A Married Woman’s Take On Dating, Marriage, and Life

This is the second interview in a two-part series about marriage and dating. Read Kelly’s interview about me here.

Kelly and I met in college almost five years ago and instantly hit it off. We’ve been close ever since. We spent hours talking about life, listening to music, watching Netflix and going to see movies. We’d plan our schedule to have classes together and spent Sundays studying with McDonald’s Cokes and editing each other’s papers. We’ve planned road trips, shared music, and would lay out at the river getting tan (ok, I got tan). While Kelly was a year ahead of me in school she’s only six months older. Kelly and I are both 23.

I’ve always been a short term dater. My relationships rarely last more than three months and I’d rather not have to deal with actually getting to know someone and all the nitty gritty that comes with that. Many of my close friends are in serious relationships, married, or on their way to engagement and in almost every conversation I have with them it’s revealed that my grasp on marriage and serious relationships is not accurate.

I’ve been in relationships where I’ve felt stifled and unable to be my independent self. I’m not in a place where I want to have someone else to worry about. I have a lot of emotional baggage and I don’t trust easily. So the idea of finding someone that I want to be married to at this point in my life seems laughable. My perception of marriage right now is someone holding me back. I want to be able to get up and move at any point without worrying about someone else. Eventually, I want marriage and children but I’ve never really dreamed about the white picket fence life.

So with my dark and cynical views in check, I’m interviewing my best friend who happens to be married to give myself some insight on married life and to put some of preconceptions (read: opinions) to rest.

Who did you think would get married first?

I always thought that I would get married first because you never expressed a strong desire to get married. I know that I didn’t either but it was always in my life plan.

When did you know you were going to marry Julian?

After about a month I knew that our relationship was serious and it was around the six month mark that I knew we would get married eventually. By six months he had been on vacation with my family and vise versa and we had been living together for awhile.

What’s it like being married? Do you have a favorite part? A least favorite part?

Not much has changed, we had a really long engagement and we acted like we were married during our engagement (split expenses, parents to two dogs, shared responsibilities). My favorite part is post-wedding there’s a level of comfort knowing I have someone at home that I can always talk to and I can tell him everything. I have someone to share everything with and to be completely myself with.

My least favorite part was the whole legal process. That was awful. I have to go back and change everything that has my name on it (credit cards, bank accounts, social security card), it’s been three months and I’m still not done. Balancing two families is also difficult. Everyone wants us to come to them for weekends or holidays and you always have to let one side down (or both). Though we have more power to say no now that we’re married.

Is there anything you feel like you missed out on or are missing out on because you got married young?

This is a question I get asked a lot when people find out I got married young and my answer is always no. Marriage isn’t holding me back, I have the opportunity to get my life started earlier. Marriage isn’t pushing my timeline forward, I’m not in a rush to have children. What would I be missing out on? I was never into the party scene and I wouldn’t have done it if I was single because it’s not something I enjoy.

Are you worried about being judged by your peers? What about people older than you?

A lot of the judgements I get involve people assuming we’re super religious, I’m pregnant, or that we’re irresponsible. Since I have a lot of friends who are engaged or waiting to get engaged they come to me for advice about wedding planning but I don’t get much judgement from my peers. I have stopped telling people how old I am, especially older adults and adults who have been divorced because they are the most judgemental. I’ve gotten adults who tell me that it was a mistake to get married so early since I don’t know what life has in store for me yet.

Did you consider eloping?

We considered eloping twice. The first time was when we began wedding planning and realized how expensive weddings are. There were things we wanted to do that would cost the same amount of money but we pushed forward. The second time was in the middle of wedding planning. Everyone was offering their opinions and things were hectic but we knew we would go through with the wedding because the wedding wasn’t really for us but for Julian’s parents.

What was the scariest part for you?

I had no doubts and there weren’t any scary moments for me because I knew that Julian would be there.

Do you feel like friendships have changed/devolved because of your relationship?

Yes I feel like some have changed because I’ve  been in a relationship for almost 3 years. I make an effort to stay in touch with the friends I had before I got married. I’ve noticed Julian and I spend more time with couples and most of our friends are either engaged or on their way to engaged. We go on a lot of double dates.

What’s it like being friends with a perpetually single girl? How do you view me/my lifestyle?

It’s interesting to me. I’ve never casually dated and never had a strong desire to so it’s not a lifestyle I have any understanding of. You have interesting stories and it’s amusing to hear about it but I could never imagine myself living that life.

 

I have a better understanding of Kelly and her marriage now that I’ve interviewed her. It’s still not something that I’d want at this stage of my life and I still can’t imagine being married. Kelly and I have different values and experiences when it comes to relationships and while Kelly is as happy as I’ve seen her, I still wouldn’t trade places with her.

Featured image from Unsplash.com.

Lauren Gustafson

Lauren Gustafson

Lauren is a Virginia native and graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she majored in English. She reads passionately, bakes occasionally, and loves rugby. Lauren has spent multiple summers supervising children at overnight camps and she is a pro at dealing with awkward and inappropriate questions. Her goals in life include: being a crazy book lady, living on her own, and traveling any chance she gets.
Lauren Gustafson