I recently had a discussion with a few good girlfriends of mine about the state of marriage today. The debate quickly became very passionate, like so many of our chat fests often do, when we realized we all had very different opinions about the definitions of “husband” and “boyfriend” in today’s society.
A single girlfriend of mine who has been living with her boyfriend for over 4 years said, “I don’t need a ring. He’s more my husband than my boyfriend any day. A ring won’t change that!” Interesting, I thought. I asked her why she felt the words “boyfriend” and “husband” were interchangeable, and she told me it was because the only difference between their long-term relationship and a marriage was that it wasn’t legally recognized. Before I could respond, another friend of ours interjected, “I agree with her. These days, who really needs a ring?” I immediately responded, “I did!”
Only two of the five other women at the table stood by me. One married, one not. The others joked that in their experience only married women felt there was a true difference between husbands and boyfriends, and it was likely because they were married. Um…okay, if you say so. One of them challenged me to explain how my marriage was different from her long-term relationship.These were my arguments….
(Disclaimer: These are the somewhat humorous, 100 percent honest, opinions of a happily married woman who has always felt that marriage was, and is, the ultimate destination on the journey to true love. You may not agree, and that’s okay too – feel free to state your case in the comment section below.)
Boyfriends love you. Husbands love you so much they knew they could never ever share, so they just had to make you their “wife” officially.
Boyfriends make promises. Husbands make them before God and everyone else you love enough to invite to your wedding.
When boyfriends have “had it up to here” they move out, take their space, or tell you they’re not sure things are working out between you. When husbands have “had it up to here” they take a walk or have a beer.
Boyfriends feel very little guilt gawking at the occasional hot chick passing by, or harmlessly flirting with a co-worker. Husbands think about it occasionally but know better than that to risk it. (Most days at least!)
Boyfriends understand that a woman’s just having “one of those days”. Husbands go to the store (alone!) to pickup your feminine products – and even remember your brand.
Boyfriends sometimes stay out too late with the guys. Husbands know they better beat the sun in the morning.
Boyfriends love you in “those sexy heels”. Husbands love you in anything.
Boyfriends seek important advice from their friends. Husbands seek advice from their wives.
Boyfriends remember your birthday. Husbands remember that time something you said changed their life.
Boyfriends sometimes bend the rules. Husbands want to work with you to set them.
I could go on, and on, and on! But I’ll stop here for now. To me, there is a very big difference between a boyfriend and a husband – many of which revolve around devotion, commitment, and understanding. I’ve always said that marriage is not for everyone, but for those who seek it, there is something very special to it.
I’ve seen a lot of women change their tune about marriage after they felt it was unattainable or because the guy they loved didn’t seem to want it too. It makes me sad. Now if you’ve never wanted to get married, no judgments here, to each it’s own, as I always say. If you’ve always wanted or been open to marriage, don’t sell yourself short by convincing yourself that the next best thing is the same thing. It’s not. And you deserve to have the bond you dream about – not the one that’s become convenient or “acceptable” today. Just think about it…
Married ladies, what would you add to this list? Single gals, do you disagree? Let’s talk about it.