Is it bad if I don’t want to get married ever?
Due to the high divorce rate and the difficulty of finding a suitable partner, many people are less than enthusiastic on the topic of marriage, leading some to ask: Is it bad if I don’t want to get married ever?
The answer is that no, it’s not bad. Some people are better off single; they have productive and happy lives without marriage. However, is this right for you both now and in the future? Before deciding to remain single for life, let’s look at
- Reasons not to marry
- Things marriage cannot guarantee
- Important questions to ask yourself
Reasons not to marry
1. You don’t want a long-term partnership
Perhaps you can be satisfied with a series of the short-term partnerships. You live with somebody for a few years then you get tired of them and you replace them with somebody new. That can work if you’re rich like Hugh Hefner. Or perhaps you’re just comfortable with your own company and you really don’t need to be with any significant person.
2. You don’t want children
Another reason not to marry is that you don’t want children. Of course, there are many marriages that don’t have children, but it still traditional that once you get married you settle down and have children. If you are confident that’s not the lifestyle for you, then definitely you can avoid marriage and make a good life for yourself.
3. You don’t want an unhappy marriage
Many people have unhappy marriages and when their children or their friends see those unhappy marriages, then they become concerned that those bad marriages are the standard. If you believe that’s true, then you ought to protect yourself because if you got married, you could be in one of those unhappy marriages.
4. You don’t want a potential divorce
Many people get divorced. In fact, we often hear of a 50% divorce rate. So there is a significant chance that if you got married you could end up divorced. But by never marrying, you’ll never get divorced’ you’ll never go through that heartache and pain of a destroyed life. You never have to divide up your resources, all your assets and have to decide who gets the dog and how often the children stay with you. And best of all you won’t have to pay alimony or depend on your ex to grudgingly pay alimony.
Things Marriage can’t guarantee
Perhaps you don’t want to get married ever because you believe that marriage can’t guarantee the important things in life. And that’s largely true, marriage cannot guarantee that you’re going to be happy, it can’t guarantee that you’re going to find a strong partnership, it can’t guarantee you’re going to be fulfilled in life, and especially, it can’t guarantee that your marriage will last.
1. That you will be happy
Unfortunately, there are a lot of unhappy marriages. One of the most common causes of an unhappy marriage is when the two people want completely different things in life and there is no one able to resolve this conflict. If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like to compromise and who always wants to get their way, then marriage will definitely be an unhappy situation for you and you’re better off not getting married. On the other hand, if you do learn to compromise, marriage might work out.
2. That you will be strong partners
Also, marriages often have partners who don’t work well together. Instead of one plus one equals two, they can equal -2. If you believe that you are not the kind of person who can support your partner when they’re having trouble, and who can reach out and help take care of your partner’s needs, you might want to avoid marriage. Also if you’re a person who has difficulty trusting others, so that you are very concerned that when you need help the most your partner won’t be there; then marriage is probably not for you. Anyone with severe issues such as alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling addiction, or even physical abuse, should avoid marriage. However, if you can overcome these weaknesses, marriage might be good for you.
3. That you will be fulfilled
Regrettably, a lot of people have to give up on their big dreams in life once they get married. They buy a house, they settle down, they can no longer travel the world, they can’t devote themselves to Peyton Manning’s football quarterback camp and they can’t learn how to sail the Caribbean. If you have an important dream in life that is really, really important to you, if you have some mission that you must respond to in order to be fulfilled, then perhaps marriage is not for you. But if you can find “settle for less”, then marriage is not so bad.
4. That your marriage will last
Lastly, it’s well-known that many marriages don’t last. They may start well and for a few years they are healthy and strong marriages, but then the marriage runs into trouble and the result is a divorce. Sometimes you want to continue the marriage, but your partner has decided that divorce is the only solution and they are beyond convincing otherwise. Thus, through no choice of your own, you will end up divorced. Or perhaps you are the want who wants out first. Either way, you can avoid so many troubles in life if you avoid marriage. Conversely, you may decide that the certainty of gaining of a marriage partner is worth the uncertain risk of the relationship dissolving, in a future that may never happen.
Important Questions to ask yourself
Throughout history, marriage has offered a lot of practical benefits and we should not easily throw them away. Before you can be certain that you should never marry, you need to ask yourself if you can make it alone for the rest of your life economically, socially, physically, and existentially.
1. Can I make it alone economically?
First, the issue is about economics. A single person can do fine as long as they’re healthy and have a good job, but if they become sick if they’re no longer able to work a good job, what will they do for an income? They may be reduced to poverty or even starvation. But in a marriage, you have two people- with possibly twice the earning power of one person and even if you do have children, it’s well-known that families generally have more income than single people.
So you have to examine whether, for the next 20, 30, 40, or 50 years, you can make it alone without any economic help. Or are you planning to depend on your family, your brother, your sister, your aunts and uncles, your friends and/or the government to take care of you when you are weak or old? If you are not wealthy, then you will be married to the government.
2. Can I make it alone socially?
Second, your social needs are very important. When you’re young it’s very easy to meet your social needs because everyone around you is single, they’re full of energy, and they like trying new things. So it’s very easy to meet people and socialize with them. But as you get older, many family and friends do get married and they focus more and more time with their spouses and careers. Eventually, you may find yourself with very few people whom you can enjoy socializing with.
Living without marriage until you’re 70 years old can you be okay if you like spending lots of time alone. But in your 20’s and 30’s, you can know how your 70-year-old self will feel. You might want to keep an open mind on marriage as you age.
3. Can I make it alone physically?
It’s a sad fact of life that as we get older, we become frailer, we become ill more frequently, our illnesses become more severe, and even our minds become weaker. You have to consider that if you don’t get married, can you make it alone physically? Can you take care of yourself? Perhaps you are rich enough to pay for people to take care of you. Then, no worries, mate!
In the past, people had to have children, who would take care of them as they aged. This has become less important in modern days because we can depend on a government social support. But everybody knows that social support systems are expensive and policies may change a few decades from now. Do you want to trust your future to tomorrow’s voters?
4. Can I make it alone existentially?
Finally, there is the existential question. The question of what gives your life meaning. Many people find meaning in marriage, in the lifelong commitment to a partner, and in raising children. If you can find a lifelong meaning without marriage and children, then you can do well. Perhaps you can pour your life into a mission or a career. But few people on their deathbed wish that they worked harder, instead, they wish they spent more time with loved ones. If you are one of the exceptions that can have a fulfilling life without marriage and children, then you should do so.
The Heart of the Matter
If you are determined to make it alone economically, socially, physically, and existentially, then go for it! However, this can be more difficult than most people imagine, so if you are still young, keep your options open. You may change your mind as you grow older. May you live long and prosper.