Is Marriage Really the End Goal?
Wanna know what I once was for Halloween as a kid? A bride. Not a corpse bride. Not a zombie bride. Not even the Bride of Frankenstein. A bride (a very, very cute one, but I digress) with a poofy white dress and a delicately placed veil. From a young age, women are groomed into the life of Bridehood. We know what cut of diamond we want—princess or oval, marquise or asscher. We know the colors we want, our style of dress, we even know whether we’d like a veil or not. We’re groomed from infancy, it seems, to hold marriage as our greatest desire. Naturally, many men aren’t forced to deal with such complicated life happenings. They are told to be apathetic and nonchalant about their wedding desires, informed that this will be the best day of their wives’ life and they should act accordingly. It’s quite the disconnect. But, what of those who have managed to block the marriage hypnotization? Are they simply just pariahs of girlhood? Are their wishes to remain unmarried, simply the response to their undesirability?
The simple and most blatant answer is no, of course not. But to society, they are. Why wouldn’t anyone want to settle down with their one person? Who wouldn’t want to fall and stay in love with their soulmate? In truth, if you don’t have a very detailed Pinterest board detailing the specifics of your future wedding, your womanhood is questioned. It’s normal for men to not obsess over these things. We expect it from them. But when a woman decides maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t want to think about marriage, and maybe, just maybe, she has no desire to get married, it’s as if hell has frozen over and the stars have misaligned into something heinous. Just as we are in no place to judge a woman for not wanting to have children—it’s her body—we can’t judge a woman for not wanting to be married because it’s her life.
Many people value women solely based on their relationships to others. Can they be a mother? Can they be a wife? When these nurturing roles are questioned or simply not wanted, the world goes up in flames. It’s considered abnormal. But, it is not. It’s a choice that you have every right to make, and it’s one you should make. If you don’t foresee wedding bells in your near to distant future, that’s perfectly fine. It’s not a response to a fictitious undesirability. It doesn’t mean you are unworthy of love or healthy relationships. It means, simply, that you do not want to marry. That’s all. Marriage, as beautiful as it is, doesn’t have to be your end goal. And if somewhere down the line, you find yourself unengaged after the deadline you gave yourself to find “the one,” it’s okay. Life is short, memories are fleeting, and life is meant to be lived! Whether marriage is on your horizon or you couldn’t care less about it, your goals and desires are valid and valuable. So, eff everybody’s negative thoughts about a life that isn’t theirs, and enjoy these precious moments as best you can!
Cover image via Pinterest