When you marry someone and sponsor him for immigration, you declare loud and clear for the government, your employers, and your loved ones all to hear that you have created a new family. You gain legal rights and spousal privileges. Your credit ratings affect each other. Your taxes change. You send thank you cards that you both sign. Both socially and on paper, you are a new family unit. Look at us — Kale and Jessie!
But that’s on paper. Words on paper don’t represent emotions. Couples who dated and even lived together for a long time probably already feel like they’re a family — and I would agree they are one. I don’t believe a family is “a family” only when it’s recognized by the government; I have friends with strained biological family relations who consider their real families made up of close friends a “family of choice.” The concept of family is really a mindset. So, when in a relationship or a new marriage like ours do you actually start to feel like a family? Keep reading »
In March, Michael and I met up with my friend and her boyfriend for a double-date. I already knew that they’d gone to look at rings, but their big news that night was that he had gone ahead and bought it, and already talked to her mom and dad about proposing to her. I was thrilled for my friend: She is one of the coolest people I know, her boyfriend is a really good guy, they work well together, they’ve started building a life that suits what she wants, and now they’re making it official — things are working out really nicely for them.
When we left the bar and were safely out of anyone’s earshot, and asked Michael to stop. “I just want to be clear,” I told him, “I want to get married. That’s where I’m headed. I’d like to know if that’s what you want, too.”
“Yeah,” he said, and smiled. “Yeah what?” I asked, because I hate having things in uncertain terms. “Yeah, I want to marry you some day,” he replied. Keep reading »
Last week, our new dude dating columnist Dater XY wrote a provocative piece about how his best friend is a woman and some ladies he meets online dating can’t handle that. With a few exceptions, commenters on that piece agreed Dater XY is shit outta luck. “I don’t see a way out of this. I think that pretty much every girl, no matter how secure she is, will have in the back of her mind, ‘I wonder what they’re REALLY doing,’” wrote one commenter. ”It’s a red flag,” added another.
Well, that hasn’t been my experience at all. My husband’s two best friends are women and he sees both ladies several nights a week. Their friendships are not suspicious to me at all. In fact, I think it’s great. Keep reading »
Pretty much everything about Kale and I getting married was untraditional. But we were actually quite traditional by not moving in together until a few days before our wedding.
Kale and I certainly weren’t opposed to premarital cohabitation on principle: both of us had lived with exes in long-term relationships before. We simply hadn’t been together long enough to move in together: we had only been dating for four months when we got engaged and got married just five weeks after that (yeah, we moved quick). Kale ending his lease in Brooklyn to move into my apartment in Queens a few days before our wedding was pure circumstance.
By cultural standards, the “getting married” part is supposed to be the huge change that occurred in my life. One minute I was filing my taxes solo and then — ba-bam! — I’m legally joined to another person by law. And to be sure, sponsoring Kale for immigration was also a significant event. But the honest truth is that the biggest change during that time, in terms of how it affected my life and how I had to adjust and grow as a person, was acquiring not just a new husband but a new roommate. Keep reading »
My boyfriend and I moved in together last July. At the time, we had been dating for just shy of six months.
If a friend had planned to do what I did, and had asked me for advice, I would have told her that it was too soon. “What’s the rush?” I would have said. “Moving in together this early is frankly insane,” I would probably have added.
And I don’t disagree with my friend-self. I have never been a risk-taker; in fact, I’ve always been very averse to change. I had never even come close to living with a boyfriend, although I did have a few year-plus-long relationships. My less than adventurous personality is also what kept me in Boston, my hometown, for almost five years after graduating college. Why would I leave when my friends and family were there? I didn’t understand why people kept moving away from our safe cocoon. Keep reading »
I once had a friend whose mom and dad didn’t just sleep in separate beds — they had entirely separately bedrooms in the same apartment. It seemed weird to me when I learned of it, despite the fact I knew nothing about their private relationship. When the parents eventually divorced, I assumed sleeping in separate bedrooms had had something to do with it. How could it not? I mean, sharing a bedroom just seemed like something married people do.
Well, I have been married for less than one year and I started thinking seriously about sleeping in separate bedrooms when I awoke with a start in the middle of the night recently because my snoozing husband elbowed me, sharply, right in the forehead. (It might actually have been a move taught in self-defense classes. And if it’s not, it should be.) Keep reading »