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27 dresses ceremony scene
27 dresses ceremony scene
Fox 2000 Pictures
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

There are two types of people: Those that want to get married and those that… don’t. 

In today’s society, with its ‘situationships,’ almost (but not really) couples, and ‘hookup’ culture, it is rare to come across someone who still has a romantic vision of marriage. Yet, the least romantic person you could possibly come across, I have found myself sharing a flat with one of these rare humans. 

My flatmate, let’s call her Lucia, is a second-year uni student at St Andrews, like me. She is a 2004 baby, like me, and she has been disappointed by men quite a bit, like me. 

So why is she marriage’s number one fan, while I am its number one hater? 

Our Parents 

Contrary to what you would expect, my parents have been happily married for almost 26 years. They met in college at 19 and have been together since. They have had their ups and downs like every couple, but they have never been able to imagine a life without the other. 

Meanwhile, my flatmate’s parents are separated. They are best friends and even go on holiday together. However, they did not work well in marriage. Still, this has not put her off marriage but rather encouraged her to believe in it. 

“From the ‘bad’ examples, I have learned what marriage should be like. I have seen what often goes wrong and have an idea of what can be done to turn that around by working on those points.”

At the same time, although I personally have a good example of a ‘good’ marriage, being able to see how two people work through their issues within marriage has made me realise that it just is not for me. 

A Marriage Personality 

Our generation seems to have learned not to repeat our parent’s patterns. Instead, we seem to be more concerned with what will work for us as individuals. 

As Lucia argues, her belief in marriage has nothing to do with religion but with an “innate personal desire” to create a conventional family. She wants to be a mother in the future, and although you don’t have to be married to do that, getting married is part of her personal journey towards her ideal family. 

“When I was younger, I would cover my head with blankets, towels, and anything I could find and pretend it was a veil as I walked down the aisle to my stuffed animals. I have just always wanted a wedding!”

I’m the complete opposite. When I was younger, my dolls would go to university and go through dramatic breakups. I was a drama queen and loved creating heartbreaking scenarios for them. I never dressed up as a bride, practiced my vows, or even imagined myself taking someone else’s name. 

I also never thought about having children. In fact, I used to get really angry when people referred to my mother as “Vera’s mother.” I disliked it when she was addressed as someone’s ‘wife.’ The possessive aspect really bothered me for some reason, and it still does. 

Hence, Lucia has what I call a ‘marriage personality.’ For her, the idea of being someone’s mother and wife is a source of joy. I don’t have a ‘marriage personality’ because, for me, those terms have a heavy weight attached to them, at least for now. 

Is marriage even necessary anymore? 

The main reason marriage struggles to find supporters amongst our generation is because we always ask the question: what’s the point? 

If marriage is so easy to dissolve through divorce, and we can get the same commitment from a partner without having to be legally bound to them, why bother in the first place? 

Lucia argues that marriage is not only personal. Yes, there is an aspect of personal intimacy that goes with it, but the main point is to show commitment. Emphasis on the word ‘show’. Lucia argues that being someone’s girlfriend and boyfriend has become such an ambiguous concept due to ‘hookup’ culture that it no longer says much about your commitment to each other. 

“Marriage is a public statement of commitment.” she says, “For example, on a night out, if someone asks you if you are single and you say that you are actually married, they are more likely to respect that and let you be. However, if you say you have a boyfriend, that doesn’t necessarily dissuade them from trying to persuade you” 

Personally, I think she has a good point. You are not less committed to a person if you are not married, but to the outside world, a marriage is more solid. A relationship is a fence with a tiny hole in it. If you try hard enough, you can wiggle your way into it. Meanwhile, a marriage is like a wall. You can break it, but you need heavy force to do so. 

Nonetheless, it is still up to you whether the fence or the wall works better for you. Personally, the idea of the wall feels claustrophobic. The outside world will struggle to get in, but that also means I will struggle to get out. Instead, the fence ensures I will not be stuck within; if it gets toxic or complacent, I can easily find my way out. It also reassures me that the person I am with is with me because they genuinely want to, rather than because leaving is too complicated even to bother. 

Again, choosing one or the other will depend on who you are as an individual and the stage of your life you find yourself in. However, some people will always be more into walls than fences and vice versa, which is unavoidable. 

Are We Scared of Walls, or is it Something Else? 

The notion of walls- sorry, marriage- is a bit daunting. Many what-ifs come to mind as soon as the M word is uttered. Like, what if I am not able to give them what they need? What if I can’t leave and am stuck in an unhappy relationship? What if the spark fades halfway through? Well, if you are like me, don’t fret. Lucia has some optimistic advice for us. 

“Sometimes people are just scared of being married. It’s not that they actually don’t want it. If this is the case for you, maybe reflect on the root of that fear. What are you actually scared of? Is it divorce and not marriage? Think about this because if what you are scared of is, in fact, divorce, you might actually make a great wife or husband!” 

Overall, I hope my flatmate’s and my contrasting views have comforted you. Whether you want to get married or would rather not, I hope we have made you feel less alone. 

PS: Remember, marriage is a very personal decision, and it is never too late to change your stance on it! 

Vera Fortun Marco

St. Andrews '26

Vera Fortun is a second-year English and IR student at the University of St Andrews. Apart from writing for Her Campus, she enjoys writing fiction prose and playing around with poetry. When she is not writing you can find her nose in a book, searching for new pieces to add to her wardrobe or seeking out new coffee shops around town.