Unashamed Truths of a Middle Class Twenty Something

I'm figuring it out as I go.

My Relationship with Marriage


By now, it’s becoming fairly well-known, I have a visceral aversion to marriage. I don’t have any problems with the institution of marriage. On the contrary, I think it’s fantastic.

When I think of a guy getting down on one knee and popping THE question, I am overwhelmed with nausea. This is how I see the scene playing out: He gets down on one knee. Starts to say super romantic things. Nausea takes over. I throw up on him. Then I have to say “no.” But really!!! How horrible would that be for him?!? Not only have I turned him down, he is also covered in vomit. Even thinking about it makes my butthole clinch. I have been proposed to three times. I have said “no” all three times. A) they were the wrong person. B) the wrong time. C) I’m too young. I did leave out the vomiting part.

Total transparency: There are only three people in this whole entire world I would enjoy seeing on a daily basis. One of those people is my dog, who will probably die within the next five years, so she doesn’t even count.

I was never the little girl to plan my wedding, marriage, or kids. I always wanted an apartment in London, a successful career, and a dog. Ok, I did think about a wedding and a dress. But let’s be honest, I only wanted a reason to dance because as a little kid weddings were synonymous with dancing. I also wanted to wear a fancy long dress; hell, I like wearing fancy, long dresses.

I still want an apartment in London, a successful career, and a dog more than I want a life partner. Life partners want kids. I’m just not that kind of girl. In the last three months, I have travelled to see five friends, and seen eleven states. In the coming year, I have trips planned to San Diego, Japan, New Orleans, and Texas. The thing is I like taking these trips alone. I travel to leave everything behind. To have experiences. To be whomever I want for a few days. My life goals are traveling and a successful career. Husbands and kids don’t exactly make either of those easy if possible at all.

Let’s be utterly honest. I’m 23. I’m educated. I’m in possession of an almost empty passport. I’ve barely started a career – it’s not even the career I want. I plan on moving out-of-state/country within the next two years. Did I mention I’m 23??? Marriage isn’t something I need or want right now. I’m young. I should be focused on making my dreams come true. Now is my time to be selfish. To make decisions for reasons as good as: money, or as bad as: because I fucking want to. Marriage is about being selfless, about making sacrifices and compromises, about giving 100% towards the greater good, about being in partnership, about working hard. And kids are even more of that. I’m not ready for that shit. I don’t even like sitting in a chair like a normal person.

When I start dating someone, I’m honest. They know I will probably never commit and if I do the likelihood of marriage is almost zero. They know I will pick my career first, second, and third. They know I love traveling and my dog more than anything. They know I hunger for knowledge and freedom more than love and stability. They know I have a wandering soul. They know I can’t be pinned down. They know my plans can change at the drop of a hat, and I might decided to go on an out-of-state trip at 2 am the day of. They know I am restless and independent. I don’t tell them I want to settle down and have kids because I would be lying. They start dating me knowing they need to live in the moment because that may be all they have. They know if I make time for them, it means something.

Since I was 15, I have spent a total of six months completely unattached to a man. That was mostly during my sophomore year of high school. Since then, I have been in committed, semi-committed, or casual relationships. I have spent the entirety of my adult life connected to a man. Men have made my life better and worse. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but relationships are hard work. They get harder the longer you’re in one.

Every time I say I don’t want to get married, people always say “Well, you just haven’t met THE guy yet.” Here’s the problem in that theory. I DID meet the guy. I met two guys. The summer I was 19, I fell head over heels in love with a guy I would have married in a heart beat (I still would.) I said no to being his girlfriend then because I knew I would have dropped out of college and moved the 2,000 miles to be with him. At 19, I knew I wanted to finish college and have a career and that’s why I said no. I don’t regret it, but I will always wonder what if? He was my head-over-heels love. There’s another guy; he wasn’t the instantaneous love, instead it’s a constant and everlasting love. I met him halfway through my freshman year in college. Within six months we had moved in together and started a life. We were together for two and a half years before we broke up. In those years, we went through hell and yet we still love each other even though we couldn’t make it work. He loved me in a way no one ever had or probably ever will. Our love changed and evolved from the naiveté of being young and in love into the tarnished and cynical love of knowing what it’s like to sleep next to the same person for four years and knowing that sometimes love isn’t enough. He is still my best friend. He is my person.

Here’s my secret truth: I would love to get married. I would love to have a person who can keep up, is willing to go on a ridiculously ill-timed trip to Iran, is willing to let me backpack through Sudan without him, is able to handle not hearing from me for a week because I’m in San Diego, can handle knowing my job may take me to Paris, Moscow, or Dallas, isn’t afraid to eat a honeyed bee in China, is as thirsty for knowledge as I am. I need someone who listens to me ramble about symbolism in Botticelli’s Venus, the origin of the Russian word and how it relates to an ancient French word, or how the 1940’s was a really fascinating time in the NFL. I want someone who is ok with staying at home for a weekend, lock the door, and not leave. Someone who is happy waking up to me dancing at 3:30 in the morning to a Baz Luhrmann soundtrack, Reckless Kelly, or Mozart. The problem is no guy is or should be willing to put up with all of that all the time.

I am the epitome of a cool girl. The girlfriend every guy likes to show off. The girlfriend every guy thinks he wants. But I’m exhausting: emotionally, psychologically, physically. I’m not the girlfriend a guy should marry. I’m the girlfriend a mom loves but warns against because she knows I will break hearts and leave without warning. I’m the girlfriend to reminisce about in thirty years. I’m the girlfriend to make incredible stories with. I’m the girlfriend you can call up at 2:30 in the morning after years of not speaking just to chat. I’m the girlfriend your wife will never want to hear about. I’m the girlfriend that will shatter your heart, but keep part of it. I am the girlfriend every guy should have in his twenties.


Author: Midwestern Twenty Something

RaeAnna is a wanderer on a mission; though, she's not always sure what that mission is. Taking on adulthood with a sense of humor, a book, and her dog, she's ready to conquer the world. Unafraid to celebrate her faults or photograph her tumbles, she aims to help people see life as an ever-rolling, lopsided wheel instead of the perfectly manicured and Instagrammably stationary square we wish it were.

2 thoughts on “My Relationship with Marriage

  1. I really enjoy reading ur stories girl. I think it’s probably cuz deep down I feel the same way about lots of things in life, including commitment and marriages. Not saying that these are not necessary since people should have their freedom of choice. You speak everything that I want to say but never had.


    • I’m glad you like it, and that I could give words to your emotions. So many of us girls feel a certain way and it’s hard to truly be who we are with societal pressures. I want to break down those walls so we can be who we are!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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