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We all joke about it from time to time: "If we're still single by this date, we'll get married ourselves!" But do any people actually go through with it?

That was the basis for today's burning question from Redditor how-the-turn-tables, who asked the online community: Has anyone ever honoured one of those "if we're still single at 40 let's get married" commitments? How did it go?

Turns out people do go through with it, and the stories are about as interesting as you'd expect.

"I did."

I did. I dated my first girlfriend when we were about 17-19. Then she broke up with me but we had said such a thing before while we were still dating. We both had a few boy/girlfriends over the years, but about 15 years later we met again and essentially said "I really didn't find anyone with whom I felt like I did with you". But it wasn't with resignation, more of an epiphany. So we started dating again, and married soon after. And couldn't be happier.


"Had one for 30..."

Had one for 30 and moving in together. She was 7 years my senior and around that time we were both in a transient part of our lives, so I asked. She said no and moved across the country.


"We ended up..."

We ended up getting married at 30 instead. As it turns out we loved each other and made every excuse to ignore it.


"We are super close to this day..."

I have/had one of those with my bff. She turns 40 in a couple months and she is definitely single. We haven't spoken about it in over a decade. We are super close to this day, but I don't want to bring it up when she turns 40. Ive tried a number of times to make the relationship happen and at this point I am just gonna accept that it isn't meant to be unless she brings it up. I love her, and I know she loves me too. I guess we'll see if she remembers and wants to follow through, but Im not holding my breath.

(Narrator: he was holding his breath)


"I got married before that..."

Had one to get married at 30. I got married before that and I don't think my friend took it well. We had sort of a strained relationship after and now we don't really talk much. (Used to be best friends.)


"Girl was a really introverted..."


"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.


"Friends since we were 14..."

Friends since we were 14 in high school. Made a pact in our early 20s about if we were 30, childless, unhappy, etc.....

Got married at 30. 7 years later it's still the best relationship we've ever had and going strong.


"I've got a rollercoaster of a story."

I've got a rollercoaster of a story.

So when I was a kid we got a new neighbour - he was great, had a cute dog, seemed to have his life together, but was chronically single despite his best efforts. Few months later we hear he got married, much to everyone's surprise (because he clearly hadn't been seeing anyone prior). Turns out he had made a pact to marry his best female friend when they both turned 30, if they weren't in a relationship, and they followed through.

She was the world's sweetest person, and really pretty to boot - frankly, everyone was surprised that either of them felt this was necessary to begin with. She'd moved across the country to be with him, so she didn't have any family nearby and that's probably partly how we all became so close. Anyhow, they were actually crazy happy together, got another dog, etc. The only thing that seemed "off" was that despite several years of him and her talking about desperately wanting kids (she was pretty well always interacting with me), they were still childless (which everyone assumed was owing to a medical issue).

Then we learn that, while an absolutely fantastic and loving husband when sober, he made for a mean drunk. This culminated in her snapping and pulling a knife on him, and leaving. They were separated for a few years (during which time neither wanted to explore divorce/other relationships, because they still loved each other), and her leaving was definitely the boot he needed to get his rear in gear.

He spent those years with al-anon, became incredibly involved in his church and community, and spent a lot of effort winning her back/convincing her he'd changed. They're now together and seemingly happy as ever. We only know all of this because he was super open about his problems with his community (doing some advocacy stuff). He had one brief fall off the wagon, but checked into rehab (? Or something like it) almost immediately, and has since been doing well. They've both decided not to have kids, because they're not sure he could handle the stress and the temptation to start drinking again.

They've recently moved to an acreage in a very remote area, so we don't hear from them as often, but last I heard they were doing really well.


"I did that."

I did that. I met her in high school, we grew apart over the years, we reconnected and said "let's get married if we're both single when we're 40" then we said f--- it, let's go to Vegas and get married by Elvis. Our first kiss was Thanksgiving Day and we were married on Dec 17th. We're still going strong after seven years! Longest relationship I've been been in, best decision of my life!


"My family..."

My family has a summer place on a lake in another state where I have gone every summer since I was a baby. Other families did the same so, I grew up with these other family's kids. There was like 10 kids in our group and we spent almost every waking hour hanging out together. One of the girls in the group was about a year older and kinda shy and chubby. Not that it mattered though we were just really good friends.

Fast forward to our early 30's years. She had moved away from her small town much to the amazement of her family. It was the kind of small town that you were born in and would probably die in. Nobody ever left but, she did. She had a great job where she was able to make and save a TON of money. She had also lost weight and had become crazy beautiful. At the same time, most of our group of friends were getting married and working on having families. As a joke one of our friends said "Hey if you two are still single when you hit 40, you HAVE to marry each other. We had been drinking so it was easy to get us to agree.

