This is a must-read article for everyone — hetero or not, monogamous or not, interested in marriage or not. It’s important when making major life choices to sort out what might be best for you in your life, rather than reflexively reverting to social defaults.
One of the main reasons I’ve long been out as polyamorous is that I think it’s important for people to see that *people they know* are poly, so they’re aware there are viable choices in relationship structure and less likely to dismiss or judge out of hand.
…I know, the privilege associated with adhering to social defaults is compelling and hard to give up — but over time, trying to conform your life and feelings to society’s expectations (or stepping outside those dictates only surreptitiously or deceptively) extracts a heavy toll.
The peer pressure to marry doesn’t necessarily suggest a problem with marriage itself, but a lack of other cultural models. This results in a lot of people choosing marital and family structures by default rather than by intention — a kind of compulsory monogamy. If I were advising young adults today, I would tell them to seek out people who have set up their relationships and lives in a variety of ways, including traditional monogamous marriage. I would tell them to pursue diverse sexual experiences and explore their sexual orientations before committing to monogamy, or consider relationship structures in which continued exploration could be on the table. I would tell them that marriage is hard — incredibly hard. But, I would have to add that the best things in life inevitably are. I don’t regret getting married, but as I make the decision each day to remain married, I believe I’m doing it with greater and greater intention as I glance down more of the roads not taken and realize what it is I’ve actually chosen, and what I’ve given up.