Marriage actually originated on the other side of the world. It began as a formal agreement, an exchange between men. The father would accept cattle or goods from a young gentleman in exchange for his daughter’s (i.e. his property’s) hand in marriage. Marriage was determined by socioeconomic status, not choice. Women had no say in the matter because they did not even possess the rights to their own bodies. It did not originate from religion, nor mutual love. It was strictly a business transaction.
Do not get me wrong, I am not anti-marriage. I just think it’s genuinely important to be educated about things that are significant parts of our lives. I love going to weddings and eating free food and dancing while enjoying some good energy. Is it something that I necessarily see for myself? Probably not. And I’ll tell you why.
Marriage represents the coming together of two souls, as one. This idea is present when you hear people refer to their significant others as their “other half”. I really do think that initially the idea of that seems like it’s a beautiful thing and it sounds kind of cute and sweet. However lately I have been exploring a lot more within myself and through other relationships that has kind of changed my outlook on that statement alone. No one should ever complete you. You should be complete as your own being just as your partner should be complete as their own being. Once fully established and content with who you are as a strong individual, then together you can complement one another and grow together, (but still separately if you know what I mean). It’s really easy to lose yourself in another person, and then god forbid it doesn’t work out, then you’re basically left as half of a person because you allowed another person to fill in parts of you that were not their jobs to fill.
I think this is something so important because it’s something I have personally just gone through myself. The scary part is you don’t notice as its happening. Everything is so great and perfect until it’s not. I was always a very independent and fairly high strung person growing up, always wanting to try new things, making plans and seeking out adventures. Being crazy and spastic is what makes me, me. When I fell in love I got so caught up in just wanting to spend all of my time with that person that I stopped focusing on the little things that I used to do when I was alone that would make my soul feel good. When my person would leave, rather than taking the opportunity to be like, “Yes! I love and miss my person but this is a great chance for me to get back into the personal things I enjoy doing that fulfill me!”, instead I would feel like a part of me was missing and just feel sad. This way of being is just a recipe for disaster because then when my partner would do things that fulfilled their internal happiness bubble, it would make me feel insecure and almost jealous. Why when we’re not together are you joyful and I’m not? Before I even realized it I had stopped going to the gym, doing my crafts and I even stopped seeing close friends. It’s hard to look back now and be able to acknowledge my self-sabotage. In no way was I being kept from any of these things, I just genuinely got caught up in the excitement of clingy relationships and being something that I’m not. I’m not that person that can spend every day of the week with their significant other because I just have too damn much going on in my own life. I need to make time for myself or I’ll get caught up and suffer in the end.
With all that being said, I struggle with the thought of legally binding myself to another person. I truly believe that I can love a person just as much, and be just as committed to them, without having to give myself up in the process. The process which literally involves me having to give up my last name. I think sometimes we tend to lose the meaning of things. I think marriage has become more about the wedding, more about showing off the relationship than the actual relationship itself.
I personally do not feel like a piece of legal documentation will keep a person loyal. In fact I know that it doesn’t just from personal life experience. If the person I’m with doesn’t love and respect me enough to remain faithful, then I want the quickest and easiest route out that doesn’t involve having to spend more money and having to continue to see that person through court etc. One of my biggest fears for my future is the thought that I could ever be trapped. I’m kind of a runner. I know it’s not a good thing and I’m working on it but it seems I will full speed sprint away from my problems and then look back and process them later on. If I think things are taking a negative turn I freak out and try to get ahead of it. That is why I take working and school so seriously now, I never want to be in a position where I have to stay in a situation that is unhealthy or that I’m uncomfortable with because I don’t have the means to provide for myself. I refuse.
I’m well aware that just about everyone that falls in love thinks they’ve found who they’re going to be with for the rest of their lives. Why are those our standards for happiness? Why can’t I just be in love now and content with getting to share time with that person in this moment. Why can’t I focus on my current happiness? Who knows where life will take me by the time I’m ready to have kids (way, WAY in the future). Why am I looking for someone father material now? I’m not mother material now! Two years ago, last year, even six months ago if you told me I’d be where I am now I’d be shocked. I need to just sit back, do my thing and roll with the punches. This life is far too unpredictable for me to be stressing about years and years down the line. This is something I have to actively work on.
Also weddings are thousands and thousands of dollars.