Fast forward again. Before I hit 40, I met the love of my life and have 2 bad-ass little ones. The girl from the lake had moved back to her little town and fell into the trap. She met a dude at a bar one night who got her pregnant and was never to be seen again. She was alone with her little one and, to be close to her family, she remained in the little town and had abandoned the path of a successful life that she had been on before. We still see each other every summer, and my wife hates it. She says it's "so obvious that she still has a crush on you". It's weird how when you look back you can see those decisions that seem small at the time but have a huge effect on life. I could have married her and she would probably would have been in a better place now. But, I would not be where I am now if I went down that road. life is weird man.



He backed out.


"My eighth grade..."


My eight grade English teacher actually. Her and her husband were roommates and said if they were both single by 35 they'd get married. Well, they got married, had two kids, and they're still together about 8 years and counting as far as I know


"I made an agreement..."

I made an agreement like this. We live in different states, and I'd moved cities since we knew each other during my college days. He found my mom's number, and she passed his message on to me...I knew that's why he was calling. I was married and pregnant when I got the message and never called back. But I think of him all the time.


"Had one..."

Had one and when I said it I meant it. We've known each other since we were kids. Kind of an on/off FWB.

Well I lost interest when it was clear she wasn't over her ex. And when we did hook up again it just wasn't the same. It almost felt as if both of us were just settling and it didn't work. A big step backwards from the relationship we had where the idea was kind of an old flame/fling type of deal.



Friends since we were 15. "If neither of us are married when we're 28..." . We got engaged when he turned 28, 6 months before I did. We had just gotten done with a nighttime geocache. It was like 3 am and our friend was in the car with us. He was driving, I was in the back seat (friend was sitting shotgun). He mentioned the agreement. I literally said, "I mean... your birthday is tomorrow. Why not?" So we bought rings and announced it to family and friends.

It did not go well. Neither the announcement(s) nor the engagement itself. I moved out and broke off the engagement within 4 months. We were meant to be best friends. We were NOT meant to cohabitate. He didn't even seem to care when I sat him down to talk about it. Wouldn't even turn off "Thor". Lol. His parents were devastated, mine were relieved. He and I went right back to being friends as though nothing happened.


"Friend and I..."

Friend and I had one for 36. But in our late 20's we both ended up single and got together. Turns out he's a cheating SOB and I'm glad we never got married.



Yup. Made this pact with my best friend. Time went by and we were the closest we could ever be. When I mentioned the pact to her at the age we agreed on she ghosted me. No reply. No explanation.

It's been 2.5 years since then. So yeah. Sucks but that's life I guess.


"Me and my friends..."

Me and my friends got together but soon after broke up but we remained friends and after about 1 year we made a pact that if we both got to the age of 14 with no girlfriend or boyfriend we would get together and get married.

She is my wife now and we have 2 kids together: 1 son and 1 daughter


"It didn't..."

It didn't get honoured on my part. I turned thirty and then she did. We talked almost every day.

I didn't bring it up. She did. She said we'd never work out.

I am inclined to agree, but you never ever move on from someone like that and it has been tough to ever view another person like that.

Mostly, I think that it's because I've already put all the hard work into this girl and it failed and I am afraid to start over. But, you're not supposed to psychoanalyze yourself.

We will have these arguments, we'll ignore each other for a month and then she comes back and I stupidly entertain it.

It's not just that we've had this 10 year on and off friendship.

It's that the first time I saw her I realized I wanted to be every preposition her (On, around, in, with, from, to, below, across, before, behind.) And she could never be tied down and really neither could I. From one bad relationship to the next.

And I chased other women that aren't good for me because at least it was better than nothing, being treated that way. Now, I just sit and wait for her to come back, because I have become fond of this game. It's like flirting now. Then again, I am probably fucked up in the head.

Then again, you're not supposed to psychoanalyze yourself.


"My husband and I did."

My husband and I did. Ours was 30 and we were friends for almost a decade by that point. He has been one of my best friends in life and one of the only men that I have ever dated. Before we got married I had actually thought about joining the convent and moving halfway across the globe. It didn't work out and we now live on a small farm with my mother, aunt, their dogs, our cats, chickens, wild turkeys and a whole lot of love. Our family comes for dinner every weekend and we are so much happier now than if we had ever been apart.


Photo by UX Gun on Unsplash

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