Recent chatter about actor Gerald Anderson and his nonchalant attitude towards the "when are you getting married?" question got us thinking: marriage, folks, is not a sprint. It's a damn marathon, and it isn’t about who finishes first.
Let's dissect it, shall we? Marriage isn't a life event you sign up for just because someone's keeping score. Yes, Julia Barretto and Gerald are public figures, and their fans are invested on when they are going to seal the deal. But persistent questions on when they are getting married is understandably irk-worthy, and we can’t blame Gerald when he said, "sasabihin namin sa'yo? Mas marami pang problema sa mundo ngayon kesa ano."
Comments on his ABS-CBN Ball 2023 interview ranged from how he’s a red flag (this is another story) to how some took pity on Julia Barretto who could be just waiting for nothing after committing to him for many years now.
This also isn’t the first time the couple addressed marriage questions. Back in September, Julia lamented how everyone seems to be in a rush.
"I don't think it's something that should be asked constantly. I feel, like, when the time comes, it comes. I don't know why everybody is rushing us. And yeah, we're really happy where we are,” she said at the Preview ball.
Julia is actually right: marriage is an intensely personal choice. It's a commitment that should be made willingly, with both partners fully ready for the responsibilities it entails. The decision should not be influenced by external pressures, be it from society or the relentless gaze of fans and reporters.
We know too that societal pressure to tie the knot is universal. From celebrities on red carpets to your family's Sunday brunch, it's no surprise that the question of marriage often hovers like an uninvited guest.
Before you succumb to that usually age-related question, ask yourself: is it what you want and what you need? What are you bringing to the table? Are you and your partner on the same page on values and beliefs? Is building a family an immediate matter, or going childless is an option? Where do you start your married life, or are you even capable of not just spending thousands for a wedding, but for a financially secure future?
Recent Philippine data show that men and women typically marry around ages 25-29. That's the age where you are just starting to find your way in the corporate world, or finishing a masters, or maybe just (re)discovering yourself. Should marriage be a necessity? It has perks, definitely. The Constitution protects your union, and lays down "an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law." But as we've seen so many times in our respective communities, a marriage contract does not guarantee a long-lasting, peaceful union.
Marriage is a commitment, one that’s not just on paper. In a country where divorce is not even available, it becomes even more critical for couples to ensure they're ready for this lifelong journey. Rushing into marriage, simply to satisfy public curiosity or because it’s the next logical step, can lead to regret and heartache down the road.
Societal pressures regarding marriage apply to everyone. Both celebrities and ordinary individuals face the weight of expectations, sometimes from family, friends, or cultural norms. It's essential to recognize these pressures and, like Gerald Anderson and Julia Barretto, choose a path that feels right for you.
It's time we ditch this whole pushing-people-into-marriage nonsense – whether they're famous or your next-door neighbor – because it's nobody's business. And definitely, you can choose to resist and not let society dictate your timeline.