Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cutting the cake

There are some who have dated for just a few months and gotten engaged and then those that wait years and still haven't received a proposal.

And while every relationship is different, and the gestation period for the BIG QUESTION differs depending on the couple, I wonder if there is such a thing as "too soon" or perhaps "too long to wait."

In a world where men can date, cohabitate and not marry, some argue that they are not encouraged to marry. After all, they're getting all the perks without the "punishment." They have their cake and get to eat it too.

And so, their ladies wait and wait, making excuses, pretending they're not that eager to marry, when they've already chosen their wedding colors, gown, and venue.

1, 2, 3... 6, 8, 10 years later their relationships are still ring-less and I can't help but wonder why.

Are their men still looking for the one? Afraid to settle down with the wrong choice of woman? Should the women express their concern and set an appropriate time line?

Or is it only a matter of time before their both having their wedding cake, and eating it too?


Jared said...

Say I'm a man. I'm in a committed long-term relationship. Name a reason I should want to get married.

Chrissie said...

To make a lifelong commitment to the woman you love in front of your friends and family.


I dunno... that's the line I hear most women use;)

Jared said...

Sounds good...but why do we have to get the government involved?

Chrissie said...

I guess on the one hand, "getting the government involved" in this instance might actually benefit you. Think of the tax breaks!

I googled "reasons to get married" and there was a list of 5 things...

1. Companionship
2. Romance
3. Household support
4. Family
5. Financial security

Eh... 1-3 could happen without a marriage license, and technically number 4 as well. The financial security thing only applies if the marriage doesn't end in divorce;)

But to re-answer your first question... the only reason you SHOULD get married is because you WANT to I guess.

So that brings me to my next question... why do some men (and women) NOT want to get married?

Jared said...

When I make a decision I look at risk vs. reward. Being in an unhappy marriage is torture and getting a divorce is a financial and emotional disaster. Where is the upside?

That might be a coldhearted way to approach something that is supposed to be about love, but the reality is that it's a legal contract.

Like you said, most good things about a good marriage were there before you got married. Marriage just makes it all irrevocable.

Sten said...

Love is why people stay together in a relationship. Legal crap is why you should get married.

#1 If you plan on having children, it's nice to have the same last name. Less confusing for the tyke.

#2 Insurance. It is much easier to share full coverage with a spouse than a "partner."

#3 Assets. If you both pay for the mortgage, car, helicopter, spaceship ... your personal contribution is more protected in case you split up.

#4 Uncle Sam kinda gives you a tax break when you're married.

#5 If one of you gets sick, or even dies you have no say in the other's care, or even a right to information if you aren't married. There is no boyfriend/girlfriend clause.

Chrissie said...

i assume the rewards would be...

emotional security, knowing your partner will be there no matter what circumstances happen.

family, starting your own, having children, creating a home.

again, they can be "present" in an ordinary, non-married couple, but i think marriage brings a different dynamic, a higher level of trust that when things are good... is probably quite an emotional award.

and as sten said... at least if you're married you get to choose where to bury the ol' ball and chain when they go!

Header said...

Y'all are forgetting the most important reason.

Wedding Gifts.

After many of THOSE have you given? Wouldn't it be nice to get some back?

Sten said...

I don't know ... I've already got a blender, and it's not worth it to me to have to fill out all those thank you notes ...

Jamie said...

Huge life decisions are tough to make, so a lot of people would just assume not make them. Maybe guys are feeling less pressure to pop the question?

While I can’t hear women’s thoughts aloud, like Mel Gibson in that movie, it’s been to my experience that they can be every bit as hesitant to get hitched as men. Particularly professional women—I think the career impact of marriage, children and home ownership is felt equally by both genders in the modern world, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Most positions held by women in our hemisphere didn’t even exist a generation ago, and their inception has brokered independent thinkers who have more than just marriage and kids on the brain. Of course I could be way off here. Maybe it’s the same old male-pattern commitment-phobia that causes these long relationships to go un-ringed. But the sacrifice and the risks are shared between the man and the woman more now than ever before (in any society). There’s a lot less arm-folding and foot-tapping than there used to be. Just a theory.

Sten said...

Good points Jamie. Men are not alone in the arena of commitment-phobia. I find myself battling an internal tug-o-war between wanting to be a pampered drunken house wife and a cougar who preys on young illegal immigrants. Life choices are difficult.

sarah said...

Sten, i love you.

As for this topic, i think men don't plan.

Men don't think about what they are going to eat for dinner. they have no idea what they are going to do tonight. they don't know what shirt they'll wear tomorrow.

I, on the other hand, know there is chicken marinating in the refrig that has to get eaten, that I'm going to zumba and then meeting friends for drinks afterwards, and that tomorrow, I want to sport my brown wedges (those are shoes, guys).

Men and women are two different beings. And we complement each other so well, so I am so grateful I'm marrying someone that can say, "Sarah, come sit with me on the couch for an hour." Otherwise I'd be marinating meats for 2010!

jake said...

my grandpa's expression was "why buy the cow if you get the milk for free?"

marriage is unnecessary today until you're ready for kids. for the sake of children we make our commitment to god and to each other that we won't break up just because the sex got boring.

Sten said...

That's pretty much how I feel, unless I'm out for the guy's money ... but then again, it might be less messy to just acquire my own wealth.