“Will I ever get married?”
“Am I married?”
Of the hundreds of questions I am asked, these are two of the most common.
For many people, getting married is one of our central goals in life. For many of us, marriage is one of our central identities. It makes sense to me why it is such a common curiosity. It can be quite peculiar to see an adult who is not married or who doesn’t express a desire to be married.
There are many questions that I do not have a definitive answer to, but the answer to this question is quite clear to me. I will never get married and I am fully certain of this. There are numerous foundational reasons that I have chosen not to be married and I’d like to share them with you to bring clarity to why I am not choosing marriage.
First, the government will never be involved in my love. I do not need or desire a contract that states my love on paper. I do not need or want a binding agreement that involves any government or regulating agency. If I choose to be in a long-term relationship with someone, I hold the full right to be able to end this relationship on our terms and schedule, not the terms of any government, lawyers or anyone else.
I refuse to make my love a monetary transaction. Today much of marriage has become an industry and a monetary transaction. My love will not be involved in this in the industry of diamonds, dresses or suits, cakes or venues. There will be no online registry.
I do not adhere to any religion and do not involve any religion in my love for a partner.
I find it unlikely that I will ever know for certain that someone will be a match for the rest of my life. Circumstances change. People change. I feel comfortable being in a relationship where we grow together and we change together and we are open to our time together being months, years or a lifetime. I very well could be with someone for the rest of my life, but if that is the case, the longevity of our life partnership will unfold over time.
I have committed to earning below the federal poverty threshold for life. I have also vowed to not pay federal taxes. I have committed to maintaining a very minimal net worth and owning minimal material possessions. I know many people get married for financial reasons. There would be no tax deductions or financial benefits to marriage for me.
I am not having children. In fact, at the age of 25 I had a vasectomy. I was already certain at a young age that I didn’t want to have children. While I believe that raising children can be incredibly meaningful and beautiful, it is not part of my my life path. Having children is often a reason for marriage and if I were to have children, I would likely want a partner with whom we would raise our children together to their adulthood. But even today, many people raise their children in community. Marriage is not needed to raise very healthy children who grow to be contributing members of society.
I have chosen a path of impermanence. I have designed my life so that I can return to the soil at any time. This is a strategic design that I chose when I dedicated my life to being of service to Earth and humanity.
I have also designed my life so that no governments or corporations could have leverage over me. My activism could result in people wanting to harm me or interfere with my success. If this is the case, they will not have family, finances or material wealth to hold as leverage over me.
I have chosen to have no humans who are dependent on my existence. At any time, I can go to jail or take risks in my activism. That would be much more challenging if I had people dependent upon me.
For many people, I would not be a match for the stability they desire. My personal needs for stability are met through my life design, but it is unlikely that a life partner’s needs for stability would be met through a life partnership with me. I am living very much in the present and have chosen to not have any financial “life-savings.”
I have also chosen a path of non-delusion, or truth, and I understand that much of the current constructs and societal norms for marriage are based on delusion and lies created by corporations and governments for their own financial gain or power to control. If you are interested in learning more on this, you can research how the diamond ring became central to the construct of marriage in the United States today. In summary, it was the creation of a marketing company. (Note: I am not saying that all marriage is based on this, which I make clear at the end of this post.)
As a single person, I have met my needs in ways other than marriage. Perhaps you could say that I am in a marriage with humanity. Perhaps you could say that I am in a marriage with Earth. Many people choose marriage as a means to meet their needs in life, such as their needs for love, safety, security, structure, belonging, intimacy, understanding, sexual expression, communion, equality, shared reality, support, acknowledgment, celebration of life, validation, or for the well-being of someone else. I have found a wide diversity of strategies to meet these needs through my relationships with Earth, humanity, our many plant and animal relatives and of course within myself. Many choose to get married out of a sense of incompleteness or a lack of wholeness. I have chosen not to get married out of a sense of completeness and wholeness. (To learn more about the way I speak on meeting needs, read about Compassionate Communication)
With many of the reasons for me not getting married, you might be thinking, “well you could still get married and do that.” If it were just one of these many reasons, then my stance may be different. However, my decision to not get married is based on my many stances and my overall philosophy of life. I simply do not want to get married and that is enough of a reason.
As humans, we have a tendency to fill in the gaps when information is not there. I can’t possibly avoid incorrect stories being made in others’ heads, but there is one thing I would like to clearly share. Although marriage is not a value of mine, integrity, honesty and fidelity are. In any relationship that I have, I practice these values and am committed to doing this with all relationships that I may have in the future. Marriage is not needed in order to have a deep set of integral values.
Some believe that there aren’t women who feel the same as I do. This societal indoctrination has come from churches, governments, certain influential people and, of course, past societal structures. Historically, there were likely far fewer women who had the same belief system as I have, but even then there were many women who did not desire to follow the societal norm of marriage. It was harder then to choose a different path than what the dominating society pushed, so many people married against their true desires.
Today there are millions of women who share the same values as I do. Some will get married because they don’t know that another option is possible. Some will marry because they feel the pressure from those around them. Some will marry because of challenging times or circumstances. Some will marry because their values change and they decide it is what they want after all. Many will never get married. I am far from alone in this decision to not marry.
Will I ever have a partner for life? Quite possibly. To me a life partnership could be for the rest of my life. It could be for decades or even just a handful of years. I have loved and I have been in love. My relationships have formed me into who I am today. They have been some of the most meaningful aspects of my life. I will likely have more life partners, but will one be for the rest of my life? Marriage aside, I think that it is most likely that I will not have one partner for the rest of my life, but this is something that I am not sure of, and don’t need to feel certain about. Time will tell.
I’m sure some would read this and find themselves defensive, hurt, sad, irritated, anxious, angry, uncomfortable or self-conscious. If this is the case, I encourage you to please remember that I am not judging you with my words. This is my personal choice and these are my personal reasons for making this choice. I am not placing any of this upon you. Each of us is a complex human with a unique set of perspectives. As much as we are portrayed as a polarized group of people, I believe that there is much variation within this polarity. I would never fully understand anyone who is reading this, nor do I expect them to fully understand me. I am answering a question that I have received thousands of times and in doing so I am not speaking for anyone other than myself.
I honor the importance of marriage to many people, for a wide variety of reasons, and I respect their desires to be in a life partnership.
I honor same-sex marriage and understand that for so many, this is a union for equality and justice.
For women, I honor how foundational a marriage can be to making sure they have the support, stability and structure they need to raise their children. I grew up with a single mom and three siblings and felt the weight of her burden for many years. I honor this foundation for men as well, although generally I have seen this to be of more concern for women.
I respect that some people get married for citizenship status or so that their partner can gain citizenship. For many people, national borders have been a barrier to a safe and secure life with their deep love. I respect the decision to get married in order to navigate being with a true love across international barriers. I respect people who are not in their homeland seeking safety and security through marriage.
I respect all who have married out of fear, sadness, loneliness or exhaustion. I see that they are doing their best to meet their basic needs in life.
I honor every human’s needs for love, belonging, validation and shared reality. I want every human to have these basic needs met. I respect every human’s needs for safety, security, structure and support. I want this for everyone. I understand every human’s needs for sexual expression and intimacy. I want everyone to have these needs met in a way that is harmonious with those around them. I honor every human’s needs for purpose and meaning and I respect their choice to marry as a means to meet these needs.