Getting married should be one of the happiest times in anyone’s life. Love fills the air and the hearts of everyone involved… usually. Sometimes, L-O-V-E isn’t the reason a couple chooses to tie the knot. In many cases, these reasons make sense at first, but ultimately *and quickly* lead to divorce court.
If you’re feeling a case of cold feet coming on before your big day, or you know someone who’s walking down the aisle for all the wrong reasons, keep in mind that there are many good reasons to call off a wedding, too. Check out the top ten worst reasons to get married.
Love isn’t always the answer
Most of us aspire to meet “The One” and eventually upgrade from singledom to couplehood. Sometimes, though, doing so has nothing to do with love.
#1 To have your dream wedding. Of course, a wedding is a beautiful, amazing event that definitely strengthens a relationship and makes life better. On the flip side, there’s a lot of hype surrounding the wedding itself that can really make you want one in the worst way. Even if you’re not ready or your mate isn’t exactly the marrying type, the fantasy of having a dream wedding can certainly be a strong lure.
The reality is, the wedding is just a single day. Your marriage is for the rest of your life. When you’re ready, you can have both. It’s OK to hold on to those dream wedding plans–just keep them to yourself until the time comes to share them with someone special. [Read: 25 obvious signs you’re high on wedding fever]
#2 For the gifts. It sounds amazing that anyone would tie the knot just to get presents, but it happens. Unfortunately, this reason alone isn’t enough to get hitched. You’ll spend more money on the wedding than you would just buying the gifts yourself. Plus, getting divorced once the gifts are all unwrapped and the two of you find out you’re not a good match is expensive, too, and not as much fun.
Your best bet is to make sure you really want to share those towels with your sweetheart for the rest of your life.
#3 Because you’re lonely. Many people have a hard time being alone. As you get older, it may seem like someone in your life is your “last chance,” and they may start to look like good marriage material. Hold off on tying the knot if the person you’re marrying isn’t the love of your life. Settling for anything less may mean you miss out on that truly amazing special someone down the road.
Remember: getting married is a good way to improve an already-great relationship, but it’s not the only road that leads to a happy life. [Read: 3 stages to embrace and overcome loneliness]
#4 You’re feeling the pressure. There’s a lot of pressure in a marriage proposal, and it can be difficult to let your partner know you love them but just aren’t ready to take that leap. What’s even worse is when your beloved issues an ultimatum: “Marry me, or we’re through!” You may have a fear of commitment and a nudge of this sort might be just what you need to get over it, but it can also cause you to ignore gut instincts that will probably lead to canceling the wedding later on.
It’s painfully hard to be honest, but if you truly love someone, it’s much easier than living a lie or having to admit later on that you never wanted to get married in the first place. [Read: Itching to get hitched – why you shouldn’t rush marriage]
#5 All your friends are doing it. While hitting life’s milestones at the same time as your friends is great, there’s really no reason to feel left out if you’re the last of your group to head to the altar. It’s better to be the last to get married than the first to get divorced, so take your time. Besides, when you’re the last one to get hitched, your married friends can offer some really great marriage advice, and they usually have more experience in helping you plan your big day. [Read: 9 reasons not to worry if you’re the last one of your friends to marry]
#6 Your ex is getting married. There’s nothing more satisfying than letting an ex know you’ve found someone better and have moved on. However, when the shoe is on the other foot and your ex has announced their nuptials, it can seem like you’ve been punched in the gut. Spite is never a good reason to get married–and besides, there are many other great ways to let your ex know you’re the one who got away. [Read: 9 things to keep in mind if your ex is getting married]
#7 Sex. Some religions ask you to wait until you’re married to have sex, so it might make sense to rush the nuptials a bit to get to the fun stuff. However, there are other ways besides sex to make each other feel good, and most religions that make you wait also discourage the idea of divorce. In most cases, sex is worth the wait, so take your time and make sure your sweetie is the one.
#8 There are kids involved. Whether it’s because someone’s pregnant, or a biological clock is ticking, some people are still of the mind that having children is only an option if you’re married. Study after study has been conducted on whether married parents or single parents do a better job–all with inconclusive results. What is certain, though, is that there have always been single parents, for one reason or another, and they have all figured the parenting thing out and made it work.
Remember, if you or your girlfriend is pregnant, you have options that don’t involve getting married. If you or your partner can hear that biological clock ticking away, but you aren’t convinced your significant other is the right person for you, chances are they probably aren’t going to be the right person to share parenting responsibilities with, either. Having children can be a big motivator to take the plunge, but it shouldn’t lead you to a loveless marriage.
#9 Show me the money. Unless you’re Marilyn Monroe or Lauren Bacall of How to Marry a Millionaire, marrying for money is a cliché that’s been done to death. There’s no doubt that money makes the world go round, but it also has a way of complicating things. As valuable as money is, it’s never as valuable as feeling loved.
It’s important to remember that when you marry someone, you not only gain their assets… you also take on their debt. Some people put on an air of wealth, when in reality, they are broke. Even if you find someone who is truly well-off, it doesn’t mean the two of you will live happily ever after if love isn’t the main focus of your relationship. Make sure it’s love you’re marrying for, and not money.
#10 Your parents want you to. Parents are pretty good at laying guilt trips on their single adult children. Statements such as “When are you going to settle down, get married, and give me grandchildren?” are commonplace. Or, dear old mom might say, “Before I die, I just want to see you walk down the aisle.”
Whatever form the parental guilt takes, it’s never a good reason to get married. You need to live your life for you, and do what makes you happy. Giving in to this kind of pressure only opens the door for this type of parent to guilt you about something else.
[Read: 20 great reasons to get married and live happily ever after]
Getting married is a reason to celebrate, and you owe it to yourself to do it for the right reasons. Marrying for love will make sure your marriage thrives and gives you all the happiness you deserve. Take your time, and commit to not marrying for the wrong reasons.
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