This I Believe

Emily - Lafayetee, Colorado
Entered on July 3, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I’m never going to get married. I’m not a bachelorette wanting to live without commitment or a bitter divorce, I’ve just realized how very little our society’s definition of marriage means to me. I see implications of it every day, from newlywed magazines to the ending of every romantic Disney movie since childhood, but I am recently questioning its practicality. I overheard some of my friends speaking about their hopes for their current relationships with their boyfriends, saying that they should be in the relationship with the hope of marriage. That shocked me a bit, as these friends are 17 years old. Perhaps I am the only one who finds it slightly perverse that some of the most brilliant girls I know see their futures mostly by the men they will be with. Love is an incredible part of life, but that’s just it. It is a part of life. I understand that they love their boyfriends very much, and thus want to see commitment in the future, but why marriage?

Of all things, a television show ignited these anti-marital thoughts. Dharma and Greg introduced a very novel idea to me. The idea of two people very deeply in love staying together for the rest of their lives and having children… all without being married. They had made the same lifelong commitment as any married couple, but their bond was stronger. They stayed together only for their love and not for the idea that they had engaged in a contract. Some would argue that the couple in that show is fictional, and that no couple would stay together out of wedlock that long.

If those two people would have stayed together for the sheer reason that they were married, what does that say? If the people need to be married to stay together, they don’t love each other enough to make the kind of commitment that marriage suggests.

Marriage is not all bad. It does have its legal and religious uses. Our bank accounts appreciate it, when the government gives us the marriage discount on our taxes, and many people of various religions condemn sex and childbirth out of wedlock, but for those of us willing to deal with a little legal hassle, and who are not involved in a traditionalist religion should consider the difference between the bonds of love, and the bonds of marriage. This may be a “modern” concept but these times, they are a-changing, but love will always stay the same no matter how it’s bond is defined.