Love and Marriage – Do They Really Go Together Today
The old song of love and marriage going together like a horse and carriage may be cute, but does it really mean anything in today’s society? Do you really need to have love in a relationship in order to marry, and do you need to marry if you love someone?
Only one generation back, our so-called civilized culture declared that love and marriage inevitably followed one another. There were no co-habiting/common-law relationships socially acceptable. The “Cleaver” idea of family and home firmly put love and marriage together in a rose-tinted cameo of how a happy life ought to be. But only a generation or two down and life is very different. Attitudes have relaxed. Social norms have changed. Love and marriage don’t have to go together – and with the more open society we live in accepting that we are free to love who we choose and not be restricted by gender, then in some cases it isn’t even legally possible for them to do so. With homosexual marriage being a political and legal hot potato around the world, love and marriage is even possible for gay couples in some areas, whilst in others it’s still illegal and so love and marriage in the traditional sense is denied.
As the world becomes a smaller place and people increasingly move around from country to country, the diversity of cultures doesn’t necessarily mean that mixed marriages are always the way things go for a minority group in any country. Arranged marriages are still a strong part of many cultures where the parents of a child being raised in a country other than the one of their parents’ birth is legally bound to marry someone of their parents’ choosing – often still residing in the homeland. For these children, love and marriage is something that they can only dream and hope for, not something that is theirs by right.
Along a similar line to arranged marriages there are a number of people who take it upon themselves to facilitate the legal immigration of a person from outside a country by offering themselves for marriage. Love and marriage doesn’t come into this situation at all – usually it’s nothing more than a cold financial deal between two adults who are attempting to beat the system. For these people, marriage does not equate to love, and the problem with this kind of marriage is that it’s so commonplace that it overshadows and dominates how officialdom treats all couples who are trying to move to one country or the other in order to be together. For those genuine couples it is the thought of love and marriage that makes them want to give up all that they are familiar with in order to have a “traditional” life of marriage with the person they’ve fallen in love with. The problem is that because of the false marriage applications, the genuine couples are made to jump through immigration hoops before their dreams of love and marriage and happy ever after can take place.
Morally, there is still a feeling that love and marriage is the right way to go and so there are couples who marry just to please their parents even though they feel that they have a strong enough bond as a couple without a marriage certificate and a couple of gold bands to prove it. However, despite the fact we live in a society and culture where love and marriage is not socially necessary anymore, there are still some people who prefer to make this commitment to the person they want to spend the rest of their life with, and for many, love and marriage remain firmly together and as much a part of the fairytale as the happy ever after ending the couple hopes for.
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