In our imaginations, most of us think of marriage as something full of romance and gushiness. Heart eyes, longing glances, blushes and giggle fits... that's the sort of love we tend to think would lead to a marriage proposal.
But sometimes marriage is something totally different.
In the past it's been a way to cement political ties, or maybe for business or social advancement. Or, sometimes, to fulfill a pact.
A pact? A pact. One Reddit user wanted to explore those kinds of marriages when they asked:
We see it all the time in movies. Many of us have probably half-jokingly made one of those with a friend during our early years. But does anyone actually go through with them?
Shockingly, YES. We want to tell you that all of these stories end in happily ever after, but they don't. We don't really think it matters, though. Even the most romantic relationships don't always make it.
What we found even more interesting was the number of people for whom this kind of arrangement absolutely worked. Take a read.
The Weird Couple
"Weird" couple my wife knew had such a pact and followed through.
Girl was a really introverted, quiet, homely type. Sweetest girl. But she never had a boyfriend as far as I knew. And we saw her off and on for six or seven years.
Then suddenly out of nowhere she invited us to her wedding.
Anyways, it was to a guy we had met a couple of times who was one of her friends who seemed very much like her. My wife teased her that "more must have been going on all that time." But she was straight up about it, and said no, they just decided it was time.
Conversation was something like, "Yeah, you know how people have pacts to get married if neither of them are till they hit ___, well, we just decided it really wasn't going to happen for either of us, and to cut that short."
Basically we were just like, "cool?" and then left it at that.
Anyways, she married him, they looked happy. The speeches were a bit odd, they didn't really talk about love but a lot about how they were marrying their best friend.
They are still together, it's gotta be at least 5 years, and they have a little kid. Last we saw them they looked happy and that's all that matters really.
Kind of. We left our spouses around the same time (not for each other) and decided to share a house. We got to taking one night and decided we each had all the things the other was looking for, plus we got along really well. We were in our mid-thirties by then and sick of the dating scene, so we just laid it out like a business arrangement.
What started off as an "arrangement" eventually evolved into something extremely serious and passionate. We've been together now for almost seven years and married for almost one. We are extremely in love and I have zero regrets.
A friend of mine married a college friend 3 years ago at the age of 33. Their bet was to get married if they were both single at 33 - but the intention was to basically prank their parents by going through with it. They intended to be married for several months and then just casually mention it, and later just get it annulled. So they went to the courthouse with a pair of friends, got married and then she moved into his apartment.
Thing was they'd been friends with benefits for a years when they were both single, and living together was so nice that they just stayed together. They're expecting their first kid in a few months.
Family friends had this pact. We were at her 30th and her boyfriend at the time proposed. Her best friend (with whom she had the pact) was gutted. He too had had a ring in his pocket. We know because he showed my dad.
Wait, the dude was gonna propose even though she had a boyfriend at the time? What part of "if we're single" did he not understand?
Happy New Year
My partner and I were close friends for 12 years before we got married. Through many friendships and relationships with other people, including one of us following a former lover across the country and the other being briefly engaged, we stayed "just friends" for a very long time:
On New Year's Eve in 2007-8, at the ripe old age of 23, we drunkenly made a pact to get married to each other if we weren't married by 30. Long story short, we didn't start dating until we both turned 30, but we got married pretty quickly after we started dating. Just celebrated 5 years of marriage, and we have a 2 year-old.
It's unconventional, but so are we, and it's ours.
I did. But we got married 10 years earlier. We met at an Inkmaster finale. We immediately connected. He lived in New York, I, Florida. I went back home and we Kept in touch. Made a promise if by the time we were 35 we'd marry each other. I was 25 at the time. Things intensified so much we truly believed we were meant for each other. I moved to Illinois to take care of my sick grandma. 3 months after meeting he flew there to visit and we got married. After a few more visits he moved there too. 4 years later and we have 2 kids.
We ended up getting married a lot sooner. He wasn't necessarily waiting around for me but I realized I'd be devastated if he ended up with someone else and no longer had him as a constant friend in my life. Don't let the good ones get away. We've been married 13 years now and never regretted a minute of it.
Our promise wasn't for when we're 35 but 30. We have been friends for years before we made the joke-promise and have been friends for 11 years (became friends when I was 17 she was 16) Through many friendships and relationships with other people, including one of us almost getting engaged to a former lover, we still remained friends.
