“He's probably married somewhere else.”

“What a bad example your parents have set you for.”

“This is not by choice. Something is preventing them. You'll find out soon enough.”

“You've let the whole world know of their tradition-less relationship were their kids even take their mom's surname. Sies maan.” [sic]

READ MORE: "He lives upstairs... I live downstairs" - married couple share a home but live on separate floors

These are some of the comments I received on Twitter after posting a picture of my parents, captioned: “My parents have been together for 32 years. They’re not married and it works for them. They are MY goals.”

I’ve never seen anything wrong with not being married until this post.

My parents met in high school and immediately fell in love. Three years later, they had their first child.

Growing up, I often wondered if the thought of marrying my father ever crossed my mother’s mind.

When I asked her she said, “Even though I wasn’t raised in a traditional home, I was scared of what my mother was going to say about me falling pregnant at the age of 23, out of wedlock, but her response surprised me.

"She only asked me if I was ready for a kid and didn't ask much about the father’s intentions. That’s when I relaxed and evaluated my views on marriage. I figured if it wasn't that important to my family, maybe it wasn't something I should worry about.

“Two kids and 32 years later, I still hardly think about it.”

READ MORE: Centurion woman opens up about the things no one told her about marriage

I have a younger sister and we spent our childhood with the maternal side of the family. My grandmother left two marriages, which I assume explains why she doesn’t care for the institution.

I have never been asked by my family if or when I’m planning on getting married and for years, I believed there was something wrong with them. Every dinner table conversation at my friends’ homes is about marriage and kids, but never in mine.

The path my parents have chosen has affected my views on marriage - to some degree, in a good way. When I was younger, I was indifferent, but the older I get, the more I don’t see how marriage would benefit me much.

I almost got married three years ago and for four years, I lived with my boyfriend turned fiancé. During the time we lived together, I felt that we had everything that married people had, except the blessing from God. We had the companionship, the children, the dual income, the works.

I would love to continue to have that without the pressures that come with marriage. When my boyfriend proposed marriage, the advice I got from elders scared me, they made me feel like marriage was a chore that I just couldn't handle, and I thought it was just them but when you watch shows like OPW, the advice the woman gets is ridiculous. I don't see how my life would change if I got married. 

READ MORE: Are we looking at a future without marriage?

But I haven't scratched the idea off completely.

I would love a life partner and unlike my parents, I would like to LIVE with my partner. I do believe there’s something beautiful and admirable about having someone make a promise before their family, friends, and God, that they will be there for you, no matter what, until you take your last breath.

When I ask my mother what she loves most about not being married, it’s always: “I love the independence and my freedom. I won’t lie and say I never think about it, but I’ve been without marriage for so long, I don’t see how it would change my life now.”

READ MORE: "We’re not married but I want to keep the house if we break up"

My parents keep their finances separately, my father contributes financially towards us, his children, but they keep everything separate. He does have a few clothes at my mother's house, and vice versa.

My parents are my goals because I would love to have what they have. They genuinely love and respect each other. Their business is exactly that, their business. Both families don't feel entitled to being involved in their relationship and I love it. No one in my family is married, so I have nothing to reference, but married or not, if I could have half of what my parents have, it’ll be enough.

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