It is Valentine’s Day again and time to review the fun (said no body) and complex issue of relationships.
Here is some statistics to help understand our society:
- Most recent studies suggests that 45.2 percent of the American adult population are single,
- Out of this number, 63 percent have never been married, 23 percent are divorced, and 13 percent are widowed.
- These figures suggest that approximately 55 percent of the society are married.
However if you want a more realistic data I have to remind you that being married does not suggest these people are happy to be married.
Noticeable number of people stay in a non functioning, sexless, romanceless, abusive and just damaged marriages because:
a) Divorce is still a taboo, and very expensive ( although almost half of marriages end up in divorce)
b) Financially it is more beneficial to stay married (and file taxes jointly)
c) Some “outsource”, in other find the affection and sex they need without distracting their families or facing financial and social issues that is associated with divorce ( and I have my reasons not to call this act “cheating” but that is another story)
d) Many do not have enough resources, support, or guts to say enough is enough and move out of a bad marriage.
I am sure there are more reason, but I guess you have some ideas of why it is just easier to stay and suck it up instead of going through separation and divorce.
Given marriage does not necessary means happiness, and the fact that almost half of the population are single, maybe it is time to create and be open to a new set of societal beliefs and norms.
- Marriage is not for everyone: so stop pushing people to get married and stop looking at singles as doomed ones,
- Accept LAT: It is ok to be married but live apart. In fact LAT ( living together apart) can be the best resolution to some marriages. It can reduce tension, create time and space for active love, and prevent divorce in many cases.
- Not all love stories should end in marriage: women need to keep working on their independence and stop looking for fairytail marriages, they don’t exist.
- It is OK to love, but not marry: lets face it, men are terrified of commitments, at least most young sexy and goal oriented ones are. On the other hand most women like the security that comes with marriage. But let’s actually take a look at this. Men and women are NOT on the same page when it come sto marriage. So why would a loving couple threaten the love and passion that they have by talking about marriage? I am not suggesting don’t get married, but I am saying don’t push for it. You can still love each other, live together or apart, and enjoy each other.
- Love is not mandatory: Meeting the right person is a random toss of the dice. Love doesn’t just happen, it requires work. I lived in societies where most marriages start with no love. But once in a relationship, couples build the love. In fact that kind of love is more successful because it is built based on more realistic expectations.
- Maybe there is an examination date: It is possible that there is expiration date for love and even marriage. I know most people find this odd but the reality is a non functional relationship in an expired one.
There has been so many changes to the definition of relationships as same sex marriage is legalized, and people are becoming more open minded when it comes to accepting Monogamous Relationships, Polyamorous Relationships, Open Relationships, Long-Distance Relationships, Casual Sex Relationships, ‘Friends With Benefits’ Relationships, Asexual Relationships and more.
However we still have a lot to learn about ourselves and what kind of relationship is the best for us. Maybe just staying single and not having to deal with the drama associated with relationships is in fact a new trend in the big fat topic of “relationships”.
Whatever is your definition of relationship, this Valentines Day try to show more respect to people who have different definition.
This article was published in Medium.com