Traditionally, marriage is thought of as the end-goal for a relationship, but more and more couples are deciding not to take the plunge. In fact, for the first time in Census Bureau history, singles and unmarried couples living together make up the majority of households, not married couples. The number of couples living together but not married has also steadily increased. One in four children are born to unmarried couples.
Of course, we've seen this in the celeb world for a long time. Unmarried power couples like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, and Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt might seem glamorous and daring -- but they're really just doing what a lot of Americans are. Living together or even just long-term dating is par for the course now, despite all the continued brouhaha about engagements and weddings.
Here are eight reasons couples may not want EVER to get married.
No scary proposal. Between the Russian guy who faked his death and the pilot who faked an imminent plane crash, proposals are getting weirder and scarier. At least unmarrieds don't have to worry about that.
No wedding crazy. There's something nice about not getting all hopped up on wedding crazy and sending off long, demanding emails to your bridesmaids that are so offensive they're forwarded to the media. Not to mention having to steal a wedding gown or get into a wedding reception brawl.
No fat. Sad but true: Women are more likely to gain weight after marriage than men are. Women take on the majority of the work involved in marriage -- household chores, taking care of the kids -- and they usually work outside the home too. This leaves them with less time to exercise than single women. I'm guessing women in long-term relationships might hit the same problem. But maybe long-term relationship gals are a little less likely to pack on the pounds because they're still hoping for a proposal. Joke!
Cute hyphenated name. When couples don't get married but have kids, their kids get those cute hyphenated names like the Jolie-Pitts have.
No debt. Unfortunately a spouse can be held responsible for whatever debt the other spouse accrued during a marriage. If you're not fiscally compatible, that can spell disaster.
No divorce. Let's face it, divorce is expensive, complicated, and can drag on for years. Separating when you're not married can be just as emotionally devastating, but something about one party packing up their stuff and closing the door behind him and that being the end of it (other than child support if children are involved) can be a huge relief. Plus, you don't have have to put "divorced" on your dating profile.
No alimony. More than half of American women are now the breadwinners of the house. This means if you are married and get divorced, you've got to cough up alimony just like men traditionally have. (Trust me, it's happened to my friends.) But if you're not married? It's all yours, baby.
Live longer. While studies have shown that married men live longer than single men, you know why that is? It's 'cause the wives are the ones who get the guy to go to the doctor occasionally. However, there's no correlation for women. Married women and single women live about the same amount of time. Because women, you know, get their asses to a doctor occasionally. So marrieds end up taking care of their spouses and themselves, while singles only have to worry about themselves.
What other reasons are there to not get married?
Image via Alex E. Proimos/Flickr