13 July 2011

My Boyfriend's Back

Maria from Infinite Whimsy responded to a question I asked her earlier this week about being newly married. She mentioned that people definitely treat her and her honey differently now that they are wed and that: Our families see us as a real unit now, which is nice. I have to admit that it's nice to feel "legitimate" in others' eyes, even though we've felt that way for years.

The word "legimate" really stuck with me because I've been feeling that way for a while now with the BF. No no no, this is totally not a "wah, I wanna get married" post! I think the term "boyfriend" sounds fine when you're in your teens to early 20s. You're young, dating around, having fun. As the years pass after that, I think it becomes more and more awkward to use. Grown-ups aren't supposed to have "boyfriends" anymore, they are supposed to have "fiances," and "husbands," and "significant others." I think after you pass 25, you starting falling into the whole well why doesn't she have a husband yet hole because that's permanent and adult, whereas having just a boyfriend seems so fly-by-night.

BF and I have been living together for several years now and had dated for a year or two previous to that. We're not married or engaged, but we both feel like we're "together" as a unit. We've talked about all that stuff and we're pretty sure marriage is where the road will lead us, but we're happy where we are right now.

What bugs is that other people don't seem satisfied with where we are right now. BF gets along great with my parents, but whenever I speak to my mom, she acts like at any moment he's going to get on out and get himself another woman because we're not formally committed. And BF gets the "mm-hm" looks from co-workers when he introduces me as his girlfriend, like I don't know if it is worth getting to know you - you may not be around during the next company event.

I know we live in a modern society and I shouldn't care and should just concentrate on a relationship that works for us - once again, this is NOT a cry to get married! - but it seems difficult when those immediately around me do seem to care and treat us differently because of it. Who knew what a big difference a little bauble or lack of on your left ring finger could make?

For those of you ladies in committed but not married relationships, what do you think? For you married ladies, did you feel a noticeable treatable difference between when you and your hubby were just together vs after you were official? Why do you think people think like that? And if you agree with the above thinking, why do you feel that way?

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Dress: Garnet Hill floral trim knit (similar plain here)
Jacket: Anthropologie Daughters of the Liberation cropped wisley (worn here before - similar here)
Belt: Anthropologie looping lanes (worn here before - similar-ish here)
Shoes: Xhiliration by Target teanna (worn here before - similar luxe here)
Necklaces: Natasha Grassofuzzyelephant via Etsy

39 comments:

  1. oh man, I am right there with ya. BF and I are in a similar stage, and I feel just fine about it. Still, it's incredibly frustrating to deal with OTHER people, whose expectation is that you SHOULD be married "by this point." I moved to DC this summer after BF and I have been long-distance for about 2.5 years. So far, two of his friends mentioned something about proposals or marriage. At first, I thought maybe they knew something that I didn't. Then I realized (after talking to a random girl who knew neither I nor BF, who said that I'd probably be married within a year) that, in actuality, they knew NOTHING but were just vocalizing the social expectations for my own relationship.

    It's a bizarre place to be in. I don't think there's any solution except to weather it out.

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  2. I understand what you mean by the term boyfriend sounding a little young once you get over 25, I personally hate the word partner though so what do you do?!

    To be honest, I never had a strong desire to get married, never pictured my fairytale day etc. My DH and I knew each other for 10 years before we got together but then got engaged 8 months later, we knew that if we made the step from friends to something more it would be for life.

    I like being married but find the word husband an odd one to use, plus I still use my maiden name on Facebook as you know!

    You two are a strong unit already, to hell with what anyone else thinks. As long as you two are happy and know where you stand with one another surely that is the main priority :-)

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  3. Hi, I'm your new reader & follower. Love your blog, so inspirational & I really enjoy it.

    If I could share my opinion, people could be really annoying. Please just ignore them (but I know it's hard in reality sometimes). Before my husband & I were married, people asked us all the time "when will we get married". Then after we are married, they asked us again "when will you guys start a family, (i.e having kids)". Now that we have 2 little boys, they asked me again "don't you guys want to try for a girl?"
    They will never let you alone, the questions never stop, I'm telling you.

    Now I get used to it and just brush it off. The way I see it now is that these people (especially family members) just want to see us happy - unfortunately, with the way they think we would be - they forget that they're not the one who live our live.

