Marriage Shouldn't Matter: Why The Future Doesn't Affect Your Current Relationship

by Stephanie Pletcher

As a 20-something, I — as well as most other people — attend more and more weddings each year. Of course I think of the future and know (well, hope) that some day I will be the one getting married.

Until then, however, I remain in awe of the love that my friends have found and think about how great it is when people get married.

I love seeing people happy and in love, especially at young age. I fully believe in true love and finding someone with whom to spend your life.

If you don’t have love, what do you have and with whom can you share it? As I grow older, each experience and each relationship I have teaches me something new about myself and about what I want in a life partner.

In my current relationship, we have more or less removed marriage from the table; we simply don’t really talk about it.

It’s not because we don’t want it in the future or because we don’t see a future with each other, but simply because it doesn’t matter for us quite yet. Early in our relationship, we decided that setting a time or an age for marriage in the future could ruin the present.

Humans are cautionary creatures, and for the most part, we are self-pleasing people. We don’t want to get hurt so we try to identify potential outcomes before any events transpire.

Early on in a relationship, people like to know, “Where is this going?” or “Can I see myself marrying this person?” However, it may be best to dispel these expectations and worries completely.

Knowing your partner’s views on marriage (like, whether or not it’s in the cards at all) is important, but focusing too far into the future can be detrimental, as well. Don’t spend too much time worrying about a life other than the one that is right in front of you.

Recently a friend of mine had a panic attack of sorts after overanalyzing the future. She had been dating the same guy for along time and when she started to consider the possibility of marriage and spending her whole life with him, the “forever” aspect of it hit her.

The idea of spending eternity with someone can be scary. It’s more than a job or a place to live or a promise to support someone else; it’s a lifelong commitment to yourself and to another person.

So, my friend started thinking about where they might live and what jobs they might hold and how many kids they will have. How will they raise them? What will they be like? What will we be like?

Suddenly, the guy she once loved and adored became a scary warning sign of her future. She started giving up on the relationship because once she pictured a life with him, the unknown variables of her future scared her away from her current state of happiness. Eventually, she let this fear crumble her relationship.

No one wants to waste his or her own time or someone else’s, and no one wants to spend what are supposed to be some of the best years of life in a relationship that likely won’t work out.

This is a main reason why many people question whether or not a relationship has the potential to end in a marriage early in a relationship. People fear that if the relationship doesn’t work out, it was just a waste of everyone’s time.

However, worrying about wasting someone’s time will preclude you from enjoying the life that is happening in front of your eyes.

As opposed to soaking in the good moments, you will begin to analyze the cost-benefit of each day, which will eventually create an emotional distance between you and your relationship.

In this case, the cost is time and the benefit is the outcome, when in actuality, the benefit should be the experience. For some people, gaining “experience” from a relationship isn’t enough to justify the time spent.

The important point to remember is that people change, situations change and none of us can predict the future. We shouldn’t judge our present relationships based on what may or may not happen in the future.

The idea of the future can be scary and lead us to lose focus on what we have now. Everyone is looking for happiness; thinking too much into the future will push us to worry about problems that don’t really exist.

So, rather than searching for what is missing, enjoy what exists.

Photo Courtesy: Fanpop