Marriage: A Thing of the Past?

Go ahead, gasp. I said it! I asked the question: has marriage become a thing of the past? Obviously there’s no shortage of committed guys and girls around here on the Weddingbee, but according to this article, the Census Bureau reports that the proportion of married adults of all ages was only 52 percent in 2009—the lowest percentage since the U.S. began tracking statistics in 1880!

Am I surprised? Not really. Not at all, actually. Mr. B and I are the first and only of our friends to get married. We don’t mind being the first and we don’t doubt we’re supposed to be married, but when none of your friends are thinking about marriage, you feel sort of gypped.

It feels kind of like when you realize you and your best friend from high school have grown apart. You were inseparable when you met and thought that would never change. Then you went off to college and they’re really into science and you’re really into sports. You’re still close, but you realize things have changed. You’re on different wave lengths. You have different interests. It’s kind of bittersweet, isn’t it? You love your new interests (in my case those interests are Mr. B, our wedding, Weddingbee, our apartment, our future, our family), but you’re a little sad your friend isn’t as into those same things.


Most of my friends aren’t seeing anyone, are dating, or are in relationships less than a year old. Mr. B has been experiencing the same kind of thing with his friends. His best man, for example, is a total bachelor. He jokes about not ever getting married and there are no serious relationships on the horizon. He’s a few years younger than us and we kind of tell ourselves that that’s the reason he’s like that, but the truth is that we know there’s more to it. It’s not just that he’s young, he doesn’t really believe in it. And he’s not alone, is he?

I think I would be pretty lonely over here on the married (well, soon-to-be married) side if it wasn’t for Weddingbee. Don’t get me wrong, the feeling creeps up every now and then. I jump on the woe-is-me horse and think nobody understands. I wonder if there are others out there and how they deal with it.

But for the most part, I’m extremely thankful for this community. I also have an awesome-awesome future cousin-in-law who is engaged; being the only couple getting married has also definitely brought Mr. B and me closer, too. We tend to run back to each other after hanging out with the single crowd. We feel safe and at ease, and most of all, understood when we’re reunited. We understand, too, that nobody is going to be into our wedding and marriage as we are, and still think we have some of the best friends in the world.

Are you the first or only one of your friends to get married? Do you ever feel like the odd-man out? How do you cope?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Brooch

Location:
Arlington, VA
Wedding Date:
April 2011

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  1. Member
    bonsai_spork 326 posts, Helper bee @ 6:23 pm

    There are definitely moments when I’m hanging out with my single friends and I just don’t know what to say. They’re dating casually, complaining about stupid guys and look at me like I understand… I haven’t dated for 6 years, I was never really into ‘dating’. Its just odd, and I worry that maybe I’ll loose those friends after we’re married. I dunno, maybe I’m being crazy, but my mom said that a lot of her single friends stopped hanging out with her after she married my dad. It worries me too. You’re not alone!

  2. Member
    Rgeddy 2188 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:24 pm

    We are in full fledged wedding mode for the last year and this year! It seems like everyone we know is getting married – including us! It’s really fun but a bummer when we can’t make it to them all – and also when I have friends who aren’t in that crowd and I feel slipping away.

  3. Member
    jaguar 6199 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:31 pm

    We’re not the first, but we’re one of them – and since our LONG engagement is almost over, there are dozens of friends currently in planning mode, including my baby brother & his fiance! I don’t have a lot of friends as it is (I promise I’m not a leper!) but I hope the ones I do have stay just as close to us after we’re married. Same for future, not-yet-existent babies.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Carlastarla, Guest @ 6:44 pm

    Yesss!!!

    While most friends are extremely supportive (and one or two of them are married and have tons of advice), some inadvertently make me feel self conscious about being excited about a color scheme. Especially because I used to be very cynical about weddings myself. Sigh.

    I know I won’t lose the friends who matter, though. Also, I’ve become more comfortable with being one of the first to get married and with making sure I don’t lose ME in the WE so I can still hang out with my single friends and have a great time. :)

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Melissa, Guest @ 6:45 pm

    We’re in our late thirties, so we’re pretty much the last. I’m marrying your BM–the guy who was happy to never get married and didnt’ see the point. And then we met and fell in love and all he wants is to get married and have babies. Funny how time (and the right person) changes things. ;-)

  6. Member
    lindsd16 121 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:58 pm

    We are split. We’re pretty much the last one of my FI’s friends but one of the first of my friends. It’s so funny to see the differences. My friends are mostly in serious relationships and probably headed toward the altar within the next couple years but they don’t really understand everything that goes into the planning and decision-making. However I’m lucky that they are very supportive and excited for me :)

    I don’t really feel like I’m missing anything, I feel lucky to be where I am and to be able to start our lives together. But sometimes I feel a little more like an old lady than them :)

  7. Member
    PitBulLover 8411 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 7:11 pm

    We are the second of DHs friends and the first of my friends to get married and it is definitely weird! I am in the same boat as you – dont have many real life married friends or many of our friends are totally single!