    So basically they are good people but very nosy... :-)

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  4. Cute dress :)
    I think a lot of pressure comes from people from our parent's generation because things were so different then. People were getting married really young, right out of high school, so now they see our generation and wonder what's up. I think when YOU personally get to the point that you want to get married is when you should do it, not fold to the pressure of anyone else. I know there a came a point personally when I didn't just want to be my now husband's girlfriend anymore, but that was me, not coming from my parents or anyone else :) You need to go at your own pace!

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  5. I come from a traditional Asian family where marriage is the goal of the relationship. My mum would constantly ask..."when are you getting married?" and "is he/you serious?" - i bet you know what i mean!
    But i guess I've always been a firm believer in marriage myself (perhaps the way i grew up influenced my beliefs). I mean, I want to be married first before I have kids, and I want our kids to have the same surname.
    OK i'm going to admit it. When i was still dating my now hubby, I felt a little uncertainty, even though i knew he was serious about me and that we are both happy. Again, this is probably as a result of my upbringing. geez..my mum and her relationship advice really got to me!
    However, I don't think its right to judge other relationships. I completely understand that marriage is not for everyone. So long as you both are happy and in lurve Lisa, that's all it boils down to.
    You're so dang cute, no way your BF is going to run away with another woman...hahaha!

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  6. I didn't really notice a difference with most of our family, but definitely with Husband's mother. We were living together and she wouldn't let us share a room on vacations (she'd want us to bunk up with girls and guys). Um, no.

    But then again, I really wanted to be married. I knew Husband was "the one" so why wait around?

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  7. Ok, so I normally gush and gush over your outfits, but today, I am going to gush and gush over your words.

    I want to let you in on a little thing I like to call "my completely unconventional life" and here it goes:

    I have three kids. My oldest son is from one relationship and the younger two are from another relationship. I have never been married nor engaged in any fashion. I have been divorced twice (thank you common law Colorado). So, I REALLY know what you mean and I am so very glad that you wrote this post.

    My first relationship was very abusive and just wrong. My oldest son was born when I was 18 and I had to get the eff out of that relationship asap. I haven't seen this guy since my son was about 1 1/2.

    My second relationship seemed pretty good, but ended HORRIBLY (I found out he had been cheating on me for years and was a completely different person than I thought him to be). Anyhow, when we were together, we were a family. I (oops) got pregnant early on in the relationship, but it was alright. He was a good father and (at the time from what I knew) we had a great relationship. When my daughter came along, everything felt perfect except for one little detail: he had no interest whatsoever in marrying me. Now, of course, I know why, but at the time it was very disheartening. Imagine introducing the father of your kids to people as your "boyfriend"? See where I'm coming from? Even today, with my three kids and never been married status, people pass a lot of judgment. I can see it, feel it and hear it in their voices, sideyes and behavior. Like I'm some kind of flighty unmarriabe freakshow or something. I get it. I can't say I wouldn't have the same initial reaction.

    But the thing is that now I have a wonderful boyfriend. He is a great man. Again, he's my boyfriend. While I would like to get married one day, now it seems kind of like "eh". I mean, I work in family law, so I see soooo many marriages end. Some badly, some cooperatively. Having been through two bad divorces myself, and now being in a totally awesome relationship, it has made me realize that people who sideye, judge and give you a different treatment because you don't have a ring and a piece of paper and overpriced cake with relatives you barely remember, are the ones with the problems. No one can know what you have in your relationship or in your life but you. And how you feel about it is the most important thing.

    Thanks for letting me vent a post within your post. Jeez. Sorry about that.

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  8. I will wax poetic in a few days on my own blog as M and I approach our 7th year together as-- gasp-- an unmarried couple. But I will say one thing now: the only people who truly understand a relationship are the two people who are in it.

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  9. Wow love that dress Lisa! I was in your shoes - you reach a certain age and the word girlfriend/boyfriend feels silly to say. I think I got around that by always saying his name and when we introduced each other we would say something like "my better half" or "my significant other". Not really a problem solver but at least people didn't assume those things you mention. It also didn't help that when we weren't married yet we looked much younger than we were so people probably didn't take us seriously either.

