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Monday, May 28, 2012

Terribly old fashioned stuff

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I had a very interesting conversation with my friend yesterday, which was my birthday and what better way to spend it than to reflect on what ifs and those imaginary situations. My friend asked; at our age (admittedly I am not young anymore), should we settle for less than marriage since having children, marriage all are for the young ones and since we are in no hurry for children, marriage doesn't matter. Is cohabitation enough if you found the man you wish to spend the rest of your life with?

Serious stuff which will never happen but again, a good what if question. Nowadays a lot says does it matter? Marriage is just a certificate. What is important is we love one another. My friend's view is even simpler; if we are 50s, 40s, marriage isn't the ideal anymore. So why bother so much with so called status and recognition? Since we are old, we don't need nor will we have children, so marriage is nothing.

This is where I realise I am a prude. I am not ashamed to admit that. I work in an environment where my faith of marriage should be shattered but strangely I am able to differentiate or rather understand the true nature of human beings; no one person is the same, so no one level of tolerance or acceptance is the same. Do I believe in marriage? Yes I do. Do I believe in co-habitation? No. For me, if I want to stay with a guy, it is by marriage, if not, I don't see myself setting up a home, lovingly decorate it and all and then ask myself or being asked, who am I in this relationship? Let's not even talk about illegitimate children. Frankly I am ok with illegitimate children. Am I strange to disbelieve in cohabitation and yet am ok with having bastard children? Maybe because for bastard children, I am still their birth mother. There is their recognition. But in a relationship without a marriage contract, I am wondering who am I? What am I to him? It depends really. If he wants to marry and I don't want to, such a relationship will crumble in the end due to my selfishness and his insistence. If I want to marry and he doesn't, it will hurt me deeply if one day he leaves me and then quickly marries another. Then I will wonder what is wrong with me that he doesn't wish to marry me?

For me if two individuals truly love another, the best way to express that commitment to one another is through a marital contract, not through buying a pet dog. It binds, legally and spiritually. Some may say does it matter since if people cheat, they still cheat? Well does it mean I should enter into a relationship without any expectation of commitment legally? I do believe in marriage. I do. Why? Simply because for me, marriage is a commitment of the severest sense. I don't take marriage lightly. But like everything else, we can't see into the future. I also believe if in future which will become present at some point and you can't be in a marriage with this person anymore, then by all means leave him, break the marriage. Maybe I am those type that I will be committed at this moment but if there is nothing left worth to commit to, then leaving that suffocating circumstances will be the best possible way to survive.

I suppose I am not afraid to give my heart to another. Not afraid that I can't get it back because I am not that selfless to totally lose myself. But I am also not ready to compromise my own dignity and respect for myself. I am not saying if you cohabitate means you don't respect yourself. I am saying I find my dignity in an affirmation through a legal commitment. Anything else and I may not take things seriously which will in the end damage my relationship since I may be seen as callous. And I don't ever wish to be in a situation where I wonder if I am of any importance; like I am good enough to live in with you, do everything with you BUT not good enough to wear that golden ring on my finger. It will hurt to know he will do everything BUT marry me. Of course some will say marriage isn't important as long as he loves you but this nagging thought will go "Yeah and yet he won't marry me.. will he die for me then?". Why fear marriage? Is it that scary?

Whatever your choice may be, it is ultimately your choice. I suppose never impose your will on another as you don't wish another to impose his will on you. But if a couple enters into a relationship with different expectations, will the relationship last? Like my friend said, well, love is never equal. True but why must it be unequal in every way? If you doubt your love is lesser for your guy than his for you, are you settling for less? My friend said we are in the end looking for companionship since we are older. But I want passion. I want romance. And in  the end I also want companionship. But truly the ultimate is I want someone who may not love me as much as I love him or I love him as much as he loves me but we certainly can agree on respecting one another, one I can look up to as much as I can say I can look straight in the eye as an equal in many ways. And I can't look into the eye of a man who wants to live in with me but can't bring himself to go down on his knees and propose because I am afraid I might not see myself in him. I always believe if a man loves you enough, he will marry you. If a woman loves a man enough, she will want to give him children. That sort of traditional way of thinking.

I suppose I am terribly traditional. I was asked if I would ever consider being with my best friend's husband if we both have deep feelings for another. My answer is simple; no. Not even if my best friend gives me her blessing because whilst if I am in love and in a meaningful relationship with a man and I want marriage and to be made a decent woman so to speak, if I am not, I do not wish to be in a relationship that began with breaking the heart of a person I know very well. It is not worth the animosity. You can say as best friend the other person should be more accepting which I agree but again that is my moral threshold. I also don't want to discuss romance tactics with my best friend over her ex who is now my guy. Very very awkward! Funnily as I was writing this I read in Daily Mail about women who found love after divorce and refuse to marry their new true love because of "once bitten twice shy". Reading some comments, one that I find apt said life is much too short for such worries. True true. 

But in the end all I can say is each has their own level of acceptance and tolerance. If marriage is really not your thing, so be it but hopefully your other half feels the same. But at some point won't you ever wonder "what if"? 




1 comment:

  1. Happy Belated Birthday Funn!May all your wishes come true...btw,heavy stuff there the thing that you wrote about.I am not sure I can digest all in one reading but like you,i am an old fashioned person too.Maybe because i am a chinese or asian,so i do take marriage seriously.
    Got to think more about this though....interesting point

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