Weddings, marriage, monogamy, are those things I truly want? I delayed writing this article for so long, but I guess I’m finally ready, so here goes.
Before I delve into my misgivings on marriage and monogamy, I need to clarify some basic assumptions I’ll be rolling with so it’s easier for everyone to understand. I know marriages can take many forms and monogamous ones are only one form. However, for the sake of simplicity, when I refer to marriages, I’ll be talking about monogamous ones unless stated otherwise. Secondly, I realize there are various reasons people get married, but, in my critique, I’ll be referring to ones primarily based on love (other factors may be present, but love tends to be the most significant). If I do remember any more assumptions, I’ll let you know but for now, let’s get started!
Marriage was one of those things I never really thought about. However, as I grew older, this topic found its way into conversations I engaged in, and I began to notice its depiction in movies and songs, which forced me to assess what my deal with marriage is.
And I concluded, I don’t want to get married. Whenever I tell people this, they say, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll grow out of it” or “I’m sure you’ll even be the first to marry” or “Trust me, when you see your friends marrying, you’ll want to get married.” Only time will tell if their assessments prove right, but I’m still in the no-marriage zone for now.
Why? I don’t understand why I should make a life-long commitment to a person who is bound to change. Heck, I’m bound to evolve too. I think I may love someone based on certain factors; hopefully, not merely superficial ones, and if they change, am I still liable to love them? What if what I like at a particular point changes entirely down the line? Do I still need to hold on to this person simply because I made a commitment? Now, I know divorces are more common than ever, but I don’t think most people enter marriages to get divorced. So I’m viewing marriage from the viewpoint of its aim to be a lifelong affair (Yup, I guess that’s my third assumption). Personally, I won’t commit to a job forever because as much as I love that job now, I may change my interests or the job may no longer hold the initial appeal. You may love pizza, but if I told you to never eat anything else but just pizza for the rest of your life, you’d probably think I’ve gone nuts (Is that even healthy??). If most people won’t commit their whole life to just one thing, especially if that thing is bound to change, why is it any different when it comes to loving humans?
Moreover, I don’t believe we should put a time limit on love. Marriage says forever, but love says whenever. I used to think that if I loved someone for a short period, then I never loved the person. I no longer hold that view. Love is not an emotion that can be calculated and so saying love should last the test of time is undermining how love works. Yes, sometimes love does stretch to the ends of our lives, but not all do, and that is fine. I may love you for a year, three years, months or f*ck it, even days. Let love be love and decide its own time limit. And if we are doing that, why do we need marriage, a system that insists on forever?
Now, let me tackle the monogamous aspect. It sounds just a tad ludicrous to me. (A tad? Bruh, more like a ton!) I believe love is infinite, and we can love more than one thing or person at a time. Furthermore, I think that love expresses itself in numerous forms and the way I may show or feel love towards person A can take a different turn when it comes to Person B. Now, I know brotherly love is not the same as romantic love but just bear with me. In my family, nobody asks me to choose who I love more between my brothers and parents: I just manifest my love for each of them in different ways. It’s the same way a person can love writing and also love drawing. I can love cats and love dogs. I don’t think understanding that I can love more than one thing is a hard concept for many. Then why does it differ when it comes to people? Why do I need to choose one person to spend the rest of my life with when love may lead me to multiple people. I may love someone and down the line love another, but the new love does not negate my emotions for my first love. However, the concept of monogamous marriages constrains our love into an unnatural phenomenon of having to choose just one person to love romantically and saying no even when our emotions may say yes. That doesn’t seem very appealing to me.
And call me old-fashioned, but marriage based more as business contracts make sense to me. No, I don’t advocate for arranged marriages. I do encourage that if you get married, you should choose your own spouse. If respect underlines the marriage, then it is fair to get married for business reasons, social standing, naturalization, asset protection and so on. That, to me, makes more sense than a marriage based on love. Yes, and government structures can make marriages worthwhile like visitation rights if a partner is hospitalized, jointly filing taxes, health insurance, and other advantages. If these will help you, then get married with this mutual understanding. (However, I think a society’s benefits should not be structured around your relationship status, but I’ll save that for another blog post).
And to the argument of getting lonely if you’re not married, well I don’t necessarily agree. If it’s human companionship I desire, I don’t need to put all my eggs in one basket (or person in this case). That’s why we have family and friends and having a healthy relationship with these people is another way to find the warmth of friendship and companionship we seek. Marriage is not the only way to avoid loneliness.
Lastly, marriage is often viewed as the crux of love. I beg to differ. We express love in many ways, and we don’t need a man-made institution to dictate how we communicate the height of our devotion to someone. I may love you from the depths of my heart but may not want to use marriage as the avenue to show that. That’s fine. I can find other ways of expressing that deep love.
So, there you have it. These are the reasons I am not drawn to marriage or monogamy, but hey, the future is uncertain and who knows if my thoughts will change? We just have to wait and find out.