I spoke to a friend yesterday who told me in no uncertain terms that he had no intention of ever getting married again, “unless my partner is really committed to the idea,” he clarified.
He brought up a very good point for me… do I believe in the institution of marriage?
I’ve often heard that it’s far more romantic to remain unmarried and with somebody at will, rather than because you’ve made a legal commitment to one another .
And ultimately, that is how I see marriage – as a legal commitment between two people such that the government can increase their taxes and charge them to co-habit.
It’s not that I’m unromantic.
Okay, it’s true I’m not the most romantic woman on the planet. I’d rather be expressing my love and adoration through sexual favors than through romantic dinners for two or bouquets of flowers.
If you want to tell me you love me, wake me up in the middle of the night to knock out a piece. That’s love to me.
So I may be a tad on the unromantic side, but overall, what is the purpose of marriage? You can spend the rest of your life with someone without getting married. And you can divorce (at great cost) anyone you do marry. So there’s no guarantees with either form of coupled bliss.
That said, I’ll admit that I do have a secret “Wedding” Board and a “My Life Board” on Pinterest. And I had fun months ago posting all sorts of things to that Board – dresses, favors, fonts, invitations, pictures, reception ideas, etc. So part of me, in a way, longs to have a wedding and be a bride (yes, AGAIN). I think I love the idea of a man saying to me “I love you so much I need to spend the rest of my life with you. And I’ll prove it. Marry me.”
But what does it say when a couple doesn’t get married? When they stay together and raise children without the benefit of vows? Aren’t we all amazed at their dedication? Aren’t we all wondering how they do it?
Some of the happiest couples I know aren’t married. Many have relationships that have lasted longer than my own 10 year marriage. And I really admire the dedication and love they show eachother – not because they have to but BECAUSE THEY WANT TO.
The bottom line is that I think that it’s super romantic to say to the other person, “I will love you for the rest of my life and I promise to not marry you but instead work hard for the rest of my life to make you happy and deserve you.”
A wedding is a party. A marriage is a contract. A partnership is love. I refuse to believe that commitment only exists when the couple is married. There are too many ways to commit yourself to someone to limit it to married couples. And in the end, isn’t that what we all want? A partner? Someone to love and be loved by? Forever.