Over the weekend I was in a fearful social situation that many a person has found themselves in before.
Surrounded by friends, almost all of whom are recently married, soon to be married or recently engaged.
And while I’m beyond happy for all of them, there’s one thing I can’t stand (anyone who’s in a long-term relationship and of a certain age will know exactly what I’m talking about and about to say).
It’s the inevitable “so, when do you think you and (insert boyfriend’s / girlfriend’s name here) will get married? Do you want to get married? Have you talked about marriage?” line of questioning that follows around ringless women like a plague.
I'm good, thanks. Source: iStock.
Up until recently, my response was something like this: "um, ah, well, ha ha, of course, we have talked about it. Um, that's definitely something I want one day, but, um, oh olives! No, I think we will, but, err, who can say? Time will tell. There's so much we both want to get done first, and, ah, you know. Do you need a drink top up?"
Short of saying, "I dunno, mate. Ask my boyfriend," I honestly have no idea how to answer those questions. Because the problem many women like myself share is that aside from being highly personal information, the questions are also seriously uncomfortable for one glaringly obvious reason.
I'm an organised person. I'm a planner, a goal-setter, a proactive do-er, and most of the time I have answers to the questions people have about my life. That is, all except for if and when my boyfriend will one day decide to legally bind himself to me.
Look at me, I'm a catch. Source: Bridesmaids / Youtube.
Having been together for over four years now, my boyfriend and I have had some conversations about this topic, but not many. And we both seem to be perfectly okay with that. Sadly, in my experience, generally, that's not the answer people are looking for.
Saying "I hope so," makes you sound desperate and as if you're hanging on the telephone.
Replying, "I think so" and suggesting it's something that's set to arrive in the near future leaves you set up for a massive fall if you break up.
And admitting you've talked about but not settled on anything just opens you up for more questions.
Seriously, just ask me what I ate for dinner instead. Source: iStock.
So after much consideration I've come up with the only fail-safe answer I can think of.
It involves simply looking the questioner straight in the eye and saying, "He/she is such a great person, and I'd definitely count myself lucky if we end up together."
Smile, maybe insert a short laugh and make your exit to the nearest bar. Because god knows you've definitely earnt yourself a drink by that point.