There’s a movie roaming around Netflix called “November Rule.” It’s an interesting flick that reveals the character of a young man who breaks up with his significant other right before the holidays. His plan is to pursue the relationship again right after Valentine’s Day. His premise is that during the holidays and up until Valentine’s Day, relationships get sticky. There are parties, and gifts, and niceties that are required and he’s just not into it. So, rather than put in the work, he finds a convenient excuse to call it quits with his girl until after all the hoopla has passed. Conveniently, his reason for ending it in November no longer exists after mid-February…thus, “November Rule.”
Sounds like a load of nonsense, right?
Well, follow me on this. There are many people who approach, or back away, from marriage for basically the same reason. To them, marriage makes relationships sticky. There are commitments, and compromises, and responsibilities that are required and they’re just not into it. So, rather than put in the work, they find a convenient excuse to downplay the idea of marriage in hopes that all the hoopla will pass. One such excuse that is brilliantly played is the concept that marriage is outdated. In this day and age, who needs a piece of paper to validate their relationship? As long as you love each other, that’s all that matters.
Sounds like a load of nonsense, right?
Well, like I said, it’s an argument that’s brilliantly played. You see, I can’t think of a better way for those who opt-out to make those who opt-in appear sheepish than to call their age-old institution old-fashioned and irrelevant. To bolster their argument, they cite such things as high divorce rates, lack of intimacy (which can lead to infidelity), and loss of excitement once the paper has been signed. Basically, by signing the paper and jumping the broom, they are killing the relationship. To save their relationship, they shouldn’t do what their ancestors did hundreds of years ago, they should evolve and recognize that true love doesn’t need a piece of paper to prove it and make it last. That kind of thing is old-fashioned. You see what they’ve done there?
To be honest, I can’t say that I’m a fan of this debate. It has too much of an “us”-vs-“them” feel that, quite frankly, is unnecessary. If you really break it down, those who choose to marry and those who choose to be in a relationship without getting married want the exact same things. What are those things?
A sacred, honest relationship
Whether or not you choose marriage, if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you consider it a sacred union in which honesty is a priority. You don’t want a partner who cheats on you or takes the relationship lightly. This is a must-have if the relationship is going to last.
A trustworthy friend
You want to be able to freely laugh, cry, and act the fool with your life partner. This is the person you emotionally allow into places that no one else should have access to. You are the most vulnerable with them and they are your soft place to fall.
A spicy sex life
When it’s time to get busy in the bedroom, there’s only one person you want to get busy with. Maintaining a hot, spicy, and active sex life requires work and commitment whether you’re married or not.
A strong family unit
If you and your partner choose to have children, then you do so knowing you plan to build a strong family unit on a solid lifetime foundation. This applies to married and unmarried couples who have decided they want to be in a committed relationship for life.
As we can see, there really is no “us”-vs-“them” when it comes to what couples in married and unmarried relationships want. And, I’m talking about the relationships where, like maturing a fine wine, these couples are willing to properly harvest and put in the work to make the relationship grow and last. There is one major difference, however.
There is an amazing sense of peace that I get from knowing that my husband and I are truly one. According to the laws of the land, nothing can separate us without our say so. Aside from the other four reasons stated above, that peace also comes from that piece of paper we signed when we tied the knot.
So, to those who say that having that piece of paper is outdated and old-fashioned, I say this: In this article, you can have four reasons marriage is not outdated. Or, you can have five.
BMWK, what are some other reasons marriage is not outdated?