I’m not the only millennial woman who’s unmarried and has no plans to walk down the aisle. The majority of my friends are enjoying the single life or cohabitating with a partner they’re not married to. It’s not that we’re totally against marriage in principle, it’s that we’re terrified of it—here’s why.
We want to make sure we’re marrying the right person. Long term relationships have their own obstacles but making our love official by way of a certified piece of paper is a huge step to take. I wanna take this huge step with someone I believe in, someone that I trust. He’s gotta be someone who I can get through the rough stuff with. While I believe my boyfriend meets all the criteria, I’m fine taking my time before heading to the altar. I wanna know my boyfriend’s every quirk before tying the knot. I deserve a fulfilling marriage and he’s gotta be aces before I accept the title of “wife”.
We’re going to dedicate the rest of our sex lives to one person. I’m not up for an open marriage so I’ll be stuck having sex with the same person for the rest of my life. We have fantastic sexual chemistry but I have to take a moment to process this thought. If you wait for sex until marriage, big kudos to you. I’d be afraid to end up with a dud between the sheets.
Divorce is super messy. Even though divorce rates are dropping by the year (because our generation is taking our time to get married), divorce is still always a looming possibility for any married couple. The majority of us grew up with divorced parents. The pain and confusion of not having a relationship with my real father was pretty intense growing up. I don’t want to put my future kids through this personal hell nor do I want to make them jump from parent to parent weekly. I can’t even imagine the toll it would take on me if I ever divorced someone I expected to spend the rest of my life with. To top it off, divorce isn’t just super messy but divorce lawyers don’t come cheap either.
Marriage is really expensive. Ugh, the price of marriage is high. There’s the price of a pretty engagement ring and a set of wedding bands plus the actual wedding. Tradition says it’s up to the bride’s family to cough up the cash for the wedding but I don’t expect my parents to pay for my union with someone. Oh, and let’s not forget a relaxing but fancy honeymoon.
We don’t need a man to make or raise a baby. Back in the day, women married and raised children in that exact order. Ladies with serious baby fever had to rely on a good man to not only make a baby with her but to help her support the kiddo. Ambition was a character flaw in a woman, not the cool quality it is. However, thanks to awesome advancements in medicine, we don’t need a man to create a baby these days. It kinda makes marriage somewhat less appealing.
Our future husbands will inherit our financial issues. Student loans and hospital bills killed my credit score. I’m still working my way back up from the black abyss of bad credit that is my life. I don’t wish that money misery on my worst enemy, let alone the man I love. Most of us millennials know all too well the hit our credit has taken for a decent education. I’ve got my own debts and if I get married I’ll inherit any bad credit he has too.
Marriage means we belong to somebody. Traditional marriage hasn’t been kind to women. In the past, parents picked a man for the bride or the man paid a fee for her hand in marriage. Once the nuptials were over, women were a man’s property. Society has changed its outlook on marriage but some men haven’t. I’ve heard horror stories of how the perfect man turned into a beast once the honeymoon was over. Even if my boyfriend is the perfect man and doesn’t consider me property, marriage means I’m responsible for him. Worst yet, the poor guy is responsible for me.
We’re unique individuals and don’t want to lose that. Once married, society makes you act a certain way. People treat couples as if their separate personalities no longer exist and they’ve melded into one human being. After a few years of marriage, that’s the common outcome. Nobody wants to be the couple where you don’t know where the one person begins and the other ends. Last I checked, one and one equals two. I’m an individual with my own dreams and desires and he’s his own person. Merging the two is a scary thought.
“Wife” is just a title. At the end of the day, the word “wife” is just a title and a marriage certificate is just a fancy piece of paper. Neither of these measures the companionship, intimacy, or love between two people. There are just as many loveless marriages as there are loving non-married couples. The next time someone interrogates me about why I’m not married, I’ll be honest. Marriage terrifies me so I’m fine with waiting to take the next step in my relationship.
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