{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Since turning 25 my family is ON me to think about marriage. I’ve always struggled with the concept of marriage and truly always just dated for fun, with no end goal in mind. I am south asian and have somehow always dated non-south Asian men, but my culture is really important to me.\n\nI feel I have this idea that marriage is going to take away my independence and it’s never really appealed to me. How did you shift your perspective, if so? I am feeling pressured to start dating more seriously.", "post_id": "6169c13533caac002b53dcdc", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Since turning 25 my family is ON me to think about marriage. I’ve always struggled with the concept of marriage and truly always just dated for fun, with no end goal in mind. I am south asian and have somehow always dated non-south Asian men, but my culture is really important to me. I feel I have this idea that marriage is going to take away my independence and it’s never really appealed to me. How did you shift your perspective, if so? I am feeling pressured to start dating more seriously.

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For many women, that is what happens, so it's logical for you to be concerned about it. It did not for me because I was very clear about my expectations for any serious relationship and especially marriage. I got a prenup to protect myself, and my husband was completely on board with it because he knows maintaining my independence is important to me.

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I think culture being important to you and the decision to get married are two separate questions (though of course they can play into each other). So do you (not your family) want to get married? If yes, I think it’s important to realize that marriage limits your independence only to the extent that you and your future spouse let it. And with that, who you choose to marry is extremely important. Are they someone with whom you share values with, who values you and your opinions as a partner in your relationship and as a person in general, etc etc? Like yes, if you’re married you have to take someone else’s feelings, plans, and wants into consideration when making decisions. But they should do the same for you. For me, marriage has been the biggest blessing and allowed me to become more myself than I could’ve ever imagined. In a marriage where you feel safe and valued, where you dream together and make plans together, you have the constant emotional and practical space and support to go after your dreams and share those experiences with your best friend. I’ve always been extremely independent (moved to a different continent on my own at 18 and supported myself there etc) so when I got married at 22 people were shocked but it’s truly been an amazing experience. This past year, my husband and I moved across the country for a job that I got and because it would benefit our family. I would do the same for him. A true partnership is the most freeing thing and gives you the strength to not only have a great relationship but also flourish outside of it.

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I totally understand that! I actually come from a broken family where my parents’ marriage is toxic if not borderline abusive so I get it. And I mean, finding the right person is hard no doubt. I shifted my perspective when I stopped seeing the marriage experiences I witnessed growing up, paint my complete picture of what marriage is but rather take them as inputs and lessons of what I want / don’t want, how I would handle situations differently and what I expect in my own marriage. At the end of the day, I’m a different person than my family members and if I don’t want to repeat their patterns, I can choose to act differently. And I think it’s great that you’ve just been meeting people and experiencing new things and cultures! Sending you all the good vibes. If marriage is something you decide you want, just now that you can have a happy and fulfilling one that doesn’t interfere w your independence but rather adds something to your personal life!

If your independence is important to you, whoever you eventually marry will also value it. Ive never understood "dating to marry", but if you do want to find a life partner then it's worth starting to have more real conversations with anyone you are dating. (Money approach, cleaning habits, if you guys want kids, etc) Also there is absolutely nothing wrong with never marrying. I love my partner and I'm so glad i have them but i would chew my own arm off before getting back in the dating game lol. If we ever separate I'm just going to get a little studio apt and enjoy life on my own.

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