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I can’t get married.

September 13th, 2016

For this blog post I thought I would try something different, something very different.  For the last few years I’ve been regularly blogging on topics that directly relate to wedding photography.  I have also talked about some of the more bizarre aspects of how people celebrate getting hitched.  Everything I’ve written to date has been done so on the very large assumption that you actually want to get married.  

When you or your partner popped the question there’s a very good chance getting wed was something you had already been discussing.  There’s also a chance that when you first started talking about getting married one of you had some very odd reservations about the whole shebang.  I’m not the sort of person who adheres to stereotypes, but in my experience some of the more outlandish reasons for not getting wed have come from men.  So I thought I would ask a friend of mine (who just happens to be a writer) what worries him most about getting married.  His response was a bit of a surprise, so here it is in full:

I can’t get married because...

I am very much in love with a nice girl - to say I am punching above my weight is an understatement. I'd like it if this girl agreed to legally sign her life away to me - the guarantee that she would need to seek a lawyer if she ever wanted to leave me would be a welcome reassurance as hopefully the hassle and inconvenience of the divorce proceeding might ultimately be enough to dissuade her. The whole idea of (a good) marriage is wonderful... a big self indulgent party fills me with joy and excitement... A giant multi-tiered cake cut in my honour sends shivers of ecstasy down my spine... but I can't.

I'm not particularly prone to phobias but I fear the act of dancing above anything else I have ever encountered - there is nothing that makes me retreat back into my metaphorical shell more than the idea of a 'first dance'.

Every friend and family member gathered under one roof to watch as me and my bride promise that we definitely do love each other. That is fine. Having to prove it to them (as well as God) by performing a choreographed routine is where I draw the line. Dancing doesn’t come naturally to me. I am aware of what a ridiculous little man I am and when I dance I feel like everyone else in the room knows it as well...i'm exposed as a fraud.

I could of course get married without dancing. We do the whole wedding thing but just don't have a 'first dance'. That makes sense right? Wrong. Sure, it's fairly likely that not a single guest would question why we decided to leave the dance out...that doesn’t matter. The first dance seems like something I would just have to do, mostly through fear of looking weak or drawing attention to myself, in the same way that if someone pushes in front of me in a supermarket queue I keep my head down and mouth shut...unless it's to apologise for getting in the way. I don't want to cause a fuss or be difficult. I certainly don't want anyone thinking i'm weird.

What's going to cause more judgemental looks and hushed gossiped whispers - dancing like everyone else at every single wedding ever or brushing the whole thing under the carpet and praying it's never brought up? The anxiety washes over me. I can't make that choice. I can't get married.

Ben Ward

Writer, drummer, lover, non-dancer.

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