The I do’s and don’ts of young love

“Love and infatuation can be so easily mistaken for one another. By keeping that in mind, you are less likely to make a mistake and end up with the wrong person,” this is the advice 21-year-old Shane gave about his two marriages.
Shane is now a senior Communications and Media Studies major at Sonoma State University hoping to graduate next fall. He met his first wife, in Sonoma State’s very own Sauvignon Alicante Freshman dorms. Since then he has gone through a divorce and another secret marriage to his now wife of one year whom he met on the new popular dating app, Tinder.
Shane is now beginning to understand “people are very quick to grow at this age. I’m a completely different person from whom I was when I came to college, and if you don’t take that into account before making a life changing decision like marrying someone then your odds of failing are much higher. You have two options when getting married young; you either grow together or you grow apart”, and this rings true to all matrimonies across the world.
According to a census provided by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, out of 2,118,000 marriages in 44 States plus D.C., the marriage rate in 2011 per every 1000 people was 6.8 percent and with a divorce rate of 3.6 percent. So what does this tell us? The American Psychological Association reported the current divorce rate in the U.S. is reaching 50 percent, and expected to grow.
So why do people get married, if we are growing up in a society where divorce seems to be becoming more and more prevalent? “I do believe in marriage, that in the right circumstances it is the most intimate thing two people can do together, when done correctly,” explained Shane.
Perhaps this is true, depending on who you ask, but when looking at the origins and the reasons why people got married, romance was rarely involved. Only now has marriage become such a large and grandiose occasion to celebrate the union of two people, which is only arguably a big deal due to our consumerist society.
In a survey conducted by The Knot, it was revealed that “the average wedding is now about $31,213.” To spend anywhere near that much money on anything but the down payment of a house is ridiculous. Consider that one: this money could go towards so many other things that could either benefit the couple later on or other people in need, and two: that there is a good chance that this marriage may not last the test of time.
However, our society tells us the way to show our love and devotion is through an absurd wedding, dripping with old fashioned and conservative morals and traditions. The white dress; a sign of purity and virginity, the “giving away” of the bride and the vows which are meant to only be said once, tell a different story to the reality of modern day society. Weddings are a way for people to profit from wealthy or love-sick couples and their families. Marriages, on the other hand, are a headache to get out of if they don’t work out and only make you pay more taxes (of course with the exception of the benefits to marrying a wealthier partner).
However, there are times when getting married makes sense. f your partner is leaving for the military, there are tremendous benefits designed for the spouse at home to live more comfortably and be allowed to stay in the loop of their soldier over seas, when married. When a child is brought into the equation, marriage can be used as a tax deduction when combining the two salaries.
“Research from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School indicates that age is a strong predictor when determining if a marriage is doomed for divorce or not,” Fox News Magazine reported. “In the 1980s, 81 percent of college graduates who got married after the age of 26 were still married 20 years later as opposed to 65 percent of college grads who married before age 26. ”
The idea of marriage is beautiful, and who doesn’t enjoy a good wedding? Today marriage symbolizes happiness, love, new life, and a bright future of companionship ahead, however couldn’t we get all these benefits without having to go through the knitty, gritty and expensive process of marriage, especially when there may be high risks of divorce later on?
What is it about marriage, aside from the title of ownership you can give one another, that’s so special? It just means you’re mine, and I’m yours, but that could so easily change, just as well as if you weren’t married, and who is to say that humans were ever meant to be monogamous, although the idea is certainly a nice one.
Screw the wedding, let’s elope and have a nice honeymoon, and sure, if we’ve lived together for six plus years then I guess marriage won’t be so uninvited, but I won’t marry for the sake of marrying, especially as a women. I’m lucky enough to live in a time and country where who I am and what I do defines me as a person, not my need to find a husband who will support me. I can only hope that those women in the Middle East and parts of Asia will find their voices and strength together to prove themselves as equals in the working class society, where their job and education will carry them forward, not the wealthy butcher that they married.