For various reasons, the idea of marriage is becoming less and less of choice. Couples, it appears are opting for the defacto type relationship (although for some reason most people hate that word, including myself, so it seems, most are opting to call it 'living together).
Realistically, living as a defacto couple and being married are pretty much one and the same, however the latter costs a lot more as you sign those papers (e.g. the wedding). But the convenient thing is if you chose to live in a defacto relationship there are again no papers, and in this case no lawyer (again more cost). The end result with a defacto is that most people walk way without much of an argument, objects go back to their original owners, or things are split in some weird but normally civil way. For example, my stereo went to my Ex and he gave me his microwave. Although I have been told on good authority that a defacto relationship can cost you a house.
Turning 29, having in the past, been in three very long defacto relationships, and now very single living by myself and sharing my affections with cat has lead me to question this marriage thing. I've annoyed many people with the question of why no one's really doing it anymore.
For now I've come up with Four major reasons why people are not tying the knot (I'm sure there's many more, but that may take forever). So here we go...
1. The Fairytale
As young girls many of us have dreamt of that special day in every woman's life; their wedding day. It starts off with that knight in shining armor riding in on a beautiful dark horse and sweeping you literally off your feet. This man will be your soul mate, your bestfriend, the most tender and magnificent lover, you and he will be unbreakable. Well that's what Hollywood would like us to believe (I'd really like to believe this too), however for most, life has taught us differently.
Maybe that's the problem, we're all still waiting for that perfect person to walk into our life, who I'm sure cannot possibly exist (oh no, I didn't say that! I still have time. I'm not that old. I'm sure he's out there!)
So we seem to settle with "well I guess I do love you, and it was really passionate at the start. And there are some moments when I really love you, but then there are times when you annoy the absolute hell out of me, so no you can't be 'the one'. But I will stick with you for now, I mean every else is doing it, I don't want to be left out.(oh God and be single!)"
2.Children, of divorced parents
Well you don't have to be a genius to work this theory out. After speaking with many people who come from broken families (divorced parents), most pretty much say the same thing. What's the point, most marriages end in divorce, so why spend a fortune on getting married when you can just live with the person you love? It doesn't seem to even matter whether the divorce of these peoples parents was dramatic or non-eventful. Most of these people with divorced parents just don't think marriage is a plausible option.
In adults aged 20-35, this appears to be the most common reason for them not wanting to marry. A most widely heard statement seems to be " it's only a piece of paper."
For the majority of working class, middle class, and some upper middle class, money is best spent on reality, such as a house. I am actually one for this. Although I would love to get married, I am a realist. I don't want 'the rock' (I think it's a tradition that wastes a deposit on a house), and I think the full blown wedding is a waste of money. But I would like my closest friends and family to witness me declaring my love to 'the one' (once I hunt him down). My fantasy would probably come pretty cheap, I think a ceremony near the beach and a reception at the Portsea pub in Melbourne, with a guitarist, and then after 11pm, kick the oldies out and play some techno would be my idea of the 'perfect wedding'.
(Oops, I got lost in the moment then...well each to their own!)
These days with the amount you need for a stable future for not only yourself, but partner, and possibly children, many of us cannot afford to spend on things that we can go without. Such as the cost of a wedding.
4. Old school families
Sadly I am in the group of the 'old school parents.' I knew my mother was miserable when my father took us from our cozy little private school environment, to rural western Victoria. I cannot speak for my mother, as she passed away 9 years ago, but I vividly remembering her looking "down her nose" upon those 'who divorced' (though my guess is that she may have wanted one, but would never consider the notion). I also recall the lack of touching, intimacy and support between her and my father.
I always thought I would want to get married, but when I think of the life my parents led it makes me think of women being "controlled" and extreme boredom. Things are different for women these days, no question, but unless you share the same goals, hopes and dreams as your chosen "one" you may find yourself disappointed.
So there are a few reasons why many people aren't tying the knot any more.
Of course this is an opinion shared and what I have come across. For those of you out there who are happily married or about to tie the knot - all the best to you and congratulations!
I wish you all the best in finding 'the one' regardless of whether you marry him or not!
- Louise Ganey