The funny thing about single people is that we spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how relationships work. Hell, I’d even argue we often dedicate more brain energy to thinking about relationships than actual people in relationships, because most of us are pursuing them, and people in romantic entanglements are already past that particular hurdle. So, naturally, we have many assumptions about what marriage is like. Married folks, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
1. Sex Whenever
I’m not saying that everyone who’s married is getting it 24/7. Only the most overly optimistic type of person would assume that marriage is a constant state of boarding up the house for the pipestorm. The point that I’m making isn’t about the frequency of sex, but the availability of it. Even people in committed relationships often live in separate apartments, meaning that bedroom activities can only happen when one person goes to the other’s place. In a marriage, you’re both usually around each other whenever neither of you are at work. Sure, there are ebbs and flows to each partner’s libido, but generally, in stable marriages, if one person really wants to have sex, I’m willing to bet that the other is willing to accommodate him or her.
2. Comfortable Clothes At All Times
If you both have rings on your fingers, then it’s usually pretty well-assured that you’ve both spent enough time around each other that the mystery of the other person is mostly gone. That’s not a bad thing; in fact, I’d argue that’s the most attractive part of marriage. The idea that you’ve been around someone long enough that you’ve seen that person at his or her worst and still choose to be with him or her is pretty awesome. So, obviously, some of the natural instinct to impress one another has faded. Sure, you probably dress up for each other on date nights and for social events, but around the house, I’d like to think that you two are perfectly happy to sit around in gym shorts and yoga pants, and whatever T-shirts the two of you probably got for free, advertising a 5K that neither of you ran in. In fact, the comfy clothes idea could really serve as a metaphor for a lot of things in a marriage. Since you’ve both locked each other down for (hopefully) ever, you’ve allowed yourselves to start wearing elastic more often (that’s a metaphor, too).
3. Automatic Respect From People
It’s a rite of passage as a young person to be looked down on, or at the very least, not to be taken seriously, by older people simply because of your age. There are a few ways that you can escape from this particular state. You can either get rich, get married, or age out of it. Having a person who has committed his or her life to being with someone somehow increases credibility. I suppose it makes sense on some level. If you’ve managed to convince at least one person of your intrinsic worth, then it stands to reason that other people can trust you just based on the decision of that one person. This is sort of odd, given that most people are really shitty with decisions, but fine. I’ve seen conversations shift for people just by them uttering two words: “my wife” or “my husband.” Suddenly, that person is an instant expert. People older than him or her begin to view that person more as a peer and less as an opportunity to be patronizing. Even more inexplicably, people that person’s own age somehow deem the married folk wise. I know several married couples around my age. Many of them are very smart and vastly more mature than I am, and I take their advice seriously. Others, however, were idiots before they got married, and the rings they’re wearing didn’t make their idiocy any better. In fact, most of them are worse, because they’re buying into their own hype. However, despite my reservations about this system, I’d be all for it if I was a beneficiary. One wife/credibility creator, please.
4. Best Vacations Ever
Vacations as a single person are really odd. They range from road trips with friends all the way to “I’m gonna go find myself” journeys across oceans, neither of which, I would argue, even qualify for what I consider a vacation. The thing is, doing a typical vacation as a single person would be even more weird. You show up to a resort or tourist city (alone), stay in your hotel (alone), hang out at various interesting places (alone), and ultimately take a plane ride home to unpack at your apartment (alone). It feels like it would just end up reminding you how alone you are, rather than being an enjoyable break from your normal grind. Going as a married couple, though, sounds like taking a walkabout in your awesomepants. You and the person you love the most in the entire world go to an exotic place, discover things together, create memories, get drunk and have sex in fun places, meet new and interesting people, and then return home with all sorts of stories to share with your friends. Plus, there’s the fact that you’re splitting the cost of a hotel room with one bed. Which reminds me…
5. Piles Of Cash
You married jerks have the best racket going. Everything that used to be a burden is now split down the middle. Sure, you can’t share clothes (unless one of you is abnormally small or large). But rent or mortgage, groceries, TV, Internet, phones, insurance, books, and porn subscriptions (if you’re into that sort of thing) are all vastly cheaper when you have a spouse. You even get tax breaks for it, dammit! Provided you’re both working, which I assume you are, because the economy is shit, and we’ve happily discovered in the last 50 years or so that women are pretty decent employees if we allow them to be. This is all assuming that you don’t have kids. In fact, this entire column is predicated on the idea that you don’t have kids. If you do, I’m still jealous that you’ve created a human and brought happiness in this world. However, I’m no longer coveting your life. I prefer sleeping through the night and only spending my money on myself and the person who sexes me, thank you very much.