Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not a man who is against marriage by any stretch of the imagination. Marriage is a beautiful, wonderful thing that every person should get to experience in his or her life. Finding your soul’s counterpoint in one another and all that jazz, and making it official with a beautiful commitment ceremony followed by a party with an ice luge, a chocolate fountain, and a chicken finger buffet is a glorious thing. I should wish that everybody knows the bliss of holy matrimony coupled with copious desserts. Mazel.
I am also not against getting engaged or married young, at all. If that’s something you want to do, then go with whatever deity you worship. Knock yourself out. If you think you know yourself well enough to commit to someone else and you think you’ve found the one, lock that shit DOWN. I don’t care whether it’s your high school sweetheart, your classic fraternity-sorority lovey dovey couple, or the person you met on JDate two weeks ago–when you’re thinking about getting engaged or saying yes, having the ability to run around with a diamond ring on your finger or being able to sit at the bar with your boys and raise an endless toast to “being tied down,” you really need to think about what you’re giving up for getting married. You definitely need to consider the reasons you’re doing it and weigh if they’re worth it or not. Here are some things you need to consider before posting “SHE/I SAID YES” all over every social media outlet possible.
We need to talk about what I mean by “freedom.” I do not mean the ability to indiscriminately bang everything that moves, because if you’re in a position of getting engaged, you shouldn’t be doing that anyway. If you’re out banging other people while your significant other is trying to marry you, you’re a scumbag. Freedom isn’t about the freedom to date and/or screw the brains out of other people.
I am mainly talking about the freedom to do whatever you want with your life. As a 20-something, or even a 30-something, we have the unique ability to do whatever the hell we want. If you decide you want to up and move to Nashville and get a job in the record industry, you can do just that with little to no recourse or backlash. You finish out your lease, pack your bags, quit your job, and go. Your only issues then are, frankly, finding a job and being able to feed, clothe, and shelter yourself until you do.
If you’re engaged or married, this isn’t the case. Now you can’t just worry about yourself–you have to worry about your significant other as well. What if he or she can’t move away because of a job or graduate school? What if your S.O. just doesn’t want to move to a big city, or anywhere at all? Then what do you do? Do you sacrifice your passion for the person you married, settle into a job that gives you no fulfillment, and call it a day? Or do you spurn the person you claim to love unconditionally and do it anyway? Is there a compromise that can be made here? Sure, I know a ton of young, married couples who live in separate places during the week due to work and spend weekends together. But is “married on the weekends” really a marriage? I don’t know, I’m not married. But it’s a definite concern.
I don’t know if it is true that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, in this country or otherwise, but I’ll definitely tell you that it’s a significant enough number, especially among younger people, and one of the biggest things that people who get divorced fight about is money. I guess cash truly does rule everything around me. C.R.E.A.M. Get the money. Dollar dollar bills, y’all
A study from 2009 showed that the more couples fight about money, the more likely they are to get a divorce, so it’s no wonder that younger couples don’t always work out. We’re too young, too dumb, and we have no money. I stretched my budget buying a breakfast sandwich today, so I don’t think I could pay for holy matrimony. Forgetting about the wedding itself, because no matter how old you are, there’s usually some kind of parental influence when it comes to payment, you now have to do things like file joint tax returns, get a place to live, either pay rent or a mortgage, pay your utilities bills, buy appliances, home decor, boring shit like plants for gardening, and, the mack daddy of them all–KIDS. Kids. What’s the matter with kids today?
I’ll tell you. They’re fucking expensive. Once you get married, and maybe even start having kids, there goes the beer/going out money, the money you were saving for your PlayStation 4, your comic book collection, your collection of signed Tony Romo jerseys, the Sunday Night Styleathon at RueLaLa–that’s all out the window. And God forbid there’s a significant money discrepancy between you and your significant other. That’s only cool when you’re dating someone significantly older or younger than you. I mean, my second spouse hasn’t been born yet.
This might seem like an incredibly simple issue, but it’s not. When you decide to take the plunge and get married, you’re no longer a “you.” You’re a “we.” Granted, this can be said about relationships as well, especially when one is cohabitating, but now you’ve got a legally binding, possibly also religious commitment to back that up–and not to mention, shared equity, assets, etc. Some of the things you could get away with before, when you were dating, aren’t as easy to pull off. Spending time with your boys or a girls’ night in or out will be met with more resistance; something about “You’re leaving me alone? But I’m your husband/wife” has a little more resonance now than it did before.
Speaking of guys and fellas, for the most part, you’d better kiss your friends of the opposite sex goodbye, because they will never NOT be seen as threats by your spouse. While this is crazy, paranoid behavior that, yes, both sexes have, nobody’s completely innocent in this. It’s probably for the best. You shouldn’t have emotional friends and you certainly shouldn’t be flirting with other people. An innocent text or Facebook message is how it starts; one thing leads to another, and boom: tears upon tears, divorce papers start getting filed, someone curses the day the other was born, kids get divvied up like cattle, and you live in a condo where you defrost hot dogs in your sink.
Not to mention the fact that you will lose some of your single friends, no matter how you slice it or how hard you try to maintain those friendships. It just happens. Maybe they get intimidated by your relationship, maybe it holds up a mirror to how they’re single and lonely, or maybe they just don’t effing like your spouse. And if having “couple friends” sounds like a drag, well, that’s because usually it is. The old stigma about how wives hate their husband’s friends’ wives, and how dare they expect us to just “be friends” with them, or how husbands dread hanging with their wives’ friends’ husbands because they have nothing to talk about but beer and sports? It’s all true. It’s like the episode of “South Park” where Kenny gets a purity ring because the Jonas Brothers told him to, then he starts hanging out with boring married couples. That’s what married people do. They hang out with other married people, because “it’s just so much easier,” or “single people just don’t get it.”
So here’s the deal, folks. If you read through this list and said, “yeah, yeah, yeah, I got this, take a hike, Stefon, you don’t scare me,” then good for you. Gay ga zinta heyt, vaya con dios, go on, get married, have a bunch of kids, and have a lovely life. I wish you nothing but happiness. Send me a Christmas card, enjoy soccer practice and cooking classes. But if you read through this and thought, “well, maybe I can’t live without XYZ,” then perhaps you should take a step back and see if you’re doing this for all the right reasons. Marriage isn’t something one should rush into, as, more often than not, moving too quickly can take something beautiful and ruin it, like running in Louboutins and breaking a heel. That’s $350 I won’t get back.
Unless you’re completely and 100 percent ready to take this leap and are fully aware (and accepting) of the changes that will happen once you put on that ring and tie the knot, you’re not ready to get married, and maybe you should wait for a little while. But what the hell do I know? I’m just a sassy, cynical (realistic) bitch.