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  • Julie Orrell

When should I get married?

This is a question I’m sure lots of people ask themselves, whether they be men or women. If my daughter had her way I’m sure she would be starring on Take Me Out and finding her handsome Prince some time soon, but at the ripe old age of 7 I think Mummy (i.e. me) might have something to say about that!

I have been married now since 2004 to my lovely husband, and whilst I’m not going to tell you that it’s all been plain sailing, I’m still very much in love and enjoy married life. But back then in 2004, in fact probably in 2002, I started to feel the pressure – my sister was married, my female friends were either married or on their way to getting married and I was starting to consider my body clock.

Call me a traditionalist but I always thought I would marry before having children – I know a lot of people don’t do that anymore, but for me it was what I wanted. So I worked out the timings, how long it might take me to get pregnant, the effect it would all have on my career, and I started to realise that I wanted to commit to my partner. I hinted as most females I’m sure usually do. We’d be passing jewellers and I’d stop to look at watches and move slyly towards the rings saying how much I liked them. But…it still took a good two years before he finally asked me to marry him.

So in 2004 we tied the knot at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, and it was beautiful. Since, we’ve taken time out of work to travel the world; as a career focused woman I moved my way up to Senior Manager for a Consultancy firm, and then realising that I was nearing 30, I decided the time was right to have children.

I guess what I’m saying is I chose when to get married based on a little bit of pressure seeing lots of my friends getting married and also what I wanted to do before I had children – I wanted the independent life but as the maternal instincts kicked in, my head started to tell me that my body clock was working against me.

Perhaps I’m just a little bit too organised for my own good and maybe I should have been a little bit more spontaneous, and perhaps I should have felt less worry about times and less pressure from seeing people I knew getting married, and perhaps in hindsight maybe I did get married too young or maybe not.

One thing I would say to people is don’t rush into anything, don’t look at your friends and panic that they are all getting married and like Bridget Jones and the male equivalent you are getting left behind. Don’t panic that you won’t have time to have a child before you get married – at the end of the day does traditionalism really matter?

Enjoy your unmarried life to the fullest before you commit to someone. Unfortunately in my line of work, I see far too many couples splitting up before their wedding days, or splitting up just months after they have been married, and my question to them would be ‘was it too soon’ – were you absolutely certain that that person was the one for you. I suppose none of us ever know for sure – there are many people we have all loved in our lives – who knows for certain whether we choose the right one, but you have to be as certain as you possibly can be.

So learn about each other, learn each others idiosyncrasies, learn each others bad habits (we’ve all got them), learn what upsets your other half, what makes them happy, what annoys them, what they love about you and what they love about themselves – and if you still love them – and it feels right, then maybe now really is the time to get married. Of course if you are 7 years old like my daughter then this doesn’t apply to you!!

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