At the peak of maturity (or perhaps only after a major consumption of alcohol), every single mortal faces the great existential question “To be or not to be... married?”, to which, unlike a few decades and mentalities ago, they can give at least two “valid” answers.
Social coercion of marriage of the past seems to progressively diminish, as the model of celibacy or consensual union begins to gain more and more ground. But not enough. For some people, marriage continues to be wrapped into a bright aura, to render positive emotions and tears, to value enough to determine the investment of a small fortune in the ceremony itself.
For others, on the other hand, this form of conventional existence manages only to frighten them, like a bomb threat.
Usually, the most fortunate of young ladies are voluntarily asked to unite their destiny for eternity with the man deeply in love with them, who necessarily proposes them on his knees at the light of the most romantic candles in the world, or gives them thrills with the ring hidden in cakes or champagne.
The less fortunate ones, however, feel the need to personally take initiative, allusively and quite accidentally reminding their undecided lovers that, after several years of living heroically under the same roof with the typical masculine whims, they would deserve a brief and magnificent visit to the civil status officer. At least that much.
Teams are, therefore, divided, and marriage is no longer seen by all people with the same benevolent eyes like in other times. There are, on the one hand, the conservative “sentimentalists” who can't enjoy a relationship without vows and altar (women planning their ideal wedding, starting with the first day of puberty or men who do not feel fully fulfilled if they do not have their partner with legal papers) and on the other hand, the modernists detached from obligations and limiting responsabilities (women who project their marriage in an undefined future, because they always have one more course to complete, one more university to graduate, to pursue the dream job, or gentlemen who politely refuse to sacrifice their supreme freedom, no matter how in love and pleased they would be in relation to their beloved one).
At one of the extremes are, therefore, those who do not sustain at all the traditional idea of marriage and feel cold thrills on their back at the mere thought of it, at the other one, there are the impatient ones who can’t wait to shout a firm and decided “Yes!”, in front of all relatives and friends reunited in a compact group of wedding guests moved and devoted to the “cause” itself.
The reasons why the first category choose not to take the “big step” are quite varied: either they hate the wedding dress or the groom suit (according to the case), or they do not believe in institutions and formalities, they don’t want children and then... what’s the point? They follow an evil plan to take revenge on their parents who daily press them with “growing up and finding their personal place”, they are afraid of divorce, they prefer a non-exclusive, open relationship with their partner, or simply they see marriage as a sentence to monotony, permanent explanations, restrictions and unhappiness etc.
The others dare because for them to be married is equally romantic and necessary... because all their friends have already done it, because this way they increase their chances of being promoted at work, because they want children and this requires a “legal” context necessary to their growth, because they want to receive congratulations and gifts or, simply, they want to be “like everyone else” and so forth.
Nothing is out of the question; people have all sorts of reasons (intrinsic or extrinsic) when they are pro or against marriage, which, despite the contradictory expectations and premonitions, does not do super wonders in a family, reactivating vegetative loves and spreading continuous happiness, nor does irreparable damages, limiting freedoms and ruining otherwise innocent destinies. Even if the world overestimates either its importance or futility. Absolutely for nothing.
Without being deeply influenced by one or the other, when thinking about formalizing a relationship, you should consider at least the following practical aspects:
1.-Marriage does not eliminate those shortcomings that the partnership experiences in its natural state (not legalized), nor does it supplement the daily dose of love or respect.
Some naive still live with the illusion that all the “spots”, the shortcomings and the lacks of a relationship may be definitively wiped off by the magical sponge generically called “marriage” and that, once enterred into the world of married people, they will become more responsible and conscientious in relation to their own life as a couple.
Reality shows, however, that if your boyfriend does not give you enough attention before the marriage, or he is unfaithfull, grouchy, distant or capricious when he does not have yet a wedding ring on his finger, changing his marital status will not transform him overnight into the most caring, faithful and understanding man.
Also, if your girlfriend is not exactly to your liking, needing major adjustments in “attitude and behavior”, it does not mean that the three-day and three-night wedding that you're planning just like in fairy tales, will turn her into a good fairy, willing to satisfy all your wishes.
The wedding ring therefore has absolutely no power in itself. And formalizing a deficient relationship does not mean curing her from any disease and harm.
What is not adjusted before marriage, can hardly be adjusted afterwards.
2.-Even if some people say so, marriage is not an absolute nullity, without any practical benefit in a person's life.
Those who oppose marriage (and any type of convention, in general) always tend to undermine the potential benefit that this formality might have in a couple's life, as if, by recognizing even a minimal contribution, would automatically place them in the category of narrow-minded conformists.
But, just like any contract, from a legal point of view, marriage involves a series of rights and duties that regulate not only the financial, administrative or bureaucratic side of legally recognized cohabitation, but also offers a certain sense of security and stability that some people need as a heavy dose of caffeine in the busy days.
Therefore, if you are a pragmatic person and have no patience to listen to the speech of the functionary informing you that you cannot get a certain document in the name of your partner because you love him/her only in private, not also before the law or, at least, before a minor deity with special competences (such as the notary who can issue a power of attorney), a reliable option is to take a walk to the civil status office to honorably resolve the problem. Even if later you will be assaulted by friends not only with flowers and rice, but also with a few soapy comments coming from the nihilists who aggressively separate love from any piece of paper. Though, sometimes, they are connected.
3.-Marriage saves you from “gossips”, but what's the point?
Maybe you already got tired of the looks full of pity of your acquaintances, who, in their incommensurable indignation, betray all sorts of deep reflections, like “Poor her, she definitely has some serious problem, since nobody ever wanted to marry her!” or “Poor him, until when will he continue to wash his socks by himself?”. Which is why you would even be able to suddenly go to the church and ask the priest for an instant blessing. What's the point, though?
If you valorize marriage only because your acquaintances negotiate it at a good price on the counter, you are very likely to experience a lot of suffering because of this loan of mentality to which you temporarily resort. A marriage taking place due to external pressure will last as long as a train stops at the station.
After calming down the waters troubled by mommy and daddy on the grounds that “all your university colleagues already have two, three children, and you have not even bothered to get married”, you will no longer be interested in the opinion of others, but only in your own thoughtlessness of having taken such a decision for a completely wrong reason. And what's next?
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Regardless of the position you embrace related to the alternative of marriage, it is important to do it in an assumed, well-informed, honest and personal way. To get rid of your fears (of any kind) and to remain immune to the influence of others. There are things too “sensitive” involved, so you should not act otherwise than in accordance with your own conscience.