Defining the Right Relationship for You
For most couples today, the question of whether or not to get married is a choice. For others in this world, though, the luxury of choice still doesn’t exist. This could be for reasons that are cultural, religious, legal or personal. Whatever the reason, marriage is supposed to be a commitment between two people, something special and personal, and in a perfect world, it would be a choice everyone had.
Living with someone may be considered a commitment by the two people making the choice to live together, but it is far from being married. The whole dynamic of living together vs. being married is based on two totally different approaches to a relationship.
When you live with someone, it’s far too easy to take a cavalier attitude towards true commitment. “If we fight, we don’t have to work through it; we can just separate or move out.” Even if that’s not your intention, the underlying truth still exists; it’s all too easy to walk away if things don’t go just right. There’s no motivation to compromise. Unless you truly intend on making this the stage before the ultimate commitment of marriage, the motivation to make things work in a way that’s best for both of you doesn’t exist. If it’s working, great; if it’s not, oh well. No one says “oh well” when a marriage isn’t working. They are more invested emotionally, financially and physically to making life together work in a way that works for both of you as a couple. Compromise is a big part of marriage.
For some couples, like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, for instance, living together is their commitment, and they make it work, but they are the rarity in this scenario, not the norm.
Reasons to Tie the Knot
There are many reasons why people choose to marry, the most romantic of which is the joining of two souls as one. It’s the culmination of a romance, and the beginning of a new life together. It’s an expression of their feelings, showing the world that they are as one.
Whatever the motivation, marriage is a commitment, first and foremost. Many people confuse marriage with living together, and they’re not fully committed to the good, the bad and the ugly, because relationships aren’t always all hearts and roses. In the true sense of the word, marriage should be a union of souls and hearts, committed to the happiness of the couple as a whole.
In the end, the choice to marry or live together should be a decision made between two people who want to be together, without the weight of other’s expectations or opinions being a factor. Do what works for you, but know there is a difference between shacking up and tying the knot.
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