Nov 17

As if by magic, as soon as you turn 20 the question rears its ugly head. “When are you going to get married?” To be fair, I have been dating the same man for almost 3 years now and we have discussed the concept of marriage. Lucky me, we both seem to be on the same page. Marriage is something we are both interested in, but not something we want to rush into.

I’m actually quite skeptical of marriage. The sacrament does not mean that you and your partner will never part. It does not mean you are each other’s slaves and it does not mean the relationship is easy. Love exists even if there is no marriage. The ability to have a family exists even if there is no marriage. People can live their whole lives together, happily in love, with many children, and never walk down the aisle. The only thing marriage gives me that I don’t already have is relief from the condemnation of those who think it’s tragic, trashy or immoral not to be.

“as you turn 20 the question rears its ugly head”

Marriage is a symbol to me. It means I want to share with others the promise I’ve made with my partner to love, cherish and support him for the rest of my life. It’s a promise we’ve already made despite not even being engaged. That means it’s up to me and my partner, not God or anyone else, to work on my relationship so it grows every day.

If nothing else makes me think twice, there is the overwhelming fact that half of all American marriages fail. While some view this as disheartening and ever more proof that we are not following the “ways” of “God,” I think it’s great. It’s a comfort to me to know that if my partner is emotionally, physically or sexually abusing me, I can get out. I can end my marriage before it even gets to that point if I like. I see the glass half full. Despite the fact love can be a fickle thing; half of all American marriages live happily ever after. That’s not even counting the growing number of unmarried couples who live happily together in love.

It seems to me, if you get married for the right reasons, marriage can be pretty great! Not too long ago, the sacrament was about making babies and keeping the house while the husband was at work. People married for money, status or simply because it was expected. These are things I don’t want to do.

I fear getting married just because I’ve been dating the same person for a while and it’s expected. That seems crazy to me. Marriage shouldn’t be rushed. It’s not about family or being in love because, as I’ve explained above, you don’t need marriage for those things. Marriage is about being so passionately in love and so excited to live your lives together that you have to share it with the world!

So, when will get married? I don’t know. If my boyfriend proposed to me tomorrow, I’d say yes, no doubt about it. Before I get married, though, I want to graduate college, find a career, stabilize my finances, and prove to myself that I have the ability to sustain myself (just in case the need ever arises). That’s a lot to get done. It will probably be at least a year or two after college before I walk down an aisle in a pretty white dress. I dream about the day just the same as when I saw Prince Philip and Sleeping Beauty live happily ever after at the end of the movie. The only difference is I’m not a princess. I have to work, and work hard, to buy my giant castle.

I refuse to do anything in life blindly. I have faith in a God, although the specifics are always fluctuating, but I’m not going to blindly follow some church or some book because it’s easy. I’m going to use my amazing brain and freedom of thought to think about what makes since to me. Same goes for love and marriage. I believe in love; I believe I am in love with the man I will be spending the rest of my life with. It’s not just that he loves me too, but because we’ve seen each other at our worst, and yet somehow still want to be together. Marriage is not easy, but it is also not misery. It’s something that needs to be thought about and thoroughly discussed between two people before rings ever come into play.

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