As everyone knows, George Clooney is a confirmed bachelor who has sworn off marriage. Clooney recently shared how his career and aversion to marriage has taken a toll on his relationships. This interview comes on the heels of his most recent break-up from his stunning model girlfriend. Clooney concedes that being with him is not easy and the intelligent independent women he is drawn to and date have a tough time with his lifestyle choices, leading to a relationship lifespan of 2-3 years. Yet, he continues his devotion to his priorities and continues to live a life that makes him happy. His refusal to alter who he is for the sake of matrimony or someone else’s ideals is what continues to make him the most eligible bachelor in Hollywood. His unwillingness to say, “I do” is not unique. Many, who have been down the path of matrimony only to be derailed, refuse to explore that path again. So, how important is “I do”?
While I am not in a relationship with George Clooney, my man is a wonderful catch. He holds all the characteristics of someone I want to be in a long-term relationship with and be a step-father to my daughter. He, like Clooney, has little interest in marriage, not in commitment, but in marriage. For him, he feels a greater example of commitment comes from the open handed approach (not in getting bitch slapped) but from the daily choice to stay together. He has an “open door policy” approach to relationships where anyone can exit the relationship anytime, without undo obligation to a marriage or state contract.
Though I agree that marriage is by no means a guarantee of a lifelong commitment (I have personally experienced the devaluation of the words “I do”); however, I feel marriage is still the ultimate form of commitment. My boyfriend’s attitude towards marriage is complicated. He does not feel it is the source of all evil, just his experience and observations of marriage have helped him to conclude that most who enter the union do not fully appreciate nor are fully prepared to follow through with “till death do us part.”. Touch to argue with that! As for my attitude, I can say that I appreciate marriage more now than ever; as well as, the power behind its meaning. I do not feel that love must have marriage, nor does commitment require an “I do” but I do assert that the ultimate commitment that two people can have is through marriage. Everything else seems a bit less or lacking. Obviously, as demonstrated by my current relationship, I do not require marriage or the eventual promise of marriage to stay in a committed relationship….saying “I Do” is not a requirement for my commitment, love and respect. But to assume that boyfriend/girlfriend relationships carry the same weight as being married is just silly. That is why there is marriage. There is a public and personal understanding that you are committed to each other and that yes, you can walk at anytime, even with marriage, but it is a little harder. This explains why marriage has a value. To say, “I have a boyfriend” socially, legally, and in every sense of the word is nice but alludes to temporary. Marriage is a joint statement of couples commitment to commitment, a public proclamation to your level of commitment in your relationship and to each other. With that being said, a huge part of any committed relationship is loving the other person as they are, meeting them where they are at, without the expectation of changing that person to meet your needs. So, as relationships go, married or unmarried, I am demonstrating my commitment by being in a relationship knowing that the “official” institution of commitment may never be had. And I am very Ok with that!
George Clooney doesn’t apologize for his lifestyle choice nor does he sell himself as something different. Nor should you! The next time the topic of marriage comes up, think of George and be honest with yourself and your partner about your expectations. Remember that a husband or wife doesn’t ensure your happiness, you do!