Dana Buckmir
Dana Buckmir

Oh, Dana!
My boyfriend and I have been together for four years. He says that he doesn’t see the point in marriage, but he’ll marry me just because I want to. He views marriage as just a title that doesn’t reflect our love. I know he loves me, but I can’t help but wonder why he wouldn’t want to make our relationship official by getting married. Should I be concerned?
Ready to Tie the Knot

Dear Ready to Tie the Knot,
Just because your boyfriend doesn’t believe in marriage doesn’t mean he loves you any less. People can live, long healthy, and loving relationships without a piece of paper to prove their love and commitment. Look at Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel who has been going strong for 35 plus years. Then there’s Jennifer Lopez who’s on her fourth marriage and can’t seem to make it work.
I think there are a lot of factors that influence a person’s view of marriage. Are you religious? Do you want to have children? Do you need to be married to receive benefits? Are you looking to give up half of your assets if the marriage doesn’t work out? Do you enjoy spending all of your money on overpriced lawyers that will result in long, tedious court proceedings? If the answer is no to these questions, then there’s no need to get married. If the answer is yes then you might want to have another discussion with your boyfriend about tying the knot. Let’s be realistic, we’d all like to believe that marriage is forever, but the divorce rate proves that marriages don’t always last. The end is often the beginning when things get messy and people that once loved each other fight over children, money, and assets. Then, the idea that once sounded so romantic quickly turns into a nightmare that you wished you could have avoided like the plague.
Perhaps your boyfriend is concerned about the financial aspect of the wedding cost and for good reason. When you think about it, it’s a lot of money to shell out for one day’s exorbitantly expensive party that more than likely you won’t even get to enjoy. The money can be used towards something more beneficial like a down payment on a house or traveling.
You mentioned being concerned about your boyfriend’s reluctance to make the relationship official. What do you need to make it official? You don’t need validation from the people in your lives to demonstrate your commitment to each other. Every day we see people seeking relationship validation on social media where they’re publicly gushing over their significant other with Facebook posts that read, “I adore my husband. He’s my soul mate” but in private they’re at each other’s throats and look as though they genuinely detest each other’s company. I would strongly advise you to steer away from doing things for the show and in a way your boyfriend might see the wedding as one big unnecessary show. As your boyfriend said, marriage doesn’t reflect your love for each other. It is a legally binding contract that many enter into for the wrong reasons. Your boyfriend doesn’t need a piece of paper to legalize his love for you. Love is love. Contract or no contract.
If you need something, I suggest you exchange and have a small ceremony. We aren’t our grandparent’s generation where everyone was expected to get married or they would be whispered about at cocktail parties and not invited to the neighborhood watch meeting. In a lot of ways, marriage has become an outdated tradition. I’d embrace the fact that society no longer places pressure on your generation to get married.
I wouldn’t think anything of it if your boyfriend doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage. What’s important is that he believes in you and what the two of you share. That, my friend, is a beautiful thing and something I could commit to.

Dana Buckmir aka “Oh, Dana!” Dana is the author of the memoir “Plenty of Laughs: One Woman’s Journey Navigating the Online Dating Waters. The book is a comical account on dating in the age of technology, including the compelling story of finding love online. You can find a sample of her book at https://danabuckmir.com/Dana wants to help people with their lives, love, and everything in-between! She is taking your questions at Contact@danabuckmir.com All submissions are anonymous.