This post first appeared in Ana Santos’ website, SexandSensibilities.com last September 2011. Edited by Ana. http://bit.ly/Yh7CvJ
By Mary Ann Santos
Last February, my partner and I decided to affirm our commitment to each by moving in together. We uprooted ourselves from our respective parents’ homes and quietly started our life together without the usual fanfare of a wedding ceremony.
In a country where there are only two reasons acceptable for living together (one being a fast approaching due date), a childless couple like us choosing to live under one roof raised a lot of eyebrows and elicited a lot of comments and unsolicited advice.
My close circle of friends would tell me, “Get married na, we haven’t been to a wedding for the longest time!” Uhm, I’m not going to get married for you. I am going to get married according our plans.
“Buti pumayag ang parents mo,” is another common reaction. After witnessing several marriages crumble in the family, my parents figured out that getting married does not cement “forever” in a relationship.
From the doubtful, I would hear, “Is that an easy way out?” Nope, not at all. We consider this as the start of our life together.
The horny ones would insinuate with a knowing look, “Wow, so now, you’ll have a lot of sexytime together.” It’s funny that married couples get to have a lot of this so-called “sexytime”, too, but I hardly hear this kind of comment when couples announce their engagement.
One person even concluded that our decision to live together could be attributed to our horoscopes: I am a Leo, born under the Snake sign, while my partner is an Aquarius, born in the Year of the Monkey. According to our stars, I was the one making all the decisions, he said, so I should then decide to marry my partner. The decision to live together isn’t a power play between our moon and our stars, but a mutual choice we made.
And others would simply just say, “Get married na kasi!” because well… come to think of it, I actually don’t know their reasons anymore.
There was also advice that took on the voice of concern, but was nonetheless, unsolicited, “What about your child?” I would be asked. Our child will carry my partner’s last name and we will take care of him or her with our whole heart and soul just like any parent.
My partner, on his end, was told: “Just go and marry her.” Related to that is what has become my most favorite comment, only because I would hear it so often, “You should get married, especially since you’re the girl.” I really don’t consider myself on the losing end; I am with the man I love!
It never seemed to cross people’s minds that ours is a mutual decision to begin a life together. But unlike other couples who made a similar choice, but marked it with an engagement, we never got any advice on how to stay strong in our relationship or how to weather any storm.
We both have chosen a path less travelled by others, but it is a path that we feel will strengthen our relationship as more than boyfriend-girlfriend. And when we do tie the knot, it will be again another mutual decision between us and not according to the sun and moon or friends who just want to attend a wedding. It will simply be yet another step further in our relationship.
Mary Ann (a.k.a Maps) attended an all-girl Catholic school for her elementary and high school education and got her university degree in a school closely associated with an ultra conservative religious organization. An NBSB member (No Boyfriend Since Birth) until she met her current partner, her concept of marriage is a formal union of souls. She also believes that this union can be formalized by living together.
My partner and I. We moved in together on our 2nd year anniversary.