As the rest of the world is in still suffering from wedding fever, I thought I would keep on theme.
It’s as though the love bug has been spread thanks to Meghan and Harry and we all now believe in love again after the abundance of Hollywood divorces leaving the world thinking that love was dead.
Watching the coverage, you feel like this is a real life fairy-tale, the type little girls are told to hold in their hearts when they grow up dating, in order to find their prince. But can we all stop for a moment and just focus on what finding love can really be like. It’s not always easy, it’s not always so pretty and the decision to get married is not always one of romance.
We have all been brought up to think that marriage is about love, thanks to this type of fairy-tales. But you only have to look back to through the history of the Windsor family to see how not so long ago, being a royal and marrying was not for love but for lineage. So, where did we decide marriage was about true love?
I interviewed a woman in New York who believed in a concept called the ten year marriage. She was the first one to put this idea into my head that marriage was not romantic, anything but. As I have watched the coverage of the royal wedding, her thoughts have played on my mind.
Not so long ago, Australia was in the fight to legalise same sex marriage. Our legal system seems to have more say in marriage than our hearts. There is protocol and legal requirements to get married and even to get divorced. What’s romantic about that? Filling in forms and getting a license to wed the man or woman or your dreams? Don’t we need a license to drive a car, not to have an official union with the one we love?
These days we are free to choose who we love, but the idea of marriage is not necessarily about love but life logistics. People want to settle down, they want the security of the commitment, they want to legally can show their union or feel they need this official union to start a family. (it’s important to note that you don’t need marriage necessarily to do any of this). Marriage was once upon a time and still today something that was done with logistics and life milestones as a motivation, not just because you were in love.
The romantic part is when you fall in love, when you see that person and they take your breath away. Marriage is one of the biggest decision you make in life and it’s a decision, not an uncontrollable feeling, like love.
So as much as we have all gotten swept up with the idea of the romantic marriage, marriage can be a period full of stress, family dramas, uncertainty, pressure, legal documents and debt (why does this one day costs so much?). Not always things that are so romantic. Talk to any bride or her family in the lead up to her wedding and its stress that she will portray. Whilst the day will most likely run smoothly and be all about love, so much of what surrounds a wedding is not.
I don’t want to sound like the anti-love sexologist here and probably by writing this I do, but I fear that with the media portrayal of this fairy-tale union, it has left many others longing for a wedding that is also fit for a prince and princess because they want that so called romantic wedding too.
Whilst a marriage and wedding is about love, you also need to consider life. Challenge yourself as to why you wish to get married and why you think it’s important and not just because it seems to be the thing eventually to do.
When it comes to a wedding, it is about what will look romantic on paper and on Instagram or more about how you celebrate just one day out of hopefully lifelong commitment. Does the excitement and romantic feel of the wedding, overshadow the realness of the marriage itself?
I love the idea of celebrating love and celebrating two people making the decision to stick life out together. But these fairy tale weddings we see posted all over social media today feel not like a celebration but an attempt to make things look romantic and perfect just to be able to convince themselves and others this is the case.
I believe in marriage and I believe in love, but I also believe so many people enter both with this idea of the perfect fairy-tale romantic story without stopping to think what marriage and love is all about.
Marriage might be a choice but love is not, and that’s the real romance, not necessarily making the decision to say, “I do”