Researchers say that fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, which means, you have half a chance to keep the vow you took. With over two million marriages a year, it seems there's no fear of divorce court or broken promises in the U.S. I started to wonder, is there a middle ground between a legally binding marriage and a commitment that counts? Recently, a friend of mine mentioned his desire to merge with a woman in the future. He didn't say he was "against" marriage, but that he's "for" a unification without paperwork.
The trend of not having to make a real commitment to fulfill a primal instinct, started with the internet and it's instant gratification of all things sexual. Now with Tinder, you can actually bring the sex home with a few swipes to the right. Sex with no strings attached and women who can support themselves financially, means less need for marriage licenses. When men couldn't get laid without a ceremony and women couldn't eat without a husband, marriage was the optimal choice for both sexes. Now it's more of a tradition for those who fall in love and believe they are the fifty percent who can make a marriage work. You know, the go-getters.
So far, two of my marriages ended in divorce so the odds are, that my third marriage would actually last. I'm over the fifty hump by another fifty, so that should give me more hope than the last two times, at the very least. I'm a hopeless romantic who never quits the word love or the desire for eternal happiness in a monogamous relationship. I know that the third times a charm but even with my foolish thinking, merging sounds like a novel idea. After just recently signing on the dotted divorce line, no paperwork to deal with would be ground breaking for me. Easy in and easy out. Except, of course, for those messy feelings and heavy moving boxes.
Another word that is gaining speed is blending. The act of a gradual unity that comes from two and equals one, at some point, seems reasonable. People blend families of children and animals and Brady Bunch right into a one-family household. You could pull a Gwyneth Paltrow and consciously couple so that when it's over, you can call it one thing, but really just get divorced like everyone else. No matter what the commitment is called or how it ends, the act of loving someone is the quintessential fairytale that most people yearn for. There are thousands of online dating websites to look for it and even some for single parents looking to blend with another family, including singleparentpassions.com and mylovelyparent.com where kids can join in on the fun.
Is meeting someone interesting, dating, being exclusive, moving in together, and merging your lives as sealed of a deal as marriage? Existing in each other's lives, which includes family events and daily struggles, is as close to a marriage as you can get but without the expensive price tag of a wedding and prenup. Can a couple feel as connected and meshed without having shared healthcare and government benefits? If the relationship is strong enough and the desire of both parties is to be together, than a little piece of paper doesn't matter... right? Merging is the marriage for the age of technology and short attention spans but I do miss the days when I could hold a man's attention for longer than a short-term lease.