As opposed to just living together forever (or until you don't want to be together anymore). I've been thinking about this some lately. I'm not in a relationship, but I'm getting older and a lot of people I know are getting married or are in long-term relationships. I'm just curious to see what others think and have to say in regards to this.

I had a really negative view of relationships and marriage in general for years. I never thought I would get married for a few reasons, but one major one was because of my parents' divorce and how that kind of fucked up my view of things. It wasn't that they got a divorce that messed with me, it was the way things ended and how dramatic it was. I feel if my parents had a healthier relationship and if my dad hadn't fucked up and cheated and everything else that I would have had a more optimistic view of things. Right now after a year and a half of going on what I call my "dating journey", I feel that I know what I want out of a relationship, but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to get married.

I don't exactly reject marriage anymore, but the idea still doesn't excite me. I will also add that my mom has been in a long-term relationship with someone since 2004 and my mother does not want to get married again (it would be her 3rd time). In her mind, she would rather have the ability to get up and leave and not go through a divorce than to go through through marriage again. I feel like this arrangement is the best one and makes the most sense to me. I currently don't see any benefits of marriage for myself (I'm completely fine with whatever someone else wants to do). I do wonder though if I feel this way because of my past or because that's simply what I think is best for me.

Also, the idea of having a wedding doesn't sound like something I would do. I don't see myself ever planning my wedding or anything. In my mind if I get married, the courthouse and dinner afterwards sounds most appealing and cost-effective. Or even eloping just so I don't have to deal with anything or anyone. Hearing about some of my friends and acquaintances' wedding planning drama convinces me more and more that a wedding would not be something I'd want to plan. My friend who recently got married last month asked me "Well what if the guy is rich?". I told her I'd get a wedding planner.

So I guess my question is, especially for those of you that may have had previous issues and negative views about marriage/relationships in the past, how do you know? Does your mind change once you find someone you want to be with? Did it not change at all and you are happily living with the person and are deciding not to get married? Also, how did you decide what kind of wedding you'd have?

I don't know GT, it's just one of those things I get curious about. I ask myself random questions on a daily basis.