Statistics show younger people are more likely to have children than to get married. Older people who are getting involved romantically are finding it less and less reasons to get married. Why has marriage gotten such a bad reputation?

  1. With the divorce rate at over 50%, people don’t have a lot of faith that marriage offers any kind of security anymore
  2. People have been living alone long enough to find it difficult to share living space again.
  3. People are living longer. It is hard to imagine being with one person for the rest of one’s life.
  4. People want partners who are with them out of choice rather than obligation or a marriage license.
  5. People do not trust the promise marriage once held.
  6. People do not want to share their assets.
  7. People choose not to commit to maintain their freedom.

But just as there are reasons to not get married, there are other reasons to take the plunge and at least commit to an exclusive relationship.

  1. In exclusive relationships, there is no risk of sexually transmitted disease.
  2. Some believe a person can learn more about themselves in a committed relationship and can experience great personal growth.
  3. Companionship is a reason many get in exclusive relationships.
  4. Marriage can provide stability for children.
  5. People can save money on sharing expenses.
  6. A deep connection of trust and faith can develop in a long-term committed relationship.
  7. People may make a commitment so they are not alone.

Naturally there are many reasons on each side. I couldn’t possibly list them all. And there is no right or wrong although everyone you know, probably has a strong opinion about what you “should” do, regardless of your personal preferences. Each person must decide for him or herself what will best meet her needs. If you are in a relationship, it is important for you to communicate your position to your partner. Whether or not you want to be in an exclusive committed relationship is information your partner has a right to know.

If you prefer to maintain your independence, then your partner has a right to know. If you are a person looking for an exclusive life partner, your partner has a right to know that too. When you are honest with the person you are dating, it provides you both an opportunity to make the best decision for their situation. If your partner wants a lifelong partnership and you clearly don’t, he or she can move on to find someone who is interested in the same thing or he or she can make a decision to stay with you in the hope you might change your mind.

Conversely, if you don’t want a commitment and plan to maintain your independence, then tell your partner your thoughts. He or she has a right to make an informed decision as to whether or not he or she wants to in relationship with you or find someone interested in commitment.

Transparency in relationships is a piece that is often missing. We fear that if we are transparent, then our significant other won’t want to be with us anymore. However, if you have to pretend to be something you aren’t to maintain your current relationship, perhaps that relationship isn’t the right one for you. A healthy relationship is one in which you know how your partner is, what they want and are in line with both.

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