Why I Didn't Believe In Marriage A Year Ago, What Changed And Why.

In just over 72 hours I will be married at City Hall in San Francisco.

But less than a year ago I didn't believe in the concept of marriage, here's what changed, how and why:

I studied the construct of marriage for many years, its religious roots, and thought it made sense in the dark ages when the average human life span was around 30 years old but it could not possibly work now that 'being with one person your entire life'  means an average estimated lifespan of 100 + years.

Photo: Marc Flores

Photo: Marc Flores

Religion + marriage. 

I classified myself as 'agnostic' and as a huge believer in science, I was in the school of thought that humans, like most of the animal kingdom, were meant to roam free and have many different partners their entire life. 

I was so strong in my belief system that I was about to write a book to help educate other women on my theory, entitled: 'Hacking Men: It All Comes Down To Pu**y'.  

The thesis of the book was that not enough women understood that the primary driver of human relationships was sex. Many of my my friends were getting upset and teary eyed when Tinder hookups and one night stands didn't end in emotional attachment from the man's side.

They were clasping onto their phones, waiting for a text or a call back.  I tried to explain to them that the men they were hooking up with were not interested in the relationship part, they had a physical need to get their semen out of their body and into the world. 

And if my female friends could understand that and separate sex from getting emotionally invested in men, they might enjoy the process of dating and having sex just for fun, like men. 

But the more I began to think about the history of marriage, the more I began to change my views. The meaning of marriage changes from culture to culture, but marriage has religious roots and religion is largely a control mechanism enforced by capitalising on the human trait of fear that something bad will happen if you do not comply. 

But many of these ancient traditions started with good intentions and practical roots, for example, muslims have to wash before they prey in the mosque - this was a brilliant mechanism to keep disease from spreading hundreds of years ago back at a time when showers didn't exist and disease was rife. 

I watched a brilliant TED talk by philosopher Alain de Botton on 'What aspects of religion should atheists (respectfully) adopt?' showing how many religious practises started with practical intentions and what they could teach modern humans. 

I began to think, 'if many of these practises started out with practical, good intentions maybe marriage did too?'  

A woman who wants a family one day. 

As a woman who has always known she wanted to start a family one day I began to ask myself under what circumstances that would happen?

Another reason for the history of marriage was that it was the best economical construct for having a child and as much as I believe in equal opportunities for women, I do believe the format of one parent working whilst the other looks after the children works pretty well.

Unlike most of the animal kingdom, human offspring cannot fend for themselves and need constant care for five or six years. Perhaps this was why humans needed to be bounded together, for the survival of their offspring? 

And rather than being a constraint on women, maybe marriage was optimised for women?

It's the security and protection a women needs when when she is pregnant or has young offspring. It is a contract saying 'hey lets do a partnership, you go out hunting to get food and i'll protect the offspring in the cave.' 

With modern technology women don't need men to make a baby these days - there are numerous sperm banks where you can impregnate yourself with a home insemination,  there are YouTube videos of lesbian couples showing you how

Being straight I knew I did not want to go the route of bringing a child into the world alone without a man to share the experience. Life was a hard enough struggle alone without bringing a child into the world, I knew I could not do It alone. 

Not meeting the right man for family

My belief of sex for enjoyment rather than attachment + my career ambitions meant that the men I was dating were not in the right frame of mind or at a stage in their life where they wanted to settle down.

They were focused on building heir career and fine with satisfying their physical needs via Tinder and fleeting hookups. Unlike women, men do not have any time constraints as to when they need to focus on starting a family, but women have to make a decision earlier on if they want children. 

Falling In love 

Then I met him (this is the gooey part)  A man who showed me that true love did actually exist and you can experience a much more fulfilling relationship going deeper with one person than spreading yourself too thin.

He was also at the stage in his life where, after years of partying and fun, he also wanted marriage and family and wan't afraid to tell me that I was the one he wanted to do that with.  

A year ago, if you'd have told me I would be having sex with one person only for the rest of my life I would have told you that was the most boring thing I'd ever heard, but after a year of full time monogamy I can tell you that I'm having the best sex of my life, and it keeps on getting better and better.

When you are committed to one person you go on a new road of discovery within the layers of each other, but also experiencing life together.

As much as technology connects us it also disconnects us, having a life partner means you get real-life likes versus Facebook virtual likes to verify your existence. 

Photo: Marc Flores

Photo: Marc Flores

Conclusion

I wouldn't have been able to set up my life with someone if I hadn't of done years of self exploration, traveling and, ahem *cough* partying, first. 

But a combination of 15 years of traveling the world, the free and single life combined with meeting the right person combined with views on family and marriage changing, I can say that I am really excited about the next 15 + years of exploring this planet with a partner who I am 100% committed to investing in. 

Some people have open marriages, some choose polyamory, some monogamy, but what I have learn't about marriage is that it's an agreement between two people based on a set of values that you both believe in reflecting what you both want from life.

You can make marriage what you want it to be. 

WATCH: TED talk by philosopher Alain de Botton on 'What aspects of religion should atheists (respectfully) adopt?'