I Don't

Of the many things that terrified me when I was younger — ghosts,  garden gnomes, my father, that dead-Jesus-in-a-coffin statue at church — nothing made my skin crawl more than the thought of my wedding day. According to my relatives, taking some dude to be my lawfully wedded husband was as inevitable as getting stuck in traffic. No matter how consistent and insistent I was that I was never ever getting married ever, they’d just dismiss me as too young and angsty to know what I was talking about.

It’s true that my old reasons don’t hold much water nowadays, especially since the usual wedding traditions are no longer mandatory. I used to fear itchy, froufy white gowns with pearls and sequins; thick, smelly makeup; making little girls wear miniature froufy white gowns and thick, smelly makeup; having hoardes of kin fuss over you; spending over an hour in some creepy church (I was a wee, budding atheist then); letting your father walk you down the aisle all emotional-like; throwing a flower bouquet to a group of desperate, squealing women; the tears and syrupy well-wishing of said group of women; watching some dude put an absolutely unnecessary article of clothing called a garter on some tittering woman’s thighs; force-feeding cake; etc. Today, anyone can do away with these little nuptial chestnuts and it wouldn’t be a big deal. It could be a civil wedding with only one friend present and it would be fine.

But I am now 25 years old with a boyfriend of 2.5 years (which is, in my experience, a FUCKING MIRACLE), and the thought of marriage, however stripped down, still makes me queasy.

It’s not because I’m afraid of commitment; I want to nurture the relationship that I have for as long as humanly possible. In fact, we’ve been living together for more than a year, and pass as much gas in front of each other as married people do. What doesn’t sit very well with me, however, is the paperwork.

I don’t really care about the legal benefits shared between spouses, which are, at the end of the day, the only real “advantage” of getting married (after all, it doesn’t take a ceremony and a signature to prove your love to anyone). My boyfriend and I are averse to credit cards, so the ability to use your spouse’s card means squat to me. Neither do the supposed tax benefits, since I insist on keeping our income and expenses separate. And as for schools prohibiting our (maybe) future kid from applying because his folks aren’t married, I wouldn’t want any child of mine to study in an institution with a rod up its ass in the first place.

And about the exit plan. The last two things I would want to face upon the end of a relationship are payments and paperwork. Thus, this isn’t even a matter of the Philippines prohibiting divorce. It is heartwrenching enough to part from someone you care/used to care very deeply about. Having to make certain legal arrangements of whatever sort due to separation sounds like a lot of unnecessary tedium and pain. And money.

In line with this, I wouldn’t want one’s apprehension towards this said tedium and pain and money to be the reason for two people to force themselves to stay together, either. I bet if my mom and dad — who are, objectively speaking, a doormat and an asshole, respectively– just had the luxury of splitting up without having to legally prove why they should, then I would have had a much happier childhood. I don’t believe in that Hollywood cliche where the kid is totally broken that his folks are splitting up. I was broken because my folks stuck it out. They thought that splitting up would be the easy, immature way out. I truly believe that the opposite is true.

This isn’t to say, of course, that I’m against legalizing divorce or same-sex marriage.  People should have the option to get married, whatever their gender, and with the option to get out of it, as long as they fully know what they’re getting into. In the same vein, people should have the option not to get hitched, too.

I know that my boyfriend and I are two perfectly intelligent, competent (and, like, totally hawt) individuals, and that we will only keep being together for the right reasons. I feel incredibly lucky that I get to see him everyday, have all sorts of adventures with him from week to week (especially in line with the Freethinkers’ shenanigans), and have absolutely no shame when I fart in his presence. Why mess with a good thing?


