Why I Don’t Want to Get Married

marriage, why i don't want to get married

In our society, marriage is seen as a milestone in our lives to be expected and celebrated with romantic (and sometimes lavish) ceremonies. Little girls walk around dreaming about beautiful white gowns and delicious cakes. Women gorge themselves on reruns of My Fair Wedding, Say Yes to the Dress and Bridezillas vowing to have the perfect wedding, most beautiful dress and to not unleash their inner crazy. They pin all the wedding things on Pinterest mapping out their color scheme, engagement rings and wedding themes. The groom? Or bride? Well, they are often the last piece of the puzzle. Granted, the most important piece.

Marriage itself is hailed as a necessary step in making our lives complete. After all, didn’t we all learn from infancy that first comes marriage and then comes children? Well, life doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, despite the growing pressure for women to slip on their bridal shoes and trek on down the isle towards a life with a picket fence and 2.5 kids, marriage isn’t for everyone. And it’s definitely not for me.

The white dress, dream home and kids are merely not in my life plan. It doesn’t mean that my life will be any less fulfilling or complete. It merely means that I am choosing to venture down a different path than most of my friends and family.

Yes, I still believe in commitment. However, to me commitment is a promise and a decision that you make daily. It comes from within you, and no amount of ceremony can validate or prove it. The titles, the paper and the rings are all unnecessary symbols to me. I don’t need them to prove the commitment and love my partner and I have to and for each other. I see it every day when he takes out the trash, cooks dinner or lets me take control of our Netflix.

No, I will not miss the wedding. Wedding are crazy expensive! The Knot estimates the average cost of weddings to be about $30,000. That’s almost as much as the student loans I’m STILL trying to pay off. I can’t fathom shelling out that kind of cash for one day. I know there are much cheaper alternatives, but I would much rather avoid the unnecessary price tag and all the stress. Life’s way too short for stress. πŸ™‚

My aversion to weddings in my own life doesn’t mean that I won’t be over the moon for yours. On your special day, I will be partying right beside you as I marvel at the beauty of your gown and ceremony. And I will wish you all the best on the next step in your journey. My own lack of wedding merely means that you will have one less gift to purchase during wedding season. Though if you’d like to send me a gift anyway, I’m always a willing recipient. πŸ˜‰

So tell me, do you want the giant wedding? Or do you share my feelings on marriage?

Note: You can read all about ‘Why I Don’t Want Kids’ here.

  • I never wanted to get married. We lived together for eight years and bought a house together before we got engaged. I knew marriage and the wedding were important to MFD so I agreed to do it since it’s about compromise.

    It does make things a lot easier paperwork wise and god forbid if something were to happen. Otherwise I considered the house purchase the big thing…joint property is huge! LOL. The commitment was there for years before that.

    • Haha. Joint property is definitely huge! πŸ™‚ And I agree, it’s so much easier paperwork wise. There are other more drawn out options to all the paperwork, but it’s definitely more of a hassle.

      I think it’s awesome that you were willing to compromise with your husband. I know so many people who refuse to budge on any issues in their relationship. It’s crazy!

  • kathy@vodka and soda

    i was “meh” when it came to marriage. if it happened, it happened; if it didn’t, it didn’t. we already owned a house already and knew we were going to stay together so it didn’t matter to me if he popped the question or not. he did but i never pressured him; in fact, i was scared of marriage for the first 4yrs of our relationship!

    • Haha. I think many people are scared of marriage! Much like you, our lives and stuff are already so entangled. We just haven’t bought a house because we haven’t found a city where we would like to stay.

