I am currently visiting my very good Japanese friend in Japan, while Mr.Panda stays at home back in Vienna. I am having a great time together with my friend, we are taking short day trips around Japan and are having lots of fun. Yesterday on the bus, we eventually started to talk about marriage. “I am so glad that we can travel together so much these days. After your marriage, you won’t have time for me anymore!”, my friend suddenly said.
Surprised by her statement, I asked her why she thought like that. Mr. Panda and I are dating for seven years now. And although we are not married yet, we do not plan to break up or change anything about our life in the near future. The years we are spending together without being married just summed up over time without us realizing. And although we are not married yet, we are living together for more than six years now. What would change after we married? My last name? Even that is not decided yet. We already spend our “newly wed’s” time together, we travelled together and moved together – we already did almost everything together what is said to be a big challenge to a relationship. And we survived it together.
So, what would actually change after our marriage? Will I then be forbidden for me to travel alone with my friend? Would Mr.Panda suddenly not trust me anymore? Will there be new responsibilities imposed on me I don’t know about yet? Or am I just too blue eyed to think that my carefree life will go on like this?
We elaborately talked about why Japanese are so focused on weddings, and somehow the thought if being left over being in young Japanese women’s minds is being stronger than ever. My friend, who is the same age as me, is already close to thirty and already desperate about finding someone she can marry. As for me, raised by middle European standards, I don’t feel like being leftover, just because I am not married (yet).
I consider myself lucky to be in a stable and loving relationship, and that I don’t need to bind Mr.Panda to me by law. If that would actually work is questionable anyway. We can be happy together like a stupid lovey dovey couple every day, and we both know that the other one stays with us because they want to.
Still, I have developed the urge of wanting to marry him lately, making it even more impossible for him to escape, not with my charme only, but with one ring – THE RING – too.
Just some strange thoughts on cultural differences about marriage in Austria and Japan, by a Jetlag afflicted Betty.
Or… does my friend think I will get pregnant as soon as we are married??? Oh oh!!!