A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page, ” What is the difference between being in a serious dating relationship versus being in a marriage?” I was inspired to answer, so here it goes.
At the very least, a marriage is a legal or religious contract between the couple and and state or religious figures involved (family and witnesses too, in most cases), but I think it’s much more than that. A marriage is a combination of two lives coming together, like two rivers joining. What was once a single source of movement becomes a more powerful joined movement (legally and religiously) and everything tying it together is now joined. There is no more mine and yours..marriage makes all burdens, efforts, celebrations and losses, “ours”. Marriage is forever, despite what divorce rates may tell you, and it’s sad to see people are seeing it as more of a glorified relationship than a permanent bond.
Marriage has changed over the centuries. Where a man could simply choose, then cast aside his wife in biblical times with no ceremony (just a dowry, usually), marriage has evolved into a ceremonial union recognized by both religious and legal aspects and is now beat all, end all, union for people wanting to spend their lives together.
Could you do that in a relationship? Yes, you could do SOME of that in a relationship. A hose puts out water, but it’s no river. A river is powerful, nearly eternal, and ever moving…a hose is on when you need it and off when you don’t. A relationship may be “serious” between two people, but unless you’re tying together family, your religious figures, and your state/nationally recognized legal system, it’s has no support system and can easily crumble. Your collective family, your god and religious figures, your friends, and your courts are your support system and can help you repair even deep errors made in a marriage (should they be made), while a relationship issue usually involves separate counseling and discussions with different family members and absolutely no solidarity.
What I am essentially trying to say is that a “serious” relationship is never serious. If it were “serious”, it’d be a marriage.