Today's post is a bit of a change of speed from my usual rantings. Tonya Vrba contacted me with this post and thought it would be a good fit for the readers here around the Periphery.
Author Bio: Tonya Vrba is a passionate writer. Her work has been published in newspapers and blogs. She writes frequently about health, career and online dating. Learn more about her work at her personal website
Changing the Traditions of Relationships: good or bad for society?In the tragic romance of Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers marry before meeting their unfortunate demise. Juliet is 13 years of age. While his age is never specifically mentioned in the play, it is reasonable to assume he is in his late teens or early 20s given the traditions of the period. When looking back at one’s family history it is common to find grandparents and great grandparents who married in their late teens or early 20s. Many of us have parents who were wed in their early to mid 20s as well.
Today, young people are waiting longer to get married. It’s not uncommon for high school or college sweet hearts to date for six or seven years before they finally decide to tie the knot. Sometimes they even move into together before getting married and sometimes they never get married at all. All this is, of course, untraditional. It goes against the official beliefs of many religions and may be seen as indecent or sinful by older generations.
We are witnessing an interesting clash of cultures as we see old traditions challenged and new codes of morality and purity established. In the United States, 92 percent of the population believe in a God. Most religious traditions frown upon having sex before marriage, conceiving a child out of wedlock, moving in together before marriage and homosexual marriage. Despite these traditions, 95 percent of Americans have had premarital sex, 40 percent of all births are out of wedlock and 53 percent of Americans support gay marriage.
None of these cultural changes in relationships has passed traditional people unseen. There are strong campaigns against all these changes. The changing traditions today are not left to the older age of marriages but to how relationships are viewed across the board.
As a culture, we must be headed in a positive direction. Since divorced peaked in the 1980s, more married couples have remained together. This is blamed on the facts that couples are waiting longer to get married and that they also wait until they become financially stable. Yet, too often there is substantial pressure on young people to get married.
After I had been with my boyfriend for about two and a half years, I started hearing the question. So where are you tying the knot? Any marriage plans? When, in your early 20s, you have family members dropping hints and friends who are choosing to marry young, these comments can be very distressing. This can be especially true if a person is also single.
Now, of course, every person has their own goals in life. The truth of the matter is no one deserves to feel unimportant simply for being single. They also should feel more than welcomed to carry on a long relationship if that’s what they want. The hard part of carrying on those lifestyles is that parents and grandparents may not be so supportive. A single lifestyle does not mean an abstinent one and couples who move in together are always assumed to be sexually active.
That may be the main factor in tradition’s resistance toward our changing culture. These newly acceptable relationships erase any thoughts of an abstinent, and therefore pure, relationship. While there are many who see our changing traditions as deplorable, in many ways they are preferable. Marriages that have happier children who tend to be better in school. Modifying that more, relationships that remain together are good for the next generation, whether there is a ring on the finger or not.
What are your thoughts on our changing traditions? Has the definition of purity been changed and is it even important anymore? Is it possible to have a close relationship to a God while also approving of sexual activity and child bearing out of wedlock?