When I clocked 20 if I recall correctly, we jokingly promised to get married to each other if we weren't married by 30. Long story short, I'm 28 now and she's 26. we didn't start dating until last year and are supposed to be getting married in June (if corona virus lock down let's us). We went through a lot of maturity and personal changes in our early 20's and it was so admirable watching how she grew and became "woke". Over the course of 5 years watching her grow, I knew she was and still is the ONE. No regrets here.
Unhappily Ever AfterGiphy
My parents had this kind of pact. Here is their story. Both of them were focusing mostly on their careers and didn't have time for marriage before then. They had been dating on and off for seven years and my mother was afraid of getting too old to marry, so she left her island home and a great job in newspaper marketing for the mainland and they got married. Things went south pretty quickly. Both of them were working up to 20 hours a day, and they didn't see each other much. I suppose the loneliness got to my father, because he slipped into depression and developed a pornography addiction, accused my mother of having an affair, and tried to kill himself. Things got worse when my mother miscarried what would have been my older brother or sister. I only know what little I could gather from hearing them fight after I was born, and I know there's much more to the story than what I know. Along I came a few years later after they had been trying for a child for years, and lo and behold, I have a birth defect and I almost die.
BUT I LIVED!!!
A few surgeries later, I'm relatively healthy and my dad quits his job to look after me. When I grew up enough to not need constant supervision anymore, however, my dad wouldn't get another job. My parents fought over it for years, and it kind of destroyed what was left of their marriage. The only reason they don't fight anymore is because my mother just gave up. Things only got worse as I grew. The house where I grew up now looks like a home out of Hoarders because my mother doesn't have time to clean, as she is the only breadwinner for the family, and my father is too depressed. He's stubborn and has a bad temper, so he acts like it's our problem whenever we're bring it up and refuses to go to therapy. He hardly ever leaves the house and doesn't really have any friends. He's only gotten worse since my grandmother died. I can't say anything more, because I'm too ashamed of the rest. It's quite sad to see two otherwise good people be so horrible to each other and live in such a sad state.
Kids On The Porch
My husband and I did this!
We met at around age ten. I lived in a violent household and he lived in the trailer park near my house. I ran away one night, and he was sitting on the porch shuffling Yugioh cards silently. We both froze when we saw each other. He then asked if I wanted to play because he had an extra deck.
We became quick friends. Whenever the violence got to be too much, I'd run to his house and we'd play. As we got older, we tried dating, but we were fairly innocent and messed it all up. Went back to being friends, but we swore to one another that we'd get married if we were single by age 30.
I joined the military after high school and he decided to go to college. We stayed connected through social media. I got married and had a daughter, he found a girlfriend and had a son. We talked about our kids and how happy we were for each other, and even laughed about our 'silly' agreement.
One day a few years later, after my then husband and I split amicably, he texted me out of the blue. We hadn't talked in months due to being adults now, and things got in the way. The text made me very nervous; it sounded more like a goodbye. His girlfriend had left him, and so much else was going on in his life that he just wanted to thank me for being his friend. I immediately called him and we talked for a long time, once again bringing up that we would never face the future alone because, if we didn't find our 'soulmates', we were going to get married at 30, grow old, and sit on our porch while I made tons of cookies. By the end of it, he was laughing and agreeing, and I felt like he was out of that dark hole.
I moved back to my hometown a few years later. I was 29 and he was 30. I kind of forgot about the plan at this point due to some family members being very sick. We bumped into each other one day with our kids and he also had a guy friend in tow, and it was like we were teens again. We chatted a bit. He apparently hadn't dated much after his his first girlfriend left him. The friend spoke up and said I should totally double date with them, me being the date for my best friend.
He casually mentioned we didn't need to date; he was 30, I was almost 30, and it had dawned on him that his soulmate was standing right in front of him. He refused to let me run away again and wanted to fulfill the contract. I swear my face couldn't have been redder nor could my heart have thumped any faster. It was the sweetest thing anyone had ever said to me, and I didn't expect it from him. And, honestly, I don't know why I never realized how much I really loved him also, from the moment we played Yugioh on his porch that fateful night.
Fast forward to now and we are happily married with a beautiful 16 month old son. We still talk about our journey to each other. We still play Yugioh occasionally, and have taught our kids to play too. Life is good.
As The World Is Ending...
My wife and I had this deal when we were 27. But then I just asked her out and we were in a long distance relationship for about 3 months then we ended up breaking up. After about 4 years, we tried again and were in communication until we fell in love again and still in a long distance relationship. This time we were able to work it out. We got married this past January as the world is ending. I guess we made it just in time for our 35th birthdays.
I had a deal to marry my friend by the time she was 35. She's 33, and married... to me! I won!