  1. yay me too! (sorry i just read this post right now.) the idea of marriage also makes me queasy. my boyfriend doesn't have a definite opinion on it but he knows i don't like getting married. actually EVERYONE knows hehehe (and they find it weird). it seems i'm the only one who doesn't want to get married. my friends my age are either recently married, planning to get married, or wants to get married someday. even my tomboyish friend who seems to be not so interested in guys or romance wants to get married someday (THAT should be weird. she's not even interested in finding a boyfriend, how the hell is she gonna get a husband?). i think marriage is important only if you have plans to have a family. otherwise, i prefer living together. my boyfriend and i both don't have any interest in having kids (whether it's with each other or not) so i feel lucky. but what if someday he decides he wants to marry me… or if we break up and i end up with someone else who wants to marry me… its thinking about these things that makes me "queasy"… i love him and i want to be with him and i want him to feel secure with me. but marriage….? i don't know why but it feels like marriage will make me lose a part of myself T_T

    i remember once my boyfriend and i talked about engagement (in relation to one of our friends explaining the that an engagement ring would signify that the marriage proposal is serious) and i said to him in private to never propose to me. i told him that if someday i change my mind and want to get married then I'LL propose to him and he can reject me if he doesn't want to. then i joked about engagement rings, that there shouldn't be any or if there is then he'll have to wear it coz i don't like wearing jewelry. he didn't give any clear comments except during that part of the conversation. what he said was "oh, you'll wear it. i'll make you wear it." i just shut up after that.

    by the way, there's a new sitcom called "better with you". you might like it. it features three related couples. one of them has been together for 9 years but are not married. when asked why not, they say, "it's a valid life choice" hehehe (it's kind of a running gag in the show). in some episode (or episodes?) they explain that they don't want to be together just because they are bound by some legal contract but rather because they choose to be together.

    it seems that you and your partner meet eye to eye regarding the idea of marriage (and perhaps many other things). you are lucky. but what if he proposes to you? what if being married, legal and documented, makes him feel more secure and solid with you? what would you do? (i'm asking because some of my guy friends lecture me about these things… among other things… girls are different… they're always more interested in telling me things than asking me things… much like i'm doing right now, probably. lol sorry for the looooong comment)

    • Haha. Thanks for the loooong comment, Stephanie. 🙂

      If he does propose to me, I suppose I would ask for an explanation more substantial than "I love you." And knowing him, he won't be offended that I'm interrogating him about his decision. In fact, he'd probably give me a lengthy explanation even if I didn't ask; he's logical that way. I'll then take some time to really think about his reasons, and if they seem like the better bet considering who and where we are at that time and where we want to go, then I MIGHT consider it. Especially if he doesn't use any of the excuses for marriage that I mentioned above. 😉

      • what if it's an emotional thing? like "i know it's superficial, and it's not my intent to feel this way, but i can't help feeling insecure and frightened of the thought that we are never getting married. please marry me, i beg you!" though maybe a girl would be more likely to say that than a guy. sometimes we can't help our feelings or will it or choose it. we could love someone who makes our lives more complicated, and not love someone who loves us deeply and could give us everything we want.

        would you respond with, "you're being illogical, deal with your insecurity yourself!" or would you give in, sacrifice your individuality, to pacify his feelings? or would you go with "i have no need of weaklings like you, good bye!" or "okay fine but only if you agree to: [condition1], [condition2], …"

        or would you prefer he keep his emotions to himself and pretend he's okay with it because it's "not the right reason".

        actually, i'm just overanalyzing this to make it challenging. but i want to know… how do you deal with those honest emotions, considering the logical way you approach things?

        • I guess a little context is in order. 🙂 My boyfriend's an incredibly logical kind of dude, and the chances of him proposing to me purely out of some emotional need is highly unlikely when it comes to him. :p

          But even if I had a boyfriend who did propose out of some emotional need, I really wouldn't sacrifice any of my individuality to pacify him. We have to be on equal terms; we make decisions based on what's best for both of us. So yeah, going back to my original response, I'd base my decision on the situation are relationship is currently in, what we want our relationship to become in the future, and the options we can have to go about achieving such goals. 🙂

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