Why Marriage Is The Best Choice If You Want Your Relationship To Go The Distance
We spoke to Michaela from Marriage Foundation all about why choosing to get married is a great decision to ensure your relationship goes the distance. Here’s what she had to say…
I’m assuming that since you’re here, it’s most likely that you and your partner have decided to get married or you’re at least considering it. If you have made that decision to marry and are now planning your wedding, then no doubt you’re scouring the Guides for Brides site for ideas on how to make the most of your big day and you’re sure to find all that you need! But at Guides for Brides, they recognise that what follows the wedding day is ultimately the ‘main event’, i.e. the rest of your married lives together (which is why they’ve invited me to write this blog)!
Marriage is the reason for the wedding day and so with this in mind, as you continue to prepare for one of the most wonderful days of your life, read on to discover why your choice to marry is such a good one. Of course, if you’re still considering whether to ‘tie the knot’, perhaps this article will take you that bit closer to having a ‘forever conversation’ and being ready to say ‘I do’.
Do a quick search online and you’ll find plenty of articles about how to make your relationship go the distance. Many of them are very helpful, discussing some of the key characteristics of lasting relationships, however, I have rarely come across any advice that says, “if you’re in a serious relationship that you want to last a lifetime, marriage is just about the best choice you could make”. My guess is that this will be your experience too, until this article! The good news is that whilst relationships require work – and put simply, there isn’t a magic formula to guarantee a relationship – marriage is still the most common and most successful form of relationship, with nearly 80% of all UK couple families being married.
So why is it such a great choice and why is it the most successful of all relationship choices?
Marriage removes ambiguity
Over the last 10 years or more, dating has become quite complicated and therefore there’s a lot of ambiguity around the status of the relationship. A few generations ago, it was a great deal more straightforward. First you would date (also known as courting) and then, if the relationship was to go any further, the couple would end up getting married. However, couples now go through a range of different stages before they are willing to even describe themselves as ‘in a relationship’. To begin with, the couple might be ‘talking’ and then they may progress to ‘hanging out’, but this still doesn’t specifically mean that your status has changed to being in a relationship together or that there’s any likelihood that this could end in something permanent.
The problem here is that one person might feel more attached than the other and ready to establish the relationship with a consideration for a future as a couple. But it’s not clear and moving in together still doesn’t remove ambiguity; it’s just that the stakes are higher if you separate. When a couple have a conversation about the future (a ‘forever conversation’) and decide on marriage, there’s no more uncertainty about how you both feel about each other. The pressure is off, this removal of ambiguity is a leveller and brings relationship security to you both. Phew!
Marriage is intentional and this matters!
When you arrive at the point in your relationship where you’re both ready to say yes to marriage, you’ve made a clear, unambiguous decision and plan to spend the rest of your lives together. Decision making and planning come under the umbrella of ‘intentionality’ and in all spheres of life this is linked to success. Being intentional is an important mindset to begin married life and provides a framework to achieve success in your marriage.
Marriage means commitment
Commitment isn’t necessarily a popular word or behaviour, evidenced in part by the ‘dating stages’ referred to above. Its unpopularity is also reflected in our culture which can discourage ‘commitment’ per se, in favour of short-term agreements such as renting a home, car or phone rather than buying, or online subscriptions in which the world of music, film and TV are at your fingertips but still not your personal property. Yet, despite this shift, we still aspire to marriage which is the very essence of commitment (removing ambiguity and being intentional!).
In a survey of 2,000 young adults carried out by the Marriage Foundation for Marriage Week 2021, they found that over 80% of 18-30s want to marry. Even among those using ‘casual dating apps’, of those who said they were in a relationship, nine in ten Tinder and Grindr users said they wanted to marry and four in five said they expected to marry “at some point”.
If we’re committed to the idea of our relationship going the distance, then marriage sends a huge signal of commitment to the other person and says, “I’m in this with you for the long haul”. And once we’ve made that commitment, whatever life throws at us, commitment means we’ll try our best and that we’re willing to find a way.
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