Monday, November 04, 2013

Being an expert again on marriage

To say this blog by Seth Adam Smith has gone viral is to understate it. I think most married people I know have sung its praises by now. And possibly most married people in general.

I clicked on “Marriage Isn’t For You” because I wanted to know why marriage is not for me. I know it isn’t, but I was curious to see why he thought that was the case.

Spoiler alert — Smith says that marriage is not for you, because marriage is about loving and giving yourself to another person. So apparently this article isn’t for me, either.

I can see how if you love someone so much that you want to marry them, there’s an impetus to make your life all about bringing joy to their life. But when that someone special is hypothetical, it’s not an appealing prospect. Someone like me, who is used to self-sufficiency and having his own space, would have to meet someone very special to even think about completely shifting priorities. In the meantime, reading things like this, which can serve to make single people feel like self-involved assholes, makes me look around for the nearest insulin shot.

Also, I worry about what articles like this do for bad marriages. I don’t think it’s wrong to expect some reciprocation. Smith makes it sound like such give-and-take is an ideal, but is a bonus more than an imperative. (To his credit, at least he didn’t say marriage is actually all about God like this guy. I could write a book on that one.)

If I ever get married — and I don’t care if I do or not — I like to think that it would be because we’re good together and make each other better people. I don’t think such a partnership means people should forget their identities or sacrifice the things that sustain them. That seems so ... high-maintenance. Which I’m not, and the hypothetical woman of my dreams wouldn't be either. Most of all, I’m hoping we won’t think about this question too much. Anytime I have in the past, that’s when the relationship got weird (assuming it wasn’t already weird).

Overall, though, I agree with Smith that marriage is a serious commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. That understanding is precisely why I have never been married.

No comments: