We are entering the peak wedding season, and suddenly everyone seems to have decided to get married. You see it all over your feed, your mates from high school, college, childhood friends, colleagues — at least there’s someone you know who’s tying the knot. It’s all happening around you. Meanwhile, if you’re one of us who’s so far from the realm of marriage, don’t freak out since it’s totally valid and ok to feel and think the opposite.
Statistics says that couples, particularly amongst millennials and Gen Z are mostly the ones with cold feet. There’s different reasons why people choose not to conform in this outdated tradition so some just stick with love and commitment without paperwork.
And just as there are lovely reasons to get married and celebrate, there are a whole lot of reasons not to, as well. There are a massive stigma and shame attached to the latter and it’s quite difficult to navigate this choice because society treats “marriage” as a universal end goal (especially for women), but things are changing today.
Here’s why it’s OK not to want to get married because it’s nobody’s damn business:
It’s Extremely Patriarchal
When you’re of Asian descent, let alone Filipino and a brought up in a religious household, the family endlessly bombard you with questions like, “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” “When are you getting married?” and for us who’s opposed to the idea and don’t have plans at all, everyone tends to be totally shocked and force you to think differently.
History wise, looking at the grand scheme of things, marriage culture is extremely patriarchal and tend to generally judge a woman’s worth seen as the ultimate trophy. The idea that our worth, purpose, or happiness should be dependent to men looks restricted, limiting and operates from a place of low self-worth due to these constructs which are far outdated on where we are now with the whole rise of feminism and activism. We are so much more.
Different Lifestyle and Finances
To long-distance relationships, digital nomads and such, marriage stands in a blurred line due to these circumstances. It takes a huge shift to meet halfway and decide which way to go (mainly if it takes moving countries and all that). Independence and freedom of choice seem to be an occurring theme here. The thing is people can still stay together so intimately and whole-heartedly, that marriage wouldn’t be necessary to feel assurance and safety.
In addition, one significant topic that couples go through is talking finances. While our parents may come from a place where it is shared, I’ve heard so many stories today that partners keep their finances separate. Marriage makes it seems obligatory. And some of us prefer not to get in the mix here. Money insecurities aren’t pretty and initiate powerplay. Besides, the cost for dress, venues, rings — it all just seems so superficial.
Equal Rights For All!
Marriage is a lot more political than one would normally think. For our LGBTQ+ friends, same-sex marriage still isn’t legal in many countries (though shouts to Taiwan for being the first one in Asia to legalize it!) But otherwise, the rest still bats a conservative, homophobic eye on the community. Honestly, all they ask are equal rights and treatments. And unless everyone’s accepted in this tradition and law, marriage remains questionable.
Plus this culture is unethically steeped in sexism. There are a million child brides, arranged marriages that it’s an alarming rate and issue we need to address. For a man to essentially treat a woman as possession without her full consent is wrong on all ends. I’m all for celebrating love and don’t criticize friends and family who get married. However, for me, the underlying ideas, practices it promotes is not something I stand by with.
Look, when it comes to dating and relationships, everyone has different expectations and opinions. Some remain single, some get married and I wish them all happiness in the world, and some are in a romantic relationship for a long time but have no intention of walking down the aisle and that’s totally ok for whatever reason they choose or relate to.
At the end of the day, I assure you are not the only one who thinks this way. There’s no shame. Go forth value your own individuality and opinions, not everything is about what society demands you to be. Continue making your own choices — they are as powerful as everyone else’s.