How many of you have watched romantic comedies where all the problems are solved when the man and woman finally become a couple? It’s the plot of a few of my favorite movies (Hitch, The Notebook, Serendipity) and EVERY Hallmark movie. There’s the main character who is dating someone who is clearly the opposite of a good match, then a love interest pops on screen who initially has conflicts with the main character but is clearly the perfect match for them romantically. An hour and a half later bells are ringing and everyone’s cry-laughing and hugging.
Gosh, I love The Notebook. I just watched this boat/swan scene again and I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying. But anyway, what I’ve noticed as a single man in my 30s and 40s about marriage specifically are a few things. One, it’s a wonderful thing most of the time. I’m not here to bash the institution of marriage at all. I hope to one day experience it. There are many great things about it (so I’ve heard), but there’s something else…
The idea that a relationship (and marriage, specifically) is the highest of life goals one can pursue and achieve. As a single person, this idea can be so hurtful. Imagine going up to a woman who hasn’t had children yet and talking to her all about how great being a parent is. Try approaching a blind person to tell them how beautiful the sunset was last night. Do either of those examples sound like a good time for the childless woman or the blind person?
We’ve put marriage on a pedestal and that’s not at all where it belongs. Yes, it should be sacred and cherished, guarded and nurtured, but I fear that in America it’s become a thing we worship. The lesson is that a person is not reaching their full potential until they have a love in their life. We’ve been conditioned to think this way and it’s so unhealthy.
I need to stop watching these clips before I include them. You’re crying again. But to get back to the point… it bothers me how marriage is worshipped in this country.
You complete me.
That’s a classic line and it sounds good, but sorry, no. You can be a complete person with or without a wife or husband. I’m a Christian so my slant on the solution is this: I would rather worship God and if I ever get married, yay. If I don’t, yay. I hope and pray that at the end of my life if I’ve never been married, I don’t feel as though I didn’t reach some sort of man-made goal and have despair about it.
Let’s take marriage and love OFF the pedestal and treat it as a great thing, but not the ultimate goal of life. There is so much more out there than finding someone to grow old with. At least that’s my take as a happy man looking in from the outside.
-Out of the Wilderness