  8. Member
    mightywombat 5297 posts, Bee Keeper @ 7:16 pm

    I’m 31, FI is 33, and more of our friends are married than aren’t at this point. 50 of our 78 invitees are married, and 18 more are living together. There are only 10 single people out of 78! Kind of crazy.

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    MLE, Guest @ 7:18 pm

    The term “gypped” is derived from the term Gypsy (meaning, a Gypsy is a person who cheats you) and therefore racially offensive to the Roma people. Couldn’t you use the term “cheated” instead?

  10. Member
    MsBrooklynA 3054 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:54 pm

    SO and I are absolutely the first of our friends to even consider marriage. I am 21 and he is 25 and people think were going at this like were running the 100meter dash. 1 out of probably a dozen or more of his friends is in a serious relationship and pretty much all of my close friends are but since I’m younger no one is in any sort of hurry. It is frustrating at times to feel like not one person gets the desire I have to be united to my best friend but I live with it and try to sympathize when they complain about being single or that their boyfriend is this or that.

  11. Member
    MacFaniam24 825 posts, Busy bee @ 7:58 pm

    I think it also depends on your age. I feel like being 28 I have more friends married, however, some just in the past year or this upcoming year. I have many co-workers and other friends married, so I guess that’s nice. At 25 however, I didn’t have as many friends who were engaged or married. We are lucky in that we can hang out with other married couples, obviously having more in common with them. I always told my single friends that I would be there to go out with them if they needed, because I remember what it feels like to be single and not have anyone to go out with me to meet guys. I think it’s really, really hard for people to meet other people and even harder to find ‘the one’. Maybe it is because not as many people today are into the whole marriage thing, but I think that is sad. My parents always told me the friends I have now, will not be the same friends I have in ten years. They say that you end up becoming friends with your kids’ parents oftentimes. I think many people move in together today due to financial restricitons. I know it was easier for my DH and I to move in once we were engaged, because that was an extra year of saving money having to pay only one rent as opposed to two. My parents are a bit old fashioned and don’t understand why adults live together before married, etc. I always knew that I would have to at least have a ring on my finger before I would move in with someone. That way they’re not getting the milk for free…

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Kristen, Guest @ 8:42 pm

    For us it’s opposite. Though we’re only 23, we’re the last of our group of friends and siblings to get married! We’re feeling left out for now, at least until the wedding…

  13. Member
    Kinsey123 69 posts, Worker bee @ 9:34 pm

    I get where you’re coming from. We know one other couple that’s engaged, but most of our friends are far from marriage. It’s kind of sad because I obviously can’t talk about much wedding stuff with them since they might feel annoyed not having experienced it. I get lots of blank looks if I do bring up weddings, but fortunately my roommate is a willing listener.

  14. Member
    Ms. Wolf 127 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:38 pm

    @MLE: I was totally going to say the same thing, thank you!
    As for being the first of your friends, I feel you. We were totally the first couple to get engaged, but I think we’re getting to that age because I just found out my cousin is engaged too! Other than that, we’re the only ones and it can be tough when your friends just want to party and you just want to plan.

  15. Member
    soon2Bfournames 87 posts, Worker bee @ 10:01 pm

    We’re the first of our friends and we’re both in our late 20′s. Sometimes I feel very woe-is-me and then I realize that I play a major role in feeling isolated. I am majorly sucked in! I think my friends and I have done a good job of meeting in the middle and that’s all I can ask for. Anyhoodle, you’re not alone! Weddingbee has helped me deal with my feelings of loneliness.

  16. Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:10 pm

    We’re kind of in the middle. But for us, being together for literally a decade, we still spend so much time with our single friends we don’t feel any divide. It’s not the same as when we were single and painting the town red, but we still have some pretty amazing adventures together – just different :)

  17. Member
    justelope 762 posts, Busy bee @ 10:12 pm

    there are also a lot of couples who are in long-term committed relationships, but chose not to get married. Just because they are not married doesn’t mean they aren’t in the same type of committed relationship (but yeah, those people don’t tend to get excited about wedding planning:)

  18. Member
    dooneybell 66 posts, Worker bee @ 10:36 pm

    you just said everything for me x3 being in my early 20′s.

