Stop Asking Me When I'll Get Married & Have Kids

Sunday 16 February 2020

Ah, the question everyone in a long-term relationship gets all the time and dreads. 

Since my relationship has passed the two year mark, I seem to get asked when I'm planning on getting married and having children all the time. I get asked by friends (often the ones who are already basking in marital bliss), family members (the ones we're close to, and the ones we only see a couple of times a year), work colleagues, people we only met in the half an hour previously...

It's like once you get past the first couple of years of being together, and you've figured out that you can (probably) put up with each other long-term, you just have to not only be looking towards these milestones, but have the actual timescales planned out.

And all of this is assuming you want the marriage and babies thing in the first place.

They don't even always ask the question outright. Often it's a little more subtle...

'How long have you been together now? Oh, long time then. Will I be hearing wedding bells soon?'
'Do you think you'll have kids one day? Are you thinking soon, or...?'
'You are getting to that age now where you need to be thinking about it...'
'You know Christmas is so much more fun and magical with kids around, have you thought of that?'

Well. I'm here to tell anyone who thinks that any of the above statements are acceptable, to stop.

It should go without saying that these lines of conversation can be incredibly damaging for people. For those who are maybe desperate for children but can't conceive, or have suffered a miscarriage, or who can't go through the 'usual' milestones for other reasons. And while it's never something I have personally experienced, I can tell you that for other reasons, being asked is bloody annoying.

Yes, Dan and I have been together for well over two years now. And while we have had conversations around what we would like a future together to look like, in my mind we have other priorities, both individually and as a couple. I've always been very much of the opinion that my career comes first, and although my career plan has changed quite dramatically in the last few years, I'm only just now getting settled into something which could be long term, and I feel like that needs to be my focus right now. There's no way of knowing when our priorities will shift, and until then, piling on the pressure by asking these questions really doesn't help.

And I'll be honest, I know that your whole life changes once you start going through these milestones, especially when you start a family. I'm not ready for that yet. I like spending days just the two of us, and sleeping in on a Sunday morning. I like spending our disposable income rather than having to put it into a pot to save for a wedding. And frankly, I still feel like I'm too young to be called a 'Mrs.'

The most infuriating thing about being asked about when I'm going to get hitched or get pregnant though, is the fact that nine times out of ten, the person asking will already know in their mind what the answer should be. They almost always have a magic number in their head which is the 'perfect age' to get married or have a baby, often based on their own experiences, and forget that these things aren't 'one size fits all'. This is inevitably going to disappoint them when I answer, after nervously laughing for a few seconds, by dropping the bombshell that neither of those things are in the immediate future, perhaps even into my 30s. I tend to be met with a blank look, almost as if I must be joking. Then come the comments...

'Do you really want to leave it as late as that?'
'Nooooo, he wants to be putting a ring on it before then!'
'You don't want to be old parents, do you? You'll be in your 50s when your kids turn 18!'
'You can always go back to work when they're older!'

Sometimes I wonder what kind of response I'd get if I told them that we're already trying for a baby. Probably that I'm still young, and shouldn't I really think about buying a house before I worry about that?

What I've realised recently is that when it comes to the 'life' stuff, we'll never please everyone. There will always be a family member, or a friend, or someone we barely know who will think we're rushing, or leaving it too late, or being too selfish by waiting. Or they'll tell us that we should tick something else off the list first, or that I should think of my mum and how she'll be wanting grandchildren soon (yep, I've genuinely been told that). And because it's impossible to please everyone, we may as well just do us.

So, please, stop asking me. You probably won't like the answer anyway, and might well get something sarcastic in response.

Long-term couples, I want to hear your stories! Have you had much experience with this? Let me know in the comments, or over on my social media! (@siankathrine on Instagram & Twitter!)

Sian xo

1 comment

  1. I feel ya. My bf and I got engaged after 6 years and hearing those questions was rough.