Even when you’re in a state of post-wedding bliss, people you’re not all that close with may ask something that’s none of their business, thus shaking you out of your happy honeymoon period. It’s always okay to say, “I’m sorry; I’m not comfortable discussing that,” but you can try these alternative responses instead.
When are you having a baby?
Why people ask it: For lots of older folks (and many younger folks too), getting pregnant is the next logical (and sometimes immediate) step after getting married. They may be eager to celebrate this impending phase of your life. Or if the question-askers are parents, they may be anxious to share the triumphs and tribulations of parenthood. Or they simply may be nosy.
The quick response: When we’re ready. (And give a Mona Lisa smile so they’re utterly confused if that time will be sooner or later, but they’ll be so taken with your lovely mysteriousness they likely won’t ask a follow-up question.)/We’re not planning on having kids.
The thoughtful response: When we feel emotionally and financially capable to become parents. We’re not there yet, and we appreciate everyone’s patience in allowing us to reach that stage in our own time/We don’t know yet if we’d like to be parents one day. Luckily, we have lots of time to decide that.
The response that assures they never ask again: Wow, that’s really personal. You’re basically asking me when my husband and I are going to start having protection-free sex!
When are you buying a house?
Why people ask it: Again, everyone’s eager to hear about the next step. And if you’re living in a small home, they may think you’ll wait to have a child until you have more space. (See above for why they care about when you’re expanding your family.)
The quick response: When we can afford one/We like our apartment just fine, thanks.
The thoughtful response: Houses are expensive, and we need more time to save for a down-payment. I’m not sure exactly when we’ll have enough/Actually, we have no plans to buy a house because we’re enjoying living in our apartment.
The response that assures they never ask again: Actually, we’d love to buy a house now. Do you have $100,000 we can borrow? Or even $50,000 would be a great help. I’d gladly take a check, if you don’t have the cash handy.
Are you keeping a separate bank account just for yourself?
Why people ask it: They likely want to give you some advice–in my experience, to persuade you not to put all your money together. And they may want to share their experience either to warn you not to make their mistake or to toot their own horns for making a wise decision.
The quick response: Yes/No
The thoughtful response: Yes, we’ll each have one to keep our individual spending in check/Yes, I think it’s smart to have a safety net in the unlikely event things don’t work out between us/No, we’ll be combining all our funds because we agree that’s the best choice for us.
The response that assures they never ask again: Would you also like to know how much we make from our jobs? Or what our credit scores are?
What other questions come up after people get married? Which of the three response tactics are you most likely to take? (I tend to over-share, so I usually go for thoughtful, though I’m dying to give that protection-free sex line!)
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Photo by the prodigal untitled13