My best friend is getting married next year, and I am her maid of honor. I was supposed to get married, but that didn't happen. With all the wedding stuff that has been going on for my friend, this one question seems to linger as we look at frog candles and wedding favors - why did I want to get married?
I am not criticizing my friend for getting married - that has been the ultimate relationship she has always wanted and ultimately deserves. Her reasons for getting married may be different from the next marriage, but the point is that the man she is marrying is her best mate.
But what about me? Why did I want to get married? Sure, I dreamed of growing old with someone, having children, spending the rest of my days with someone I loved and wanted to be around - I wanted comfort, love, and happiness in the form of the ultimate man. But does that have to include marriage?
Well, first of all, let's define marriage. The sage of all sages, Wiki, says:
"Marriage is a personal union of individuals...Marriage is an institution in which interpersonal relationships (usually intimate and sexual) are acknowledged by the state or by religious authority. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction."
Ok, I get the whole "personal union of individuals", but it seems to be that marriages tend to be state-sanctioned or religiously sanctioned. A contract? Wow, I never really saw marriage as a contract, but I guess when you take the romance out of it, that's really what it is. Behind the beautiful white dress and the sparkly platinum wedding band, underneath that all lies a contract, vowing your eternal love and fidelity to this one person, always and forever, TILL DEATH DO YOU PART.
It's not that I don't want to get married because I don't want to stay faithful to one person for the rest of my life - but because I don't want the romance taken out of it. I know it doesn't make much sense, but hear me out. I don't think that a legal and binding contract needs to be involved in the whole "I want to spend the rest of my life with Brad Pitt" process. I want it to be my choice, I want to be in a life-long commitment but without the contract, without the state, without my church - just me and Brad. Forever.
Also, let's look at the fact that almost half of all marriages end in divorces - why? I am no expert, but I think that people in marriages become unhappy when they feel they are TRAPPED in one. I don't want to be trapped with someone because that piece of paper tells me to - I want to have the choice to unchoose who I want to be with and vice versa. And I want to have the choice to stick with someone because I love them, not because that piece of paper tells me so. That's where the romance comes in.
To me, a life-long commitment equals the marriage minus the contract. I think that once Brad and I give ourselves the choice to want to be together and to unchoose each other, we won't take each other for granted. And that, to me, is the ultimate relationship I live for.