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Why I Think Marriage Is Overrated

When I say I don’t wish for marriage, people often assume I don’t believe in love, but this isn’t true. My understanding of what love is, and what I value in a relationship, are my reasons for being indifferent to marriage. The reality is, I don’t believe in religion and I don’t buy into respectability politics, so why would I hold marriage in high esteem?

Most people will try and convince me of the sanctity of marriage by arguing that it makes a relationship valid. This makes no sense to me. My parents have only recently gotten engaged despite being together for around 25 years. I grew up knowing they love one another and they are often the example my friends and cousins will use for the “perfect” couple. When I look at the relationships around me that have stood the test of time, some are marriages and others aren’t and so I’ve concluded that marriage isn’t a defining factor of a successful relationship.

When I was at school I remember distinctly having a conversation with some girls whose parents were all married, in which they looked down on our family because my parents aren’t married. Yet, from the stories they told about their home lives, the ones most adamant that marriage is the only way, had parents that were just cohabitating. I didn’t feel as though they had healthy relationships, and I couldn’t understand why these girls aspired to that over what I understand to be love. I think that this is one of the first times I thought about what marriage is and what it actually means.