The Straits Times has a number of articles today where young people write about why they would rather not get married. Interesting, interesting. Let's take a look, first, at the article by one Goh Wen Zhong:
The funny thing about practical problems is that if you look hard enough, you can usually find practical solutions. And Mr Wang is such a practical guy. So let's take a look at Wen Zhong's practical problems.If my immediate future is not secure, the thought of marriage, or even emotional attachment, does not cross my mind. It is not born out of a selfish desire of self-advancement, but for practical reasons.
This is dumb. A wedding ceremony is a one-day event. A marriage is a lifetime project. Now if you and your partner really want to undertake a lifetime project, you should never let a one-day event stand in the way. It would be as absurd as saying, "I really want to go to university, but it's just too difficult to get the application form and fill up so many blanks."I want to be able to afford a wedding ceremony befitting the significance of the occasion.
Dear Wen Zhong, if the wedding ceremony is really such a big problem for you, I suggest you just skip it. Seriously. If you have a limited budget, spend on a nice honeymoon in an exotic place, rather than on a 75-table wedding dinner where half the guests are there only because they feel socially obliged to be there. I can't even remember half the things that happened on my wedding ceremony day. But the honeymoon, heheheh, I remember. Next problem, please:
Mr Wang says: that's not an immediate problem. When you've just gotten married, you don't have kids (hopefully). When you don't have kids, your wife will be bored stiff staying at home playing homemaker. So she should go to work. What do you want her to do - stay at home and mop the floor all day? As for kids, you can defer them until you and your wife feel willing or able.I want my wife to have the freedom to choose whether to work or be a homemaker.
Frankly I think it's none of their business, but if you ask me, most parents are happy to see their kids get married, and most parents are even happier to become grandparents. And why should your marriage be a burden to your parents?I want my marriage to be a genuine joy to my parents, and not a burden.
That's nice. That's also impossible as long as you stay single. The first step to becoming the best husband and father around is, of course, to become a husband and father. Funny, this Wen Zhong fella. His aspiration sabotages itself.I want to be the best husband and father I can be.
Good point. So save your money. Set some financial goals. Educate yourself on financial planning. Which you should do anyway, Wen Zhong, regardless of whether you get married or not. Contrary to what you seem to be thinking, Wen Zhong, singlehood doesn't make you rich. And actually, Wen Zhong, marrying a rich lady could be your fastest way to get rich (not that Mr Wang advocates marrying rich ladies for no other reason than their being rich).The peripheral thoughts are mind-boggling: Financial stability is a must.
The next writer is Chen Wei Li, a recent graduate from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He wrote:
So the argument goes like this: "I don't want to get married because I want to do other things first like ... A, B, C." The questions are then (a) what are your ABCs; (b) do you really want to do them; (c) are you taking positive steps or making some definite plans for your ABCs, (d) are they just idle daydreams that will last even when you're 60 years old and still single; (e) does marriage really stand in the way of these ABCs; (f) if the right person comes along, will your ABCs still be overwhelmingly important.On a more pragmatic note, I simply want to spend more time doing things without the obligation of answering to a family.
I would love to go backpacking in Europe or run a business or throw all my money on a new car.
I know many people who would say, "I don't want to get married now because I want to focus on my career and succeed in my job." Now I can respect this kind of argument very much - if the person is indeed passionate about his job; works very hard at excelling in it and so on.
Question these people further, and you find, more often than not, that they don't particularly love their job (they may even hate it), they aren't facing any particularly exciting work challenges, and they are approximately as lackadaisical as the average other employee (married or not) in their organisation.
If you look at Wei Li's ABCs, you may begin to see some likely false dilemmas. For example, if you want to go backpacking in Europe, just go. It's only one month, maybe two months of your life. How does it stop you from getting married? Heck, get married and go backpacking with your spouse in Europe.
Wei Li's second ABC - running a business. Curiously, if you stop to think about it, most of the SME-type of businessmen you know are probably married. Furthermore, their wives probably play a big role in helping to run the business.
Wei Li's 3rd ABC is ... a bit sad, in my view, but to each his own. If the romantic interest in your life is someone to whom you're willing to say, "I won't marry you because I prefer to own a car instead", well, chances are, she's not someone you genuinely love anyway.
More thoughts later ...