A friend is getting married this weekend; a glorious life together awaits them. Only it’s not really waiting. They’ve known each other for several years, dated, co-habitated, learned each other’s foibles. In fact, they probably know everything about each other; how the other spends, saves, eats, cleans up, what their favorite TV shows are, buzz words that piss them off. Living together for a few years will do that. So now there won’t be any surprises when they are married.
This is a good thing.
Decades and centuries ago, when the modern traditions of marriage were formed, girls were often underage (by today’s standards) when they became married, so of course they were unaccustomed to living with a man, and knew nothing about adult stuff. Boys were typically older when they got married, maybe several years older than their new wives. I’m sure someone could get more specific than I am being, but the point is that the tradition of “waiting until you’re married” comes from a very different time.
Those times are gone. Girls don’t get hitched at 13 anymore (for the most part, I hope). Men aren’t typically 12 years older than their new wives (but it does happen sometimes). And with so much emphasis on me me me these days, a person never knows what a prospective spouse will act like until they are co-habitating. So it seems wiser, more moral, in our culture today to try things out for a period before getting married.
Maybe if more people tried that, the divorce rate would be lower. And maybe fewer children would be born into broken or soon to be broken homes.