a.k.a. The last thing I expected to discuss on this blog
This post is based on a SW30 prompt: “And why are YOU still single?” or “Why did you get married?”
Unmarried = single?
First of all, neither question fits my current status, as I am neither single nor married. If you view “single” and “unmarried” as synonyms, then sure, I am, but my own definition is more restrictive:
- Any person NOT in any romantic relationship acknowledged and agreed to by all parties is single. Having a secret crush, being in love, or even living with someone doesn’t equal being in a relationship – all parties have to agree that they are.
- Conversely, any person in a romantic relationship […] can’t be considered single. Just because you don’t have a ring on your finger doesn’t mean your feelings for and commitment to your special someone(s) aren’t as strong or legitimate as married people’s.
Defining my status
In my case, I have been in an exclusive relationship with a man for over four years. We live together – most of the time anyway – and are pacsés, which is the closest thing to being married in the eyes of French law. We still call ourselves “copain” (boyfriend) and “copine” (girlfriend) but I think the terms “compagnon” or “partenaire” (partner) make more sense after four years.
We actually have three anniversaries to celebrate: the day we started dating, the day we “officially” acknowledged that we were, and the day we signed our PACS. In addition, we tend to celebrate “monthlyversaries”. This is especially convenient since my partner goes away for about three months twice a year or so. We may not be able to celebrate his birthday or mine every year, but we always have other things to celebrate when he is home.
Thoughts on tying the knot
While I intend and expect to someday marry my current partner, I don’t really see the point. A wedding ceremony is an expensive and stressful event, and we have neither the money nor the steely nerves to go through it yet – at least I don’t. Besides, my partner and I are both children of divorced parents, so while our parents’ failed marriages didn’t leave us bitter and disillusioned, I think it makes sense for us not to rush into it.
Sure, it would be nice to celebrate our relationship with all the people we care about and have a special day we would remember our whole lives, but we could do so without getting married. We could for instance celebrate the n-year anniversary of our PACS or some other meaningful event that showed our commitment and brought us together, like the purchase of a flat or the birth of a child. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
To be honest, my mind isn’t made up yet. Some days I absolutely want to get married, others I couldn’t care less. I look forward to reading other answers to this prompt!