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  10. Well...considering that I'm recently divorced, I can't really speak to the situation of having a boyfriend past the age of 25. Although it's something I've thought about since I'll have a boyfriend before a husband again. {That just seems logical, anyway. :)}

    I will say that you look lovely and I adore that dress!

    Come take a look inside A Working Mom's Closet

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  11. People are seriously annoying and rude. Fiance and I have been together 9 years. We got engaged last year, and up until that point everyone from my dentist to the UPS man asked when we were getting engaged and what we were waiting for. Now that we are engaged, everyone asks when are we getting married. When the time is right for us, but NO ONE accepts that as a suitable answer. I get crazy looks. Gasp how on earth can you be engaged and not rushing to the alter. I find this line of questioning so annoying. Do what makes you comfortable and ignore everyone else. All that matters is how you and boyfriend feel :)

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  12. You look lovely as ever Lisa! I adore your little blazer.

    I actually have to say that when my husband and I got married, I didn't really feel like we were treated any differently afterwards. But some people can be so rude and nosey when it comes to asking when we're going to have children. We've been married for almost 4 years and we're both 28, and no one can believe that we still want to WAIT until we have kids. Why is it anyone else's business? What if we didn't even want to have children (which we DO, but still... not having kids is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle as well)? I don't get it. Anyway, I just brush those people off with a laugh and carry on my way. As long as you know where you stand in your life and with your bf (or in my case with having kids), it's no one else's business!

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  13. My boyfriend and I have been together 15 years! I think eventually your friends and family will leave you alone. Our family and friends have surely given up on us ever getting married. They essentially view us as a married couple now.

    But I have 2 big issues....

    1) I call him my "boyfriend" only because there's no other great word for what he is to me. But the term "boyfriend" seems so insignificant considering the relationship we have. Heck, marriages don't last as long as we have. But I can't call him my "partner" because then people will think he's a woman. My mom calls him her "almost son-in-law". I sometimes refer to him as my "common law husband" though there's no such thing in California (legally speaking). So can we come up with a new word for what he is to me?

    2) People that don't know me well think somehow I'm waiting around patiently (or desperately) for my "boyfriend" to ask me to marry him. They assume that I WANT to get married and that he doesn't want to. The truth is that he would be married by now if he were with someone else. I'm the one that never had a desire to get married. I'm very happy with how things are.

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  14. Btw, I should have mentioned that I'm 45, and I actually thinks it's fairly fun (if that's the right word) to not follow the norm. It's somehow liberating. I like that people can't believe we never married and never had kids. I probably was far too obedient as a child so now I feel like such a rebel. LOL!

    But to be honest, I think I haven't married nor had kids because I was a late bloomer. And by being a late bloomer, I was able to step back and look at my friends' marriages and kids, and say to myself, "Heck, I'm not sure I want that." The grass did not appear all that greener on the other side. I saw that my friends had idealized marriage and having kids, and that it ended up not being so rosy after all. And now that alot of my friends are going through bitter divorces and having trouble with their kids, I'm glad that I was able to step back and think about what was right for me, as opposed to getting swallowed up in what society thinks I should do. I chose the path that was right for me.

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  15. I have known my boyfriend for 13 years, we have been a couple for almost 5 years and we bought a house together over a year ago (I think he becomes my common law husband pretty soon, actually). Our families treat us as if we are already married, as do all of our co-workers, and yet my friends ask me CONSTANTLY when we're going to get married.

    I have never once said to any of my friends that I want to get married (I probably do eventually, but I'm currently working full time while obtaining my Master's degree so it's definitely not a priority at the moment) and I always assure them that it might happen eventually but not right now, and yet they continue to ask all the time. That in itself wouldn't bother me, it's the implication that I'm waiting with bated breath for a proposal and the constant utterances of "you're next" when someone else gets engaged. It's like they've projected their own desires to get married onto me, and it's gotten a bit tiring.

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  16. I really identify with this because I have lived with my BF for a whle too and we're not married but we definitely feel like a unit. I get so frustrated/confused about the whole marriage thing because I think alot of people judge us because we're not married yet and this really bothers me. And I've said before, the worst is being around LGs young nieces and them asking us when we're going to get married. Something I've learned recently though, is that not all marriages are what they seem. I'm learning that a few couples I know are seperating and it just goes to show that you never know what goes on behind closed doors. I'm not saying I never want to get married, but when I do I want to make sure it's something that is right for the both of us and we don't do it for anyone else. It just seems like some couples get married for the wrong reasons.

