K and I are getting married largely because he wants to, and I don't not want to get married enough to argue. I love him and want him to be happy, and getting married makes him happy. That said, the institution of marriage makes me uncomfortable: it involves the community in what I consider a private relationship and opens healthy relations to public scrutiny. Plus, it traditionally involves the commingling of assets, and I haven't successfully established myself as an individual with individual assets.*
This terrifies me. Another smart person from the internet writes: "I often think that as a feminist, I should be self-driven, self-motivated, and self-inspired when it comes to my career." This sums up my feelings precisely: I want to establish myself individually before I commit to establishing myself as part of a marriage. K keeps offering to give me money if I need it, but this makes me really uncomfortable. I'm supposed to have my own money: we're not technically married yet.
The problem? I want to marry K, and I want to marry him now. Yesterday, even. Every time we see each other, we're tempted to call up our friend, who's an officiant, and just get the paperwork done.
See, we're already half-married for most practical purposes: we've already effectively made a life-long commitment to each other. Breaking our engagement now might not be as legally tricky as a divorce, but it would have a huge impact on our community. We've already integrated into each other's family. We have more friends as a couple than we have as individuals.** We'd have to figure out how to divvy up the kitchen stuff and the bedding and even a little bit of furniture.
Starting a career as a "we" makes the job search harder. Having K is worth it.
*To be fair, K hasn't established himself, either.
**We do each have our own friends, and we're not isolating each other or anything creepy like that. It's just a side effect of our relationship: we meet and grow to like each other's friends.