In these times of takeaway dinners and disposable relationships, the institution of marriage seems in danger of heading for the museum. Why marry anyway when can have a companion, a swanky condo, great sex and even a baby without that piece of paper that reads marriage certificate. And yet going by the frenzy that drives women to go shopping for wedding gowns and larger apartments, there is little doubt that most women in relationships secretly dream of walking down the aisle. Here are ten of the most common reasons why women are keen to marry.
- “Love, love, love”
This is by far the best reason why anyone can get married and fortunately most women think so too. Contrary to the pessimistic idea that marriage signals the end of romance, it marks the beginning of a whole new phase of being in love. Marriage allows lovers to enter into a partnership where two halves come together to form a stronger whole and where love evolves into a deeper, more committed relationship.
- “Oh to have a white wedding”
Ever wonder why a bride-to-be spends hours on trying out wedding gowns and poring over kitchen models? This is because a wedding is one of those very rare occasions in your life when a woman is indulged upon, her likes and dislikes in wallpaper patterns seriously considered and every necessary item in her yet-to-be-established household duly noted. In short, this is the time to be showered with presents, in kind and in cash. And never mind, the three identical toasters that she may get on her wedding day – it will save her buying gifts for the next three wedding invitations.
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- “All my friends are doing it”
Women see all their friends and cousins getting married and don’t want to be left out. They are afraid that once your pals are with their respective spouses, they will have to spend their Sundays alone or worse, catch a movie or go shopping themselves. This is a good time to remember that being married has little to do with an active social life. There are hundreds of singles out there enjoying with their friends and family – married or otherwise. Conversely one can be married and still be alone as are hundreds of couples trapped in unhappy marriages.
- “It will make the mortgage more affordable”
Marriage is undoubtedly a lot about white gowns, honeymoons and teary happily-ever-afters. But the financial advantage of being married is nothing to frown upon either. Most countries offer married couples important tax breaks and healthcare benefits. Moreover a married woman gets to share expenses with the advantage of having twin sources of income. Difficulties arise when money is the sole cause of getting into a marriage simply because her heart is not likely to be into the relationship. Likewise if a woman is planning to marry somebody for a visa or to be able to live in a particular country, she needs to realize that not only will she be marrying a relative stranger but the legal implications of such an arrangement may be more complicated that she can handle. In case of a long-time partner, a woman may wish to marry him to make living expenses more affordable or to live lavishly but over time the husband may start evaluating everything she does for the marriage in terms of financial or material returns and this can make for a very torturous existence.
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- “It will shut up friends and family”
Social and family expectations still figure as among the most common reasons why women get married, especially in certain parts of the world. Getting married for the sake of conforming to social and cultural norms may seem unfair to both partners whose hearts may not be into the marriage or worse who may be in love with someone else from outside the community. At the same time there is little doubt that marriage makes the process of social integration that much smoother for a new couple. Coping with various challenges that confront a family gives partners the chance and experience to grow as responsible members of the society. Sociologists regard the family as the basic unit of the larger society and it thus it is no wonder that the best community leaders often emerge from the happiest of marriages.
- “If I don’t marry my partner, someone else will”
The pressure to hold on to a suitable ‘catch’ is an old one, especially for women. But even though girls are no longer dependent on husbands to provide for them, the fear of letting go a potential husband and that of remaining unmarried is sometimes enough to make them ‘yes’ to an essentially incompatible marriage. Even a man when faced with the possibility of a girlfriend seeking out other suitors may succumb to a marriage his heart is really not into.
- “A baby is on the way”
An unplanned pregnancy is one of most common reasons that women get married. While in earlier times the stigma of an unwed mother may have driven women to the church, today it is more to do with social acceptability and ease of legal paternal recognition for the child. but while It might seem to be the right thing to do by the unborn child, the very fact that it is unplanned means that the woman and her partner are not even ready to become spouses, much less parents. And even if they do get married, the immense responsibilities of parenthood coming even before they have fully learnt what it means to be married may prove too stressful for their relationship. And yet marriage is the only institution that has stood the test of time where raising a family is concerned. The married couple forms the most stable environment for having kids and raising them in a world increasingly splintered by violence, drugs and breakdown of kinship ties.
- “It is time I had my own family”
High-flying professional women who have no financial or social necessity to get married soon find other niggling problems with their singlehood and primary among this is the ticking away of the biological clock. However getting married because you will be getting too old to have a child before long, is problematic. This means that a woman is not marrying a person for love and companionship but just because she needs someone to provide sperm and later to show the kid how to throw a ball. But then again across time and space, a marriage has proved to be the best context in which to raise a child. However it should not be the only reason to get married – indeed if a woman is unmarried and wishes to have a child, she can look at options like adoption or having a child through a surrogate mother.
- “Nothing else is happening”
It may sound weird but sometimes a wedding is seen by women to shake a relationship out of the doldrums. The frenzy of invitations, catering and shopping that a wedding is associated with seems to act like a shot of adrenaline and inject a healthy dose of vigor and hope into a relationship that had become almost boring. The danger with this reason lies that once the euphoria is over and bags from the honeymoon have been unpacked, the couple might be staring at another plateau in the relationship.
- “Finally if people keep coming back to it for more, then it must be good for you”
Despite all the brouhaha about rising divorce rates in the advanced societies, there are equally strong trends in favor of remarriages. If the saying “once bitten twice shy” held so good, why would there be so many dating sites for divorced men and women trying their luck the second time around?