Is there a relationship law that I don't know about? One that says if you're not married by a certain age and you've been with your boyfriend for a certain number of years your relationship is open for criticism?
Stephen and I deal with questions frequently:
"What's taking so long?"
"How is it that you're so awesome and you're not locked down yet?"
"Stephen, any plans to make her an honest woman?"
I admit, it gets hard at times, and on occasion I begin to ask these questions too. It's not always easy when you and your SO aren't on the same page, but WHEN we get married, we're still not always going to be on the same page; it's the challenge with two strong (and different) personalities.
Where I start to have issues is when my friends start asking questions about whether I'm really happy because I haven't gotten what I've wanted yet. As if my entire happiness with Stephen is tied to when I get married and that the longer we wait, the more he must not love me or want to be with me. I take issue with outside people making judgments on my relationship - especially when those people have far from perfect relationships.
I'm sure for them it comes from wanting to see the best for their friend, but criticizing my boyfriend, my relationship, does not tell me you have my interests at heart. I have watched the missteps in your relationship - I've watched your boyfriends disappoint you (and you disappoint them) and I offer my support of your relationship. I would appreciate the same in return.
Perhaps it's my fault too. I share my thoughts/hopes/fears/frustrations with you. I admit that I tend to keep the amazing things just between Stephen and me. So I recognize that it might seem like I'm unhappy, and that's my fault. But it's far from true. I'm in a healthy, happy relationship, with a partner who supports my goals and my dreams. He is far from perfect, but so am I. But he's good to me and good for me.
So I promise to share both the good times and the bad. And I hope that you'll give our relationship the support it needs from our friends. I promise to do the same for you.