Love & Marriage: You Get to Decide What Commitment Looks Like!

What Does Commitment Mean to You?

You’re visiting your family and you’ve got your significant other in tow. Suddenly, your elderly aunt grabs your arm and pulls you aside. She’s got one thing and one thing only on her mind: She wants to know when you two are going to make it “official.” She’s not talking about moving in together (God forbid you do something like that!). She’s not talking about buying a pet or a temperamental plant together. She’s talking about the “Big M.” And even if you’ve been together for a few months (or a few years), there’s a good chance everyone who loves you is wondering if the person you’re with loves you enough to marry you. They’re anxiously awaiting the engagement ring and they don’t care if you want that kind of commitment or not.

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He Better Put a Ring on it?

As women, we’re constantly being pushed to get married. Whether it’s Beyoncé telling us “he better put a ring on it,” or our married friends, or the matriarchs (and patriarchs) of our families, it seems like the message is we can’t be happily in love and committed unless we take a trip down the aisle. Is that really true though? What if getting married isn’t something you actually want?

Happily Unmarried?

Happy couples don’t get married for a lot of reasons. For some, marriage is just a piece of paper that legally binds one person to another. Others may be turned off by the idea of marriage because they grew up around unhappy marriages or are the product of divorce. Some couples aren’t getting married because not everyone, in every state, or in every country has the freedom to get married. Are these people less happy than happily married couples? Probably not.

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Happily Married?

Conversely, there are a lot of reasons for getting married. People who believe in marriage think it is the highest level of relationship commitment. They love the idea of being with the same person for the rest of their life. For them, marriage means stability and protection. Marriage makes them feel complete. They may also want to bring children into the world and think it’s best to do that after marriage. Are happily married couples happier than couples who are happily unmarried? Probably not.

Will Marriage Make Your Relationship Better?

Marriage doesn’t make or break a relationship. Marriage doesn’t magically fix what’s broken about your love life and many couples find that the problems they had when they were dating still exist after they say “I do.” Sometimes marriage makes the problems between a couple worse. It all depends on the individuals who make up the married couple.

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First, Figure Out What You Want!

Before anyone ever asks you to marry them, you need to figure out if you want to get married. Seriously think about it, because it’s a huge commitment to make, even if it’s something you want. If you met a great person who made you laugh, turned you on, took care of you when you were sick and who was your greatest advocate and partner, would you want to marry them? Or would you be happy cohabitating with that same person? There’s no right or wrong answer. All that matters is what you want.

Then, Find Someone Who Wants What You Want!

And once you know what you want, you need to be honest with whomever you’re dating. It’s easiest to be with someone who wants the same things you want, romantically. So if you want to get married some day, make sure your partner does too. But if you don’t want to ever get married and you’re partner does, let them go sooner rather than later so you can both find the people you’re meant to be with.

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Love is commitment, but you get to decide what that commitment looks like.

8 thoughts on “Love & Marriage: You Get to Decide What Commitment Looks Like!

  1. TD

    @Mylar, India is a very diverse country with a very fast-rising global, cosmopolitan,educated upwardly mobile class. Please don’t speak for a country of one billion.

    There are people who believe in marriage, and people who don’t. And they’re both correct. I, for one, know a lot of happily unmarried couples as well as happily married couples, and honestly the legal status of their coupledom didn’t have much of a role to play in their happiness. Marriage opens up certain conveniences that living together may not,and the converse is also true.

  2. Elise

    We ar enot in India, and I am certain that in India there are many unhappily amrried couples who could have been bethrothed to one another as children, trust me I know a few cheating Indian husbands and wives. marriage doesn’t guarantee that you have everything you mentioned prior to saying ” I do”
    Correct me if I am wrong, India is a caste system, you are not to marry outside of the caste that you were born into, suppose your son or daughter fell in love with someone in a lower caste, would you allow your child to marry even though you are upper the dowry would be insignificant.

  3. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Rivers,

    Miss you !!!! We all still miss you and want you to come back soon.

    Say hello to Anthony for me to, Sean says HI.

    Gina Rose )O(

  4. Faith ext. 9608Faith ext. 9608

    Great article Dania!

    Rivers! Have been thinking about you so much lately! Hope your Mother’s Day was excellent and you and your family are doing well. Miss you sister we all do! So glad to see your face here. 🙂

    Blessings, Faith ext. 9608

  5. Rivers ext. 5273Rivers Ext 5273

    Good article. Lot of truth to this. Be true to yourself and don’t let others dictate what you should want or need.

  6. MYLAR

    HAPPILY UN-MARRIED —may be an adage/slogan/culture in USA ,NOT in INDIA.

    I really do not know what sort of a culture,to stay together without getting really married! Just SEX nothing beyond it,in USA. We INDIANS have a deep rooted culture,that marriage means just not for sex,but,attachment,affection,love,tenderness, bondage of two lives,up-bringing the family ,with values——So,pl STOP preaching your ideas ,as universal. You know nothing beyond the damn sex,+ Marriage is just a piece of paper. Stop preaching your Gospel.

  7. Esty

    This article makes perfectly good sense. However, sometimes the couple doesn’t seem to need the formality of a marriage ceremony…..but their parents (or other important family members do)… it puts pressure on the otherwise “happy” couple….even though they BOTH seem to know what they want. The commitment they appear to have made to one another without the benefit of marriage….isn’t enough to satisfy their parents….and since their parents’ feelings and opinions do mean a lot to some of these young couples….it does present a real problem for their relationship. It would probably be best if everyone involved really sat down and discussed it openly and honestly. In the final analysis….the couple has to decide what is best for them and then live it, accordingly.


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