It’s like ‘We’re still dating, like we always have, and we’re planning for a future together….like we always have.”
Like, okay? Good job? You’ve resolved that breaking up isn’t on the table, unless something REALLY BAD happens, in which case you might break up anyway? Isn’t it kinda pointless,…
See, I feel the fallacy in your position lies in your assumption that when people start dating, they plan on being in it for the long haul.
Honestly, when a lot of people start dating, they are together for no other reason than they like each other. Very few people go in with the grand expectations of finding their One True Love right off the bat. (If they do, I would be 100% not surprised if their relationship/marriage fails). People date because they want to spend more time with someone and eventually see if they do want to spend the rest of their lives together.
The more important thing about marriage is not only the federal benefits, but it’s the mentality that you two are truly committed to the relationship. This isn’t to say that unmarried couple’s relationships are less valid or less committed, but when you’re combining assets, homes, last names, etc., you are literally entering into a binding contract willingly with this person, and previously, it used to be a “bond for life” (this is after the phase of marriage being a contract between two families over titles/property and before 40+% of marriages ended in divorce). Marriage is a statement. Otherwise, it’s arguable that either person has a very easy way to cut ties. Unless if they’ve signed any legal documentation together, if they’re not married, either person can cut and run with arguably very little fuss. Frankly, that’s why it took so long for me to agree to become engaged in the first place, and I wouldn’t be surprised if others felt the same.
It doesn’t seem like much, but sometimes it is a completely different mentality switch. For some people, it means more than for others, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider it insignificant. If you’re going into a marriage with the mentality of, “Well, I’m in this until it doesn’t work anymore,” or, “We’ve been together so long that we might as well get married,” then chances are, you shouldn’t get married. A legal bond like that is not something you should be ambivalent about. Granted, I’m completely sucking the romance aspect out of this, but when it all boils down, romance or not, the true meaning behind an engagement is, “This is the person that I have chosen that I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I want to celebrate this fact.”
Tbh, it’s no more self serving than a birthday, but bigger, and (hopefully) only happening once.
Yeah, I guess that was a flaw in my thinking - assuming other people ‘Dated’ with the intention of seeing if it would last long-term, and not just to see each other.
Whenever I dated anyone, we ‘Went on dates’ for a few weeks, and if I couldn’t see us being solid together for a long time, I cut it off.
If I wanted to spend time with someone, I’d just invite them to do things with me. It didn’t have to be in a romantic setting.
My goal was never ‘One true love’, but I figured if things didn’t feel healthily romantic within that time span, we should probably try again at a later date, and get to know each other better as friends first - see how we acted around each other when not trying to impress them with romantic gestures.
How do we compliment each other as people in the same space?
(One of my best friends is a person who tried the dating game with me, but it flopped due to wildly different future life plans. Now we party hard when work doesn’t interfere, and she wants me to be an honorary family to her future kids! *I’m excited. I’ll spoil those buggers rotten*)
And now I’m long-term dating a guy who I’ve been friends with since I was like, 14-15. We had crushes on each other back then, but it felt wrong, and I was in a bad place mentally.
Our friendship has lasted 8 years, and he knows basically everything about me. One day I felt fluttery romantic thoughts toward him and figured ‘Hell, why not give it another shot?”
“Tbh, it’s no more self serving than a birthday, but bigger, and (hopefully) only happening once.”
Marriage from a legal standpoint seems like a relic from an era that is romanticized, but no longer really necessary aside from a loud group that demands everyone should want it. (Like circumcision!)
If people want to own a house together, and have the ownership in both their names, they can. (Joint Tenants or Tenants-in-Common)
Actually, Unlike in marriage, Unmarried living together does not make you responsible for your partner’s debts. Should your partner declare bankruptcy or face other debt problems, you won’t lose your property as long as you’ve kept it separate. Your wages cannot be attached and your property cannot be taken to pay for your partner’s overdue bills or debts, and your credit rating will not be negatively affected by your partner’s financial problems. (Source)
(However, unmarried couples aren’t allowed to live in areas zoned for ‘Families only’)
If you want to have a joint bank account , you can totally do that. (Source)
If you want someone to be able to legally make medical decisions for you in an emergency, you can do that. (Medical Directives)
If people want to randomly change their names, they can. (Source)
If you have a kid and separate, unwed people still have to pay child support. (Source)
If you shop on the free market, you can find lower rates for insurance. (Source)(A guy who does it) <- Actually, if you want a day of learning and adjusting your spending habits to save money, that’s a blog to read.
There’s a few more hoops to jump through, but unmarried couples can adopt children. (Source)
You can already set up a trust for your property/ to reduce taxes / Force inheritance (Source) (Note: Only make trusts with licensed attorneys. It’s expensive, but there are tons of scam artists in that sector)
If people want to throw a giant party where two people are the designated ‘prettiest and bestest of the day’, go for it.
'Marriage' is kind of a package deal of all those things.
The only things marriage legally provides, that you can’t get on your own is:
- You don’t have to testify against each other in court
- You can live in an area zoned for ‘Families only’ even if you don’t have kids.
- Bereavement leave from work if your spouse/spouses family member dies
- If your spouse dies from someone’s ‘wrongful’ act, you can sue that person. (You know, on top of them being arrested)
- Joint tax returns/ lower income tax rates if you work the system.
- Visiting rights in jail that are otherwise ‘Family only’
- In Florida, Missisipi and Michigan, it’s legal for you to live together and do the do (You read that right: Unwed cohabitation is illegal in those states. hahahahahahahahahahaha. Seriously though no one cares, and colleges have co-ed apartments, so you can ignore this point)
So if you’re into not into package deals, there are options.
If you like marriage for the symbolism and the statement, that’s cool too!
Whatever makes you and your partner happy. =D