The Future of Marriage

Today I’m taking a page out of “Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper” by SARK. She talks about using writing to create the future you want. I’ve been a bit disillusioned┬árecently, and I want to write my way out of it.

I was pretty sure Australia wouldn’t vote for someone as horrible as Tony Abbott, I was wrong. I was pretty sure the US wouldn’t vote for someone as horrible as Donald Trump, I was wrong.

So when I think of how the vote will go to allow same-sex marriage in Australia, I am reserving my optimism. This sucks because I’m usually pretty optimistic. So if I let go of the concern that the vocal opponents, the ‘No voters’ are more numerous than expected, what is the future I want to create?

Marriage doesn’t rate highly for me. Of course I want the right to marry my partner, but actually doing it is up in the air. Family members saying they want us to marry is lovely, and it’s had us reconsider and talk about the possibility. And it gives me an opportunity to be less dismissive of it, to see the value in it.

But really, I’d prefer to see relationships take a different shape. In the future I envision, we don’t seek a mate for life. We may have a companion that’s by our side for long periods, decades even, but not to the exclusion of all others.

Especially if advances in biotech enable us to live longer lives, do we really want to use a principle for relationships that was established when our life expectancy was half what it is now? I imagine a free-flowing model of relationships that is more about mutual enjoyment and growing through connection, one where longevity isn’t a measurement of relationship success.

I imagine having many kinds of relationships, some platonic, some intimate, some sexual, some based on companionship, some on shared interests, some on circumstance and affinity. Can you imagine a deep sense of belonging from a long-held connection being as valued as the excitement of a new paramour? Can you imagine being free to explore, flirt, and connect with people as deeply or frivolously as you like?

In many ways, this is the antithesis of marriage, but maybe it will take on a new meaning. Maybe marriage will morph and change as everything does. Regardless, the first step is making it an equal access opportunity, for those who want it, and to legitimise our relationships instead of being on the fringe.


This post is day 19 of 45 posts for 45 years.