My best friend of 10 years announced over the weekend that she’s getting married. She’s been dating the same guy for several years and they’ve finally decided to take the next step.
I adore her boyfriend (now fiancee, I guess), but I’m opposed to the idea of marriage. It seems like an antiquated tradition and I’ve never been fond of bowing to convention. She’s expressed similar ideas in the past, and I always thought my BFF and I would be spinsters forever. We’re 30 now, by the way, and I realize that I’m living in some crazy single-lady fantasy world.
I want to be happy for her, but I guess I’m worried that she’ll change after she gets married. So many of our friends have gotten married over the years and they totally changed when they started having kids. What if she has kids and starts acting all lame and grown up? Who will be my drinking buddy? Am I the one who needs to grow up?
— Losing My Best Friend
I personally advocate for cohabitation over marriage, so I definitely see where you’re coming from. And I’m also a bit opposed to the idea of straight people getting married when our gay brothers and sisters are denied that same right.
But if your friend’s been with her fiancee for years, I honestly doubt she’ll change much after he puts a ring her finger. Marriage is only a symbolic gesture. It means they’ll get tax breaks, a bad-ass cake, an awesome party, and free kitchen appliances. But it doesn’t mean your friend will change.
I suspect that the friends you referenced who have changed after having kids were more affected by the added responsibility of caring for offspring. Just because your friend is tying the knot doesn’t mean she’ll be popping out babies right away ... or at all. For now, your BFF will likely remain your number one drinking buddy. It’s the pregnant ladies that can’t drink, not married ones. Remember that. If she does get knocked up later, you’ve got a reliable designated driver for at least nine months.
You have the right to live your life however you want. You don’t have to get married or have kids. But you don't have the right to dictate how your friends live. Just be happy for your best friend. And if it doesn’t work out between she and her new husband, you can say “I told you so” later.
Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at firstname.lastname@example.org.