“I’m Not the Marrying Type” What?

"portrait of a man" 2004-2006

OK…what type are you?

Is there a marrying type? Is there a non-marrying type? Or is this a convenient way of disguising a fear of deeper love and intimacy? My gut tells me it’s the latter.

There are plenty of people in the world who dread the idea of marriage. To them marriage is some kind of “lock down” rather than a “set free” type of scenario. For those of you who think about marriage as an option but are not sure it’s the best way to express your feelings, let’s look at the pros and cons.

Let’s do the cons first. One obvious one is, you are restricted to one person, of course, that’s if you are truly “married.” Getting married to cheat on your husband or wife after you’ve grown a little familiar is something else entirely. I’m talking about a real marriage where you give up single living in order to have a twosome bond. In a real marriage, there is only room for one person in that spot. For some this is a definite minus. They believe they have “oats” to sow now or maybe forever. Right?

Another con is that you’ll have to “work” at improving the marital relationship if you want it to stay healthy. Left alone or neglected, marriage get sour and distant. People grow apart. Some people get married assuming they are going on vacation indefinitely. Surprise, surprise. Who wants to have to work on your love relationship? Only people who see the value in deepening a love relationship over time.

Then of course there are other minor cons like having to deal with your spouse’s family which could prove difficult, and the proverbial raising of children together. These potential stresses can make marriage appear to involve a lot of work with less payoff than is necessary for all the trouble.

The pros start with the usual having someone to love, love deeply that is. It’s one thing to love. It’s another to love deeply. The word deeply tells the story. To love deeply in a love relationship, however, is something you have to earn. It’s not a given. It’s something two people can, if they want to, build together.

It’s common knowledge that a deeply committed love relationship makes the people involved healthier. It does this because we all have a not so well hidden “need for deep love.” We come into the world with this need and unfortunately many of us (all?) have a helluva time trying to meet that need for deep love we are all carrying around. Marriage is an effort to meet that need for deep love.

In a deeper love you can get some “rest.” Partly because you don’t have to keep looking for what you’ve found over and over again. You can slow down and fight the legitimate “stresses” of living at a slower and and more relaxed pace. You can get around to savoring life when in a deep loving relationship.

Why would anyone have to be a “type” to enjoy this kind of thing? Maybe it’s the word marriage. OK let’s call it a deeply connected togetherness with another person. OK let’s forget the legal stuff. Alright, let’s even leave out the kids and the dog, and the three car garage. Let’s think about a two person love commitment that makes you feel healthy and alive. Last time I checked, this is something we are all built to have in our lives if we believe we’re the type to have it.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan

 

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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