8 Witty Responses to the "When Are You Getting Married?" Question
Wedding season is well and truly upon us. In fact, it kicked in about 2 months ago but it is now approaching its peak – at least in the northern hemisphere due to our challenging weather and the summer months being more conducive to [large] celebrations and social media worthy pictures.
I love weddings and I have had the privilege of attending many. Despite the utter chaos I have experienced at numerous [African] weddings, I still look forward to celebrating the love of my friends and family and somehow manage to remain optimistic that the next one will be more fun than the last.
As my various social media feeds fill with pictures, videos and snaps of #weddingguest #blacklove #weddingoftheyear and #couplegoals, so do some of my friend’s bodies with sporadic feelings of dread. Why I hear you ask – especially as most of us love weddings?
Well, if it is a family event or if we know the family of a close friend, it is somewhat inevitable that at some point, a well-intentioned aunt, uncle or [married] friend is going to ask when you are joining the club or having a baby (if you are already married). I have only been married for ten months but as far as some people are concerned, I should have become a mum by now!
For a number of years before I got engaged, I would periodically hear the question “when are you getting married?” as though I could conjure up a fiancé from nowhere or propose to myself. A [distant] uncle once told me to “hurry up and just marry anyone” because I was “getting old” (I was 26 at the time) which, quite frankly, is ridiculous advice.
He wouldn’t be in the house with me suffering if in haste to please on-lookers I married the wrong man. Would he refund me or my parents the money spent on a wedding if I decided I wanted to get divorced soon after a shot-gun wedding? Similarly, none of these people will be in the house with me if my husband and I have a child to satisfy their timeline or societal norms.
If you are still experiencing these intrusive questions about your marital status in particular but do not want to confine yourself to your room and miss all of that party Jollof, below are 8 responses to get you through the “when are you getting married” question:
1. “God’s time is the best time”
Unequivocally my most used response. When I have said this in the past, I find the person asking nods in agreement and tends to stop probing because who are they to question God’s timing?
2. “Uncle / Aunty, when is <insert name of their unmarried child> getting married?”
No joke. I said this to an Uncle. I asked politely and smiled while doing so. He had a daughter who was older than me and single so I thought it was only fair that I ask. Needless to say the conversation ended there as it flipped his perspective.
3. “25th August 2018 at midday”
If you’re feeling particularly bold, as they if they got the invite! Giving a precise date and time will raise their hopes and when they ask you if you’re being serious, calmly reply “no.” The disappointment will be so painful that they will [hopefully] be frustrated and leave you alone. If they persist, let them know that you cannot see into the future and then excuse yourself to get a drink or change the subject.
4. “When you write me a blank cheque”
Weddings are expensive! Not all weddings, but a number of them – especially in this age of stunnin’ for the gram. Even small weddings cost money and if you don’t have it, you don’t have it. Plus your priorities may differ? You might want to travel, invest in yourself by taking professional exams, buy a house or start a business. If those questioning you want to contribute to the cause then perhaps you can expedite a wedding for them (if you have a partner already).
5. “There is a strong decline in divorce rates if I get married between the ages of 25 to 29 and even lower between the ages of 30 to 34.”
They may ask why you’re thinking about divorce rates and say that isn’t your portion, to which I would reply a resounding Amen! However, let them know that you are being cautious, letting the spirit lead you and your increasing age is not a detriment but a benefit as statistics have proven.
6. “When my boyfriend [finds and] asks me”
This is probably the most obvious of them all. If you have a boyfriend, you have to wait for them to ask you and if you don’t, you’re missing a crucial component of a wedding; the groom. Sometimes you really need to state the obvious to these folks.
7. “He asked and I said no”
People will be so stunned they may cease and desist. However, you have been warned, this approach could backfire on you. Not only could it lead to more questions such as “why did you say no” but you also don’t want to be putting that kind of negativity into the universe (there’s power in the tongue). So perhaps don’t use this one unless talking to a friend and making it clear that you are joking.
8. “When you have a[nother] baby”
This is another one that can backfire. Firstly, only say this to people within your age-range and those who are married. You’ll end up looking and feeling a little silly if they choose that moment to let you know that they’re pregnant though. Also, you could unearth some wounds if the couple have recently (or ever) suffered a miscarriage or are desperately trying to have children.
So there you go! I hope you can arm yourself with at least one of these responses. Almost all of them have to be delivered light-heartedly and ensure that you laugh or at the very least smile, otherwise you may be considered rude and that is not the aim. If you cannot think of something polite to say when questioned then say nothing at all and just smile.
Marriage is not the be all and end all of life. It is beautiful when you marry the right person but desperation is not the quickest way to find the aforementioned individual or to endear a current partner to put a ring on it. Enjoy your singleness and love, build, improve and pamper yourself!
Do you get these questions currently or in the past? What's your go to response and how do people react?
pS: If you need a little more encouragement, I wrote a spoken word piece a few years ago about marriage questions. You can watch here.