Before You Put a Ring On It…

I seem to be at the age where all my friends are pairing off and purchasing diamonds and white dresses. The people I grew up with are becoming husbands and wives and starting their lives together. While of course I am happy that they have found “The One” I am still nagged by the question, How do you know when it’s the one? And if you do know it’s the “The One” why do you need to put a ring on it?

My relationship history coupled with horror stories has long made me wary of the whole marriage thing. If you are together and you are committed and you’re happy why do you need to change your last name and make your friends wear ugly matching dresses and throw an expensive party to tell everyone, “Look we are SO in love! So buy a crystal vase we will never use to commemorate the day we made that love legal.”

My aversion to marriage only grew with the passing of Prop 8 in CA but this is no time for that discussion. I think the root of this allergy I seem to have to marriage is the process of broaching all the major subjects: kids, place where you will live, buying a home, bank accounts, etc. Also the idea of forever seems a bit intimidating in this short life. I cannot imagine getting divorced. Marriage is something that I want to last and some people seem to enter into so lightly. I am a fiercely independent person who doesn’t necessarily want to change my last name. Because once that paperwork is filed I’m not going to stand in the DMV line again to change my last name back on my license!

Yes I believe in love. Yes I am a sucker for romance. Yes I believe compromise is the key to a long lasting relationship. My parents are the poster couple of a loving happy marriage. They are in the minority. They make me optimistic that I can find a love that will last and despite my cynicism regarding marriage it’s possible to form a life long connection with someone. But no I don’t think you need a piece of paper from city hall to make it work. Before entering any long-term commitment there are certain questions one needs answered. Vow swapping or not a couple needs to settle the issue of children, where they will live and religion. These are matters that compromise is not going to work with.

I admire couples who have opposing faiths and still marry. If they can make it work good for them, however the odds are not stacked in their favor. And let’s be reasonable it’s not as if you can have a part time child together. If you have the money then I guess the bicoastal home is an option.

Besides having to be in harmony with all the major life decisions you also have to know that this person that you love is “The One”. How can anyone be 100% sure of that? How can you forsake all others and dedicate yourself to one person not knowing if your feeling will change? Maybe I am a fickle person or maybe I haven’t met the elusive “One”. I know that once upon a time I thought I had met my “One” and that fell apart terribly and I have since been cautious as to letting other’s in. But I also know that the overwhelming love I felt for that person has occurred again in my life with two other people but they always had the option to leave. That option to leave is still there whether or not a ring is involved. Divorce is as common as anything these days. Plus I like having the option to leave without having to get lawyers involved.

Maybe there isn’t just one person there can be several “Ones” and we can happy however it plays out. It seems too often the pressure to get married and start a family is the motivation behind proposal among people my age. They are expected by society standards that this what you do at this age. What happens if you never make it official? If you stay with the same person for many years and never make it legal. Isn’t that just as good as being married? I think so. I say what’s the hurry? Why the need for a giant shiny rock? Take your time and truly get to know one another and after many years together that loving feeling is still strong then I guess make it official if not for anything besides the tax break.


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