Some people dream of being married from the time they are kids — while others have absolutely no intention of ever tying the knot.
Well, we asked unmarried members of the BuzzFeed Community to share why they never want to get married, and they got real:
1."I don't want to get married because I think marriage is just a facade of 'Look how happy and in love I am.' It's all about keeping up appearances, with no true substance to the relationship. It's saying that the romantic relationship you have is more important than any other, and that without it, you're incomplete. But that's not the case — all long-term relationships, whether romantic ones or friendships, are just as important as each other and require the same amount of work and respect. Continuing this false narrative that without romantic married love, a person is incomplete is disgusting and judgmental."
2."I have my own routines, and another person gets in the way of that. I also value my alone time and like spending time by myself. My cats are all the company I need, and they are way less demanding than a spouse!
"But if I did meet someone and decide to get married, I would definitely need to have my own space and time away from him in order for it to work. We would preferably have to have our own bedrooms. Sleeping in the same bed with someone else always leads to poor sleep quality for me."
3."I don't want to get married because it's generally viewed as a monogamous thing, and I am not a monogamous creature. If my 'number one' wanted to celebrate our partnership, it could not be recognized by the church and state."
4."I always assumed I'd get married because 'that's just what people did.' But one day, I realized that though I'd always envisioned a wedding, I'd never really envisioned a marriage. I grew up in a community where the majority of us grew up in two-parent households where one parent worked and the other stayed home. However, I started noticing how everything revolved around the spouse who worked — their money, their schedule, their social circle, their rules. The power dynamic never seemed balanced. Then, over the years, I witnessed how devastating divorce and death were on these families. Their whole lives crumbled because everything revolved around one person. I got jaded and vowed never to put myself into such codependency.
"My partner and I have been together for 15 years. We still live separately, we have no intentions of having kids, and none of our finances are tied to one another. It may not be for everyone, but it works for us."
5."I don't want to get married because married people seem miserable. Some hide it better than others, but almost every married couple I've ever known seems unhappy."
6."Marriage seems to really benefit only men. Studies show that married men live longer than single men, but the reverse is true for women — marriage shortens a woman's lifespan. There was even a study that showed men sleep better next to their wives, and again, the reverse is true for women. Why would I want to take part in marriage knowing that?
"Plus, I’ve seen the struggle of my mother and older sisters with their husbands, who expect them to do the large majority of the housework and child-rearing while still working full time. Meanwhile, their husbands come home from work and do nothing. It just seems like marriage adds way more work to a woman’s life, and I can’t see that it provides any benefits. It’s a no from me."
"I used to dream of getting married and spending my life with one person forever, but then I took a look at all the marriages around me, and it seemed as if the women were miserable, even if they denied it. It’s as if their light has been snuffed out, and I don’t want that to happen to me."
7."I don't want to get married because none of the most important relationships in my life involve a contract or any form of certification to ensure that they continue, or qualify to the other person how I feel and that I’ll be there for them whenever — these are things that are just understood."
"I don’t even like signing cellphone contracts, so I’m not gonna sign one for a relationship, either! I’m content with a spiritual marriage, but I’m not signing anything."
8."I've seen the ugliest side of divorce, and that's not something I'd ever willingly sign up for."
9."I love my independence! As someone planning to apply to medical school, I can feel confident applying broadly without worrying about someone not wanting to relocate or be in a long-distance relationship. I have an easier time focusing on my studies living alone without someone expecting time from me that I can't give. Not only would I not feel that something's missing if I never marry, but I honestly would be happier being single!"
10."Because the only way I'm happy in a relationship is if I have my own space to withdraw to when I need space and a separate bedroom, since I sleep very lightly. If I could have that, then maybe I would consider marriage!"
11."My parents were terrible role models for marriage. They fought constantly! Even so, in my younger days, I assumed I would eventually get married. But as a young adult, I witnessed my older friends go through divorce, and I wanted none of that. Most of them were happy after the divorce, but the divorce itself was brutal!"
"My parents' marriage was very unhappy because my father is extremely toxic, sexist, and abusive. He mentally abused our entire family, but he blamed my mom for everything. Instead of getting a divorce, my parents continued their unhappy marriage 'for the sake of the children.' This is what fucked up my view of the institution of marriage for good."
12."I've been suffering from depression and anxiety for many years now, and the last thing I want for myself is to be with someone just to feel less lonely or somehow worthy, even if I don't have deep feelings for that person. I'd rather be alone than marry someone just to feel less lonely."
13."I don't want to get married because when I was a child, I saw marriages that I thought would last forever break and ruin — I don't want to go through that or put anyone else through it."
14."I don't see a point in getting married, outside of tax benefits, and I could marry a friend for those. Plus, if things go south, the idea of having to separate or divorce only makes that split more prolonged and difficult. That's not to say I wouldn't want a committed, lifelong partnership — just that I don't want such a partnership to involve getting married."
15."I was a wedding planner for five years, and I organized hundreds of weddings. They all faded into one by the end — people spending lots of money for their 'special day' that was a carbon copy of every other wedding I saw. It made me realize that I don't need any outside institution to validate my relationship. If he wants to leave in the future, I want him to be able to leave without having to get third parties involved, and vice versa. Marriage makes everything messier than it needs to be."
16."Marriage is no longer necessary, since women don't need to rely on men for financial and housing purposes. They can now get well-paying jobs, have their own credit cards, rent or purchase a home, and own or lease their own vehicle. Plus, I am asexual, so I don't want or need a partner to fulfill my dreams. I prefer to be on my own or with close friends."
17."I don't want to get married because I'm a loner who wants to do her own thing. Having to constantly wait for someone else in order to make decisions would drive me insane!"
18."My significant other and I don't want marriage or kids, and we've been together for over 21 years. People just assume that if you are together long enough, then you should get married. We aren't interested. There's the saying, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' We're fine the way we are."
19."I don't want to get married because of the high divorce rate. I don't want to spend a fortune on a wedding and a likely divorce."
20."I got married at 39 years old, and during the first two years, I was really jealous of the marriage my husband had — he had a housecleaner, a cook, and someone to bring in a salary. He never bothered to learn basic adult skills, and I literally had to teach him these things. And what really surprised me is that I found out quickly that once a man is married, American culture now expects his wife to manage him. She gets blamed if he is lazy and doesn't do his fair share around the house, and I got a lot of criticism for not 'making' my very grown husband do the dishes or cook. There are a ton of articles about how to make your husband do his fair share, and 99% of them blame the wife for 'enabling' him.
"But we are on our fourth year of marriage, and things are so much better balanced. I scaled way back at work, my husband does a lot more, unprompted, around the house, and we have way less stress. The balance has made things much more equal, and I really do get a lot from marriage now."
21."I want to live my life in peace and quiet."
22."A marriage is just a contract that a couple sign as proof that they love each other, and nothing more! If you truly love and trust each other, you don't need to show that on paper. A piece of paper won't guarantee your love for each other — only an obligation to spend more money on a divorce."
23."I love my partner, and he proposed with the ring and all that jazz, but while I do want to be with him, marriage just really isn't my thing. It seems a bit archaic, if I'm being honest. Plus, I'm not really big on jewelry anyway.
"But yes, I still have the ring!"
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.