Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

How come you aren't married?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) February 15th, 2011

When I was 15 or so, I thought I’d never get married. What did I need approval from the state for? Eventually I decided there were good reasons to get married.

But this is not about reasons to get married. It’s about reasons we tell ourselves we shouldn’t get married, and reasons why we have rejected so many potentially marriageable partners. The linked article is about women, but men might think of their reasons, too.

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31 Answers

Jude's avatar

Give me a few years. I will be.

Gay marriage is legal here. Yay!

syz's avatar

Did it. Hated it. Will never do it again.

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J0E's avatar

Because I’m 22.

JilltheTooth's avatar

What a bizarre article that is, I’m not even sure about how to address it. First of all, the basic premise is flawed, not every woman wants to get married. I might have wanted to if my main model for marriage hadn’t been my parents’ union, but hey, it was. I know many women my age, (middle) like myself who have never really had any desire to marry. We have relationships, we date, we even from time to time live with guys (I’m obviously speaking to the hetero community with that) but we don’t want to marry anyone. Maybe it’s because we grew up at a time when the ideal was the 50s type marriage which severely limited women’s choices. For me, and those like me, Kate Hepburn said it well: “Men and women shouldn’t live together, they should live next door and visit.” Personally, I think they should live a mile apart and visit.

perspicacious's avatar

I was married for a long time. Then I stayed alone for a very long time and thought I would never want to remarry. I now feel like maybe I do want to marry again. I don’t think living with someone is the same; it is not making the relationship all that it can be. A boyfriend is not the same a husband. It’s not about the legal side of marriage because I will have no more children basically; it’s about the commitment and vows, and for me personally, taking those vows before God. This is not something I am going to debate; I said “for me personally.”

geeky_mama's avatar

@wundayatta – Just like you at 15 I also thought (well into my late 20s) that I’d never get married. In fact, I heard at my 20th high school reunion (I was unable to attend, but my best girl friend who attended later relayed to me what everyone said about me in my absence!) that the general consensus about me was that EVERYONE (all 26 in my graduating class) was shocked to see me married and with kids. They all had me pegged as the ‘career woman’ type who would have a high-flying career but no time to marry or have kids.

They were somewhat right.. I do travel for work a lot still. And I myself really didn’t have any desire to get married and had myself pegged as the type to never marry until at nearly 30 I met the ‘one’.

And moreover, what made me want to MARRY him instead of just co-habitate indefinitely was purely a legal thing.
He was a single father to a 1 year old baby. His ex-wife (the bio mom, who at the time was not very involved in parenting the baby) was so bitter about the divorce that SHE initiated (she cheated, she left him, she abandoned the baby..but she got pissed when he moved on) that when he and I met and began to date she started doing weird things like trying to exert bizarre (and non-existent) moral clauses on their divorce decree saying I couldn’t stay in the same house with her daughter. (He lived in another US State than I did when we met. So, if I came cross-country to visit..I was supposed to stay in a hotel apparently.)
Her crazy nonsense and my desire to have a LEGAL ability (marriage made a LEGAL guardian) to take care of my stepdaughter forced my hand into marriage.
And it’s definitely paid off. Without my having married her dad, my stepdaughter would not have had had insurance coverage (medical/dental) all these years – not to mention our stable influence on her life.

I am very pro-marriage for anyone who wants to be able to make that commitment – gay, straight, transgender, it matters not. If you want to legally tie yourself to another person so that you can be their advocate for medical decisions, share insurance coverage and have equal parenting rights you should be able! I wish it were fair for all—but for now I’m grateful that I’ve been able to marry the one I fell in love with…so that I could help parent his wonderful daughter (and our kids, too).

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

Nooooo thanks. I dont need to spend money on a contract to prove to someone how much I love him. Let alone splurge on a day when I can use it for something that will really benefit our relationship..I rather travel instead. He loves to travel and so do I so this would make us both happy.

deni's avatar

I probably will be in five years or so, but I’m too young and even the tiniest little bit of doubt is enough right now. :)

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m not financially stable enough at the moment to even consider dating, much less marriage. And no matter what kind people tell me, men do care enough about a partner being able to take care of herself. Who wants to marry someone who’s in debt? I wouldn’t want to marry a man were he in my current situation, so it’s only fair that decent men wouldn’t want me at this point, either.

Anemone's avatar

That article doesn’t apply at all to me. I’m happily partnered in a long-term relationship and not married, but I really don’t have any interest in it.

I don’t think it’s necessary, for one thing. In my life I’ve seen great relationships that didn’t involve marriage, and crappy ones that did. I’m pretty sure most of the marriages I’ve seen in my life have ended in divorce. While I don’t think getting married would necessarily wreck a good relationship, but I also don’t see the point of doing it.

On top of that, I don’t think it should matter to the government or anyone else whether I’m partnered or not. Also, I have issues with the cultural background of it… as a tradition of a woman being transferred like property from from one man (her father) to another (her husband). BTW, I know that’s not how it is in every culture, but it’s the history in mine (western/European/US). But mostly it just seems unnecessary in my case. I know there are legal benefits, but I wouldn’t want to get married just for that reason. Maybe I will someday, for who knows what reason, but it’s not something I need at the moment. (And if we do, it will be a very low-key, civil ceremony… or maybe we’ll elope!)

sarahjane90's avatar

I have too many years of studying ahead of me.

nebule's avatar

Because I refuse to accept anything other than perfection, and that’s perfectly good enough for me because it means I am happy. I haven’t read the article…yet

YARNLADY's avatar

I was brainwashed, so I never imagined there could be such a thing.