  • very well written! when i was a little girl i dreamed about my wedding allll the time. when i got older, i was all ‘commitment, dont need a piece of paper, what a waste of money’ and then i went and fell in love with someone from another country, womp womp. we HAD to get married if we wanted to live in the same country, and we both wanted to do court house + dinner with our nearest and dearest and then somehow my arm got twisted into doing something way bigger than i wanted. it was smaller than most weddings but it was not for me. my mother in law paid for it all, she never had a wedding and she has no daughters so she begged me and i thought it would be fine. leading up to it was horrible, the day of and night of were absolutely perfect and i wouldnt trade it at all (showed me the true character of my MIL but that’s a different story) but you couldn’t pay me to do it again!
    so moral of my ridiculously long comment = i agree. lol

    • Thanks! I think it’s awesome that you were so willing to let your MIL throw you a wedding. I’d love to hear more about what it revealed about her character though. πŸ˜‰ LOL. My sister opted for more of what you said you wanted. She and her husband sprung a small surprise wedding on us. They tricked us (my parents and I) and his family (just his parents, brother, SIL, niece and nephew) into getting dressed up for ‘family photos.’ Instead, we ended up attending their small wedding in the Texas hill country. The venue is beautiful and free for people to use. Then we went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Honestly, it was so much less stress for her and much more intimate with just the immediate family. πŸ™‚

      • that sounds perfect πŸ™‚ exactly what I wanted lol. well lets just say… my MIL is a ‘boy mom’ and was not happy about her baby boy getting married. oh, and she’s a nutter.

        • Oh, no! Haha. Isn’t that suppose to be the curse of the MILs? Most are nuts! πŸ™‚

  • Robin

    I am married. My husband and I are childfree/childless-by-choice (people who do not want to have children). We eloped less than 7 months after we began dating. It was a quiet, simple day with nobody except us and the minister. I even more my lucky pants instead of a dress! We loved it. I hate big fancy weddings, and I really think our society puts too much emphasis on the ceremony rather than the actual marriage. My husband and I have now been married for almost 4 years – longer than some of the people who just had to have that big fancy wedding.

    • I love that you wore your lucky pants! I think it’s awesome that you and your husband didn’t give in to the pressure to have a big wedding. It sounds like it was perfect, and just about you two. πŸ™‚

  • I never grew up fantasizing about weddings or really caring all that much about it. If it happened, it happened, was my view. But, being Catholic, even a bad one, I do feel that pressure of making it proper. But I waffle on that now since I’m less interested in a church wedding. Now I’ve come to the conclusion that if we get around to it, which I think we will, I want a wedding mostly for my grandfather. He’s not doing so well and can’t travel so he hasn’t been able to see any of his grandkids get married. So, if things work out and he’s still around, I’d do a wedding near him so he can see at least one grandkid’s wedding, but it would certainly not be an over the top money pit. I’ve come up with the idea to have everything done by friends and family. That’s the whole point, a celebration of love, not starting life in useless debt. We already own a house together, that’s enough debt for me!

    • Yes! I totally understand! I was also raised Catholic, so a wedding and marriage was always expected. It was just what you did. However, after realizing that I’m an atheist, not Catholic, all the wedding and marriage stuff went out the window. Haha. I think your idea of having everything done by family and friends is so sweet. It will definitely make your day so much sweeter! And it’s awesome for you to make sure to include your grandfather. πŸ™‚

  • If I read this post few years ago, I would think, “why a marriage can not be for everyone?” but now I completely understand and believe that yes, marriage is not for everyone. (It took me 5 years to realize LOL)

    http://ninasstyleblog.blogspot.com

    • Haha! Sometimes it takes us a while to catch on. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you did realize it!

  • Love this. I think it’s great you are honest on your stance on marriage. I think that spending $30k plus on a wedding is extreme. Like you said, it’s one day!! I just think about how much TRAVEL I could do with that money and then realise where my priorities lie. I do believe in marriage and would one day like to tie the knot, but I am not much into the big traditional wedding ceremonies and would perhaps like to elope instead. I love that you said you would still be partying next to all the people that did decide to get married. Great way to look at life!

    • Haha! I have the same thoughts about travel! I would rather use that money to see the world than have a party. πŸ™‚ I think eloping would be a great way to celebrate your day. It would be much less stressful and you can throw in a little travel.

  • Excellent post!!
    I don’t want a wedding at all, not into the waste of money or me being the center of attention. However, I would like to be married before I have kids (if I ever do). I don’t know if it’s just me but my old fashioned head makes me feel people take your more serious as a couple with the same last name and similarly I would feel strange having a child who had a different surname to me…
    It’s a very interesting topic indeed and I love hearing other thoughts on it.

