Photo: Francois Hallineux

When you’re widowed, dating seriously and about to turn 40 you don’t get the “When are you getting married?” question all that often. Sure, once in a while a friend or cousin who doesn’t know you all that intimately might let it slip in, raking back the words as they fall from their lips awkwardly into the conversation. For the most part my family is respectful and quiet; friends who are true friends don’t care. It’s often younger women, hungry for the attention of their own wedding day who ask and to whom my blunt reply is, “Why bother?”

I’ve reached the age with my boyfriend (a k a my heterosexual life partner) where I know neither of us is going to get away. We’re confident enough in love and relations to know what we want and experienced enough to know that what we have is oh-so-good. Still, it’s sexy now and again to whisper, “You should marry me,” when we’re between the sheets. Knowing we’re not legally bound makes me feel slightly rebellious even in this liberated day and age. So for now there are no bells for me and seriously, that’s just fine.