When Grover on Sesame Street asks a child about marriage, the child answers from what he knows, this is by observing his parents. The two boys come to certain conclusions: marriage is when two people live together, see each other daily, care for each other, help each other out with daily chores and show plenty of love through hugs and kisses. Seemingly innocent, Sesame Street pretty much summed it up in a way easy for children to understand. However, as we grow older, the concept of marriage, along with other components in life, becomes complicated. Divorces, extra marital affairs and child custody issues are all realistic dilemmas which highlight matrimony’s negative aspects.
I strongly believe that most of our concepts, especially regarding relationships, are heavily influenced by outer sources, mainly the media and people’s experiences around us. Most of all, our parent’s relationships and the environments we grew up in set the foundations for future relationships. My parents did not marry at a very young age (which I consider to be in early 20s) and that has become my preference as well. Currently, I am 29 years old, I have a long term boyfriend and do plan on getting married in the near future. At this stage, I notice my peers and others around me starting to settle down, a trend that society encourages. I agree with this trend as one should finish his or her education prior to agreeing to such a serious commitment. In my opinion, there is a time for everything; right now I need to finish up my studies and marriage will happen in its own time.
Moreover, I believe that the main cause of failed marriages is that people who are not ready for long-term commitments rush into such arrangements ignorantly, shunning realistic and pragmatic thinking. These people often leave unfinished tasks behind which cause obstacles in their newly started tasks. Furthermore, the biggest problem is that people do not set goals in life and this fails to provide them with a solid identity. Marriage is simply another way for these individuals to label themselves with something. When the arrangement does not work out, they simply quit. Observing other people’s mistakes is important for me as I do not want to repeat them; therefore, I am quite determined to tie the knot when I am sure and make the decision myself instead of following someone else’s fantasy.
There is no doubt that marriages are fun and memorable, but for most people the best part of their marriages is their wedding day, filled with joy and love, but only until the fun and dancing continues (RhythmTraders). Another flawed fantasy is expecting your partner to be perfect, the prince of your dreams (Matchmaker). First of all, no one is perfect (one should simply look in the mirror), and the sooner one realizes that, the better it is. Also, I firmly believe that if I want to settle down with a certain type of man, then I must possess those same positive characteristics as opposites do not attract, according to popular misconceptions. Because of the media, girls today want the perfectly mannered and perfectly built man with a 6-pack while men desire girls who will cook, clean, and still have time for watching the game with them while sporting perfect looks around the clock. Unfortunately, many are falling under the negative influence and hurting relationships because of unrealistic expectations. For me, honesty is critical and any relationship with a dishonest beginning is doomed to failure (Nanda).