Kokoro's avatar

This is an interesting article, but I wonder if the person who wrote it was raised on certain ideas—or if a lot of this is true. Should casual sex really be limited to younger ages who are “not looking to be married”? What about the younger couples that DO marry? Older people that DON’T plan to get married? Does Oxycontin really have this much control over our emotions?

DominicX's avatar

‘Cause I’m a gay :(

Also, at this age, I’m focusing on college and studies and have no desire to be married.

sinscriven's avatar

I’ve yet to find the woman who’d put up with me :3

Haleth's avatar

@JilltheTooth I agree with you about the article. It starts with the idea that every woman wants to get married and goes on to say that there’s something wrong with you if you’re not married yet. The author puts forth a lot of old-fashioned ideas. I think it’s really sad that some women out there may read this article and believe it.

Anyway, I know I’m not ready to get married yet. There’s a lot that I want to accomplish on my own before I settle down with another person. I fall fall a little in love with almost everyone that I date, even if it doesn’t last. So if someday, that feeling does last, then I’ll consider it.

Seelix's avatar

I’m not married because we just haven’t gotten around to it. We’re both students and can’t afford a ring or a wedding, for that matter. We’re common-law, so we’re “as good as” married, but I’d like to have a wedding someday.

Axemusica's avatar

Besides the fact that I haven’t met that special someone? I just see marriage as a dying tradition. I also see the whole process of being married as an expensive few days that could have been better spent on things more like the honeymoon. I don’t feel you have to sign your life away with witnesses to prove your love to someone.

My opinion on this topic has morphed throughout the years and one of the biggest influences on this topic was actually one of my music influences and my guitar hero, Dimebag. His girlfriend Rita Haney* was with him from the beginning of his career up until his death and were never married.

*The article really has no relevance, with the thread. It’s merely there to show that they were together 20years.

Foolaholic's avatar

Because a) I haven’t met the woman of my dreams yet, and b) I’m still a junior in college and that’s a bit early, don’t you think?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m about to be after 15 or so years but the reasons I said “No” in the past have been.

1. Partner didn’t want to wait on the relationship to age a bit, I said he should be 25yrs old minimum. My thoughts were wanting to give him time to mature, experience more exposure to adults, make sure I was “The One” and not to settle just because I was good to him.

2. Partner was a psychopath and I couldn’t wait to escape. The proposal just made me more frantic.

3. I’d married one best friend already and knew I wouldn’t do well by marrying another best friend.

4. The relationship I thought was so magnificent got derailed when my partner expressed how much he hated my job that was supporting us. I looked at him and realized he was happy with his life/jobs as they were and I wasn’t and wouldn’t be if I remained. I wanted someone similarly ambitious and suddenly felt alone and awkward.

5. I realized loved wasn’t enough to overcome another person’s anger, depression, lost dreams and the proposal would have sealed my fate to become as miserable as that person.

6. A proposal for someone to take care of me, take care of my mother and basically restore anything I’d ever lost in my life (material stuff) was turned down because the idea of security, financially comfort and love on that person’s part wasn’t enough to spark love in my heart.

josie's avatar

Once is enough. Plus, after my divorce, I can’t afford it.

FutureMemory's avatar

Because all the good ones are taken.

Deja_vu's avatar

Haven’t found the one. I’m still young.

Leanne1986's avatar

I just don’t feel the need to get married (like I don’t feel the need to have children).

I love my boyfriend and he loves me but I’m not bothered about whether we marry or not. I see marriage as making a promise that I can’t guarantee I will be able to keep (how do I know that I will love someone forever? I certainly don’t want to promise someone something I don’t know myself) and whilst I hope I will love him forever, marriage isn’t going to determine that.

klutzaroo's avatar

Because he doesn’t know my dad well enough to ask just yet. And because I need time to plan a wedding. :)

If I had married the people along the way that I thought about it with, I would probably be a very unhappy person right now. Its not just about finding a person to marry, its about finding the right person to marry. Divorce is messy and expensive.

While this article is fun and makes some excellent points, she’s off just as much as she’s on. Men of character, for example, don’t have a tattoo on their forehead that makes them easier to find. Nor do the losers, liars, and great pretenders. It takes time and investigation to see them for what they are. It takes a number of things to make up a lasting, worthwhile relationship and simply finding a man of character doesn’t mean that someone’s found the person they should marry. If they find one who they’re attracted to (whether or not they fit society’s idea of attractiveness) who shares what they want out of life, values, whatever and who finds in them what they’re looking for… great. She seems to put overemphasis on any one facet of a relationship with each of her bullet points on her list without considering the whole relationship. And that’s a huge mistake that this author doesn’t cover that it seems she’s endorsing.

seazen's avatar

Been there, done that, sucked at it.

emeraldisles's avatar

because I am way too young and want to play the field for as long as I want to.

klutzaroo's avatar

If someone’s using terms like “play the field,” they really are too young. No matter how old they are.

NosyBut's avatar

For me, it’s quite simple: I don’t want ANYONE to have any rights over me, my money, or my things.

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