In Clutch Magazine Online, I talk about why I wrote the chapter I did in Gil Robertson's book of essays, "Where Did Our Love Go." My chapter in the divorce section called "The Problem with Marriage" asks people to free themselves from the burden of societal expectations and find the kinds of relationships that work for them.
Here's a snippet:
I know some of you badly want to get married and many of you actually will. But many of you will also get divorced. And some of you will live with someone. And others will have kids, but not be married to the father. And you will feel guilty because you failed at finding “forever” with a “soul-mate.” But that is the wrong way of thinking.
Love can be for a reason and a season.
Serial monogamy – aka “The George Clooney” – has its merits. You can have the perfect (or imperfect) love for you at 25, but then later find the person you want to grow old with when you’re 47. You can marry or not, but create loving, honest and meaningful relationships. And the key is that honesty. If you aren’t cut out for forever and ever marriage, don’t do it. Don’t pretend like you can do it. And don’t feel guilty for not being able to do it. It simply isn’t for everyone.
Because of my parents’ marriage, I desire what they have. I want a love that lasts forever. But in waiting for that love, I’m often lonely. Only time will tell if I’m better served by dating and waiting, versus going through a series of love affairs and relationships and letting things go as they may. But if the serial monogamists and those not capable of faithfulness or those who want open marriages can be true to what they want, we can stop hurting each other – at least in that way. We can look our partners in the eye and know what we’re getting into, for better or worse, and plan accordingly.