With this Ball and Chain, I thee wed…

I read this article today: http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/love,-sex-and-relationships/bad-wedding-jokes-20120703-21e9c.html, and it’s made me think of this whole phenomena where marriage is made to seem like the end of the line for men, while for women, it’s made to seem like the beginning of a fairy tale. Apart from that, it is made to seem like men have everything to lose in marriage and women have everything to gain. Its cheap humour, overly repeated, like an episode of Jersey Shore played five times in a row, but it’s there. It made me wonder about where these views come from. Is marriage really the end of the line? Is that the case for men more so than for women? Why?

Sure in 1920, a man who married a woman was meant to have the means to support her and the family, but this is 2012 after all, and most women have the means to support their own shoe addictions. In some cases, you even have women supporting men (oh the shock!). But yes, it does happen. The year I started my undergraduate studies, the ratio girls outnumbered boys three to one in business/commerce studies. As this ratio is pretty much the same across a lot of institutions apart from very “male” fields such as IT, engineering and the like, I’m thinking the ratio of women supporting men is also going to grow in time.  Personally, I’ve been in a few long term relationships and I’ve made no financial game from them.

Then there is the other issue – monogamy. And this idea that sex with many different people is better than having sex with the one person. Is it really? How do you feel the first time you go to a new personal trainer, or yoga instructor, or physical coach? It’s slightly awkward isn’t it? You’re spending time reading each other, getting to know a new pattern, getting used to each other.  It takes a few times before you are really comfortable and in sync with each other before it gets great. Then you get into this pattern, it gets monotonous so you throw something new into the mix, and suddenly you’re all inspired and fired up again. Now, how is sex any different? Like any sort of practice, it only gets boring when you get into a rut.  There’s always something new you can throw into the mix. There are endless possibilities.

I do however, see the point. We are in this age of transition. On the one hand, we still have women who are modern in the sense that they are brand crazy and into trends, but are still rather traditional in that they live at home, having parents support some of their shopping habits and expect a man to pay for it all. Then on the other hand, you have women who live on their own, support themselves, and have their own activities.  Some would rather be alone with a cat forever than give it all up for a man, while others are independent until they have a man, then they expect the man to take care of it all.  So what’s a guy to do? It’s confusing. There’s not enough new material, so might as well go for the old jokes.

In a time where nothing is what it seems and everything is changing, I suppose the old jokes are a form of comfort, of bringing things back to simplicity. It’s been heard before, many, many times, and if you’re intelligent enough to be comfortable with your own decision and what your relationship is really like instead of what the stereotype is, you’ll not take these jokes to mind. And if you do take the jokes to mind, then maybe it’s time to look at the why. Is this what you really want? The only people who think it’s bad to be single are your parents, and well meaning but slightly bored friends who are in relationships. It’s not that complicated, and it’s not really the end of the line. In 2012, and in some religions since 1000AD, divorce is perfectly legal.

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