Reminder: Getting Married Is Not An Achievement

Reminder: Getting Married Is Not An Achievement ©iStock/Aldo Murillo

Marriage is a beautiful and amazing journey but ladies, we need to stop seeing it as a goal or accomplishment, because it’s neither of those things. Not convinced? Consider this:

  1. Anyone can get married. You don’t really need any talents or qualifications to get married. Love is hardwired into all of us. You know that you don’t require much intelligence or personality to get hitched, either. Admit it — you’ve seen some of your friends’ husbands and shaken your head.
  2. You don’t need validation. If you’ve been single for a long time, the idea of finding a partner you could imagine spending your life with might feel like winning the lottery — something amazing that isn’t likely to happen. So when it does, you might view it as something worthy of cracking open the champagne and screaming out that you’re special after all. Whoa, wait. You sort of lost me after champagne. See, starting a life journey with someone is exciting but it shouldn’t validate you. You don’t need a marriage to feel special or realize your worth.
  3. You have more important goals. Marriage is cool but it’s not defined as a goal. It’s basically a choice between two people who want to spend their lives together. Goals don’t depend on other people — and they shouldn’t, because they’re something you achieve for your own happiness and self-growth. In other words, those things for which you do need skills and talents.
  4. No one is going to complete you. Can we stop the references to Jerry Maguire already? Making marriage your most important goal could cause you to wait for someone to come along and make everything okay or make you feel like a complete person. It’s not going to happen. You know why? Because you’re already a complete person. You don’t need to elevate getting hitched to something that will make you special because that’s warped and doesn’t happen outside of rom-coms.
  5. You feel like a failure if you don’t get married and that’s BS. If you happen not to get married, you might think that you’ve failed or that there’s something wrong with you, and that’s just not the case. Marriage doesn’t always guarantee feelings of satisfaction and happiness — just check out the divorce stats for proof of that.
  6. You risk settling. If marriage is such a huge priority, you might resort to settling if you don’t find the right partner. You might think that if you don’t hurry up and get the ring, you’ll end up alone and unhappy, so you get hitched to a guy who’s sort of great but not your first choice. Why the hell would you do that? Why feel the need to prove something — and to whom? You’re only denying yourself the chance to find a really fulfilling relationship if you settle for the wrong guy and that’s really no accomplishment at all.
  7. You can be happy without the ring. A woman can have a successful career and a really awesome life, but at dinner parties or weddings people will still ask her, “So, why aren’t you married yet?” This crap needs to stop. People are placing too much focus on marriage as being the ultimate achievement but it shouldn’t shadow other goals and successes in life. It should never be thought of as the recipe for happiness either because you can honestly be happy AF without it. And you can go and buy your own god-damned ring.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.