Community: Why Marriage Is Not The End Of Freedom

Do single people really have more freedom than their married counterparts?  Many singles firmly believe that they are much freer to do as the please than they would be if they were to tie the knot.  In fact, the fear of losing one’s freedom is the most common excuse that women site on LuvemOrLeavem when they discuss why their long time boyfriends say that they are not ready for marriage.

After pouring over the dating stories that are posted on our site as well as taking a close look at the singles that I know, I've concluded that the type of person that you're involved with is much important to freedom than whether or not you are married.  In fact, I would argue that many people that are dating have less freedom than those who are in solid, trusting marriages.  Here are some of the main reasons why married versus single does not hold the key to how much freedom you have in your relationship.

With Age Comes Responsibility-
Whether you're single or married, as you get older you will take on more responsibility.  I know plenty of people who argue that they have the freedom to hop in the car and head to Vegas for the weekend because they don’t have a spouse waiting at home to tell them that they can't go.  These same people have jobs and other commitments that keep them from being able to just jump in the car and head out of town whenever the mood strikes them.  Of course that little fact often goes unnoticed as they go on and on about all the extra freedom that they have because they are unattached.

It All Depends on Who You're Seeing- When my husband wants to go out with the guys, the conversation is short.  He checks to see if we have plans or if I'm counting on him to pick up the kids. If we don't have prior plans, then he's all set to head out.  I don't ask questions about why he wants to go out, I already know that he needs some guy time and if an emergency crops up I know how to reach him.  Of course if I want to head out with my friends, I also know that after a quick courtesy phone call, I'm all set to go.

Now I know many couples, some married, but most just dating, where this quick conversation develops into a full blown debate.  There are questions about who is going, why they are going and maybe even a guilt trip about why they want alone time with their friends.  Even worse, the kind of person that requires their partner to be granted "permission" to head out without them is often the same person that will maintain constant cell phone contact with their partner while they are out with their friends. How Negativity Affects Your Relationship

This sure doesn't sound like freedom, yet I know many people who have to go through this ritual with the person that they are dating.  Yes, some married couples also make their spouse play 20 questions before they go out.  Over time, most married couples in this situation either outgrow the need to micromanage their spouse's time without them, or they don't stay married very long.  If your partner is insecure or controlling, then you really have no freedom regardless of whether you are single or married.

To Have Trust You Need to Earn Trust-
In defense of those people who micromanage their partner's time away from them, there are some that have good reason to worry.  Some women have already had their partner prove that he is not trustworthy by staying out until all hours, driving home drunk or sometimes even cheating on them when they head out on their own.  It's not surprising that these women want to try to keep tabs on their man, because he has shown that he can't be trusted.  People that are trustworthy, whether married or dating, tend to have more freedom than those that have been dishonest in the past.  Of course, trying to keep tabs on a dishonest partner is never going to make that partner trustworthy, but I can appreciate why these women feel the need to try to rein in their man whenever he is out of their sight. How To Feel Closer To Your Partner

So, on the surface it may seem that people who are single have more freedom than those who are married, but it is usually the people with the least freedom that feel the need to constantly brag about how much freedom they have.  Marriage is only the end of your freedom if you let it become that way, and this can just as easily happen even when you are dating.  Now it's true that once you add children to the mix, freedom and spontaneity will take a hiatus from your life for a while, but that is a separate aspect from the married versus single debate.