When you get to your mid-to-late twenties and all your friends reach the same kind of age, you'll find that opinions about marriage are somewhat split into two camps... which as it happens can also be defined by gender. In other words, most women are starting to talk very favourably about marriage and rather like the idea of tying the knot, while most men are somewhat terrified of this fact and are doing everything they can to stem the tide and buy themselves more time.
Why a Fear of Getting Married?
For many men, the idea of getting married seems to symbolise the end of an era. It means saying goodbye to any chance of being with another woman (no matter how happy you are with your current partner, this is still tricky to stomach), it means becoming domesticated and presentable, and it means starting a slippery slope that is likely to lead to children sometime in the not-too-distant future... And it's not just men who feel this way either – sometimes it's actually the women who find themselves quaking in their boots at the prospect of commitment, which can be even more difficult considering the expectations of society.
It's fair enough to feel this way, but if your partner is eager to get married then you owe it to them to try and come to terms with the prospect of going through with the big day. Getting married should be a very happy time in your life and if you keep putting it off, then eventually your partner might start to think you don't love them enough – and even go looking elsewhere.
If this is where you find yourself, then it's time to stop playing the victim and to stop cowering. This is your responsibility and it's time to take matters into your own hands and get a grip. If it's just the marriage that you're afraid of and you know you want to be with your partner, then you should address this like any other irrational fear and start doing something about it. Read on to find out how...
How to Overcome a Fear of Marriage
Think About What Will Change: One of the first things to do is to think logically and objectively about what's actually going to change when you get married. If you don't intend on leaving your partner, then chances are that very little will change and your day-to-day life will be exactly the same as it was before. The only thing that changes is the way you officially define your relationship and actually your confidence to an extent: you'll find you feel much more confident and that your relationship is stronger as a result.
Look at the Positives: Those are two examples of the positives of getting married, but there are many more which you might want to consider focusing on instead. For example, getting married means having some amazing parties – your stag (or hen) party and the reception itself. It also means going on an amazing holiday for your honeymoon, and you'll probably be looking forward to at least some aspects of the wedding itself even if it's just the chance to dress up and see old friends. If you're in a religious relationship then even better – getting married will mean you get to have sex and that's always a rather appealing prospect. Of course you should also be looking forward to tying yourself to the person you love and if nothing else, think about how happy they'll be when you pop the question. For many, that's worth the price of admission alone.
Realise That Weddings Are Flexible: It may be that it's not so much being married that you're afraid of as it is getting married. It may well be that you're scared of the actually wedding itself and don't want to have to stand to ceremony or have all that attention on you while you awkwardly give a speech. If your partner wants a fairy-tale wedding then you can hardly elope, so what do you do?
One option is simply to make the wedding into something that you feel more comfortable. A big wedding doesn't have to mean a huge church or a massive, grand hotel: it can just as easily be something that you feel more at home in. For instance, why not try getting married outdoors in a more sunny and cosy setting? Or why not get married by one of your friends, rather than having to stand in front of a priest who you don't know? One of the biggest secrets to having a wedding that you will be happy with and that everyone will enjoy, is to focus on making it relaxing, fun and pleasant. Don't try to go huge for the sake of grandeur alone – rather focus on making it a day that everyone will enjoy and that everyone will feel comfortable attending.
Go to Weddings: Perhaps the best way to get over any phobia is to expose yourself to it a lot, during which time you should find that it's not as bad as you think. This is true of spiders, and it's true of weddings. If you want to make weddings into something less terrifying in your mind, then make sure that you attend a few and especially attend weddings where you can play some sort of role. Once you've survived being best man, you will often feel less afraid of being groom.