BrilliantBro: Do You Really Want to Get Married?
It wasn’t long ago that the concept of marriage was actually legally attainable to someone like me. Growing up I always envisioned my life to be the complete opposite than what it is today. Snitched wife, glass enclosed corner office, and two cute kids that accompanied a gas guzzling SUV were the ultimate life goals. Although I have yet to walk down an aisle in a perfectly cut, custom-made Tom Ford tuxedo, I am not in any way, shape, or form disappointed with the outcome of my life thus far.
I learned long ago that you have to roll with the unpredicted pothole on the roadmap towards the future. Get a fit, change the tire. They’re completely unavoidable. The biggest lesson is to make sure to keep a brush and a jar of pomade on-hand for life’s nuggies.
I was recently asked if I wanted to get married. I’m open to it, but it’s not a timeticking goal of mine like it had been before. It may be my personal history or the intricate logistics that will come with planning the colossal wedding I’m more than likely going to have, but I don’t see marriage in the near future. If I’m going to have a wedding, I’m going to have a wedding. Plus, shuffling through the dating pool to find someone I actually want to welcome in my space forever has become something I’ve decided to put on the backburner. I’m loving getting to know who I am. On the sunset of my twenties, I’ve finally had the desire to be to myself and really figure out who I am as a human beyond an Instagram story or a circle of friends.
However, my rationale for my answer to my friend’s question was not what he was initially willing to receive. His response was “how sad.”
How sad?! I automatically questioned what was so sad about what I said. Was he confusing the difference between lonely and alone? Maybe I was misunderstanding the question.
When he told me that I deserved a good man (and children), I had to stop him.
Never have I thought I was undeserving of anything. Whether it be a 50 cent job raise at Cold Stone Creamery or the simplicity of peace of mind, I have never viewed myself as undeserving. Yes, just like everyone, my life has had it’s humbling ups and downs; I’ve recognized my blessings. But we should all take the time to acknowledge the work we put in to get to our goals and rewards. I’m big on energy and believe that although cause and effect may not be immediate, the universe rarely disperses handouts. It’s good to give yourself credit. Above work ethic, more importantly I value the quality of the person I pride myself on being. Flaws and all, rooted in several poor decisions, and the weight of meeting society’s expectations, it has taken me a minute to recognize that I am a pretty decent human being.
We deserve happiness, and that does not hinder me from being in a relationship; nonetheless, legally bound to another human being.
The reality of marriage started to not sound so desirable during my time as an undergrad. Identifying as straight (or somewhere along the spectrum), I was taking a Women's Studies class the last semester at my Orange County University. I needed some extra credits to fill my graduation requirements. Ideally, I needed a class that was not going to be so challenging that it took away my focus from Comm Law and my pivotal capstone projects. Not to mention breaking fragile masculinity as one of the only men in the class.
My professor verbally painted a picture of a bride in all white historically being a “gift” to a man or his family. Why is she dressed in an all white poofy dress or the variations of garb from culture to culture? Americans still uses the term “giving away the bride” in the ceremony as if her father is selling his refurbished MacBook Air to the highest bidder on eBay. Was a woman not whole enough to walk herself down the aisle? What if she is already a self-sufficient adult paying her own rent? Where were the groom’s parents? The way he illustrated a wedding ceremony was a tad extreme, but I got his point. The conversation was completely eye opening to the misogynistic views surrounding a traditional wedding ceremony – and I was radically turned off.
There was a huge national movement when it came to LGBTQ equality. Billion-dollar organizations pushed campaigns fighting for equal rights and for LGBTQ individuals. Photo campaigns, galas, fundraisers, political movements, all in the name of marriage rights for same-gender loving people. Even straight celebrity couples took a stand and used a prolonged engagement to bring awareness to marriage equality. Once the Court ruled in our favor, I could not help but notice the profound fights and movement died down. It did not take long to realize why. For white cisgender gay men, the only major thing that puts you in a marginalized group was marriage. Once the laws caught up with innate privilege, everyone put their sword down. Yet, every year the number of black trans women rises. Where is the equality campaign for that?
Maybe the other part of the marginalized identity would have at least a press release. When I looked for something on the NAACP website, there was only one LGBTQ article from March of 2017. Nothing about the rise of HIV in black MSM, the murder of trans women, media representation, nothing. As someone who will more than likely marry someone of the same gender, because it is a legal agreement, it’s personally important to see where laws and society stand. I’m not a huge fan of acclimating myself in spaces that I’m not wanted. I understand that marriage is not the only way to have companionship.
By no means do I look down on the idea of marriage. I think it’s a beautiful thing! As I mentioned earlier, the day will probably come for me with a celebration the size of the Grammys. It’s just not about to happen anytime soon. It would behoove me to not fully comprehend and research all sizes of what I’m getting myself into. The reasons I wanted to be married when I was 21 are not the same reasons today. Whether it’s the partner element, finance, political climate, emotional compatibility, and the forever of marriage, there are so many things to consider.
Although it is something I’ve always wanted, and see in my future, the immature need for marriage has completely disappeared. I’m no longer on a deadline. I no longer need to fill a void. I have finally grasped the idea to only allow people in my life who enhance who I am as a person.
So, do I want to get married? I’m open, just not right now. Do I want $1,000,000? I’m very open, right now. Will I be just as happy if none of these happen?