I’ve been very pleased when recently some people, instead of trying to enquire WHEN I was going to have babies, have begun the conversation by politely enquiring WHETHER I want to have kids. So there appears to be a growing appreciation of the fact that not everyone wants to have kids and that is just fine. Not having children is recognised as a valid, respectable life choice.
So why doesn’t the same seem to apply to marriage? I recall being asked once whether F and I will get married. Every other time (in total about two million times by now, no exaggeration) I have been asked when the wedding bells would be ringing for us. As if there was no question about the fact, only the timing. As if marriage was not a choice, but inevitability for a straight couple that was committed to each other.
While the society seems to be making it very clear which way it wants us to choose,* can we please try to appreciate that the choice is still for each individual couple to make for themselves, and remain from being presumptive one way or the other? There are numerous reasons to marry, but there are also numerous reasons not to marry. From what I could see, it was quite normal for people not to marry a few decades ago, but those days seem to be long gone. Nowadays marriage is quasi-automatic. If you're not married, there must be something wrong with you. You're an unlovable loser; a spinster.
I think it would be good for everyone to evaluate the pros as well as the cons of marriage before taking the decision. But whether you do or not, please do not assume that others have forgone that exercise, or that the result of the evaluation for them has been obviously to get hitched, the only question being when. Some might actually have actively decided to try to live happily ever after without an official paper that testifies to this decision.
* Thank you very much for the subtle hint, draftsman of the Swiss Tax Code.