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"In fact, I think the whole concept of marriage is unnatural. I mean look at pigs. Let's take a second here and look at pigs. Okay pigs don't mate for life. I mean a pig can have like a hundred sexual partners in a lifetime, and that's just an ordinary pig not even a pig that's good at sports!" ― Chandler Bing (Friends)

Well, it seems like a perfectly valid argument. Marriage seems to change everything in a relationship, doesn't it? All of a sudden the man becomes boring and the woman starts nagging. The man takes up a higher paying job to support the family and works late, while the woman feels no need to look pretty anymore and starts putting on some weight. And then the kids come into the picture and it all gets even worse. They yell, they scream, they complain, and the relationship, which ran out of love perhaps within a year of the wedding suddenly transforms into an arrangement to look after kids. Here the couple no longer able to remember why they got married in the first place. And then suddenly it all ends one day when the husband and wife cheat on each other, because they start seeing how green the grass is on the other side. Or less acrimoniously, when both understanding partners simply admit to being bored of each other. How many marriages have you seen follow this similar progression (or should I call it regression?) Too many, I'm afraid.

When you Look for Bonds

The slightly exaggerated pig-joke aside, people get married for one basic reason, because they see marriage as one of the milestones in this journey called life. Somewhere in our subconscious mind, we feel that when we die, we are going to have to fill out a form. Born? Check. Educated? Check. Moved out of the house? Check. Got a job? Check. Enjoyed some precious moments? Check. Got married? Ummm ... We just don't want to leave that one box unchecked! What else will explain the fact that people who were picky with their criteria in searching for 'Mr./Miss. Right' in their prime years start searching desperately in their 40s (late 30s for women) and settle for a 'Mr. or Miss All Right'? What explains 'sugar daddies' and 'cougars' using their financial muscle to 'buy' love and security? So, you can say all that you want right now about commitment phobia and an inability to 'tie' yourself down with someone, but rest assured that as age catches up with you, you will find yourself latching on to any half decent person of the same or another sex, and trying desperately to make things work.

There are others who know that they want to get married. There are people who feel that they will find someone special and that will be the end of one of the endless lists of searches in life, which include knowledge, job, happiness, satisfaction, etc. There is this wonderful feeling of finding someone and pretty much putting a handcuff on that person and feel good that the search is over.

There are people who see it as a way to take the relationship forward. Many people across the world balk at the idea of premarital sex. They feel that physical intimacy (or fourth base, as others may call it) ought to be saved for after marriage, as they see it as a means to give a social and cultural consent, before consenting. Sounds funny to me, but to each his own really! There is also the common need within humans (and also other animals) to procreate. That and the stigma of having a baby born out-of-wedlock (there is a rather derogatory term often used to describe someone born in this arrangement) drives a lot of people towards marriage. A new-born needs both a father as well as a mother, something which can be best accomplished through marriage.

Still others marry for more practical and heartless-sounding reasons. The most common among these is money. Marry someone rich and you never have to worry about financial problems ever again. The guy/girl will take good care of you, new car, caviar, seven star daydream- to tweak the famous lyrics a bit and make them a bit more contemporary. You never have to lift your little finger, and the price you pay for this luxurious living is largely physical, but seemingly, a good bargain. Some marry to get associated, non-monetary benefits be it health insurance, immigration, fame as the spouse of a star, or good, guilt-free sex for a lifetime. The ones with lesser heart than these marry for divorce and alimony. Means to an end, as some may say.

What do I feel about the topic? Call me old-fashioned, but frankly, I feel that marriage is a sacred institution which ought to be respected. Take the compatibility test just to be sure. After all, you need the partner that is right for you and the one who you will continue to love through the bleak situation highlighted in the first paragraph!