Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marriage, Revisited

People think that when they are not cheating on their current partners they are in a monogamy relationship. True monogamy, in the animal kingdom, is defined by mating with one partner for one's entire life. Hard to imagine, isn't it? A few species, mostly birds, are actually monogamous. If their mating partner die before them, they will never mate again.

For the longest time I wondered what is the reason to get married -- as many who does not support the institution of marriage would say, "If I am faithful to him/her, does a piece of paper matter?" On the other hand, if a piece of paper does not matter, why DO people get cold feet before marriage, if it changes nothing?

I have finally found the answer to my long term quest of the meaning of marriage -- when you are in a monogamous relationship, a lot less thought went into that decision, if it's a conscious decision at all. Is it still a commitment? Sure it's a commitment of sort, a commitment that says you agree to be monogamous on a temporary and indefinitely basis with your current partner. Whereas a marriage is, hopefully at least at the time of the wedding, a commitment, sometimes in front of many friends and family that a conscious decision has been made to spend the rest of one's life with the partner and, for most, the realization of starting a family.

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