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I think this younger generation does see the appeal of having a lifelong companion, the emotional stability of a primary partner — they still want all of that. But the actual formality of marriage — and (the potential of) getting out of the marriage if something doesn’t work out — has been a deterrent for them

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“Date to marry is good, but it’s not for everyone,” a friend said when I asked about the concept of dating with the intention of finding one’s lifetime partner and getting married to that person. “The only problem is if that person with the mindset finds someone, they’ll be caged in the relationship, which for me is scary, right?”

There are a lot of possibilities to consider, the friend added, such as falling out of love, differences in attitude, characteristics, time, effort. “It’s overwhelming if you’re the partner who doesn’t have the same mindset as the other.”

Another friend echoes these sentiments, saying: “It can get overwhelming. Because what if you just want to enjoy the relationship without the thought of marriage?”

“If they get there, they’ll get there eventually,” they added.

“It depends on the person,” another answered. “But I think it’s a great mindset, kasi it shows how a person takes their relationship seriously.”

PHOTOGRAPHs COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/eugenivy now and saeed sarshar

“But that doesn’t mean that those without that mindset aren’t serious about their relationship,” they said after a few minutes of pondering. “Marriage is a scary thing.”

While marriage, and for that reason, building a family can be the ultimate dream for some — it isn’t the same for everybody else.

But there are others who dream, those who don’t want to f**k around anymore and waste and invest their time and effort on people who won’t stay. It’s the ideal thing.

For another friend, marriage is reassurance, certainty. “My current relationship is the only relationship I’ve had in my
22-year existence but even before, my mindset was always to date with the intention of marrying,” they said.

They added: “Maybe it boils down to my fear of the uncertainty. Labels are important to me so having that ‘married’ label will give me peace of mind.”

Marriage is a lifelong commitment.

MARRIAGE is a legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship.

To be completely honest, I didn’t have that kind of mindset when I started dating my boyfriend of six years. I didn’t even know what to expect at all, focusing on the now rather than way, way ahead into the future (I was 17 at the time we started dating. He was 18 and we were both college freshmen), and now especially in the time of a global pandemic.

My boyfriend has always been the serious type when it comes to these things, and had thought about marriage from the get-go, apparently.

And through time (six years is a long time), it comes up in our conversation plenty of times. Thankfully we’re both on the same page — not getting married until we’re both financially, mentally stable, and until we’re 100 percent sure of what we’re getting into.

There’s no pressure at all.

But we talk about the details of it, during sentimental nights, and sometimes jokingly. As to how it’ll be intimate, probably in a chapel, anywhere as long as we’re together; with only a few of our closest friends and families; and then, the detailed entourage. The precise details of the gown I’ll wear. The color schemes. Even the menu at the reception. Vows.

Further into the future, a simple yet beautiful house with one or two pets (I’ve taken a liking to cats for the past year and he’s always been a dog lover). He with his collection of figurines and I with a mini library. Traveling all over the world.

(But with or without getting married, I’d like to think that we’d be able to achieve some of those together either way).

And the plans change, like the seasons do. It comes and goes. It comes in waves, sometimes just a gentle nudge of air.

But overall, it’s a nice thought. A future with him in it always brought warmth in my chest, butterflies in my stomach.

“As long as we’re together,” we’ll say.

In an article in indy100.com, Isabelle Mise, Ashley Madison’s communications director, says that Gen Z and millennials saw traditional relationships not work out so they are cautious about the whole marriage thing.

“I think this younger generation does see the appeal of having a lifelong companion, the emotional stability of a primary partner — they still want all of that. But the actual formality of marriage — and (the potential of) getting out of the marriage if something doesn’t work out — has been a deterrent for them,” Mise added.

After six years, we’re still trying to find out what we want to do, what the future holds for us. There’s still a lot that we want to do, together and individually. For now, what matters is it’s still and just us. Marriage is a bridge we’ll have to cross when we get there. As long as we’re together.

Eventually.

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