Is it morally wrong to date someone or marry them for a reason other than love? That would personally make me uncomfortable. I’m an old school romantic who wants their modern day fairtyale. I want that made in heaven marriage to someone that I can’t get enough of and who can’t get enough of me. I want the solid marriage that seems so elusive in a modern society where so many people settle for “safety”. In all honesty, I want the next person that I seriously date to be the last.
However, I have come to realize that not everyone wants the same thing and that’s fine. I know what you’re probably thinking- is she seriously just now figuring this out? Honestly, yes I am.
So, first things first- is it wrong to marry someone for a reason other than love? I don’t think it necessarily is. Now, let me play devil’s advocate. Right or wrong, people get married for reasons other than love all the time. Some are arranged marriages, while others get married solely to have children or for money, security and social status. If you can think of any other reasons, please drop them in the comments.
While it isn’t morally wrong as long as both parties know what they’re signing up for, I don’t think that this is sustainable. The only exception would be an arranged marriage since there are very different expectations and they usually tend to grow into a type of love with each other.
As for arranged marriages, there is a large Indian-Pakistani community here. Many of them practice arranged marriages and have been happily married for decades. However, the dynamic is different. In arranged marriages, people tend to know their role and what they are signing up for as opposed to most couples who “fall in love and see what happens”. For the record, what happens is usually a trainwreck. However, friends that I have spoken to from these communities express that they still have plenty of issues in their relationships. Contrary to popular belief, an arranged marriage doesn’t necessarily eliminate issues nor are they necessarily better. Assuming that the couple consists of two consenting adults who want to enter an arranged marriage, I see nothing wrong with that.
Money is another reason why people marry other than love. In fact, the “gold digger” is vilified in modern society. I have never understood why someone would marry for money. In all honesty, it isn’t that hard. However, some people come from a background where they are taught that they are supposed to be taken care of. Others may simply have expensive tastes and enjoy the “finer things in life”. While there is nothing wrong with that, it isn’t for me.
Don’t get me wrong- I love to be romanced. Flowers and love notes are the way to my heart. I would rather someone tell me how awesome I am, give me a back rub, be affectionate with me, plan dates that we both enjoy, travel the world with me, and find excuses to show me off. I don’t wear jewelry or am into anything really expensive. I would prefer someone to build a life with me and make memories with me instead of throwing money at me. However, not everyone feels that way and that’s understandable. With that being said, a couple should be honest with each other if that’s why they are getting married.
However, there is a word of caution that I will add. If you marry someone for their money, know that there will be expectations of you too. They will probably expect you to look a certain way and have sex with them at their beck and call. Unlike a man who loves you and is understanding if you aren’t in the mood to be intimate, a man you marry solely for his money will not be so understanding. If he’s giving you something, he will expect something in return.
Another reason why people get married besides love is to have children. In my opinion, this is an awful reason to get married. If you love someone and they love you, children tend to be a natural byproduct. This isn’t the case with all couples. However, children should come into the world loved and wanted. Under no circumstances should a child come into the world as a pawn in a game they will never have a desire to play or a means to an end. This is messed up on so many levels.
If you really want a family and haven’t met the right person, there are so many other, much better options. I know people who have adopted and fostered children as single parents. Some people have even used sperm donors to have children and are wonderful parents! I have also heard of people who enter into co-parenting arrangements to have children. All of these are much better alternatives than marrying someone simply to have children. In my opinion, you should marry for love.
Some of the worst advice that I hear is when people in my industry push women to settle for someone that aren’t into because “they are almost forty and their time is running out”. Don’t listen to anyone telling you this- nothing could be further from the truth. People are getting married later, having children later, and living longer. While I don’t recommend delaying it, don’t stress about it and rush it either. Just trust that it will all work out.
To end, I remember a funny story from my late teens. When I was nineteen, I dated someone in the military. I won’t get into the specifics but, he had two coworkers- one was a very obvious lesbian and the other was a very obviously gay man. While gay rights have come a long way since then in the military, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had not been repealed and gay marriage was not legalized. So, in order to get the benefits that military spouses would get, they married each other! While I usually don’t recommend marrying for a reason other than love, I felt that was a clever decision. For the record, they were close friends. Since this was over a decade ago, I have not kept up with them. However, the last thing I heard was that they both divorced and married different people.
In short, be honest with yourself about why you want to marry someone. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with being with someone for a reason besides love, it isn’t the best idea.