    Oh, and I love this jacket with this dress ;)

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  17. This is a difficult topic. To clarify, I think if you are happy and he is happy, then who cares! Don't let any one else's judgement or belief get in the way of your happiness. It's your life!

    For me, I never wanted to get married. ever. It was something that we argued over. I knew that I wanted to be with my then man-friend [I totally called him that before the SATC movie, ha] and was committed and he was "the one", but didn't need that piece of paper. I hate weddings, never saw myself walking down the aisle, planning a wedding or anything of the kind. That just wasn't me.

    We stopped arguing about it and things started coming up like our wills, medical rights, kids - I wanted them to have the same last name as me, his travelling overseas frequently for work [if we were married I could go],just on and on, little things that I started to consider.

    Slowly, I started to change my mind. I did for real, on leap day of that year, because I thought that would be the best day to get married! The anniversary only came around every couple of years. So we compromised. :) Marriage - no wedding. We live in Las Vegas and I wanted a romantic drive-thru chapel wedding with our dogs. I was VETOED! Okay, cheesy Vegas chapel with Elvis. NOPE. UGH, fine. Lake Tahoe [NV side - less hassle] both parents and our sisters, outdoors on a bluff overlooking the lake. Perfect! I planned everything in one night, one month prior. Bought a dress online and didn't stress or think about it at all. When we got back I told everyone and he left for Germany for two weeks for work. It was perfect for us!

    And, I hate to admit it, but things are much different after you get married [or at least they were for me]. I am so happy now and glad we decided to get that piece of paper, but it is a personal decision.

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  18. It's like you're reading my mind. I don't know why it is that people are more apt to take it seriously if you're legitimately married. It's like long term relationship isn't the same despite the fact that miserable married couples may surround that happy LT relationship. A classic case of faulty thinking and oftentimes, I think, envy.

    xo,
    C

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  19. my man and i have been together just over 4 years and have lived together for 3. we're not married, but it'll probably happen with the next year or so. i just want to go to city hall anyways, no registry, no fancy dress, no attendants. when i was unemployed, it was on my mind more because of health insurance and such, but now that i am working it seems less imperative.

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  20. Just be glad you had a choice, married or not and be happy. Think about all the gays that still fighting for their rights to get married, it really is a privilege, but if it is not your cup of tea, that is fine too.

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  21. Well you probably know my situation as I think I've mentioned it before, but my husband and I were together for 5 years before we were engaged, then got married a year and a half later. I definitely felt that we were regarded differently by both of our families (his much more so) after we got engaged/married.

    For me, marriage was never important until it was. It's like when your hair looks awesome one day and the next day you need it cut RIGHTNOW. Something in me just switched because because I suddenly wanted a family unit of my own. My mom is remarried, Dad is with his gal-pal (not married) for 16 years, brother is married with kids... I wanted to build my own thing. I had a "broken" family growing up (not a boo hoo story by any means, I am very close to all members of my family). Marriage for me represents family. Had I no desire for family, I don't think i would have wanted marriage for myself.

    Don't let what others think bother you -- marriage can mean as much (or little) to you as you like. I think that a public formal commitment just makes people regard a couple unit a bit differently and they are entitled to that view, but you and your "boyfriend" know what works for you- and clearly what you are doing is working.

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  22. I didn't notice a difference in how people treated my husband and I before we were married and after we were married. It felt the same, or maybe I was just oblivious to any negative reactions. I'm not really sure. It may have been because I've always viewed couples in a relationship, whether married or not, as together. I never really thought of the relationship as being less because a couple wasn't married.

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  23. I have been thinking about your questions all day and it has been a fun to ponder.

    I understand the choice either way to wed or not. I don't think I would or should treat anyone differently because they are married or not. Of course no one is perfect and people can be nosy, rude without knowing or just plain rude.

    I love the comment that brought up the fact that at every stage someone has an opinion or a nose to put in the wrong place. Waiting only 6 years to have children in my own life brought a slew of unwanted hounding. Then being pregnant is a whole different world of belly rubs from strangers, parenting advise, & personal questions. Once you have the baby random strangers will ask you how nursing is going (I still don't have a good reply for that)

    In all honesty what does a paper saying you are married really do for you? I could have easily not have been married and been happy so why did I get married?

