TPM Cafe: Opinion

Sorry, Commitment-Phobes: SCOTUS Just Crushed Your Best Excuse

AP Photo / John Bazemore

Yes, for commitment-phobes who have been stalling their significant others with promises of marriage “once it’s legal for everyone,” the jig is up.

I have to hand it to you all. For some time now, you’ve made your resistance to marriage seem almost romantic. Your partner didn’t even know you were so passionate about this subject. Even YOU didn’t know you were so passionate about this subject! But one day, they came downstairs and into the living room sighing and shuffling their feet. They sat next to you on the couch, and held out their phone for you to read. Suddenly, what started out as a perfectly gorgeous morning was plunged into darkness. Their best friend sent a picture of a hand adorned with an engagement ring. Not just an engagement ring, but THE engagement ring. Now, your partner is looking at you with puppy dog eyes, and really leaning into those sighs, so you turn on the news, and there it is. Your escape route.

The newscaster is going on and on about some state’s recent ban on same sex marriage, so you turn to your partner and say, “How can your best friend being getting married when the climate is so terrible for so many people out there? I mean, I couldn’t do it. As much as I love you, it would feel wrong to disrespect all those couples who can’t show their love the way we can. Doesn’t that just feel wrong?”

When your partner nodded, tears in the corners of their eyes, held rapt by the intensity of your devotion to everyone’s right to marriage, you breathed your own sigh of relief. You did it. Goddamn it, you really did it.

Now, your partner has spent the past few years telling their friends and family that yours is a civically-engaged partnership, committed to social justice, and you will not be making any vows that same sex couples would not be allowed to take. Sure, this meant you had to pay a little more attention to the news, maybe participate in a rally or two, but still the chances seemed good that wouldn’t have to sign those papers for a good long while. I mean, Indiana just tried to ban same-sex marriage like a month ago, right? Surely it’ll be years before America has this all figured out. Right?


Sorry to break it to you, friend, but The Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land before 10 a.m. Your partner is heading home from work right now, and it’s fair to assume they believe you’ve already bought the ring and will be proposing this weekend if not tonight. As far as I can see, you have three options: 1) Run for your single life, but you’ll have to leave everything you own behind, including your name. 2) Fake a coma. 3) Go to Jared.

You had a great run. Your partner has been more than patient. You’ve loved and liked it for years.

Now, you gotta put a ring on it.

Ashley C. Ford is a writer who lives in New York by way of Indiana, with work in The Guardian, BuzzFeed.Com, The Huffington Post, and a other web and print publications. You can find her at @iSmashFizzle on Twitter.