User post: How long would you wait for marriage?

I was one of those girls who never wanted to get married. Growing up in a household where men came and went and so did husbands, I wanted to pursue other interests in my life other than having a ring on my finger. Not that I don't love the looks of men, I do. I'm not a man basher, just not that interested in having their presence the most important thing to me.

Lo and behold, I was married before I thought I would be. At the age of twenty one, I walked down the aisle to marry my man and eight years later, we are still going strong. Luckily for me, I met and married a man who didn't make me feel that if I wanted to stick my head in a eight hundred page novel and get lost for days at a time, he would leave. He's rather a nice, caring and thoughtful man with interests other than me at all times.

Over the weekend, we attended a wedding of a couple whom we have known for quite awhile. The ceremony was beautiful along the banks of the beautiful Rappahannock River in Virginia. Other than the north wind that decided to pick up and freeze many home to an early bed, it was perfect. As I watched the bride make her way down the aisle, a tear was brought to my eyes. It's so amazing to watch two people take vows to one another. Watching the man is also the best part of the ceremony.

I've known couples that have been together as long as I've been married that are still uncommitted in the sense of wedding rings and bridal registries. The vows of marriage do not mean much to them. Their commitment to one another is strong without these testaments. It makes me wonder how long many will go in a relationship before marriage is thought of?

How long would you wait for marriage? Is it not important to make vows in front of family and friends for your relationship?