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If You Like it, Should You Put a Ring on it?

Do you plan on getting married? Have you always planned on getting married? If so, congratulations because only about half of Americans are married now. According to census data, the numbers went down from 72 percent in 1960.

Marriage is something that has played time and time again in pop culture and it is also something that little girls dream about. A perfect example of this is the movie Bride Wars in which the two main characters Liv and Emma have been planning their wedding since childhood; they have every detail down to the color scheme! I’m not going to spoil the rest of the movie for you if you haven’t seen it yet, but just know getting married, for children, was supposed to be magical. So, why the sudden change?

It could be due to the fact that women are more independent now than ever and do not need to have a wedding ring in order to have stability in their life. More women are earning college degrees and entering the workforce, and thus, the idea of marriage becomes less necessary for their economic survival.

Another reason could be that marriage doesn’t symbolize what it used to. It used to convey a sense of meaning, purpose, direction, and stability that benefited adults. However, most couples are realizing that they no longer need that label on their relationship to define what they are to the world (or to their parents). Couples are able to find purpose and stability in a ton of other things which doesn’t always include marriage.

My mom always used to tell my sister that by the time she was her age (25) she was already married and started to settle down; this obviously terrified my sister as she is nowhere near settling down and isn’t sure if she actually wants to. I think my mom finally realized if my sister ever does get married it won’t be until later and will completely be her decision. It’s something a lot of people are now realizing, they have more confidence and control over the timing of these things.

“You don’t have to stand in front of your family in order to declare your love for another person” this was said to me by my friend Ally and I think it speaks volumes on the current standing of marriage in this day and age.

Is your love for another person more valuable if you publicly declare it in front of friends and family? It depends on personal beliefs and experiences, but to me I don’t see a difference – you can be just as happy with your significant other without putting a ring on it.

For me, I’m not positive if I ever want to get married; sure, that could be subject to change once I find someone in the future, but if we truly do love each other then that should be enough. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with tying the knot, I think it’s fantastic when two people decide to do so (besides the fact I love going to weddings). Weddings and getting married are two beautiful things, but it’s just something I don’t see myself doing.

In hindsight we’re never going to stop looking for love, but that doesn’t always mean we have to head down the aisle once we find it.

Kaylie is a freshman studying Journalism + Design and Economics at The New School in New York City; in her free time she likes reading, walking aimlessly around the city, coffee, and petting cute dogs.
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