“Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” – Groucho Marx

For a lot of people, marriage seems like the end all, be all of life. Society seems to agree: to get ahead in life, you have to get married. Well, that isn’t altogether true.

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, “Delayed marriage has elevated the socioeconomic status of women, especially more privileged women and their partners, allowed women to reach other life goals, and reduced the odds of divorce for couples now marrying in the United States.

Getting married should be something that happens to you if you’re in love, not something to make as a life goal. Here are some of the best reasons that marriage isn’t required for you to get ahead in life.

Here Are 5 Reasons You Don’t Need to Be Married to Get Ahead in Life

1. You don’t need someone to complete you

As a society, we tend to put a lot of emphasis on finding your soulmate and getting married. The idea is that everyone is one half of a whole, and that there is someone out there just for them. While that’s nice to think about, it doesn’t have to be true for you, especially if you don’t want it to be!

Marriage is nice, but you don’t need someone to complete you. You are a full person, two halves of your own whole. Focusing on enjoying your life as it is doesn’t make you any less amazing than someone who chooses to get married. Don’t worry about looking for someone to complete you. You’re already complete.

2. Focusing on your career is valid

According to Richard Settersten and Barbara E. Ray, authors of ‘Not Quite Adults’, “Young adults today are not ready to get married until they get all their ducks in a row.” For some people, their work is their life. For people who have high-demand jobs like lawyers and doctors, trying to find time to get married seems like just too much work. And that’s fine!

Having friends or casual, romantic partners to fill your life is a valid choice to make. Sometimes, your career is the thing that brings you the most joy in life. If you love your job and want to focus on doing the very best you can every single day, then you don’t have to worry about getting married. If marriage isn’t for you, it won’t hold you back in life.

3. There’s more to life than just marriage

Some people are led to believe that the end goal in everyone’s life should be marriage. We all know, however, that there are so many more things in life to strive for. Marriage can be one of your goals, but it doesn’t have to be your only goal. If your goal in life is to climb a mountain, or paint a masterpiece, or learn the piano, that’s okay! Of course, always have back up goals for when you finally achieve your life’s work.

4. Marriage doesn’t always last forever

No one likes to think about divorce. But the truth of the matter is, people change throughout their lives. Two people who got married may not feel the same way about one another ten years down the line. That’s normal, and something a lot of people experience. If you think that you’re not going to be happy in your marriage forever, it’s okay not to get married. You don’t need to have a marriage to make your life perfect. Getting ahead in life doesn’t require that you tie yourself to a marriage you’re not 100% sure of.

5. Marriage is just a piece of paper

Marriage can be an amazing and wonderful joining of two lives into one. Marriage can be the start of a family. That is true for a lot of people, but not true for everyone. For some people, marriage is just a piece of paper that declares tax benefits.

Don’t be afraid of living your life without marriage. You don’t need it to get ahead in life – you can do that all on your own. Taking charge of your life is possible even without marriage. All you need is to create goals and take steps to achieve them. Don’t be afraid if marriage isn’t one of your goals – you can live a fulfilling life without it.


Final thoughts

For some people, marriage is the dream. For others, marriage just isn’t on their radar. Society may have you believe that marriage is what you need to get ahead in life, but that isn’t true. Marriage should be something that you should do only if you are truly ready to get married. If you think your life would be better off surrounded by friends, family and work, then that’s a perfectly valid way to live.


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