A few weeks ago, I co-hosted a baby shower in my hometown. I’m from a small town in North Carolina, where the ladies from my home church were some of the first to change my diaper and rock me in the church nursery. They’ve watched me grow up over the past almost-27 years, and they genuinely love celebrating milestones in my life with me. This means that oftentimes, when I’m home, I find myself faced with the question “So, when are you getting married?”
It can be easy to feel jaded by that question. I get it. The heart behind Southern Weddings isn’t about beautiful pictures—it’s about relationships. In all that we do at Southern Weddings, our mission is to inspire others to cultivate a life full of love. Whether you feel like you’re perpetually single, or dating to see who is right for you, or you’re in a relationship and taking things at your own speed, what I’ve found to be most helpful in responding to this question is a different framework.
(Just a note, I use “we” in most of these answers because I’m talking about it in the context of my current relationship, but to my single gals out there—I see you. Know that I often used these responses when I was single as well.)
Remind yourself that it is a good thing that people are invested in and care about your relationship. It’s important to realize this is often the heart behind that question. Great relationships are cultivated in community with others. When I’m asked this question, it’s typically because the person asking the question cares about me and has seen the good Logan brings out in me, not because someone wants to be able to write a date down in their planner. When Ms. Madelyn or Mrs. Hickman asked me this at my sister-in-law’s baby shower recently, I was grateful that even after years of living in a different place, they still cared about the big things happening in my life.
“Let me tell you about what we’re looking forward to in our future.” One could say this is a way to deflect the question, but I like this answer because it shows that the most exciting thing to me in my current relationship isn’t necessarily an upcoming engagement or wedding day, but the other fun things we have planned. Whether it’s a larger event, like a long weekend vacation to the beach, or something simpler, like date night at a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, I love giving others glimpses into the exciting things happening in my life, whether they have to do with my relationship or not!
“I don’t know. And I’m okay with not knowing right now because I am content with where we are.” Our team fiercely believes that a marriage is more important than a wedding day, and the same applies to our relationships! A wedding day isn’t the finish line, but rather, one of many markers in your relationship. We believe that every part of your relationship—both the big and small moments—is meant to be celebrated in a way that is deeply meaningful. It’s one of the reasons Southern Weddings did our own spin on Fruitful Summer this year! Relationships matter, and cultivating meaningful relationships is the secret to a full life. I’ve found this is exactly why the mission of Southern Weddings resonates with me—and so many of you—so much!
“We’re still getting to know one another.” Don’t let anyone tell you that you should “know” after XX number of months. Yes, some of the darling brides in our magazine and on our blog knew after the first date. But others spent years as friends with their now-husbands. Neither is better than the other. The timing that you choose for your relationship is the best timing for you.
“You should ask him.” One of the very first things Nicole and I realized when we began to talk about dating well in the office was that no one asks our boyfriends this question. Depending on who is asking, one of my favorite tongue-in-cheek answers is simply “You should ask him,” followed by a sweet smile :)
Depending on your relationship with the person asking the question, it’s okay to politely ask them to refrain from asking. I hesitated to add this one, but in the end, I think it’s one of the most important ways you can respond to this question. I’ve found that I often experience the most discontentment in my relationship with Logan when I feel bombarded by the question. One of the most honest ways you can respond is by gently explaining that to someone. I’ve been known to tell my mother or some of my close friends (all people who very much have the right to ask that question) this on days where I don’t particularly feel up to talking about the timeline of my relationship. Each and every time, the person has responded very graciously. Whether you’re single and pursuing other passions or in a long-term relationship, this answer has often led to very sweet conversations!
I’d love to hear from you! Nicole and I are excited to continue to be back on this column to talk to you about dating. Feel free to email me at Jess@SouthernWeddings.com to say hi or let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like us to talk about! I am so grateful you are here!