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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Why Can't They Get Married?

The question was asked on a new blog: "Why do you think people are having a hard time getting married?" Tobi of "The Shidduch Experiment" wrote an interesting response, which I think held a lot of truth. So, at the threat of my blog officially becoming a "dating blog" (which was definitely not my goal at the outset, but seems to be becoming more and more the case), here are my two cents on the topic: I think there are many reasons people are having such a hard time getting married. I think there are a few singles out there who just have not found the right person. But I honestly think this is rare. I think there are a lot of people out there who are scared of getting married, though I don't know if they would admit it. They get very comfortable with their single lives; they are independent; they don't have to answer to anyone. Disturbing that peace is scary. Many of these people who have gotten very comfortable in their lives see the climbing rate of divorce; they see the unhappy marriages around them, and suddenly, the reasons to get married seem less and less important, and the person needed to lure them into changing their lives so drastically becomes harder and harder to find. In order to disturb this life that, while definitely lacking an important component, is very comfortable and familiar, singles want more and more from their potential spouse. They are hesitant to settle for less than "perfect." Committing to someone is a huge step, and it takes a lot for it to be "worth it" to change their currently comfortable lives for something that is unproven and which holds no promise of being successful. As time goes on, I believe it becomes harder and harder to make this big step, especially for less than perfection. Along with that, I think there are people who are not necessarily scared of commitment, but are honestly too picky. They keep looking around the corner for something better. They think they "deserve" certain attributes in their spouse that they themselves might possibly lack. They have a long list of "must-haves," many of which are probably fairly unimportant in the grand scheme of having a healthy marriage. They shoot so high that there is no way of any one person being able to fulfill all those aspirations, and they keep thinking that this perfect specimen is out there, they just haven't found them yet. I think there are those who are told by their communities what they should want in a spouse but it is not in line with what they really need. So they continue dating people who are what their parents or friends think are right for them, but that they know won't be what they really want. They are trying to impress those around them but they know inside that it is not the right kind of person for them. I think there are people who don't know themselves well enough to know what they need in a spouse, so they mold themselves to whoever they are dating, while not feeling comfortable in the relationship. They date all kinds of different people, but since they don't know who they really are, they have a hard time feeling like they are being true to themselves in a relationship, which is important in marriage. I think there are the people who have never learned to act in a mature adult relationship and as time goes on, it gets more and more difficult for them to do so. They never feel truly comfortable communicating openly and freely with a member of the opposite sex, especially about difficult or important topics, and it makes it hard to get to a point where they are ready for marriage. I think the advancement of women has made it hard for both men and women to figure out how to relate in a marriage. Women having to juggle careers and family, and men having to deal with a woman who might have goals other than raising children has shifted the balance of the traditional marriage. I think some people are still reeling from this, and don't really know how to handle it. I think there are more reasons, and I could go on an on. No one reason answers the question for all singles. And there is more than one reason for some individuals. I don't know what the solution is. I think singles need to look deep inside of themselves and try to be extremely honest about what their issues might possibly be. And then they have to work on themselves, which isn't easy. I know many, many singles, and we all have some issues. I hope and pray every day that they will find the right people for them, and that they will be able to commit and have a happy marriage when the right time comes. And hopefully that time will come soon.

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