    • Thanks, love!
      Now a days, many married women are actually keeping their last names or hyphenating it. Hell, some men are taking their wives last name. I just think it’s important for each family and couple to do what’s right for them whether that’s sharing a last name, creating an entirely new one or never getting married. πŸ™‚ I hope you get everything you want!

  • My husband and I had started planning a wedding but it all became very stressful. Everyone wanted us to do things a certain way and it was just ridiculous. We decided to go off and get married just the two of us and make it about our love and commitment and not about anyone else or some big party that costs way too much money. I love the way we did it, and I think that everyone needs to live their lives the way they choose. Without being judged or feeling pressured into something but others because it is the norm. So good for you for doing what works for you!

    • I love that you chose to make the day about your love and commitment. I think that matters so much more than the wedding. And I agree, people should live their lives on their own terms. πŸ˜€

  • There’s a big difference between a marriage and a wedding. It’s great to be satisfied with the commitment that comes from a relationship without having the legal ties, however, you can also have the legality of a marriage without a pretty princess day wedding. If marriage isn’t for you and you do intend on having a life partner to whom you’ve committed, there are a lot of benefits that you might miss out on–definitely draw up wills or get legal powers of attorney or healthcare proxies in place. There are some legal benefits that aren’t guaranteed without the rings unless you have specific documents in place!

    • I realize that there’s a big difference between a wedding and a marriage. My point was that I do not need the paper, the wedding, the rings or the title of wife. I do not believe in the institution of marriage as society defines it. There are definite legal benefits that we will be missing out on or will have to account for, but I don’t think having the signed paper stating we are married is necessary for me. Thanks for advice, Emily! πŸ™‚

  • I use to think that I didn’t want to get married, then I did get married. I think it’s more of the committment that I cherish over the wedding. The wedding is just one day, but a marriage is forever. I know a lot of married people with horrible marriages, and ppl that are dating but committed to each other and much more happier than the first. I think it’s all about communication and what works for you as a couple. Each relationship is different.

    • Exactly! πŸ™‚ It’s about finding what works for you as a couple and what you want out of life. Personally, I want commitment, but I don’t think a piece of paper or a title will guarantee that commitment. No paper will make a person stay. Instead, I’d rather have the commitment made between us daily. I’m happy that you found what works for you and your husband. πŸ˜€

  • Amanda

    I definitely want to get married… but, I’m not too concerned about the WEDDING portion of it.

    • Aw, no giant party?! I feel like y’all would throw one hell of a bash. πŸ™‚

  • Great post! I’m married, but I still agree with a lot of what you said. You are absolutely right that there is no ceremony that can validate your commitment if it’s not there already. I definitely don’t feel like I’m more committed to my husband with the piece of paper than I would be without it. We got married fairly young, and maybe it sounds weird but I don’t know that we had a really compelling reason (other than loving each other, obviously). We had been dating a few years, we were living together, it was just the next logical step I guess. But if we had waited and weren’t married at this point in our lives, I could definitely see myself sharing a lot of your feelings and maybe not even caring about whether we got married or not. We’ve actually talked about that and agreed that in a way, we’re glad we got it out of the way when we did. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun at the time, but I don’t think I’d having any interest planning a wedding now. I hope that makes sense. It’s definitely about the relationship, not the label! I do have to disagree slightly on the wedding part though…it was probably the best excuse to throw a party like that that we’ll ever have! πŸ™‚

    • I’m glad that you and your hubby have such a strong commitment. πŸ™‚ I do think most people reach that point where they think, “Well, what’s next? Marriage?” It just feels like the next step you’re suppose to take, but really a paper doesn’t change things much, especially if you’re already living together. It just makes the paperwork a lot neater. And you never need a reason to throw a good party! Haha

  • I never planned a big wedding as a child, or an adult. I never thought I would get married, and as my hubby is the least romantic man on the face of the whole planet, it looked like I was right. And then the ectopic pregnancy, the ruptured fallopian tube, the near death and it turned a switch in my hubby and here we are. But I totally agree it’s not necessary. Choosing to be with a person every day is commitment enough.

