08/09/2013 02:35 pm ET Updated Oct 07, 2013

NYC Living: My Successful Millennial Marriage


Pitch Title Ideas:

Why My Starter Marriage Rocks.

No... not catchy enough.

Rockin' The Startup Marriage.

Trying too hard to be trendy.

I Love My (Millennial) Startup Marriage


Scratch the title, I'll do it at the end.

Form Ideas:

List: More than five but less than 8 points (because if you do five it's more like a handshake but anything more than 8 is way too much of a commitment for, well, anyone).

Slideshow: Everyone likes media. Use cutesy pics that stand for metaphors of your relationship, like pictures of puppies, a theater, and lots and lots of emojis

A-How-To YouTube Video: [Title] First, meet the guy in NYC/Brooklyn. Ext. Shot the Brooklyn Bridge with a CUTE GUY in the foreground, holding a fair trade latte. [Title] Then, get engaged in Paris Ext. Shot of the Eiffel Tower (cue romantic French background music) [Title] Next, get married in an adorable Hudson Valley B&B. Ext. and Int. Montage of Hudson Valley foliage, stone houses, and fires crackling in hearths. [Title] Finish it up by separating 6 months later [Animation] Heart cracking in two (Sound Cue: Wah wah waaaaaaah).

On second thought, maybe I should emotionally deal with the breakup of my marriage before posting it online...

...Hahahahahaha, that's a cray cray LMAO Wtf is THAT strategy?

Anyone with access to a laptop (or heck, these days, a phone) will tell you people are the products of their generations. The Baby Boomers, the Gen Xers, the Lost Generation. I happen to be classed in the Millennial demographic (there's even a quiz you can take to see if you are one), mostly because I a) am not yet thirty b) spent my formative teenage years in the 00s and c) don't really know what it's like not to see the world from out of the broad lens of:


Therefore, according to this label, I am d) incredibly good at connectivity but e) terrible at inter-personal relationships. So it's no wonder my starter/startup/millennial marriage bellied up barely after my 26th birthday, correct?

I can just hear Time Magazine screaming, "See? It IS the Me Me Me Generation! They can't commit to anything stable because they're all mobile phone dependent casual sex crazed narcissists!"

Whether that's true or not is for other, more sociological-wise people to decide. I only know that I, like many others my age, view relationships from a different perspective. For me, the importance of marriage seems to be evolving, and a recent Gallup poll seems to be pointing to the same conclusion. When outdated forms don't suit present interactions, something's got to give, and it's generally not people that make the change. It's societal norms.

Before anyone starts accusing me of being an anarchist happy to break up the American family, let me just confess I grew up in suburbia with one Democrat B.A. mother, one Republican B.S. father, a house, a yard, a dog, a family filled with stable relationships--AND I LIKED MY CHILDHOOD. My parents, as of today, have been happily married for over 25 years. Both sets of my grandparents are still sharing the same house, bed, and couch (on which they frequently hold hands). The parents of two of my best friends by and large have relationships that work to a reassuring extent. I saw, firsthand, and many, many times over, what it meant when two people committed to a partnership in life and love. I know what it means for people to never give up on each other. I've witnessed healthy conflict resolution (minus a few clothes being thrown down the stairs). And yes, I am able to say people can stay faithful to the idea of themselves as a couple.

Therefore, when it was my turn for THE ONE, I expected smooth sailing. For the most part, it was. I met a wonderful man who I cannot say enough about as a genuinely excellent human being. We dated for two years, were engaged at two and a half (he flew me to Paris for my 25th birthday and proposed under the Eiffel Tower--beat that story, will you? Oh wait, you can't), were married a little past our third anniversary, and after our fourth we settled into happy, married domesticity.

Except...we didn't.

I can't point you to anything specific that went wrong. There were no dramatic fights. No one had an moment (and no, I will not hyperlink to that site). No one in our families died (or almost died) and we didn't argue about huge deal-breakers like money, children, or religion. The most exciting/stressful adventure we embarked on together as a couple was to adopt two wonderful, adorable dogs. Occasionally, we buy them matching kerchiefs. All right, sometimes they get put into t-shirts too. And hats. And sunglasses.

No, nothing went crazy with a Swimfan/Cruel Intentions/Brokeback Mountain kind of plot twist. Instead, it just became clear that under the guise of our traditional, bedtime story version of how-to-meet-your-life-partner, there was a crack. As the months passed, that crack widened. Then it spread into a fissure. Until somehow, at some point, he was on one side of a canyon and I was on the other, and there wasn't a cell tower big enough for us to send a text, let alone a call, to the other side.

Maybe it's the fact that essentially, we are two different personality types. I take risks and think about the consequences after. He plans out his strategies, and weighs pros and cons heavily. I act before I speak, and speak before I act. He thinks things through with deliberation. I don't mind going with the moment. He thinks the moment has value, but it's not everything.

Maybe it's our age differences. It's not as vast as a decade, but when he graduated from college, I was just starting high school. When he chooses U2 at karaoke, I go with The Backstreet Boys. And no, we often can't sing along to the other's song choices.

Maybe it's because we communicate differently. Granted, we both have smart phones, but he is an iPhone boy and I'm still all about the Android (yes, having different technology equates different lifestyle preferences, and if you don't believe me, two words: flip phone. I know you just shuddered. Don't deny it).

Or maybe, just maybe, it's that we work so well as best friends, but we don't work at all as a couple.

Both my husband and I grew up hearing the mantra that relationships, and marriage, are hard work. Therefore, under that dictum, we remained doggedly coupled as boyfriend-girlfriend, fiancé-fiancée, husband-wife, trudging past many of the signs that shouted, TURN BACK STUPID. Then the last warning sign was passed, we had reached the edge, and if we went forward, we would have to leap over it together--and who knew if either of us would survive the jump.

Was it terrible, then, to turn back? We're both still young. We have no children, no mortgage, no religion to tie us together in a bond so tight we can't breathe. We absolutely, positively, do not have to stay together. So. Is arriving at this conclusion so very bad?

The answer our parents would say: yes.

My answer: no.

Maybe I am a product of my generation, maybe I'm not, but I would rather commit to a person than any set type of relationship. If my marriage fails but my friendship grows stronger, I consider that not just a win, but a success. Husbands are a dime a dozen, but best friends are harder to find than someone who doesn't like Breaking Bad.

I will always be connected to him, and he will always be connected to me. Neither of us regrets our marriage, but neither of us is willing to slink into a future of quiet desperation for the sake of "what it is to make a true commitment."

We will always remain a "we." The context that "we" is used in may change, true, but that makes it exciting, interesting, fresh and new. I know my husband, whether he retains that label or not, will always be willing to jog along at my side on this path called life. (Though honestly, he probably wouldn't jog. Neither of us are exactly what you would call gym people).

So, yes, perhaps I can't commit to a marriage. Perhaps the way I see the world renders me forever incapable of the aisle, the white veil, the vows. Instead, I commit to a person. I commit to always being there for him, as he will always be for me, and I refuse to define it under so narrow a term of "husband" or "spouse."

Pitch Title Idea: My Successful Millennial Marriage

Format Idea: Blog Post [Insert Picture of Us] Caption: Girl-Author, Boy-Her Momentary Husband, Forever Best Friend Text: Btw, we're happy and we don't care if you don't get it.