My anecdotally-informed opinion is that there is a rather fluid approach to relationships today without a bright line between being in and out of something meaningful. People hang out together, sleep together a bit, and then - because it's "comfortable" and "easy" - things just continue on in a label-less state. More than this article even points to, people are not making bad choices as much as they aren't making definitive choices at all.
Sex, cohabitation, and the like are easy to get into but quite a bit harder to escape from. This is especially true when pregnancy occurs (as it tends to when biology does what it does) or when partner A cosigns for that Pontiac Grand Prix for partner B but partner A wants to "move on."
Doing things without clear goals leads to aimless behavior as you might expect. The problem is that you are mimicking the most important choices of your life as if you were playing an online role playing game. There is no real you making real choices sometime down the road. This is your real life occurring right now.
From a pastoral perspective people often roll into the priest's office and lay things like this out as if the events happened to them and weren't the result of conscious choices. By the time they have decided they want to talk to the priest, things have usually gotten complicated and off-the-rails enough to make regularizing things quite difficult.
What can you do? Parents and godparents play an important role here. Even if the person never seems to actually listen to what these authority figures say, the voice of reason will softly echo distractingly. "What are you doing? Why are you moving in with him if he doesn't even have a job? What do you even want to do next with your life? When did you last go to church?" The movies make it seem like the "idiot" (to borrow from the term used by the below author) is always the loser boyfriend playing Xbox all day while the girlfriend slaves away. This is truly a gender-neutral opportunity for idiocy.
(Catholic Lane) - It seems many people have marrying an idiot as their goal. The amount of couples getting divorced proves to me that many have already become experts. Sadly, there are still those hold-outs who insist on taking their vow of “till death do us part” seriously even when they get bored with one another or a more interesting/exciting/attractive person comes along.
To those old-fashioned people who care that divorce harms children in drastic, life-altering ways, or who still think difficulties in marriage are worth overcoming rather than throwing in the towel, this article is not for you. You need to get with the times. To the rest of you who wish to join the cultural norm of marrying an idiot and eventually getting divorced only to marry yet another idiot, please keep reading. I will help you find fulfillment.
Here are five steps to get you started:
Continue dating that person whom you’ve already determined you would never want to raise children with or even spend the rest of your life with.
Who cares about Mr. Right? Just go with Mr. Right Now. Your biological clock is ticking! Sure, you could break up with this person, stop wasting time, and go find your perfect match, but why take the risk? Do you want to be an old maid for the rest of your life? Ignore that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that’s telling you you’re making a huge mistake. You can rationalize away all his or her flaws. Besides, you can change this person. People always change, especially people with addictions of any kind. They’ll get better once you’re married. Just wait and see.
Speaking of kids, do not speak about kids
As in do you both want them and/or how many? Talking about how you’ll raise them and educate them is a total mood killer. So what if you find out later that one of you wants to homeschool them while the other insists they’d be better off in public school? Or if one of you wants to protect their innocence, while the other says you ought to throw them to the wolves because it will make them stronger! Sheltering is bad for children. Let them make their own choices, form their own opinions. At least agree that you will not form the consciences of your children. That is not your job as parents. But in order to marry an idiot, be sure you don’t agree on these issues. Or better yet, don’t discuss them beforehand at all.
Pay no attention to your mom or your best friend who knows you better than anyone when they tell you this person is not right for you.
Yes, they have an objective outside opinion, but you’re right in there! The warm fuzzies and exciting newness is all you need. It will last FOR EVER. It’s all about your emotion. If you feel good being around this person, that’s all you need. People on the outside looking in just don’t get it. They don’t know you!
Once you’ve successfully made it to the point of engagement, largely because you’ve been together so long everyone just expects it of you, don’t you dare take that marriage preparation seriously.
Doodling while the experts speak or checking your Facebook page is a definite must. That lady going on and on about the importance of finances and how you ought to have a plan for who is doing what and how you’ll handle money—she knows nothing.
And that little test they give but insist isn’t really a test but just a measure of your compatibility—it’s totally a test. What right have these people to question your fitness to marry one another? Their little test will tell you nothing. In fact, just copy each other’s answers. That’ll show those priests and marriage counselors to try to find any areas that you two need to discuss before the wedding. Can’t they see how in love you are? What more do you need? You’re totally ready!
And finally and most importantly, you absolutely positively must live together before marriage.
How else will you find out if you’re compatible? Clearly, playing house is a good warm up for the real thing. It doesn’t in any way mean that you don’t fully trust one another to take the plunge. Sure, there are countless studies saying that cohabitation is bad for your marriage, and that you’re chances of divorce increase drastically. Yes, the National Marriage Project stated “no positive contribution of cohabitation to marriage has ever been found,” but what do they know? You can beat those odds. So what that that’s what everyone thinks and is clearly wrong? They’re not you. You’re special. You’re different from everyone else. Do what feels right and nothing else matters.
Congratulations, faithful readers. If you have followed these five easy steps, you too can marry an idiot. Or actually be the idiot yourself.