“It keeps me on my toes.”
No disrespect to Beyoncé, but if you like it then you should... maybe keep your rings to yourself? On August 3, Dollface actress Shay Mitchell told E! News’s Daily Pop that she’s in “no rush to get married” to boyfriend Matte Babel — toppling rigid and outdated presumptions about relationships and motherhood in one fell swoop. Mitchell and her TV host boyfriend have reportedly been dating since 2017. In October 2019, the two welcomed their first daughter, Atlas Noa. And in 2021, the couple has no plans to say “I do.”
“I don't know if I've done anything in order," Mitchell told Daily Pop. "I didn't get married before a child. I had a child, didn't get married. I don't really know if that's in the cards [for] us. I think we both agree, maybe it's just me."
Rather than mold her life to fit culturally acceptable relationship timelines (think: start dating, get engaged, get married, have a baby, etc.), Mitchell is perfectly happy with the way her life with Babel has panned out. "There's no pressure here," she told Daily Pop. "I love it. I love the fact that we come home and every day I'm like, 'I choose you and you choose me.' It keeps us on our toes. I'm like, 'Hey, I can walk out. I don't need to go through a lawyer, I can just walk out.' And same with him. It keeps it sexy."
Turns out, Mitchell’s not the only woman feeling disenchanted with societal expectations around marriage and family-building. A 2018 report released by the research institute Child Trends estimates that “about 40% of births in the United States occur outside of marriage, up from 28% in 1990 (Child Trends, 2016).” More and more women are choosing to have children out of wedlock, in some cases, foregoing what was once considered the ultimate sign of stability for a greater sense of independence and freedom.
Mitchell previously spoke to E! News about her struggle with prenatal depression, saying she hopes to "‘keep it real’" on Instagram in an effort to “de-stigmatize motherhood.”
“It was hard because when I was going through it and I was just not feeling my best, I was like, 'Wait a minute, every other woman is feeling so great in this time, they're all excited. I'm not feeling good,'" Mitchell previously said. "I read a lot about after [birth], but there wasn't many women talking about [depression] before [birth] so I felt like I really had to speak up. That is when social media comes in handy and you can really feel the community come in."
Whether Mitchell and Babel welcome another baby, eventually get married, or keep things as-is for a while longer, fans can always count on Mitchell to tell it like it is.
Cook, E.; Manlove, J.; Wildsmith, E. (2018) Dramatic increase in the proportion of births outside of marriage in the United States from 1990 to 2016. Child Trends, https://www.childtrends.org/publications/dramatic-increase-in-percentage-of-births-outside-marriage-among-whites-hispanics-and-women-with-higher-education-levels