Tag Archive: marriage

Happily ever after… in a few years

The current concerns in my life include finals, my complexion, the ever-daunting task of packing my belongings for winter break, and whether or not Dani is going to be kicked off of “A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila.” I like to think that this is the average list of a 20 year old college student. However, at lunch today, I found out I may be sorely mistaken. Somewhere between my pesto pizza and my dried out orange thyme chicken, the conversation topic took a disastrous turn: marriage.

Though initially in shock, a slide show of images promptly hurdled through my mind at the mention of the “m” word: a big diamond ring, two laughing, beautiful people reminiscent of a J. Crew catalog, and a white picket fence. Though horrifically stereotypical, the vision does have a sense of blissful stability about it. I mean, why not just marry the person you are dating when you graduate? You get a built-in opponent for chess, doubles partner for tennis, spotter for lifting, and knot-holder for wrapping presents all at once. Why go through life alone when you can be attached at the hip to someone as soon as you step into the real world?

Call me immature, close-minded, or bitter but marriage is just about the furthest thing from my thoughts. Sure, boys are cute. Some of them buy you flowers and take you on fancy dates. Some of them may even have good intentions, though these gems are few and far between on a college campus. However, at a time when you are supposed to be worrying about what to wear for your next cocktail, I fail to see the point in stressing about a life partner.

Let college change you in whatever way it can. Make a few poor life decisions, take a couple of naps on the quad, and love a few eccentric and fabulous people. I only ask that you do not make marriage a necessary next step post-graduation. And please, stop talking about it at Lenoir.

By Madeleine Clark

Marriage opponents lose out

The other day at work my boss said something I found intriguing. He commented that he pans on never getting married; he believes that marriage is an antiquated institution that was only suitable when the average life expectancy was 40 or 50. With today’s average American life expectancy being almost 77 years, he said that he just doesn’t see himself being able to hold a loyal romantic interest in one person for so long.

The media tends to promote the idea that divorce rates in America are typically increasing, with different studies showing rates of between 30 and 35 percent, so at first I bought into his ideas. But being the perennial optimist, and a person who has always planned on getting (and staying) married, I found myself quickly questioning what he had said. The result of my ponderings was the notion that instead of being old-fashioned, illogical, and overly hopeful, perhaps marriage is a tool of the process of natural selection.

Married couples tend to reproduce at rates much higher than unwed individuals. So, by being part of a stable, lasting union, any accumulated survival characteristics and wealth get passed on to a second generation, which makes them stronger than those they followed. Those who never wed prevent any profits they have made in their lifetime from being passed on, so those go to waste. In addition, studies show that children of parents who stay together have a much greater chance of marrying, and a smaller likelihood of divorce. In theory, the aforementioned characteristics and wealth would further accumulate and get passed on, resulting in an extremely powerful group of individuals.

This idea can also account for increasing divorce rates. Americans tend to be fairly intelligent, informed, and, particularly in the opinion of many foreigners, power-hungry. Many people likely recognize, at least subconsciously, that it is a societal benefit to be married. This pressure could cause some to marry a less- than- optimal person, therefore increasing the chances of that union ending in divorce.

I’m not naïve enough to believe that everyone has a perfect soul mate whom they should hold out for. I do believe that there are certain combinations of personalities and characteristics that will work together to create a lasting marriage. If people rush to get married to conform to a beneficial societal standard, there’s a good chance a divorce will follow. But if two people marry and are able to coexist and have children, they and their descendants will reap the benefits.

I’m definitely not an expert on marriage or any sort of sociologist. I just can’t accept the idea that marriage is a decreasingly viable custom. It makes no sense that people shouldn’t get married just because humans live longer now than we did 300 years ago. Being attached to one partner for life benefits all involved. Cynical individuals like my boss just increase the population of grumpy old men and spinsters, and they don’t improve the quality of anyone’s life.

By Annie Murawski