June. Wedding season. And also time for all the articles on “Why You Are Not Married Yet” and the release of the Tracy McMillan’s book of the same name. You can see her six reasons why here on The Huffington Post. I do find some truth in her six points. I mean who wants any kind of relationship with a selfish, superficial, liar? I like point #6 onward. But I do like these POVs better as they ask people to consider why are they so convinced marriage is the right choice…and what really happens after the I Do.
For the not married: This article offers up some smart reasons to stop panicking, wait for the right reason to get married or realize that it is not for you.
10 Very Good Reasons Why You Are Not Married Yet via Jezabel by Samhita Mukhopadhyay.
For the married or soon to be: This article has some interesting advice beyond the “crap you read in magazines about honesty, sense of humor, communication, sensitivity, date nights, couples weekends, blah blah blah.”
15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years from WTF Is Up With My Love Life?! By Lydia Netzer.
The thing is, all these “why you are single” articles are assuming that getting married is the finish line. While, there’s nothing wrong with Tracy’s points per se, I just think there is too much pressure/ assumption that you should get married. Plenty of people get married to shallow, selfish, liars and it’s no piece of cake.
Lists aside, when two people are both ready and both open to commitment and share expectations, it’s a lot easier. Marriage is a choice not a mandate or a rite of passage. When you make the choice because it’s what you both want…you honor it. Problem is the expectations and fantasies we all have in our head often make you think it is what you should or want…or that it is the key to happiness.
There is more to it than the oft cited saying that ”you have to be happy yourself before you can be happy with someone else.” That is true (and it helps if the other person is there as well). But being happy with yourself is also not the end of the journey….and it’s not always the same as being happy. You have to realize that happiness is not a constant no matter where you are or how you are with. So it’s the willingness to weather the ride that allows the construct of marriage to work. Someone else said, the key to staying married is staying married.
Over the past few years I have talked to over 200 forty-something women and found happy singles, sad marrieds and vice versa. I also have found many younger women still aspire to finding a soul-mate if not marriage per se. It seems the common thread through out is desire for a connection… as this woman outlines, you can get that without marriage.
“My advice would be that if you’re looking for a partner, and what I have told my kids is to make sure that you are connected in a real way to that person. Ultimately, it’s not all about goals and ambitions. It’s more about wanting to truly spend time with the person, to have a true, real connection to someone that is valid. It’s not made up and it’s not fake and it can really happen.
But it also doesn’t mean you have a soul mate. The truth is this, people want to be connected to someone. It doesn’t have to be marriage to a man. You want to have a connection. Some people find that satisfaction in their friendships, relationships outside of marriage or helping other people.” – 40-something, Detroit