Getting Married Is Not The Key To Love And Happiness
By: Deveney Marshall
It was a slow and rainy Wednesday at work, so my coworker and I began talking about our romantic relationships to pass the time. I explained to her I considered myself single(ish) and she shared the same sentiment as well, a sentiment several millennials like myself can relate to. We continued our conversation about marriage and relationships, and before she left she said these words “I’m just trying to make money, catch me a husband, so I can get my happiness.” I pondered on those words for a while, and all I could think to myself was money and marriage aren’t the keys to a happy life and why do we even still believe in that age-old ideal?
Marriage has always been seen as a high priority goal on the list for people wanting to achieve the American dream. Even in 2018, a lot of millennials still see marriage as this fairytale-like fallacy, and feel in order to have happiness then they have to be married. Traditionally speaking, marriage has never been about true love or happiness. It has always been handled like a business deal, using women as collateral. Women would provide domestic duties in exchange for financial security. However, those days are (almost) behind us, and women make enough to sustain their own cost of living. We can now officially marry one another for all of the right reasons, yet we still are not. Why?
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For starters, people have to become more honest with themselves. Most people don’t care about having a happy and successful marriage, they just don’t want to be alone. They believe marriage will be this cure-all for their unhappiness. However, marriage is not the cure for loneliness, self-work is.
Self work, which falls under us millennials favorite pastime of self care, is about tuning into who we are in this life and growing into the person we want to be. For instance, when is the last time you took a moment to reflect on what truly makes you happy? Or when was the last time you contemplated on the emotions you feel when you're alone? Answering questions like those honestly will help you to begin the self work you need to be an ideal partner for marriage one day. Once you find your happiness, you become more comfortable with who you are, and you stop looking for your joy within someone else.
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Now hear me clearly when I say there is nothing wrong with wanting to be married. Marriage can be a beautiful thing when done correctly. Just stop looking for marriage to fulfill this empty void in your life. It won’t, and you will end up feeling even more alone being married than you were while you were single. You are the sole source of your own happiness. Once you realize and believe that, I guarantee you everything else in your life will fall into place (even marriage).
*Deveney Marshall is a New Orleans-based filmmaker, actress, and freelance writer. She holds a BA in Psychology from Dillard University. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of the lifestyle & beauty website thedevandthecity.com. Follow her thoughts & life on twitter and IG: @devandthecity