Maxim: Γαμειν μελλε or "Intend to get married"
I know this is one that quite a few people don't like, but I'd like to discuss why it should at least be given some consideration and the light in which this maxim came about.
The most important thing to note about this maxim is that it arose when getting married was more of a practical and economic thing which was encouraged so that the family line could legitimately continue, property kept within the family, and so that the family cultus and obligations could continue being carried out. Getting married was a vital and imperative part of life for both men and women. In getting married and producing an heir, you fulfilled your basic obligations to your family. To not get married out of circumstance was bad enough, but to swear off marriage altogether was unfathomable.
Marriage today is far different. Moderns marry out of love, not practicality. Many of us feel only a light pressure to carry on the family line, and most of us don't have a family cultus that needs to be perpetuated. Marriage is no longer seen as an imperative part of life and some modern persons swear off marriage altogether. So what do we do with this? I'm not entirely sure, and I'm speaking as a very young man who still retains a certain jubilant optimism, but I agree with the implied premise that you shouldn't swear off marriage altogether, even if your marriage cannot be recognized under the law. No man or woman is an island, and while some who swear off relationships will still get laid when they are young, as they get older that will slow down. A lack of relationship experience will really make it hard to find someone who you are compatible with, and I've seen (or rather heard) the laments of friends who are middle-aged and older about being incredibly lonely at their age. A certain regret at the length of their wild-streak. Of course, I hear some similar complaints from divorcees who wish they hadn't 'wasted their time' with an ex-husband or ex-wife.
Marriage is something to be carefully considered I believe. To be open to it and hope for it is good, but to rush into one because you feel like you 'need' to get married is just as bad as swearing off marriage altogether for whatever reason. Humans need companionship and need support. Do not fear to seek someone out merely because you might get hurt. A coward dies a thousand deaths. Enjoy the pleasures and gifts of Aphrodite and then when the time comes, enjoy the gifts of Hera. Our society is increasingly oriented towards getting one's self in as few obligations as possible, but there is something to be said about lasting companionship I feel.
|Shinto Wedding Party by CaDeltaFoto on flickr|