Here’s Why I Don’t Plan On Marrying The Love Of My Life

Call me a cynic, but I don’t plan on marrying the love of my life. While it would be a nice bonus to have in my relationship, I’m not naive enough to believe that’s the only thing that matters when it comes to Here’s why I’m freeing myself from the myths of what makes a happy marriage and why you should too.

  1. Love can’t sustain a marriage. Unconditional love does not mean your relationship is set in stone. You can love someone with your whole self and still know that you can’t be with them. In order to have a successful marriage, you need a foundation made of common values, goals, and a commitment to work through problems as they arise. Love will make you feel close to a person, but it won’t keep you close to them when times get rough.
  2. Love does not equal happiness. When you fall for someone who either doesn’t love you back or can’t love you in the way you need to be loved, it hurts. Just because someone is the love of your life does not mean they will make you happier than anyone else. I would rather marry someone who makes me happy than someone with whom I am madly in love.
  3. Marriage is a partnership, not a romance. Romance is even less sustainable than love. It lasts about as long as a great date or a weekend in the mountains or an illicit affair with a married lover. Romance is a thing that happens in isolation and falls apart as soon as the real world starts pushing at the edges. A marriage, by contrast, is nothing if not the real world. It may start as a romance, but it quickly becomes a mortgage, school runs, and retirement savings. You need a partner for a marriage, not a lover.
  4. There’s a reason that the first few years of marriage are the hardest. Research has indicated that the first few years of marriage often hold a rude awakening for couples. In fact, one study suggests that the challenges couples face in their first year of marriage can predict divorce thirteen years later. As love is superseded by day-to-day life, some spouses struggle to retain their affection and attachment to each other. When this happens, only commitment and realistic expectations can sustain the relationship.
  5. Love clouds judgment. When you’re madly in love with someone, you can’t see them for who they really are. You dismiss the red flags they’re waving because you think the person is superior to your usual standards and therefore shouldn’t be confined to them. As your love starts to fade, however, you’ll see a new person in front of you, someone you may not like very much, let alone want to marry. I would rather know exactly who I’m choosing as my spouse than walk down the aisle with someone I’m head over heels in love with.
  6. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean they’ll make a good partner. You need to choose your future spouse with some practical considerations in mind. Are they responsible with money? Do you respect their career choices? Are you able to resolve arguments in a constructive way? Do you share similar values? If your answer is “no” to any of these questions, they probably won’t make a great spouse, no matter how much you love them.
  7. Your goals must be aligned. The love of your life may have completely different expectations out of life than you do. Loving each other will not make these differences go away. You need to marry someone whose vision for the future complements yours. If you marry someone for love and ignore the fact that you want different things, you will have very little to fall back on when the cloud of adoration dissipates.
  8. Passion is circumstantial. Most people who reminisce about “the one that got away” or the “love of their life” are remembering a period of their life rather than a specific relationship. They long for that one summer when they didn’t have a care in the world, or that year when they were exploring a new place and a new version of themselves. The relationships we have during such informative periods take on outsized roles in our memories. Cherish those memories, but don’t mistake them for lost opportunities.
  9. Lasting love is built on shared experiences. Most people think of love as a youthful emotion, but it’s the opposite. Love develops with time and in ways you can’t anticipate when you walk down the aisle with someone. I want to marry the person who is the right partner for me and who I can imagine being the love of my life in the future. I don’t want to marry someone who I believe is the current love of my life and realize that it’s all downhill from here.
  10. I don’t believe in “True Love” anyway. Let’s dispel the myth that there is only one person in the entire world for each of us, shall we? Out of the nearly eight billion people in the world, how is it possible that there is only one configuration for a happy relationship? It puts far too much pressure on couples and simultaneously gives people a reason not to work out their issues (“Well, if he didn’t agree with me on that, he clearly wasn’t The One”). I’m going to marry someone who recognizes that reaffirming our commitment to each other is a constant process, not a preordained fact of destiny.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.