I’ve had occasion recently to reflect on the nature of romantic relationships.
Full disclosure: I was married once. I understand that it works for some folks. I found that it didn’t work for me.
Let me be clear. I have no issue with committing to a life-long romantic partnership with the right person. In fact, what I want is a monogamous deep dive into my last and lasting partnership. It’s specifically marriage that didn’t work for me.
I ask sincerely: Really, what is the benefit of marriage?
Marriage or words of commitment are no guarantee of fidelity or anything for that matter. Either both people want the same thing, or they don’t.
I want to be with someone who shows up every day because she wants to be there, not because she feels obligated to by some external force. Like a contract or social pressure.
And vice versa: I want to show up for her and for us every day because I want to be there. For the right person I will do that. Even when it gets hard.
That is a way more powerful and meaningful way to be in a relationship, don’t you think?
What human relationship will work unless both parties want to be there?
And no, just because I’m not married doesn’t mean I’m going to run off at the first opportunity with “someone better.” It’s not my style. And it’s not what I’m after.
I can declare and celebrate and commit without a piece of paper. Marriage is false security. Just look at the divorce stats. There is no actual security.
The best rewards in life come with the risk of pain. To avoid risk and pain means missing out on the best things this wonderful, crazy, beautiful, strange life has to offer.
If I’m doing it right, I will love my partner so much that I genuinely wish the most happiness, the fullest life, and the greatest peace and joy for her highest self. If that means letting her go — or her being with someone other than me — then I will be sad, I will grieve, and I will hurt for a while. But I will be ok. And I’ll be grateful to have crossed paths and touched each others’ lives and hearts. And I will be joyful that she is doing what she needs to do for her highest good.
Genuine love is not clingy or possessive. Genuine love needs no labels or contracts. Animals give and receive unconditional love without such things. Anything else suggests deeply-rooted insecurity and/or egoic love.