    I met my husband and I just wanted to get married. I wanted him in my life forever. My decision was based on this and religious reasons. We wanted a family and marriage was a part of that

    In all honestly there isn't a perfect cocktail that leads to a perfect life. We all want to sign up for normal-ville but it doesn't exist. People will change, people make mistakes and all of this can also happen within a boyfriend or spouse relationship. If it all fell apart in 5 years though I could honestly look back and know I made the right decision for me and that is what I wanted.

    I couldn't have known what I signed up for when I got married. Heavens knows kids are that saying to the 10th degree. In all of it the thing I have learned the most is that in losing my self somewhat (i'm careful to keep some of me)to my family and being dedicated to them I have really found myself and some happiness that I didn't know was there to be had.

    Thanks again for the great post and questions. I deviated a bit but so did my thoughts so here they all lay. This certainly got my wheels turning today. I got to ponder it while I was a mommy, wife, employee for the day and I realize that being mommy and wife are by far my most favorite, challenging and rewarding relationships.

    Could I leave without commenting on the outfit? Of course not! As always I love your outfit and how you wear it. You always have so much spunk!

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  24. I love what you are wearing today. You look fantastic!

    You raise an interesting topic. The hubs and I lived together for about 1 year before we got engaged. My parents were none-too pleased about it but as soon as he proposed, everything was honkey dorey. We have now been married 9+ years and the next question is...of course, kids!

    I guess sometimes it's hard to "go against" the grain and not do what is "expected." I think if what you have going on works for you, that's great and the rest will fall into place.

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  25. I can't really respond to that, because at least you have a boyfriend. I'm 25 and I haven't had one since I was 20. I think I'd rather have the sigma of 'why wont her man commit' than the stigma of 'well she's pretty, so there must be something freakishly weird about her since she can't find a boyfriend'.

    Chic on the Cheap

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  26. first of all- awesome coral dress and awesome brown wedges= blow my mind

    second of all, I'm sure half the problem is in not having an appropriate term. I usually use boyfriend, and sometimes partner (but then I got leered at by a creepy client who wanted to talk about my lesbianism...). Boyfriend seems ridiculously cutesy after 18 years (officially half my life...) but there really is no alternative terminology(but then, 'husband' is dorky too, so there!)

    I like the idea that my boyfriend's aunt and uncle ran off and got married on the beach in the middle of winter for their 20th anniversary.

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  27. I agree with Sarah, both about the dress, and the lack of proper terminology. Boyfriend = too cutesy after more than 5 years. Partner = are you gay? I rebel against the notion that you need to have a ring and a piece of paper to be in a committed relationship. My mom was like yours, she'd go on and on about how there's no commitment if there's no marriage, but I just ignored her after a while. You can be a lot happier and committed without being married than some couples are married.

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  28. This is a great post, Lisa. I can really, truly identify with the questions you've raised here. BF and I are just past 25 and have been together since our sophomore year of college. I often feel like he's the only person who completely understands me and knows how I'm feeling, without me having to tell him -- which is just magical. We have every intention to get married, when the time is right. But even if we weren't going to get married, that wouldn't in any way invalidate our commitment to each other or make it any less meaningful to us.

    Just as you've said, though, it feels a bit strange to keep referring to him as my "boyfriend", when both of us know that we're in this for the long haul. Shouldn't there be a better word to express what he means to me and the relationship that we have together?

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  29. I never saw a change in behavior from friends or coworkers, but there was a distinct difference in the way my family treated us after getting married; they actually acknowledged Hubby's existence. Before that they ignored him every time they saw him, even when he was sitting right next to them. My brother and sister were the only ones who accepted him from the moment I started calling him my boyfriend.

    My mom STILL talks like Hubby will leave me at any second ... because I'm not the stereotypical Asian bride/wife that is super traditional looking [long straight hair and clear complexion ... and loads of makeup and wears conservative cloths]. She doesn't want to accept that Hubby likes my curly hair, or that he wishes I wore more risque clothes. He encourages me to be the type of girl of my mom's conservative Muslim nightmares ... LMAO.

