Marriage Shmarriage

A phone call w/ one of my besties Tam got me thinking a lot about where I see myself in the future and what my relationship aspirations are. We got to the conversation because she blogged about how she was ready to be married and could see herself settling down. Polar opposite of me.

I’ve only been with one person that I actually considered marriage with, discussed baby names with, and all that mushy gushy stuff. Then my heart got stomped on, ripped out, taken a bite of, and lit on fire. Then shit out of his ass. So yeah. Not a fan.

Last week I tweeted that I envisioned myself someday as a single mother, carpooling with my kids, taking them to their extracurriculars, and completely happy. At no point did I see myself with a partner doing this. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t met “The One” or “The One for Right Now” or what, but I just don’t believe that my future’s happiness, sanity, or maturity relies on being with someone else.

As I was talking to Tamie, I verbally came to the realization that my feelings may have been influenced by my parents. I never consciously acknowledged that my mom’s relationships with my bio dad and my step-dad could have impacted my own views on love and marriage!

My mom was with my bio dad for roughly 18 years. Dating and marriage. They had 2 kids, my brother and me, and were in a very horrible relationship that was defined by substance abuse and physical abuse (carried out by my bio dad). A reality check with my parents divorce at the age of 9 told me that love hurts and love sucks.

My step-dad has been in our lives for 15 years. My mom and him have been together, cohabiting, sharing finances, vacationing together, raising 2 kids together and have never gotten married. I suppose they have a “common law marriage” but no vows, rings, or contracts have ever been exchanged. To see their relationship, the way that love can go up and down, to see two adults sharing their lives together, shows me that you don’t necessarily need to be married to someone to create something special. I guess from my mom and step-dad’s relationship, I’ve kind of devalued marriage (devalue in the sense that I don’t agree w/ traditional norms). I’ve shrugged off the feeling of obligation that most women may feel to find that person to create a fairy tale wedding with and build a family with.

I’m watching a segment on The Today Show entitled “All the Single Ladies” where the hosts choose to dissect why on earth these women in their late 20s, early 30s, choose not to be attached…
“If there’s any man that can keep up with me, and is a gutsy, loving man, I’d love to meet him…” – said by one of the interviewees on The Today Show.

I am constantly frustrated at our society, specifically our channels of entertainment, like television, magazines, movies, gossip sites, that constantly drill into young women’s minds that we need to desire marriage or need to get married in order to be a more full woman. Every day, there is some magazine article, some television segment, harping on the new guy Jennifer Love Hewitt is dating, the secret desires of marriage and baby-making Jennifer Aniston has, or how absurd it is that Angelina Jolie won’t get married. We are taught from such a young age that women are supposed to find a man that “wants us,” that we can take care of, that we can share a life with, that we will have children form and complete the cycle of life. Yadda yadda yadda. I don’t agree.

I do believe that love exists. I believe two people can love each other, respect each other, and share their paths and goals together. I don’t believe that happiness depends on love. I don’t believe love can, or should, complete a person. I don’t believe that you need a marriage in order to have a family. I don’t yearn to find a man in order to feel acceptance. Call me radical, call me a maverick, my beliefs are my own and they’re constantly evolving.

I think that right now, as a 24 year old woman who is going to begin grad school in a few months, I have certain goals. I have been lucky enough in my life to be completely supported financially and emotionally by my parents. I have things on my bucket list that I have not accomplished. I want to get my MA, I want to get a PhD, I want to buy my own home, I want to travel through Europe, South America and Asia on my own, I want to run a nonprofit shelter or center for domestic violence survivors. I want to write a book. I want to pay off my loans and credit card bills. I want to do a marathon. I want to learn to swim. I want to meet key players in the Celtics and Clippers. I want to make my life as meaningful as I can. That’s my priority. I want to have fun, do big things, and become independent. I have no desire to fantasize about weddings, engagement rings, bachelorette parties, or “looking after” a partner until I do the things I want to do, first. Is that so wrong?? If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. 😉

 

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