It’s weird nowdays that the youths are being pressured to get married,
and not to get married,
at the same time.
When they say they want to get married,
“Don’t do that, explore the world, do whatever you want, don’t rush, marriage is just a burden.”
When they say they don’t want to get married,
“Why won’t you? You can’t just do whatever you want forever? Marriage is a sacred thing in life, it will add a sense of responsibility into your life.”
How do we come at this point? And how should we decide?
Before deciding anything, let’s see how the need to marry evolves as time goes on.
The Evolution of Need for Marriage
- Marry or die.
During the old times, even since the Medieval if you want, it’s literally ‘marry or die.’
We need a partner in order to gain more resources, to join into society, to take care of those said resources, and others. Of course, it’s a need here to have a marital partner.
And no, not just for women. Even men themselves will need partners to stay alive.
- Marry or suffer.
After some time, we will reach beyond the point of survival. But that does not mean the end of our misery.
If you don’t get married, although you’ll not necessarily die, you will have a hard time.
If you’re married, you have a partner to care for you, you fit better with the society, and you can start a family. But, some things need to be sacrificed; education (especially for women), childhood (most get married directly after puberty hits), etc.
Still, it’s logical that we would favor marriage at this time, despite our increased level of survival.
- Marry to be successful.
At this point of time, you can survive enough as an individual. Although alone, all the hurdles can be managed adequately, if not minimized. But marrying someone will jumpstart your life at a much greater level. This is the starting point of people comparing someone’s job & wealth before deciding whether they want to get married to this person or not.
No need to shun that it’s materialistic, it’s completely understandable at that time. In fact, like the previous time, this marriage also comes with sacrifices, with the most prevalent one is the emotional love (some people might not marry the people that they love).
Which is why, just as it is important to marry to be successful, this very trend of marriage sparks the conversation of another issue; the importance of marrying someone that you love.
Because not everyone will be able to make that sacrifice. Not everyone will be able to bury their love for someone else, or their resentment towards marrying someone they don’t love.
They’d rather marry the one they love despite suffering, rather than being in a loveless marriage albeit guaranteed for success. In fact, if they themselves don’t have a lover, they’d rather live alone than dealing with the hassle of marrying someone they barely know, let alone love.
At this moment of time, survival is almost guaranteed; people are already able to live on their own. So, why not just start there? Instead of marrying someone you don’t love for success, why not work on success yourself?
That is the 3 ways that I observe how the need to marry evolves. There is an important thing to notice here.
Although the dynamics of marriage changes as time flies, it never falls astray from one single principle; you share resources with your partner in order to survive, and thus thrive. You help each other fulfil your goals. You need each other.
So, what about now? In this era? How did it evolve?
Our standards of living are getting higher, so it’s not surprising that our marriage standards are also getting higher (e.g., higher salary, better fit personality, guarantee of commitment). Extrapolating that, it’s completely understandable that people take longer time to get married, or even not to marry at all.
Nevertheless, notice that what you aim for remains the same; you share resources with your partner in order to survive, and thus thrive. You help each other fulfil your goals. You need each other.
This is why I’m quite annoyed as a woman, hearing “Do not depend on men!”
Newsflash; we need each other.
We depend on everyone to do everything.
Certainly not in the clingy, helpless way. But my point is, humans are interdependent with each other. We need each other. We complete each other. If that holds true to the whole humanity, let alone a husband & a wife.
We will always depend on each other, because there will be no one person who could do everything perfectly.
For example, in this era, with this economy, with this lifestyle, it is not ideal to be 100% financially dependent on your husband. That’s it. It may be relevant before, but at least for now, it’s not.
The same goes for child-rearing. In this era, with this lifestyle, it is not ideal anymore to depend on the mother 100% in child-rearing. It may be relevant before. In fact, it might be compulsory before. But at least for now, it’s not. The father needs to get involved actively too.
But again, the philosophy remains the same; you share resources with your partner in order to survive, and thus thrive. You help each other fulfil your goals. You need each other.
So, again, back to the question; should you get married or not?
Whatever that we decide to do, we decide to do it either because we want it, or we need it. Sometimes both. But never neither. I.e., I’ve never seen people doing things that they both don’t want & don’t need.
And at this era where we are pretty advanced in terms of survival and living standard, we have the privilege to look deeper into our lives. To not just do what we do, but being able to proactively ask, why we do what we do.
So should you get married or not?
It’s worth it to examine your own capability, your own needs & your own desires in deciding this. Be honest with yourself. Then, be confident in yourself.
- Do you want it? Do you not want it?
- Do you need it? Do you not need it?
- What are the benefits? What are the sacrifices?
- Am I capable to do it? Am I capable to develop the capability?
And remember the basic philosophy; we need each other. We utilize each other to live and to thrive. Marriage is just one of the ways we manifest the philosophy. Definitely it will be more intimate & intertwined, compared to relationships that we have with other people such as existing families and friends.
But still, you are in search of someone that will fulfil your needs, and you will be fulfilling theirs.
So ask these questions:
- What will be the benefit that my partner brings me?
- What will be the benefit that I bring my partner?
- Am I able to develop a relationship already?
- Do I have that mindset of continuously improving myself, to learn more about this?
Yeah, I’m sorry if I don’t bring the concrete answer of yes/no that you expected.
Because that answer can only come from yourself.
Especially due to the privilege of looking deeper into our lives, no one can have a full say should you be getting married or not. People can have opinions and give sincere advice. There are also guidelines and criteria in your belief system laid out for you, such as religion or state law.
But it’s all up to you. It’s all up to your own capability, your own needs, your own desires, your own confidence, your own thinking & your own judgement.
Yeah, I know. It’s hard to decide. In fact, it is kind of weird to be this philosophical when it comes to marriage; a thing that most people in the previous time would just simply ‘do it’.
But, with the increasing standard of living, how couldn’t we?