    IMO, the reason why marriage seems like a step into adulthood because it's a legal matter. "In a relationship" doesn't hold the same legal weight as "married" or "domestic partnership".

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  30. Before I got married, my husband and I lived together. For the longest time my grandmother and grandfather(former pastor and first lady) were disappointed. She believed we should have been married while I didn't care. I knew we were going to do it some day I just wanted it to be right for us not just our families.

    Now that I'm married my grandmother says you look better now that your married or marriage looks good on you. I use to get I don't know why you two even lived together if you knew you were going to get married. Also I'm happy your married now so your not living in sin.

    Everything you say makes sense to me. I believe in getting married when your ready. Don't rush the process and make the best decision for your life regardless of the family or friends around you.

    I'll never get the our relationship is acceptable because were married attitude. :/

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  31. That dress looks like it was made for you. You wear ruffly details really well.

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  32. I'm "newly" married (1 year now). My husband and I have known each other for 11 years. Friends for 3 years, dated for 2 years, lived together for 4 years and got married last year. It was worth it for us to take our time in getting to know each other. We both know who we married and all of each others' ins and outs. We were very much committed to each other prior to getting married. It was something that we knew would happen, but just didn't know when.

    My parents didn't treat us any differently than they treat us now and neither did his parents. If anything, we noticed a change in attitude from people outside of our family. I had one woman go as far to say that "it sounds so much better to be living with your husband than to say I'm living with my boyfriend". Prior to her comment I had no idea people who didn't know us, or our relationship, were judging us and questioning our commitment to each other.

    I think this "you're not serious if you're not married" mentality is from an outdated way of thinking. I think people who have that mindset didn't really think about why they think that way. Almost like a way of thinking that's been passed down from each generation.

    I think the ultimate happiness you and boyfriend can have is by staying true to what makes the both of you happy.

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  33. LOVE that dress -- what a gorgeous color!!

    Sometimes you just have to tell yourself "Who the heck cares what people think of my personal life??" ;)

    People will *always* have an opinion: you either get married too quickly, or you stay single too long -- you have too many kids or not enough kids -- you work too much or not enough (blah, blah). I got married young (23) and had my first kid when I was 26. Some people thought I was nutso for doing things so young. Now I am 38 and absolutely loving this stage of life. I am married with 3 kids and love it.

    But I honestly have no opinion on if people are married or have any desire to have kids -- to each their own! :)

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  34. First of all, any tips about Garnet Hill sizing? That dress looks so good on you that I'm considering making my first purchase from them, but I'm worried about sizing (I'm fairly petite).

    As to the other stuff: I use the term "partner" for my boyfriend because of the reason you mentioned - now that I'm in my late 20s, it feels weird to say "boyfriend", plus it's inadequate to describe our relationship (together almost 5 years, living together for over 3, planning job/financial decisions around each other, etc.) But partner is awkward too in its own way.

    I feel lucky - very few people bother me about the status of our relationship, not even my traditional immigrant parents, which is not typical at all for my friends in similar situations.

    But marriage definitely gives the relationship a new level of societal legitimacy, which is why people are fighting so hard for it. There are all these innate support systems for married people that don't exist for those of us who are "meh" about the institution.

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  35. Lisa, I know exactly how you feel! My bf and I have been dating over 4 years, and now live together. We don't get too many questions from our friends because they know us and they know we are happy together, but my family is a completely different story! My parents aren't happy at all that we live together. It's frustrating because I'm close with my family, but I know they don't really approve.

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  36. Ladies, I think we're all in agreement that there needs to be a better term than "boyfriend!" "Manfriend" just doesn't seem to work and I've gotten the "ohhhhh" looks if I happen to say "partner" instead of boyfriend. Oh people!

    Louise - one thing BF HAVE talked about extensively is if I should take his last name. He definitely wants me to "because that's how it's supposed to be." While I have nothing against taking his last name, I kind of want to keep my own - so at this point I may just do the hyphenated stuff.

    Frannie Pantz - I completely appreciate the sharing!

    Kim - I think society and convention won't let it go until you're married and have at least two kids! ;o)

    lisa - I've had my BF apologize to me before because he hasn't proposed yet. As if all I am doing is sitting here waiting for him to or that I am upset about it! I'm with you, I don't think I am trying "not" to get married, but I do totally think that the BF would probably be married by now if he was with someone else, or if I "pushed" at all.

