Etiquette School is in session! > "What an interesting assumption."

No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming

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Tia:
What a fun site! i love these topics, I wish there were more recent ones!

I don't think myself cynical, but practical in that I don't intend to marry. Of course enjoy one man deeply in love. I've just seen too many marriages to consider myself the exception. Of course others assume the first regardless. In that I am also backed by a disinterest in having children, so there is no practical reason for me to marry from a parental standpoint.

But just as how I can't see the joy in having children and husband in tow, I know that those in that lifestyle cannot see why I would not choose it. It is a double blind from both sides, and a double edged sword. I find many many people take personal interest in what I do in my spare time and ask "when will you..." assuming I haven't reached that blessed state yet. No one seems to like the answer "I don't choose to" and take offense no matter how politely I say it. It sometimes even turns to a matter of maturity "when you get older" or something equally offensive.

Over the years though I've found the perfect response to the "when will you..." bomb. I gently pat them on the arm and laugh heartily saying "Oh honey, I never touch the stuff!" as if I were offered a cigar. Most laugh and move on without asking further.

Does anyone else choose not to marry or have kids and get that negative reaction? Does anyone have any ideas why someone might take offense when someone simply chooses not to?

The Wild One, Forever:
Isn't it annoying when other people think they have a right to comment on your choices?

You don't owe tham any explanations, and I really like the way you deflect the comments/questions with humor.  If someone persists, all you have to do is tell them, politely but firmly, that your life is not up for discussion.

As to the "why" someone might take offense at your life choices?  Being charitible, I could say it's perhaps a genuine but misguided attempt to show they care about you.  On the other hand, it could be someone looking to validate their own choices, which, maybe, thay have had second thoughts about from time to time. 

Only me:
Hi Elise,

I get the same thing all the time.

I have never wanted marriage or kids and get the standard responses:
1) Oh you'll change your mind
2) You just haven't met the right person yet.

Well I choose to be single and child free. I just let it role off my back now, or ask people not to try and argue my opinion with me.

Onlyme

SamiHami:
Oh, you don't know what you're saying-when the right man comes along you'll change your mind!

I'm just kidding!!!!!! ::)

I have no children by choice.  My DH and I have been married 22 years and for the first 10-15 or so we got the "why don't you have kids," "when are you going to have kids," etc. intrusive questions a lot.  I've had plenty of people tell me I'm selfish (for not wanting children?  Wouldn't it be worse to have them when I don't want them????).  I always thought it was particularly insensitive, since they had no way of knowing if we were having fertility issues or just chose not to have kids-and I never felt compelled to tell people my personal business.

I think that other people take offense/get defensive when people make choices like ours because they somehow view it as a condemnation of their choices in life, which is ridiculous, of course.  I think it is absolutely wonderful if someone who wants a baby has one!  I think they are cute and cuddly and I'll even babysit (occasionally) if you want me to.  I just want to be able to give the baby back.  And I don't mean to speak for you, but I imagine that you are probably very happy for your friends when they get married. 

T'Mar of Vulcan:

--- Quote from: Elise on March 09, 2011, 01:42:15 PM ---I don't think myself cynical, but practical in that I don't intend to marry.

--- End quote ---

I've been proposed to a couple of times (okay, three times) but I know in my heart I am better off single. I don't even date anymore; as a similarly single friend of mine says, "I'm approaching my sell-by date!"

So now when people ask me when I'm getting married, I cheerfully reply, "Never!!"

They've stopped asking why not. Because I reply, "Because!!!"  >:D

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