Don’t you just love it when you haven’t talked to a family member in a while and the first thing they ask you is: “Eh girl, you not yet married ah? Why you don’t want to get married?”
You sigh and brush the subject aside but still think — it isn’t that I don’t want to get married, but the more you ask, the more I feel pressured to have to and rush towards something I’m not 100% sure I want to do.
I’m picky and I refuse to “settle”. I’m growing older and I’m constantly plagued by the thought that I’m going to potentially die alone. The movies and TV shows I watch portray unrealistic expectations of what marriage is supposed to be like. And the constant pressure of my family and friends is really not helping.
K-drama moment, anyone?
The thing is, when I have a benchmark on how my love life is supposed to be, I’m very rarely happy with what I have to deal with in real life.
All these shows and movies have me expecting that love is spontaneous meetings at coffee shops and bookstores and love at first sight. But what if it isn’t for me? What if I’m not ready and will never ever be ready for what comes after falling in love?
Tak Nak Kahwin Ke?
Do you need a resume in order to get married? If you did, mine probably won’t even make it to an interview. Mine simply wouldn’t be good enough.
According to some credible sources, I can’t cook, I “do housework half-heartedly”, even sometimes ignoring doing it in favour of catching up on some TV shows I have queued up on Netflix. I always “talk back” and “won’t listen to orders”, what man would ever want me?
I also recently heard that men would prefer to make wives out of girls who are less opinionated, more soft spoken and less independent. If that’s true, I would probably be alone until the day I die.
I often grumble to myself, “why does it matter that I haven’t gotten married yet? Why was it so important that people had to bring it up any chance they got? I didn’t want to get married anyway.”
That’s a lie. Of course I want to get married. Someday. I would love to. I just can’t find the time or the person at the moment.
That’s also a lie.
You see, I’ve been on dating sites before and also been on a fair many dates, and let me tell you, the expectations and reality of dating online are two very different things and unfortunately, they don’t often interchange.
What I learned from going on dates is that I’m probably not an easy person to get along with sometimes. And I’m scared that might carry on to when I get married. If I get married. My mum is always nagging me, saying that I shouldn’t be so pessimistic. That she didn’t raise me to be a Debbie downer that thinks so lowly of herself.
There are just a lot of things I think about and I admit, not all of them are positive: will I still like that person after so many years? What if after I get married, that person would slowly lose their love for me and I have to watch it happen?
It’s not the healthiest and it’s by far the worst I’ve ever felt when I find myself thinking about it, but it keeps me from being too eager and impulsive when it comes to making decisions about a potential life partner. And I know that some of them are wildly presumptuous and also maybe slightly unrealistic. But, I can’t help it.
So the question I always ask myself is: Is marriage worth all this emotional turmoil?
Bukan Tak Nak, Belum Mampu Lagi
It seems like a lot, huh? I can’t shut off those feelings. I thought about writing this in a funny way but as I progressed, I realised how depressing it is, and I apologise.
I’m not portraying or outing myself as someone who is bitter when she looks at people in love. I mean, okay, sometimes, I do cringe at couples who are all lovey dovey and show their affections in public. But other times, the longing of wanting a love like theirs is so strong that it scares me. And that’s as far as I get. The kind of longing that makes me sit in my car for hours, listening to Taylor Swift on repeat.
Realistically though, there’s also a fear that I can’t afford to get married. Personally, I wouldn’t want a grand big wedding but I’m half Arab and half Malaysian. We’re sort of lowkey destined for big weddings. My mother had one, as did my grandmother before her. She would also want a huge wedding for me too, no doubt.
The potential financial strain scares me a lot more than I’m willing to admit. Do you know how much an average wedding in Malaysia costs? According to The Asean Post, it’s estimated between RM50,000 to RM200,000. I heard that weddings are less expensive during the pandemic but is it really if you’ve spent a lot on cancellation fees?
I often joke about marrying rich and not having to worry about expenses, but after finding that out, I don’t think it’s a joke anymore.
I’m still paying off my student loans and I’m at an age where besides being worried about getting married, I have houses to look at, bills to pay! Why can’t I just enjoy my youth without any of those problems getting in the way?
If there are any bachelors out there with old money (or new, I’m not complaining), take this as my attempt at an application. I might not have the kitchen skills, but hey, a girl can learn!
Is Getting Married Even Worth It?
Looking at how my friends and family planned out their weddings before, the numbers are quite large. Numbers of people as well as the digits it takes to hold a wedding.
For someone who has a whole Pinterest board of wedding dresses and garden wedding venues saved, getting married is super scary to me. I like the aesthetic but am I brave enough to go through with it when it happens? I don’t know. I really don’t know,
What I do know is that thinking about these things are the ones that put me off of getting married completely and that I should stop. But come on, in this economy? I need to think ahead! I refuse to have kids and do the whole shebang spontaneously. There’s too many things to worry about mentally and financially.
It wouldn’t affect just me either. It would be my husband’s problem as well. And if we were ever to have kids someday, I would like them to be able to live comfortably and not think about “adult” complications until they’re old enough to make their own money.
When The Time Is Right, It Will Happen
The truth is, the purpose of marriage has simply changed for me. When I was younger, it was all about how I’d find the most handsome man of all the land who will love me unconditionally, get married and live happily ever after.
Now that I’m older, I realise that that’s only part of a marriage.
There are other aspects that make it up as well and not all of them I fully understand. I would have to delve deeper on it and find out more about myself before I make a decision. How can I vouch for something without fully knowing what I want from it?
If I were to be married one day, I would like it to be on my own terms. Not someone else’s. Not because I’m pressured into marrying someone, not because I feel obligated to get married because I’m already “too old” and at an age where I “should”.
If it happens, it happens. Until that day comes, I’m going to drown myself in romantic comedies in the meantime and dream of a day when I, too, will have my happily ever after. With or without marriage.