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8 Reasons Marriage Doesn't Matter

We women are smart enough to know that a wedding ring won’t make us happy any more than a white dress will make us a virgin.

Women are carpet-bombed with the idea that marriage is their happy ending from their first viewing of Cinderella to the last potboiler Rom Com they saw starring Sarah Jessica Jennifer Kate Meg Julia Whatsherhair. Marriage is also ever-present in the news, whether it’s gay marriage, the divorce rate or sex scandals involving politicians and golfers. It’s on TV 24/7 in the form of “Bridezillas," “Say Yes to the Dress,” and various reality shows that have turned a sacrament into a raffle.

Now a study titled – I’m not kidding --  "I'm a Loser, I'm Not Married, Let's Just All Look At Me," tells us that social pressure has managed to make women between 25-35 feel both scrutinized  and invisible if they’re not married.

“Heightened visibility came from feelings of exposure and invisibility came from assumptions made by others," said Larry Ganong of the University of Missouri, who conducted the study of 32 interviews with women, along with Elizabeth Sharp of Texas Tech University. A single woman’s world, it seems, consists mainly of feeling stigmatized by singlehood, worrying about the draining dating pool and listening to her biological clock thump away like the Tell-Tale Heart.

Having been single all my life I swear on my MacBook that it does not all consist solely of feeling glum at bouquet tosses. And while I’m almost as in love with love as Barbara Cartland, I believe we women are smart enough to know that a wedding ring won’t make us happy any more than a white dress will make us a virgin. The desire to get it right might be part of the reason people are  putting off marriage until later. (Plus, according to Time magazine, life expectancy is increasing…and the average marrying age is increasing at the same exact pace.)

If brides in the '70s, when I was a kid, were decked out like  Indian brides or can-can dancers or Dean Martin’s  Golddiggers. I might have dreamed of my wedding day like other little girls did, but the idea of dressing as a napkin and going to church did not interest me. Plus, I grew up in an intact nuclear family, and like someone who once worked at McDonalds and is made queasy by the smell of French fries ever after, I knew by the age of 5 that I wasn’t buying that particular Happy Meal. My mom, too, was a great one for ignoring the in-crowd (or any crowd) and so I’ve always easily blown off the social pressures some people feel so keenly and so unfairly. And so, to the women who so wrongly feel diminished by singlehood, I’d like to pass on the lessons I learned from my own dear mom, who might have called the following list, “You Just Tell That Sonofabitch to Mind His Own Goddamn Business," or...

Eight Reasons Marriage Doesn’t Matter

1. It’ll cost you

According to Soundvision  $72 billion a year is spent on weddings. The average wedding costs about $20,000. A lot of people are making a tidy living off female insecurities around this issue.

The idea of anyone spending that kind of money on anything they can’t get out of the rain in makes my head spin. $20K? On a party? What are you, Keith Moon? If you want to be the center of attention for 20 minutes before being locked down for life it would be cheaper to just rob a liquor store.

The more romantic options for that money would be to set it aside and every time you have one of those thin-ice days, when you’re looking at each other like the enemy, go away on a dirty weekend. Nothing recharges love like a change of scenery and lots and lots of body fluids. It’ll work whether you’re married or not and can be a form of time-released relationship life support.

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