Weddings

If you’re not looking to have a traditional marriage, here are 6 ways to find true happiness

Someone told you that you need a traditional marriage to be happy? Not at all.

Not everyone works the same way so why must we desire the same things from a relationship? Within it are options available for people who don’t believe in marriage, are commitment-phobic, LGBTQA, or just plain don’t believe in monogamy between two people. There are a lot of reasons that a person might not be interested in the traditional way of going about it, be it due to a lack of interest or opportunity, and there are options available for them to pick and choose from. Because that’s what marriage is, isn’t it? A choice two people make.

[bctt tweet=”Because that’s what marriage is, isn’t it? A choice two people make. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

1. Cohabitation

[Image description: a gif of a scene from Gilmore Girls. Jackson is saying to Sookie, 'Why would living together mess all that up?' Image source: giphy.com]
[Image description: A gif of a scene from Gilmore Girls. Jackson is saying to Sookie, “Why would living together mess all that up?”] Via giphy
Cohabitation is when people in a committed relationship simply live together. They share their lives, and a home, and are privy to one another’s bathroom habits and bad days. Nothing but their will binds them together. Now, sure, they are not bound to one another by law, but does that really make it any less serious of a commitment? Who needs a piece of paper when you have plain ol’ love?

2. Starter Marriage

[Image description: A gif of two judges from America's Got Talent quickly placing their hand over a buzzer to say yes for a contestant.]
[Image description: A gif of two judges from America’s Got Talent quickly placing their hand over a buzzer to say yes for a contestant.] Via giphy
Maybe you don’t hate the idea of being married to your partner but you’re afraid it won’t last. The uncertainty is pretty normal, and nothing to be ashamed of. Starter marriages give you the chance to write your own marriage contract and put down an expiration date. If you still want to be married by the time your expiration date comes around you can just write up another contract or renew your current one. Then there is no what if to haunt you.

[bctt tweet=”The uncertainty is pretty normal, and nothing to be ashamed of. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

3. Parenting Marriage

[Image description: a gif from the movie The Back-Up Plan showing Jennifer Lopez telling a man, "Just give me your sperm." Image source: giphy.com]
[Image description: A gif from the movie The Back-Up Plan showing Jennifer Lopez telling a man, “Just give me your sperm.”] Via giphy
This is a good option for someone who is aromantic and wants a family. An aromantic person may not have a romantic attraction to someone but that has no bearing on having a sexual attraction to one’s partner or wanting to share a loving home with someone. There is no shame in feeling this way. So if you want to have kids with someone without the pressure of a romantically-attached marriage, parenting marriages are just the thing for you.

4. The Living Will

[Image description: a gif of TV personality Chelsea Handler supporting gay rights on her talk show. She says, "Let gay people do whatever they want." Image source: giphy.com]
[Image description: A gif of TV personality Chelsea Handler supporting gay rights on her talk show. She says, “Let gay people do whatever they want.”] Via giphy
Is romance dead? I don’t know about that. But lawfully allowing someone the right to make decisions on your behalf when you can’t, might be an important step. A living will is made when one is alive, in which one can name their partner (married or not) as their next of kin.

If you live in a country where LGBT+ marriage is illegal, then this can be a good way to work around an unfair and oppressive system. Just make sure to check out your national laws regarding this process.

5. An Open Marriage

Image description: a gif of Beyoncé being Beyoncé at a concert.
[Image description: A gif of Beyoncé flipping her hair.] Via giphy
There was once a time in my life when I was all raised eyebrows about this one. I thought that if you’re emotionally committed to one person, you wouldn’t want to have sexual or romantic encounters with anyone else. But some people don’t experience desire and love as purely monogamous and that’s completely okay!

Nothing dictates that an open marriage is a lesser marriage. Research dictates, however, that priorities and explicit communication are necessary for such an arrangement to work out. So as long as everyone involved is consenting and clear on the situation, then everything is good. 

6. The Happy State of Singledom

[Image description: a gif of a woman wearing elaborate jewelry and a red dress celebrating her single lifestyle. She says, "I'm as single as a dollar bill, and I'm loving it." Image source: giphy.com]
[Image description: A gif of a woman wearing elaborate jewelry and a red dress celebrating her single lifestyle. She says, “I’m as single as a dollar bill, and I’m loving it.”] Via giphy
You can call me a Crazy Cat Lady for this one, but I don’t care. The fact is that you don’t need another human being to feel fulfilled. If someone tries to tell you that you’ll be miserable without a partner to share your life with, you tell them about the ways in which you aren’t on your own. On the contrary, you happen to be in excellent company! Tell them about Florence Nightingale, Coco Chanel, and Shonda Rhimes; all amazing women who didn’t need to be married to do amazing things with their lives.

[bctt tweet=”The fact is that you don’t need another human being to feel fulfilled. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

So to all of you out there being pressured into marriage; you have other options. Don’t let anyone dull your shine, or try to tell you what you need to be fulfilled!