Hey, ya’ll! If you do not know, I have a relationship podcast named Let’s Talk Relationsh*t with three of my friends. Weekly, we discuss random relationship topics or whatever relationship topic is relevant at the time. On our latest episode, we discussed what the majority of people were raving about last week, the relationship drama between the rapper, Fabolous, and his long-time girlfriend, Emily Bustamante. As a part of our discussion, we speculated and offered theories about the cause of their infamous blow-up as seen on various news and social media outlets. While listening to the podcast before posting and promoting, I realized I made a strong assertion when it came to Fabolous and Emily’s relationship. I implied that because they have been together for nearly twenty years and are not married, that it was an issue. After hearing myself, I wondered why I made such a statement. While I knew my reasoning in this instance, hearing this strong assertion made me want to analyze the question: should long-term relationships end in marriage or at least have a proposal?
I am sure that most people desire marriage and believe that if they are in a long-term relationship, marriage should be the next step. However, some people impose these beliefs on other people. Let’s be honest here. People tend to be highly critical of other’s relationships and try to force the standards they have for their relationship onto another couple. Comments like “Oh, you’ve been with him for how long and he still has not put a ring on it? It couldn’t have been me!” are prevalent. We also have social media statuses and memes floating around saying things like “3-5 years together without engagement/ marriage, you’re good enough to be a girlfriend but not a wife,” giving the impression that if you are not married within a certain time frame, your partner does not deem you worthy of being his or her spouse. I just want to know. Whose timeline are we going by? Our own? Society’s? Because I know when these obnoxious statements are being made, we do not stop to consider that these two individuals are happy in their relationship and may have no desire for an engagement or marriage. Obviously, I am guilty of making this kind of statement and thinking in the same manner, but after giving it some thought, I do not believe that long-term relationships have to end in marriage. Marriage does not equal happiness, respect, and/ or love. You could be in a marriage and lack these things and be in a long-term relationship and have all of the above. I did a poll asking the question, “should long-term relationships end in marriage?” 81% of voters said yes and 19% said no. Some of the voters who voted either yes or no explicitly stated that the answer they chose is a result of their preference. They understand that whether a couple chooses to marry after being in a long-term relationship or not is their choice.
However, the distinction I would like to make in the Fabolous and Emily situation is that Emily most likely desired marriage. For anyone who followed the reality show Emily was a part of, in some scenes where she spoke about her relationship, it was implied that she wanted something more solid, maybe marriage, maybe not. So when I made the statement about their situation, I was speaking on what could be perceived as Fabolous’ selfishness if it was explicitly stated by Emily that that was what she wanted. However, the overall idea or point I am trying to make is a long term relationship does not have to end in marriage, and if it does, the couples should do so when they are ready. There are couples who do not desire marriage and that, too, is absolutely fine, but a conversation should be held to ensure that you are both on the same page about your goals for the future. I just wanted to clarify my statement made during this recording so the people who are in healthy, loving relationships are aware that I do not feel nor think that the length of time a couple is together is indicative of anything. There is no blueprint for a relationship. Relationships do not need to be placed in this imaginary box neither do they have to follow “society’s” guidelines.
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