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You have a degree, a house, an amazing career and fabulous friends. You have it all — except someone special to share it all with.

Amidst the numerous social media postings of your friends, school acquaintances, and family members slowly slipping into holy matrimony and parenthood, you’re probably wondering, or even praying, about when your time will come.

It’s time to stop worrying because the reality is that not everyone should get married.

marriage, married

This doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you or that no one will want to marry you. It just means that living with someone (long term) and actually creating a life with that person may not be for you. And that’s okay.

Let’s look at this common scenario: A man and woman have been dating for at least three years (if they are college sweethearts, let’s make it six years) and they’re in their mid-to-late 20s. The relationship has consisted of multiple breakups and make ups, and after a while, they have become comfortable with one other. While not every relationship is like the aforementioned example, some long-term ones are. Couples often feel like the next step is marriage based on the length of their relationship, what the people around them say they need to be doing, and because last time they checked, they loved each other.

In fact, according to a Pew Research Center survey, 88 percent of people believe that love is the main reason for marriage.

While that sounds nice, I disagree. Love plays a big part in a marriage, but there are so many other components and responsibilities that make up such a union, which a person has to be willing to undertake. And if you’re not, then you likely aren’t suited for marriage like you think.

For one, maintaining a healthy marriage is time consuming. Research done by sociologist Jeffrey Dew and W. Bradford Wilcox found that people who made the time to be alone with their spouse at least once a week were 3.5 times more likely to be “very happy” in their marriage. In addition to trying to find time for one another in that way, your time is cut even more after having children. Therefore, ensuring that you take the time out for your spouse while you can, regularly, can be even more challenging.

Also, if you don’t see yourself taking someone into consideration or factoring their suggestions into major decision-making, marriage might not be for you.

Marriage is filled with many compromises. Before making any major decision that can impact our family, my husband always gets my opinion. Even before making any large purchases (even from our own personal bank accounts), we consult each other since the outcome can have an effect on our shared financial situation.

I truly feel that people need to take the time to think about their needs, wants and life-long goals when figuring out if marriage is the right move. It might sound like the necessary next step in one’s life, but it’s not the right step for everyone.

Marriage can be great if you are up for it and find the right person for you. But the question is, are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary once you find that person?

Image via Shutterstock 

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