I have been with my boyfriend for four years, and we currently live together. In more ways than not, we're like a married couple, although we don't have a joint bank account. Everyone is pushing me to get married, but I don't want to! It seems like being in a committed, long-term relationship without the pressure of marriage just has so much less responsibility and drama.
I guess I'm just happy with the way things are, and though I would never write it off completely, I know marriage isn't something that I need or want right now. But it seems like everywhere I look, my friends are getting married or expecting me to announce my engagement; I feel strange being a girl who doesn't want to get hitched. Is there something wrong with me that I'm not more excited by the prospect of a wedding?
— No Wedding Bells Bridgitte
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Dear No Wedding Bells Bridgitte,
I don't think I can emphasize this enough: There is absolutely nothing wrong with you! Because of the way our society works, once you reach a certain age, there are things automatically expected of you — one of which is marriage. Understandably, the pressure is worse if you're already in a committed relationship, but I'm relieved to hear that you're not letting the pressure get to you or harm your relationship.
If you're happy, enjoy it, and don't worry about the fuss everyone else is making around you. Marriage might be what works for your friends, but that doesn't mean it has to work for you — especially if you're satisfied with the way things are now. A successful relationship is more about love and respect than it is about wedding parties and engagement rings. Next time someone asks you when you're tying the knot, just tell them, "We're just planning on staying happy indefinitely." Who can argue with that?