Wow. So I just read two articles: One puts me in the category of women who are hardly getting married and the other stated that A LOT of people aren't getting married...
First, I want to confess that I WANT TO GET MARRIED. And I don't care if that puts me in the minority, because I am already in the category of women who apparently don't get married very often (black women). Here's why:
I am one of those women who came out of the womb planning her special day with her special guy. And as I got older I saw marriage as a goal, something I want to accomplish. I want to have a family. I want to be in love. Not only that, my desire to marry also comes from what I don't want. I don't want to have a child out of wedlock. I don't want to be alone my whole life. I don't want to have sex with bunches and bunches of men. I don't want to continue to have to decipher who's going to treat me right and who's not. I don't want to continue to deal with men who aren't good enough for me. The fact is marriage to the right guy will control for all of that. If he's the right guy, he will want to have kids with me. He will not leave me. He'll enjoy sex just as much as I do. He's going to treat me right. He'll be good enough for me, because he is the right man for me.
Now, I have learned that a lot of other factors can affect what kind of future you'll see with a guy. Like where you meet him. Now this doesn't mean that you open your options by getting on websites like myspace or facebook and looking for a date. It means that if you're at your sister's basketball game and you see someone attractive, you introduce yourself. It means that you can't be opposed to dating outside your race. It means you can't be too picky about age. (Yes, in some cases age discrimination is a good thing. Someone in a different stage of life than you is usually not a good way to go.) It means you don't blow him off for wearing pants a little tighter than you'd like. As for myspace and facebook as a dating site - not a good idea. The kind of person who is open to dating somebody they met from myspace or facebook is usually not the kind of person in it for the long term. (and by long term I mean more than a month or so.) Thinking outside of the box means being discriminate about some things and lenient about others. It means doing things differently than you have been in order to get different results.
Now as far as the death of marriage. How horrible! What a terrible way to think. What has our society come to when our young men can't even be bothered to "go steady" and therefore growing up into older men who "don't believe in marriage"? It's all delusion. It's all so much easier to just "do what we've been doing instead of complicating things with committment". Like, seriously? That's bullshit. It's utter bullshit. And then the women who buy into that... They were in love. I mean, you find this guy who is utterly insanely right for you. You guys get along so well. You're in restaurants and it's like "poppity pop pop"! You're the couple everyone wants to be. And you have to admit, you thought you heard wedding bells. But then this guy says "why complicate things with marriage? things are good the way they are." And you, my smitten kitten, listen. You listen because what's your alternative? Breaking it off with him and faced with being alone the better half of your life? Faced with having to enter the dreaded and confusing dating scene again? Having to play all those head games just to get a month or two out of the guy before he splits? Exactly. You stay because it's easier. You stay because you love him. And 50% of marriages end in divorce anyway right? Who's to say that won't happen to you? But let's be frank about that statement. If and when you do break up with this guy, it will feel like a divorce. It will hurt like a divorce. And either way you will still feel like a fool for believing any part of his bullshit.
I think the death of Marriage comes from the birth of other things. It comes from the acceptance of non-monogamist relationships. It comes from the aid of technology. It comes from different schools of thought reigning over traditionalism. It comes, also, from the decline of religion. People are creating avenues where there were none before. Embarking on a marriage - on a lifelong committment - just seems so improbable when there are so many other avenues for people to take. Which I don't think is a bad thing - I think it's just most things are relatively new. And people don't know how to incorporate these things into the way they previously thought, so they exchange it for a brand new way of thinking.
At it's simplest form, Marriage is two people who want to declare their love to God and enter into a covenant with God through that person. Call me crazy, but there is something sacred about that vow you take. You're going to tell me that you love me, and you can't imagine your life without me - but you can't be bothered to say a few words and sign your name on a sheet of paper? Does that really sound right? It doesn't to me. Your marriage will be what you put into it. And if you're saying you can't bring yourself to take a vow to God to be with me the rest of your life - then you're saying you don't truly believe you just want to be with me. You're saying that you don't believe you can put that into it, what you claim to already be putting into it. And so, at the very least, I don't want anybody by my side for a lifetime that can't physically take a vow to do it. I can't believe in someone who can't believe in marriage.
I continue to remain optimistic. I would rather be alone than be hurt by anyone else. And I am confident I will find the right guy for me. Eventually. May have a few more frogs to kiss before one turns into my prince. But I am willing to wait.