Selasa, 02 April 2013

Marriage: what people seem to fail to notice

One of the reasons why I cringe everytime someone tells me to date someone is not because I'm against the idea of dating and romance, but because the kind of relationship that's considered normal here.

I mean, a lot of people I know are dating with the mindset of getting married with each other as soon as they started dating. And both parties don't seem to think that it's a big deal. It's the way it's supposed to be, right? You date people, and then you marry them.

Well, to me, it's not. And to be blunt, it terrifies me.

To me, a romantic relationship is always as simple as being with someone that you like. I admit that I'm employing this word in the broadest sense. You enjoy each other's companion, you relate with each other, you care about each other, you respect each other, whatever it is that make both parties feel like they need to be with each other. 

Marriage is a different thing. There is a reason why it is called an institution. Relationship has commitments, but the commitment between two people in a relationship rarely affects things beyond the relationship itself, and the kind of commitments between two dating people are very different in shape and power compared to the ones exist in a marriage. These commitments can range from financial to cultural, and they are often formed not by the couple themselves but by the expectations of people around them, even by the states. So often it involves not evolved and improved kinds of commitment that existed in a relationship, but it changes/replaces these commitments and adds new and different ones altogether (while of course, this is not to say all the previous commitments are erased at all).

I'm not saying that marriage is a bad thing, but clearly it is not just "a step forward" from a relationship. Yet, it's baffling how so many people think of marriage as something that will come to them and their partners naturally. I suspect this is also one of the reasons why divorces happen, because people "forget" to check whether they or their partners are suitable for the kind of commitment awaiting them post-wedding vow, as they only think 'hey we're so great together let's get married ehehehe'.

Aside from all the seriousness, I also blame this kind of mindset--taking the decision to get married for granted--for making the kind of relationship we have around here not as appealing as the ones in the rom-coms. We don't see two people getting engaged as something special, because for all we know, if they were dating each other and not breaking up, that's going to happen sooner or later. I mean, where's the fun in that?

What I can say after all this is that I'm not terrified of what marriage is per se, even though I am not interested in getting institutionalized anytime soon (pun totally intended). I am terrified by how many people seeing marriage as something that just happens anyway, and that how ready they are for it is always measured by financial capabilities, while it is rarely the factor that decides whether a marriage works or fails.

One might argue that there are many people, especially in my generation, that think the same way I do when it comes to marriage, so it doesn't have to deter me from dating anyone I like. But the society always seems obsessed with this concept, that even though the one I date doesn't think about it, the pressure will definitely come from both of our families, and let's just say I am not eager to tend to such nagging.

10 komentar:

  1. i agree. im afraid of marriage, honestly, particularly the 'till death do us part' part. committed to one person your whole life is a big leap of faith from dating. fortunately my parents accept me as is, looking at my dating history, which is....bizarre? im happily dating one in the present, but we both agree marriage is too far (difficult? complex? not fun?) to think abt for now.

    1. Now I'm just curious about your dating history *squints eyes* 8))))

    2. bhahahak~ sampe bokap komen ttg pacar yg sekarang: nanti kalo ga jadi ya gpp, jangan sedih, santai aja.... =))))

  2. Hmmm...
    Bahasa Indonesia aja ah. Daripada ribet :p

    Gue cerita aja tentang kenapa gue menikah.

    Ketika kami memutuskan untuk menikah, sebenarnya karena kami sangat pragmatis.

    Berawal dari obrolan sederhana waktu itu: Ketika elo sakit dan kehilangan kesadaran, siapa yang elo percaya untuk mengambilkan keputusan buat elo yang tidak berdaya? Siapa yang elo percaya bisa mengambilkan keputusan untuk mencabut life support misalnya. Atau mengiyakan tindakan operasi. Atau saat salah satu dari kami meninggal, siapa orang yang dipercaya untuk memperjuangkan agar tubuh kami dibakar, bukan dikubur.

    Nah, kami cenderung tidak percaya kepada orang tua atau kakak-adik kami. I wonder why.... *nyengir*

    Dan setelah diperiksa-periksa, ternyata status 'Pacar' tidak cukup kuat untuk elo mengambilkan keputusan buat pasangan elo yang sedang sakit, paling tidak di Indonesia. Mau hidup serumah berapa lamapun, tanpa landasan legal-formal, ya gak bakal bisa.

    Ya udah, kami memutuskan untuk melegalkan hubungan aja, karena itu yang jauh lebih simpel jika dibandingkan dengan... mengganti warga negara misalnya.


    1. Nah. Gue percaya menemukan orang yang bisa dipercaya untuk mencabut life support (which btw, I don't trust my family to do either 8))) ) bisa offsetting segala tuntutan atau komitment tambahan yang dibawa oleh masuknya gue ke dalam institusi pernikahan. Cuma ya... Orang kadang menikah karena 'ya abis udah umurnya', 'mumpung ada yang mau', dan non-reason reasons lainnya. 8)))

    2. Kalau karena social pressure, umur, mumpung ada yang mau... itu mah disaster waiting to happen. Paling gak, itu yang gue percaya.

      Tapi elo bener, perkawinan itu institusi. Macam bikin perusahaan. Ada kontrak. Ada hak dan kewajiban yang diatur. Lalu ada addendum sepanjang pernikahan itu berlangsung.

      Cinta doang kagak cukup buat kawin coy... apalagi sekadar social pressure. Hahahahahahahahaha


  3. OOT: suka sama labelnya: "Maunya Serius tapi Apa Daya"..

    And, IMO, the writing above is a serious one. :)

    1. Well, one can only try to be, whether it comes across as serious or not is up to the audience. 8P
      Thanks for reading 8D

  4. "the society always seems obsessed with this concept"

    ~obsessed and infatuated.. konangan ngobrol sama yg cakep dikit udah langsung: "Hajar! Wogh #xxxxxxWedding2013!"


    1. x-nya kurang satu...
      *ngumpet di balik punggung Dante*