The 21st-century 20-something

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Is marriage outdated?

I was watching my girl Bethenny the other day, and she posed an interesting question to her panel for the day asking: "Is marriage outdated?"

SIDEBAR: You should all be watching the Bethenny show. She is hilarious and intelligent and really a true inspiration to women. #endshamelesspromotion.

Anyway, I found myself immediately offended by this question. I mean, of course marriage isn't outdated. It is a beautiful union between two souls who are making a commitment to spend the rest of their lives together! It seems to be in the formula of most people's lives. While relationships are an ever-changing phenomenon, marriage is still fairly important to most people, many who even had to fight for that very right.

But then, I really started to think about it. I don't think long-term commitment is outdated, but I think relationships are so diverse and complex, that expecting them to last forever ends up being a lot of pressure. And that very pressure sometimes does them in.

We have to face that we are in a very different world now. With social media and online dating, it opens up a whole new world and partner options quadruple.

Back in the day, if you lived in the same town your entire life, you would obviously end up marrying somebody from that same town or who had crossed it's path. There was no other way for you to meet a spouse. But now, there are other avenues and people are taking longer to make an educated choice. They're not just getting married because they're knocked up or because they're 'supposed to' by a certain age.

I think the question isn't necessarily if marriage is outdated, it's if people are making the right decision when they choose to marry. Is it for the right reasons? Is it with a person you're really compatible with? Have you been with them long enough to know they're marriage material? Are you OK enough with yourself and where you are in life to be able to share that with another person? These are questions people should be asking themselves before they jump into a serious commitment like marriage.

We are also living in a time where divorce turns out to the be the solution to problems that our grandparents and even parents decided to stick out and work through. A serious offense needs to be committed before divorce is even put on the table. And even so, that goes back to the fact that people rush into marriage in the first place, when they're not ready to marry or not sure of the person they're marrying.

Personally, I do believe in marriage and that it can work and last forever, as long as people don't rush into it and really think it through, especially before getting kids involved. It is your responsibility to bring a child into an environment they can thrive in, not one that you can't even handle and get them involved in a mess that you created.

Don't misunderstand me, I also believe that marriage isn't for everyone, and that's not a bad thing. I believe it can work when and if that's what you want in your life.

Some people live their entire lives with a person and don't feel the need to get married, or look at relationships like 'leases' that have an expiration date where you must decide to renew it or move on.

So I guess my answer is no, Bethenny, marriage isn't outdated. It is evolving like all things tend to do, and also isn't for everyone. But if it's what you want, you have to make sure you're absolutely ready to make that kind of commitment, and be willing to work at it, like everything else in life.

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