Why I Don’t Want to Get Married (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Pressured to Either)
Whenever I voice my opinions on marriage to those around me — whether it be my classmates, my friends, or my family members — I always get the same responses. “You want to be alone forever?” “What about having kids?” “You think this way now, but you’ll change your mind when you get older.” Regardless of whether or not my viewpoint will change, the opinions I have right now are still valid, and I hope others who have similar thoughts on marriage will feel comfortable voicing their own beliefs as well. So, without any further ado, here are some reasons why I don’t feel the need to get married — and why you don’t have to either.
I don’t believe people need “other halves.”
In so many novels, I’ve read about a female protagonist who has felt, for all her life, that something within herself has been “missing” — that is, until she found “the one.” The reason why I dislike the concept of “other halves” is that it suggests that until we meet some stranger and fall in love with them, we are incomplete. We are missing something fundamental, or 50% of ourselves, in other terms. People are complete within themselves, and they don’t need external elements to fulfill their lives. Healthy relationships can certainly enrich and improve our lives, but we don’t require spouses in order for us to be our true selves.
I don’t believe in soulmates.
The idea of soulmates is simply too good to be true, and I think a lot of people believe in this concept out of wishful thinking. I am not doubting anyone who has met their soulmate; in fact, I’m happy for them that such a miracle occurred, and that they’ve found someone to genuinely love for the rest of their lives. However, I don’t think those who are looking for partners should buy into the idea of soulmates. With the countless people on this earth, it’s simply more likely that, even if you had a soulmate, you wouldn’t be able to meet them. Obstacles like geography or language barriers could be more than enough to stop you from ever meeting your “soulmate,” and yet, when it comes to love, people seem to throw logic out of the window and demand that they find “the one.”
If I really love someone, I won’t have to marry them right away.
There isn’t anything wrong with waiting to get married, and if the one you’re marrying really is your perfect match, then you won’t even need a marriage. You’ll be spending the rest of your life with them anyway. I understand that marriage is a celebration of love, and that people want to get married for a myriad of reasons, but personally, I think that it will be more than enough for me to find someone I want to live with forever.
I don’t plan on having kids.
Not that you need to be married to have kids (or that you need to have kids once you’re married), but society groups these two topics together so often that they’re usually dealt with in the same vein anyway. Personally, I don’t want children, so I don’t plan on having any. Children are difficult, and having kids can often cause immense financial and mental stress on adults who aren’t ready. In all honesty, I think many adults do become parents without actually wanting kids for the right reasons. A lot of the time, people are simply pressured from a young age to get married and have children. They’re told it’s the right thing to do. And as a result, a lot of parents don’t give their children enough attention or care. Not everyone wants or needs children, and we need to stop acting as if our lives are incomplete without having them.
I don’t want to run a household.
In a similar vein, I don’t want to grow up and finally gain my independence, only to have to shoulder an entire household of other people for the majority of my life. Family is one of the most important values to me, but I’m not necessarily intent on starting one for myself. A household is a lot of responsibility, and only those who truly desire one should even attempt to create one.
Throughout my childhood and even now, my mother has run almost everything in our household. She has made my doctor’s appointments, worked a full-time job, and still made sure to come home in time to make dinner every night. I appreciate my mom so much for what she has done for me, but even when I was younger, I knew I didn’t want that life for myself. I don’t believe I could handle it, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that.
Getting married and starting a family might force me to sacrifice other things.
Unfortunately, it’s often the case that starting a family sets a woman back in her career. Having a family tethers you to a plethora of responsibilities that hinder things like spontaneous travel or personal expenses. A household requires so much time and money that parents often lose the ability to do things for themselves, and that’s something I don’t want to happen to me.
Many say that kids are all worth it, or that spending time with your soulmate is better than anything you could do on your own, and I’m sure that those statements do hold true for those who make them. But these opinions shouldn’t speak for the entirety of society: not everyone will gain happiness from matrimonial life.
Too many people expect marriage to fix everything.
Many adults get married simply out of pressure or fear of being alone. They get married for the wrong reasons. So many failed marriages in America are caused by countless adults who were seeking quick happiness. They were told that having kids would give them the greatest joy of their lives, so they rushed to have them. But marriage won’t fix things like mental health or emotional issues, and if you don’t like your current life, you should look to help yourself, not to find someone else to use as a panacea. It’s okay to be alone sometimes; often, it’s actually better, so that you can learn to rely on and trust yourself.
Marriage has often been used to enforce a patriarchal agenda.
Coming from an Asian family, in just about every other conversation I’ve had with my relatives, I’ve had to hear about the need for me to get married. My grandparents care far too much about whether or not I’ve found a boyfriend, and my aunts and uncles constantly tell me I just need to find a good husband for life to be easy. As I’ve grown up hearing this patriarchal propaganda, marriage has almost become synonymous with fulfilling my role as a “proper” woman in Asian society. I hate the expectation that’s put on me as an Asian woman, and oftentimes, the way to reject it has been to reject marriage.
The concept of marriage makes me feel rushed — and I’m not in a hurry.
For women, there seems to be some sort of timer set until we’re labelled as old spinsters. Beauty, and oftentimes, value, for women, is closely linked to age; while men can often get younger partners, women have a much more difficult time with love the older they get. By the time we’re in our late teens, we’re told to hurry up and find a good man, and by the time we turn thirty, we’re seen as ticking time bombs if we’re still single. In other words, marriage rushes me, and I don’t feel the need to hurry. I want to be able to fall in love on my own terms, not at the time society has decided for me.
Even with all of this being said, I’m not a total skeptic. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing an old couple holding hands while crossing the street, or a pair of older parents learning they’re going to become grandparents. I love love; I simply don’t like the neat little box in which society presents it to me.