At the moment I am in Barcelona, an artistic off the beat place with small winding streets and curved buildings. The artistic influence of Gaudi permeates everywhere. It is also, surprisingly, a very romantic city filled with diverse amounts of couples casually strolling by the curved sidewalks.
The couples and the impending nuptials of about three couples I know reminds me for the umpteenth time of marriage and coupledom. This year alone, there are 40 people I know who contracted or are contracting nuptials. Countries ranging from Portugal, to Spain, to Canary Islands, to El Salvador to Ecuador to United States to Canada. Couples who are persian, american, portuguese, spanish, australian, chinese, Taiwanese, etc etc.
And marriage, along with graduation and babies are the kind of thing that while it may be slightly exciting for some people around you, it marks a quintessential right of passage which is believed everyone should go through…
But I was wondering if marriage, or the idea of ” getting married” has become the end of itself. Just like money, marriage should be a means towards something, and it isn’t just the American Dream. There is something profoundly awry with our current definition of ” getting married”. We base it on romantic notions : Of fear of not being alone, companionship, love. Which, in essence are profound and great things. to have.
But we also make it a sort of status symbol. In Latin america, since I was 18, people sometimes look down on you if you haven’t gotten married. As if, somehow you are less of a person, or your accomplishments are worth nothing because you have ” single” stamped on your forehead.
The funny thing is, even if they are totally wrong for you or even if they want a green card out of you, I have had people tell me to ” take a chance” as if, somehow the reasons they wish to be with me would miraculously change. So inevitably, after all my travelling I get asked WHY I am still single. I can’t give them a coherent answer other than the fact that, things just didn’t work out. There are things beyond my control… And I do get the ” if you lived in one place maybe it would happen”.
Here’s the thing : If you really want to work things out, it will happen no matter the location , the timing, or any other obstacle. I think the willingness to create these relationships and create bonds can be done if you are willing to do it.
However, I don’t think we stop and think before we fall in love. We just go over the deep end and let the current take us. Especially westernized notions of romantic love, teaches us that these relationships are something that we do not have control over . This leads us to take a passive stance, which is dependent entirely on timing, circumstance and feelings.
I have trouble understanding relationships that are so consuming you end up forgetting your friends, your goals, your family. True, you are becoming a ” We” but I don’t understand the dichotomy that would make you entirely break off from people who have cared and known you all your life.
Furthermore, I think marriage and building a family should be considered the bedrock of constructing a new [part of society. Think on it. If all of us, consciously , tried to rid ourselves of our patterns of the past, if we built a life where we tried as a unit to serve others around us and build relationships based on trust and growth… imagine the long-term repercussions of this.
I came from a broken home and grew up mostly without a lot of positive male figures in my life. I am not alone, as I would say a good majority of my friends will say the same thing. … I truly can’t even think of a truly united household.
That’s because we have to recognize that the way we consider marriage and family is a broken one. We need to reconstruct it . We need to stop seeing marriage as a status symbol. I loved when someone commented that marriage is like pearls and corals. Pearls are made based on the sand clashing with each other over a long period of time, and eventually it becomes pearls. One layer of coral dies for another to be reborn.
I have no idea what or how this looks like, but I think it’s one of the most profound concepts I have ever come across. What is missing there is a willingness to work together for that to happen. And that’s where love and willingness comes in. Finding someone isn’t like going to the supermarket, it takes time and patience. And personally, if I look back I am glad for the relationships that didn’t work out because they were totally wrong for me.