).
You should not have to paint your relationship in a different light for friends of friends, family members, or really anyone. Be honest.
It may seem a little uncomfortable to say “We aren’t thinking about marriage yet,” “We don’t feel ready to have that discussion,” or even “We’ve decided that marriage isn’t for us.” But being honest (and saying something) will be a lot better for your relationship in the long run.
Let your family know if they are making you uncomfortable.
We all have that one aunt or uncle that, even if you have told them you are not ready to get married yet, won’t stop bugging you. In this case, you may want to pull that family member aside.
Politely let them know that, while you know their intentions are good, bringing up the subject of marriage is causing some discomfort between you and your partner. This private discussion will hopefully allow you to honestly communicate with your family without making an entire room feel uncomfortable.
Know that marriage is your decision.
When family or friends ask us about getting married, they are doing it with good intentions. This does not mean, however, that their hopes for you should push you into a decision you’re not ready to make – or do not want to make.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment, and rushing into it rarely has positive benefits. You and your partner should walk down the aisle at the time that is best for your relationship.