A wife to her friend, “I’m so fed up with my husband. He’s keeping an eye on me like a hawk. Acts like a detective.” A husband to his friend, “I owe my beautiful life to my dear wife. She makes me feel so complete. I am a lucky guy.” An unmarried friend, “I am so lonely. I wish I had someone to share my joys and griefs with.” A happy bachelor, “it’s finally holiday time and I am off hiking to the mountains on my own. I am so looking forward to the trip. These are just some common dialogues shared by people with different relationship status – portraying the implications of various relationships
Delving deeper into the psyche of people not quite fascinated by the institution of marriage brings about some interesting facts. Will start with the unmarried couples in steady relationships. These are couples who are either co-habiting with each other or are in a steady relationship while living independently. General outlook would question the functioning of these marriage simulated couples and their lack of keenness to have a stamp of legal endorsement on their relationship. The stereotypical generalization would put women in a loser’s camp, mindful of their chronological and biological age – as if a woman is born to be only a wife and mother. A generality far from the real today. Statistics say, women are equally if not more reluctant to commit. Courtesy their economic and social independence. A good bank balance from a well-paid occupation and a wonderful support system of family and friends provide support in times of distress. They refuse to get bound in an alliance, thereby restricting their growth and movement. Similarly, for men, who may not be afraid to commit, feel the irrelevance of marital authorization for a lasting relationship. If it has to, it will – no piece of paper can be a reliable predictor of its success or failure, is the generic view. These are the people who are averse to a marriage but not to their relationship, which gives them all the benefits of matrimony without being into one.
Why do singles remain single? A matter of choice, chance, conditions or compulsions? Can be a sum of all or one. Independence, ease of no encumbrances and freedom to be, can be very appealing. What drives their system that deviates them from the usual? A series of unpleasant past experiences, degree of parental harmony, influence of distraught couples and their woes, et.al. All these go against their grain to bear constant naggings, jealousies, possessiveness, explanations and justifications at every step. On and off relationships are no big deal for them. There is a strong deep seated need to control or to be in control. These kind of people are certainly better off being on their own. Getting hitched would not only spell trouble for them but also for their prospective partner.
Not everyone needs to conform to the norms of the society by getting married. Perceived differences on life and marriage can act as a catalyst in the decision making. Sources of happiness are different to different people. Marriage is no longer a milestone of personal achievement and happiness. It yields different meaning to people. After all, happiness is relative. What is your happiness? To marry or not to marry/ single – to be or not to be??