What Is The Purpose Of Marriage? 8 Reasons Tying The Knot Is Still Important

These days, the idea of marriage is incredibly divisive. Some people have sworn off the very idea of ever walking down the aisle while others still see its value. There’s no right way to be in a happy, healthy long-term relationship and you should always do what’s right for you. However, saying “I do” is still important to many people. So what is the purpose of marriage in 2021 and in the future? Read on to find out.

It’s a promise to your partner. At its core, this is all that marriage is. Strip away the politics and the ugly property laws and it’s a sign of trust between you and your partner. I know lots of people are mistrustful of marriage for valid reasons. Truthfully, though, I don’t think people are scared of marriage, they’re just in the wrong relationship. Marriage is by no means the solution for everyone, but if the idea of commitment is scary, that surely betrays a lack of faith in the relationship. We have so much to unlearn about the power dynamics of relationships, particularly those between men and women. At its simplest, marriage is about love and that is why it is important in the modern day. That hasn’t changed.

It’s not about control – forget that. It’s about trust. If you think getting married is signing your rights away, stop right there. You’re doing it wrong! It’s about giving each other space and trusting each other. You don’t have to change to fit the cookie-cutter mold. One of the things no one tells you about marriage? It can be flexible. It has to be.

Marriage can change with the times. We just have to let it. Marriage can be whatever it wants to be. You set the terms and boundaries of your own relationship. Heck, gay marriage had taken several centuries too long to be legalized across the UK and US, things are still changing. We still have lots of work to do to equalize marriage across the rest of the world, and we need to work together to change the institution of marriage where it is still restrictive, rather than abandoning it altogether. Even the language of ‘Mrs. and Mr.’ needs to step outside of traditional gender roles and expectations to be more inclusive. Rather than dismiss the ways in which marriage isn’t modern, we need to roll with the changes.

Change the reputation, make marriage personal. If you still think marriage has a bad reputation, why not be a part of the change and rehabilitate its image. We have to take responsibility for the ill in the world, it is ours, after all. Marriage is simultaneously reducible to a series of property laws, and yet, also, the culmination of the most abstract thing of all: love. We can’t have our cake and eat it too. Marriage keeps the world moving, it creates families – it’s not the only way of making families, but it’s a big ‘un.

It provides safety and structure. Families suffering from bereavement gain inheritance securities and support from the state through their participation in a marriage. This is mostly logistical, but it’s important.

Show the world your love. The ring is a simple emblem of your relationship. You can tell everyone around you that you’re spoken for and they’ll (hopefully) respect that. You don’t even have to say a word – your commitment is unspoken. Whether you’re dancing at a bar with your friends, or at a work conference trying to let off steam, it lets everyone around know your intentions. Heck, I know some people who change a random ring onto their ring finger for events so that people will leave them alone. Yes, that speaks volumes about the way our society treats cheating and loyalty, but hey, it works.

It’s cheaper. Okay, maybe this kills a few birds with one stone. Yes, yes, you’re committing to the love of your life, sure sure sure, but think about the efficiency. You can move in together if you haven’t already. You get your names on the same envelope. Also, you only pay one rent, you can start a Pinterest board of design ideas for your house. Planning for the future is one of life’s treats. If you want to, you can think about children, your future, the holidays you might take together. All the things that might be possible that might not have been with just one paycheck. You get all the benefits of collaborating, working together, and yes, getting your parents off your back. Everybody can get their version of the white picket fence. That’s what marriage is. It isn’t the white picket fence to everyone, but that’s the whole point I’m making here. You get to chose that, and that’s why marriage is still so important. There’s work to do but isn’t that true of every relationship anyway?

Elope, if that takes the pressure off! You don’t owe anyone a performance of your love, but don’t tie that up with marriage itself. Get your friend wine-drunk and ordained online and make your marriage your safe space from start to finish. Drop the rules at the door and hang ten.

So what is the purpose of marriage? At the end of the day, it’s all about marking your commitment to your partner in a significant way. Is a wedding the only way to do that? Certainly not, but it is the way many people want to do it, and that’s just fine!

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