Does Love Have To Equal Marriage?

love equal marriage

We all know how the story goes: girl meets guy. Girl and guy date. Guy and girl fall in love. Girl or guy gets spooked/fucks up somehow and they split. Guy and girl realize they want to try again. Girl and guy are back in a relationship. This scene may play out a few more times and then girl and guy decide it’s been a  few years and it’s time to get married.

OK so this whole love and marriage thing may have worked out for Carrie and Big, but does that mean that we all have to do it?

And how do we know if it really even worked for them/ I mean, the series went off the air after they got  married. Even the second movie shows some marital discourse and they are still newlyweds. I wanna see Carrie and Big 5 or 10 years in!

So, why this little rant about marriage? Well, because I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately; a lot of thought about whether this traditional practice still holds weight in such a non-traditional society.

Granted, maybe my opinion is a bit skewed because of my own personal experience, having been there done that with the whole marriage thing before, but I did it for a lot of the wrong reasons and very few right ones!

Lately, I’ve been thinking: On the yellow brick road of dating, is marriage really the only destination that’s waiting for us? Rather than the Emerald City , is Diamond Island the only place a single gal like Dorothy can end up in the dating world?

Mr. Sports Fan and I haven’t been together all that long in the grand scheme of things, but for two commitment phobes like us, it seems like a lifetime! We’ve talked about a future; factored each other in to some things in the short and long term future, talked about kids even. But while we were in Vegas in January, we had an in-depth conversation about marriage.

See, he says he’s not the marrying type, yet he wants all of the ‘perks’ of a marriage: the wife-like partner who performs all of the stereotypical 1950’s housewife duties while the man goes out and provides for the family; he wants kids, a house, a dog… the whole pretty (warped) picture. What he doesn’t want is that ring on his finger or piece of paper that legally binds him to another person. He says he doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage because he’s never seen it work out for anyone, and I can understand that. I know very few people who have stayed married and are happily married.

This brought about the question: Why can’t we just live together, keep doing what we’re doing and be happy? Why do we need to be married?

The answer is, we don’t. Sure I have pictured us growing old together and I can’t imagine my day to day life without him in it, but marriage? I’m not entirely sure I want to walk down that aisle again! Of course, like any woman, I like to go on Pinterest and check out rings, dresses, locations, unique proposals… but deep down all I really want is a ring, a dress and a party. I don’t want a marriage. Everyone I’ve ever seen in a happy relationship who decided to take the plunge and get married, they were miserable. It’s like that piece of paper saying you legally belong to the other person is a death sentence for the relationship.

People lead all sorts of ‘alternative lifestyles’ these days and it’s acceptable. Why isn’t there an acceptable alternative to marriage? Why is it that when a couple lives together, they are ‘living in sin’? Or people continuously ask when they’re going to tie the knot? Why can’t we just live our lives the way we see fit and make our own rules for our own relationships without society telling us we should be doing more?

Now, I understand that there are certain legal perks that come with marriage. For instance, if one of you is sick or hospitalized then you have no legal rights to see your partner or be given medical information unless you are married or in a domestic partnership. Things such as real estate, and matters of estate planning hold more ground if the couple is married than if they are unmarried. But are these reasons enough of a reason to put a ring on it?

I’m not against marriage, but I’m not entirely for it either. I just don’t think it should be the only option. If you are in a committed relationship with someone, you’re happy and content, why change things?

If living together forever in blissful sin is a bad thing, then I don’t want to be right.

~XOXO

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12 Comments

  1. I think to each their own. Having been there, marriage isn’t for everyone … but for most it’s their goal destination. I think there’s different types of relationships and they are all valid, people just have to do what’s best for them and not worry about other people’s expectations.

  2. I personally don’t believe in marriage. My grandma was divorced 4 times and my parents 3x each. So I’m not looking forward to signing any piece of paper or walking down any aisle in my future. But I think the majority of the reason people get married is religious. Like you mentioned are you ‘living in sin’ by living with one you live without being married? For the church or any religion to start saying that is okay and you can live with that person if you’re not married will be around the same time they accept homosexuality.
    I’m not trying to get married but like you I still love looking at Pinterest wedding stuff but more because it’s sparkly and make you feel like a princess wearing it!!! <3

  3. Marriage isn’t for everyone and I respect that. It’s the ultimate destination for me in regards to a relationship, but that’s just because of what it represents to me. Since I joined the blogging world years ago, I’ve seen so many opinions and I respect them all. To each their own. If someone doesn’t believe in marriage, then they won’t get a tongue lashing from me. Do you! 🙂

    • Thanks for chiming in Q! I agree to each their own. It’s not that I’m against marriage, I just don’t understand why marriage is presented as the *only* option in the dating world. What about domestic partnership? What about living together as a committed couple for the rest of your lives?

  4. Hmm, seems like I might be alone in the comments here but I think marriage IS necessary. You’re right in that it’s a contract, etc. but it’s also a balls-to-the-wall commitment. Everybody knows that a handshake agreement is worthless and bears no real weight. If you really love someone, why not put your money where your mouth is and put it in writing (so to speak) by signing your name on the line? The tradition behind it may be silly but the commitment of it is important nonetheless.

    • All opinions are accepted here Doc, thank you for lending yours. I don’t think marriage is UNnecessary, I just wonder why it’s presented as the ONLY option for those in relationships. why does it matter if you speak your vows to each other in private and it’s never officiated and you live together in a committed relationship, or if you make it a legally binding agreement between the two of you? As far as a hand shake being worth no real weight, no disrespect, but a piece of paper saying you’re bound to someone for life isn’t worth dick these days either. I guess what I’m saying is, if the couple is committed to each other and has expressed that commitment to each other, why do they have to make it legal via marriage?

  5. You are completely right–a wedding is a ceremony, a marriage is a contract. Is it necessary? NO WAY! More and more insurance companies, etc. are recognizing domestic partnerships, and I think that will continue to improve. Lawyers can draw up any legal document you want, and you don’t need a wedding to get that. You get to decide what’s right for you and your partner, not your family, not society, no one else. If you want a ring…buy a ring, if you want to wear a pretty dress and stand on the side of a mountain and tell each other you want to be together forever, then do it. What’s right for one couple isn’t right for everyone. Great post and way to stand up for what you want!

  6. Too many people approach marriage as a romantic stop on the path of relationship bliss rather than seeing it for what it is…a financial contract. Marriage is a way for couples to protect and share assets as well as, get recognized by the “state” as being “together”. It is there for logistical/practical reasons, not emotional ones! Medical benefits, power of attorney, joint financial buying power, etc. Marriage has nothing to do with a couples choice to love, commit, respect, and partner. No one needs a piece of paper to prove that!

    • I completely agree Marrie! Think about years ago how people married out of convenience, or arrangement, rather than for love. The families and the individuals involved believed that love would/could grow out of it eventually, but that financial security was far more important. Marriage is a business arrangement, a legally binding contract between two individuals with legal and financial benefits for both parties involved. Marriage isn’t protection against lying, cheating, disrespect, etc. It’s just a protection in place for medical and financial reasons.