    Anon @ 3:31 - I know what you mean. BF and I have both seen our friends around us all get married and most have or are starting to have kids now. So of course we sometimes get excluded from "family group" stuff and get the million "you're next" comments and questions!

    Sweet Laundry - is it wrong that I've had thoughts of doing harm to a small child before because they were prancing around the room taunting me about not being married? ;o)

    tastymoog - oh no, we can't even get into the whole getting married and wedding thing! ;o) People have always thought it was weird because I never had a wedding dress or reception or any of that stuff in my head. If you asked me now what kind of dress I would even want to look at - who knows?!

    MegCrew - isn't it weird to think that even though we're all modern-thinking and living people, that we still grow up with these perceptions of "how things should be" in all matters of life? Like, you meet someone, date for X number of years, get engaged for X time, get married, then have X number of years before having a baby, then X before having another baby, etc. Everyone tries to tell each other to be free thinking and live their own lives but then we've got these rules of convention we can't shake!

    LyddieGal - it's weird, before when I was single, my mom never really said anything to me about not having a BF or seeing or not seeing anybody. But as soon as I got a BF, then all the questions started, like she's virtually sizing him up, which she probably was/is!

    Shar - you're totally right. It's sad to think though that even though the BF and I are really together, according to the law, we don't really have any rights over each other!

    Kimmie - I always think it is funny when people give big celebs like Brad and Angelina grief - they've got kids together and have adopted kids together, how much more together do they need to be to be treated like "they're together?!"

    Anon @ 10:29 - I've only purchased two knit dresses from GH, both in XS. They fit me pretty well but I am typically a 2/2P - so I think for gals who are more petite than I am, they may be sized out. They do carry stuff from other brands though - like Velvet, and their stuff is typically smaller (Velvet's S is like a XS for me at least). Hope this helps!

    Kelly - I think both my and my BF's parents have kind of thrown their hands up at us. We all get along really well, but when I first started visiting his parents, I would be expected to stay in another room - nowadays if I visit, it's like "whatever, share the same room, that means we only have one room to clean!"

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  37. For a whole slew of reasons (and even after I got married) I prefer to refer to Chris as my partner. It is gender and sexuality-neutral. It doesn't disclose more than I think is necessary upon meeting someone new. And it just seems to be the most accurate description of our place in each other's lives.

    We are in a partnership. We have for a long time (a lot longer than we've been married). The marriage probably made us seem more "legit" to my conservative, Catholic relatives, for who my living with Chris before marriage was scandalous... But he has been my partner and not just my boyfriend for as long as we've felt really integrated into each other's hearts, lives, and families. I hope this makes sense...

    BTW, I love your dress and jacket. You look fantastic!

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  38. I'm married and I still sometimes feel like our families don't recognize us as our own unit! So, I'm not sure that getting married is a panacea to those kinds of problems. I think you're doing well to not get married just because of pressure from other people.

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  39. I'm newly 30 years old, and I'm in a doctoral program with about 2 years to go. I feel like I live that SATC episode where Carrie registers for her lost shoes, since she's purchased registry gifts for everyone else but never had one of her own?!? Most of my friends are married, and many have/are starting to have children. Been with significant other(and like some others here, do NOT like the word "boyfriend" after age 25)for just about 5 years, got engaged 8 months ago, and we currently live together. We're committed to one another and building a life together--but wedding planning just hasn't fallen into place yet. It's frustrating to have people constantly ask me, "Did you set a date yet? Did you book a venue?" The date that means the most to me these days is my dissertation defense date, lol.

    I realize that my perspective is skewed by the life choices I've made-- to be in school this long and to make my education a priority. My significant other also has his Ph.D. in the same field, so he's jumped through all of the hoops that I have now and gets what life is like for me.

    Don't get me wrong-- I'd like to have that "legitimacy" of being married on paper and be able to stave off looks/questions/etc. from others. When I really think about it, the title of "wife" will only be as fulfilling as I find my individual life to be--and that's what I'm building through education right now. I wish other people could see my choices this way and not shake their heads in pity because I haven't chosen a color scheme or a wedding dress yet!

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