Like many other girls, when I was young I would picture my wedding. There was the white dress, the flowers, the bridesmaids, and sometimes even the groom. The thing is; I never thought I would actually get married. I always assumed I would feel different when I was older. It’s never happened. In fact, I’ve become almost adamant that I never want to get married.
I would like to preface this piece by saying that I love weddings. Seriously. I LOVE them! Seeing a couple stand up and affirm their love for one another is a beautiful thing. And there is also the food, booze and dancing. I like those bits too.
There are many reasons why marriage doesn’t do it for me. Mostly, it holds no meaning. I’m not religious. I wasn’t raised with religion and I can’t see that I’m going to become a convert any time soon. I often find it hard to separate marriage and religion as I see the two as tied together; even though I know many people opt for civil ceremonies. It’s too hard for me to ignore the fact that marriage began as more of a business transaction, a way to bring two families together. There is also the traditional ‘giving away’ of the bride by her father and the white dress to symbolise the bride’s virginity. I know these parts are now optional but I can’t get past how grossly patriarchal and sexist the traditions are.
I’m not sold on the legal reasons either. I don’t need the government to define my relationships, nor do I want them to. Surely who I decide to form a partnership with is my business and my business alone and does not need to be officially recognised by anyone. I realise this is a simplistic view when taking into account the guardianship of children and shared assets, but I loathe the idea that marriage makes you ‘officially’ a couple.
The stats aren’t great. In Australia, roughly every third marriage ends in divorce. I’m not sure if marriage puts too much pressure on couples, people enter in to marriage too lightly, or divorce too easily, but it does make me wonder if we are really supposed to have one partner for life. It’s no secret that more relationships fail than succeed. Most people have had other partners before they find ‘the one’. Or at least the one they end up marrying.
Then there is the marriage equality thing. I sincerely believe that this will not be an issue for the rest of my lifetime, so it’s more of ‘current’ reason that will no doubt change. I cannot and will not get married when the same right is not offered to my gay friends. One of my best friends is gay. He is, quite simply, wonderful. I could not stand up in front of my loved ones and say my vows knowing that he cannot do the same. I know my little stance won’t do anything to further the cause, but I refuse to take part in an event that is for straight people only.
Honestly, I could go on and on about why I don’t want to get married. If I manage to form and sustain a committed partnership then that will be enough for me. I want love, for life, I just don’t need a piece of paper or ceremony to go along with it.
Do you want to get married? Does the government’s stance on gay marriage stop you?