  19. Member
    iwantweddingchampagne 138 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:59 pm

    Wait a couple years, your man’s friends will start proposing, it happened with my s.o. In fact, my s.o. is in the *minority* of single guys in his family and friends, and even my friends are getting engaged despite the fact that I haven’t even reached 25 yet. I guess it is just who your friends are, *shrugs* :)

  20. Member
    slicey19 3500 posts, Sugar bee @ 3:53 am

    I’m in the same age bracket as you and FI and, with only a couple of exceptions, feel like all of my friends are in serious relationships (living together) or getting married. Actually, what shocks me more is the friends who got married a few years ago 2-3 years out of college and are already getting divorced!

  21. Member
    tksjewelry 14201 posts, Honey Beekeeper @ 4:48 am

    Most of our friends are married, but we are pushing 40. I think that as you get older, you will find a larger percentage of your friends are married.

  22. Member
    AMFELTS 60 posts, Worker bee @ 8:51 am

    I was just thinking this the other day. Spending time with my single friends has become, at times awkward. I try not to talk about us and the wedding at all with them anymore, which makes me feel bad. It is definately a juggling act right now. But, I wouldnt have it any other way. I cant wait til March 19th!When I will marry my best friend.

  23. Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:52 am

    Not gonna lie I was totally one of those hold out statistics. Had Mr. M. not wanted to get married we would probably still be shackin’ up together.

  24. Member
    jmbrick 115 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:44 am

    I am the first of my friends, but he is not the first of his friends. And I know how you feel being the only one planning a wedding or in a relationship. But one word of advice I have for every bride or groom is to not forget about your single friends when all is said and done. I’ve been on that side of the fence before and it is not fun. You start to wonder why your friends stopped inviting you to things. And when you realize it is because you were single, it’s a pretty big insult. For me, I know that even though we may all have different views on marriage, I think we all agree that we are friends whether we’re married or single.

  25. Member
    Lexsy 537 posts, Busy bee @ 9:27 am

    I am also one of the few in my group of friends who’s getting married, but not because most of my friends are single – it’s actually because most of my friends are not planning on getting married. They are happy for me and very supportive, but I can see that they don’t “get” the whole wedding thing

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Lori, Guest @ 1:07 pm

    I was married for 22 years and am so glad to be free. I’ll never understand why people get married anymore, it is NOT a guarantee of being together. If two people really love each other and want to be together, nothing will break them apart, AND, no piece of paper will keep them together. I am 55 years old and I have to say, I am THRILLED to be single. What I have seen through all my years, is that people who are married always end up divorced or miserable, those that have been living together for years and years, are much happier. I truly believe marriage gives a feeling of being trapped, by legal papers. Plus, why on earth does any one want to “belong” to any one? It should just be that two people love each other and WANT to be together. If two people stay together just because they’re married, it’s bound to fail. I for one regret all those years of marriage. The feeling of being my own person, not belonging to anyone by legal means, is glorious. I now view marriage as a kind of desperation to keep someone. If they want to be with you, they’re not going anywhere, if they don’t, a piece of paper won’t keep them. I’d rather know someone is with me because he truly wants to be, and proves it by staying with me, than knowing he’s staying with me because he signed a certificate.

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Lori, Guest @ 1:24 pm

    One last thing, Ladies, if you’re not married to a man and he leaves you, he would have done so as well if you were married to him. Or he would have cheated on you knowing what a divorce can cost him and made your life a living hell. Who needs that kind of stress anymore. Find a man who WANTS to be with you WITHOUT feeling obligated to stay because of marriage, you’ll see the difference. If women were to be totally honest about it, they feel that marrying the guy is going to make him “theirs”. Not so ladies. And if a guy feels that marrying a woman will make her “his”, then what theme do you already see? Insecurity band aided by the false belief that marriage will keep someone with you. Find someone that you feel confident enough to spend the rest of your life with, because he loves and wants to be with you, not because you roped each other into the false hope of keeping each other through marriage.

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Lori, Guest @ 1:42 pm

    One last thing. If you truly believe and want marriage, NO ONE should get married before age 30. Everyone I know admits that something happens after you pass your 20′s. Tastes change, desires in life change, views of life in general change. If at age 30 you still want the same person, then get married. I know my taste in what I wanted in a partner change drastically after I was out of my 20′s, but I was already married and felt I had to make it work. What a mistake. Now I know better, I will NEVER get married again. Either a man wants to stay with me out of love, or he can get lost.

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