    • Oh, that experience would make anybody jump up and take stock of their life and relationship! Getting married sounds like a great way to celebrate your love and commitment to each other after such a difficult time. But yes, the daily commitment is worth so much more than the wedding or piece of paper. πŸ™‚

  • I completely agree that I’m not interested in having a fancy wedding! The expense would be ridiculous, and I’m not a huge fan of being the center of attention in any way.

    However, I respectfully disagree about marriage. To me, the title, paper, and rings are important symbols of an already agreed-upon commitment. I guess this could stem from the abusive relationships I’ve had in the past, in which my partners had no problem threatening to leave at the drop of a hat or talking about never wanting to be tied down, instead always wanting the luxury of multiple sexual partners. For me, the acknowledged promise that the person that I love is truly in it for the long haul is of major importance to me.

    But again, that is purely my own opinion, stemming from my own personal experience. I am glad you can feel completely secure without the cultural symbols that marriage brings into the equation, but I really don’t think I could.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the abusive relationships you have had in the past. I hope you never have to experience that again.

      I understand that marriage can provide a sense of security. However, in my opinion, if a person wants to leave, no paper will stop them (unless it’s one hell of a pre-nup!) But I know that we all need and want different things out of a relationship, so I’m happy that you know what works for you. And I hope that you find love, commitment and security. πŸ™‚

  • It’s been so long since I’ve dreamed of a wedding that I had to think about whether or not I really wanted one. It’s the same with kids. I’ve changed my mind about both, many times. At this point though, I’m in my 40s, I know I won’t and I’m fine with that. It’s an extremely personal choice and I’m glad I’ve thought about it and waited because to have gotten married, in my case, would have been a mistake. But never say never…cause you never know! Great post πŸ˜€

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ It is a deeply personal choice. And I’m glad that you found what works best for you. That’s pretty much all any of us can do.

  • My husband and I got married after 7 1/2 years of dating, so it’s not something we entered into quickly. We loved together for awhile beforehand, too. We’ve been married for over 10 years and looking back, I would definitely have had a smaller wedding but at the time, it was what I wanted AND was expected.

    It’s great how you can stick to your guns and know what you do and don’t want. I don’t think that happens enough with women.

    • Thanks! I do think many women just follow the norm because it’s what’s expected. But my hope is that everyone can learn to live life on their own terms. I think it’s important to know what you want and don’t want out of life. πŸ™‚

  • Elena@Elena’s Travelgram

    I’ve just been to my friend’s wedding last month. It was insanely huge (around 150 guests), beautifully decorated in that perfect venue, but most of the evening I couldn’t help thinking “I would NEVER spend THAT much for a WEDDING”. Seriously, 30.000 av?! I’d rather roam around South East Asia for 5 years ’cause that would cost as much πŸ™‚

    Totally agree with all the points you’ve made!

    • I would much rather use the money to travel than on a big party! πŸ™‚ It’s so much more fulfilling.

  • I was never one of those girls that grew up imagining a big wedding…I wasn’t even sure I would get married. While I certainly not on the prescribed path of adulthood, I’m married but no plan for kids. We just went to the courthouse and had a small dinner party the next day. For us getting married was important, I like the feeling of commitment and feel of family it brings. There is something about getting to say “my husband” or “my wife” I think. P use to always say that he felt like referring to me as his “girlfriend” was not good enough because it didn’t show important I am in his life πŸ™‚ It also comes with certain legal and financial benefits.

  • I can’t believe how expensive some weddings are. And the dresses! I can’t fathom spending ridiculous amounts of money on a dress you can only wear once. I kind of got roped into having an actual “wedding” by my parents, who are pretty traditional. I’m fine with making them happy, but it’s not my thing, so my mom is basically planning it with minimal guidance from me. But I’m definitely trying to keep it as cheap as possible.

    • Right?! I mean, unless you’re going to bust that dress out on every single special occasion from here until your 50th anniversary, why spend thousands of dollars on it? I mean, I understand some couples have that kind of money to spend, but so many don’t. Yea, I think my mom is happy she at least got to have that experience with my sister. Granted, my sister’s was more of a surprise wedding with only immediate family. She tricked us into getting dressed up for “family photos.”

      I hope you enjoy your wedding celebration .. for a reasonable price. Hah. πŸ™‚