How do you know when you are ready to get married? or do you ever really know? How can you guarantee your marriage will last forever? or does forever really exist anymore? How do you know you found the right person to marry? or do you really think there is only one person in this life for you? But today I ask you, do you even believe in marriage?

More questions than you got answers.  Sometimes it is best not to question and just go with the flow. But in certain situations where your life is about to change dramatically, it is a good idea to stop and think about the choices you already made and the decisions that will affect the rest of your life.

The topic of marriage is discussed all the time and at the same time one of the most topics avoided.  It is quite an irony I must say.  Why is talking about marriage such a scary conversation? How did it become so unwanted?  Is it fear of commitment from both genders? Is it the responsibilities that come with marriage itself that scares everyone? Or is it our values that have changed and marriage is no longer desired as it did previously.

I guess I can answer some of my own questions by looking around me.  These days it is not necessary to get married.  It is much easier to just live together and never have to think about the wedding, the ring, the dress, the reception.  All that is not important anymore,  What really matters is the commitment that couples have for each other and they do not need to have a ring on the finger or a piece of paper that says we are together.  They can let the relationship take its natural course, move in together and if they can both afford it buy a house together and if at some point they decide to have children, they will just let it happen without any reservation.  And some decide they do not want children, they prefer to have a pet (dog, cat, turtle, snake …) whatever floats their boat I guess.  And that picture I am presenting is real life. Without any exaggeration, this is what couples do these days.

Is there something wrong with that picture? Well, if the new generation are the ones that live like this and are the ones that make their own choices, then the answer will be: ‘absolutely nothing wrong’.  On the other hand, if you are asking the older generation, the answer will be the exact opposite .  And you may get surprised by some older generation agreeing with the new trend. Also some cultures will still believe that marriage is important and is a must.  You will have those who do not even agree in common law relationships as they view it from a religious perspective, as it is a sin.  Then you will have two generations or religious and non religious groups disagreeing on why Marriage is a must and why it is not.  You would be surprised as both sides have valid points.

In the end, it all boils down to this: Is there a right or wrong in this subject? Marriage or no Marriage? Common Law relationships accepted or not? Having children with your partner without being legally tied is acceptable or not?

Every person has their own opinion and they are entitled to it.  If everything in our life is our own choice and we have the right to choose what we want and what we do not want, what makes us comfortable or uncomfortable, so why would choice to marry versus living together be any different.

I say this but I know it is not easy.  It is a constant struggle between the parents and their children.  The parents usually want their kids to get married. Some are so strict that they will cut off their children if they decide to live with their partner without being married.  Hell some parents take it as far as cutting off their children if they choose to be with someone outside their race, culture or color.

Having said all that, my own opinion on this subject is as follows:

– Do what makes you happy in the end, if marriage is what YOU want, then get married.  If you believe in it whole heartedly and whatever your reasons are, follow what you want in the end because no one else will live your life for you. YOU WILL.

– If you really are against marriage because you have a valid point that you do not need to have the paper or the ring or the big party with a lot of money wasted, then do not get pressured into it.

– If you truly believe in your heart you are not committing a sin by being common law and having a child without marriage, then follow your conscious not what society says.

– If you found happiness with someone outside your culture, then you have a choice to make and you must be able to live with your decision no matter which one you choose.  Just know that you may not be able to have it all.  You will end up with pain and you will end up giving up something that means the world to you.  The question is, which decision you can live with and which one will eat you alive?

As for me, I always dreamed of the white dress, the church wedding, the big reception, the whole works.  And then as I grew older, parts of my dream changed. And then as life threw unexpected events my way, my whole dream changed. Now I will be honest with you and tell you I do not even know what I want anymore. I am not held bent on marriage as I used to be and at the same time I am not against common law relationships.  But it is not as easy as it seems.  There are a lot of factors to consider, a lot of lives are involved, a lot of decisions that will affect many people. All I know, is that I will end up following my heart, wherever that may lead me.

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