Sunday, February 13, 2011

101 Reasons Why I Want to Get Married

Editor's Note, March 3, 2011:
It is clear to me now that this post has been somewhat misunderstood, and so I would like to reiterate that there are many things on this list that are here simply to be humorous, (for example, #41 Social pressure)
I wrote this list for fun, and I hope you, my readers, can read it in that spirit. I truly did not mean to offend anyone and I apologize if I did so, but as this was a fun exercise, I stand by my work in the spirit in which I wrote it. Thank you.
~SternGrad




I was trying to think of a good list of 101 things for my 101st post. I had been thinking of writing a post about reasons why I would like to get married, and figured this would be a good challenge. But I wasn’t sure I could think of 101 reasons. That is a lot of reasons after all. Then I remembered how someone told one of my friends that the reason she wasn’t married is because she didn’t want to get married enough. “Ein davar Haomed mipnei Haratzon,” nothing stands in the way of desire, right? I think that if I have 101 reasons, then I must want to get married enough. So, for post #101 I present you with: 101 Reasons Why I Want to Get Married

Before you read this post, I suggest you try coming up with as many reasons as you can to get married or if you’re already married, reasons you are glad you are married. It is pretty hard to get to 101! The first time I sat down to do this, I came up with 50 reasons off the top of my head, and the rest took some thinking. The truth is that only about 10 or 15 of these reasons are the real, true, deep, serious, sincere reasons that I would like to get married, and you might not even be able to guess which ones those are, because I think every person is motivated by different things.

Some of the reasons are serious, some are meant to be humorous, some are ridiculous, and others are terrible reasons to get married, especially if that was your only reason. And sure, you could argue that some of them I could do while I’m still single, but marriage makes them easier/better/more fun.

I would also like to add that if I were to make a list of “Reasons why I love my life right now,” it would be much, much, much more than 101, and in case it is not obvious, loving my current life as a single, and sincerely wanting to get married are not mutually exclusive.

With that nice introduction, here they are:

101 Reasons to Get Married

1. Because Hashem wants me to get married (even though there is no Halachic requirement for women to get married, I would argue that a Torah lifestyle encourages it.)
2. So that I can host guests ( I mean, I do that now, but it’s not quite the same)
3. To experience true love/ to be in love
4. To always be with someone I love
5. To be with someone who loves me
6. To give to someone more than I give in any other relationship
7. To be able to make someone happy by just being with them
8. To live with someone who I chose and who chose me (unlike family which we’re born with and don’t get to pick), and I have committed to spend the rest of my life with and vica versa (unlike friends or roommates who might come and go)
9. To have someone special to cook for
10. Someone to clean for (you know I must love you if I clean up after you.)
11. So that I don’t have to be alone/ I have someone to be with
12. Someone to go on walks with
13. Someone to open cans/jars
14. Someone to take out the garbage
15. Someone to kill/ get rid of bugs (although I can totally see myself ending up with someone who is more afraid of bugs than I am, and when I’m around people like that I magically find the ability to get rid of them myself.)
16. Someone to get rid of rodents (Yes, I am scared of mice.)
17. To have kids/ a family
18. Because it will make my parents happy to see me happy
19. Because my grandparents have told me they want great-grandkids
20. For my siblings who want a brother-in-law, and nieces/nephews
21. Because I would really like to get married before my younger sister who is approaching the time in her life when she will be ready to start dating
22. Because I love family, and when you get married you get more family members- aunts, uncles, cousins…
23. To move out of the New York area (particularly to Israel. Even though I could do this on my own, most of my friends and family live in the New York area and I wouldn’t want to leave them and move somewhere all by myself.)
24. So I can live in a house. Much more spacious than in an apartment, but what would I do with all that space all by myself?
25. Because marriage is good for spiritual growth
26. Because covering my hair will be awesome on 3 day yontifs and bad hair days!
27. To never have to worry about straightening my hair ever again
28. I love Mitzvos- there are more mitzvos to keep when married
29. To find a new closest best friend
30. For the new dishes and all the presents that come along with getting married
31. To be complete and not like I’m missing half my soul
32. To share every aspect of my life with someone
33. Money- two salaries are better than one
34. So people will stop feeling bad for me/ giving me looks of pity
35. So I can avoid the awkwardness that comes after comments such as, “You’re single? Oh, I hated being single, I’m glad that’s over. Dating was terrible.” (Um, what do you say to that one?)
36. Someone to sing with/to sing zemirot with/someone to do harmony with
37. Because weddings are so much fun
38. Because vorts/ engagement parties are so much fun
39. Because bridal showers are not fun unless you are the bride
40. Physical Intimacy
41. Social pressure- it’s what society wants from me
42. To build a home where the shechina can rest- i.e. a Bayit Neeman Biyisrael
43. Curiosity- because I’m so curious what the person I’m going to end up with will be like. (Will he be outgoing or quiet? Short or tall?)
44. “Tovim Hashnaim min haechad” - two are better than one, can accomplish more than one
45. Because Hashem said that לא טוב היות אדם לבדו
46. To have the Ezer Kinegdo Relationship
47. Because research studies show that married people are happier
48. To better understand the concept of Ahavat Hashem. The relationship of B’nei Yisrael to Hashem is compared to husband and wife
49. To better understand Shir Hashirim
50. To have kids and understand how Hashem relates to us as a parent
51. So that I never have to go on an awkward first date ever again!
52. No more singles Shabbatons
53. So that I never again have to get rejected after what I thought was a good date
54. So that no one will call me “picky”
55. No more dating drama
56. No more shadchanim who think that just because he is a Jewish guy and I am a Jewish girl we have enough in common to get married
57. To see Hashem’s hashgacha in my life- it’s a miracle to find that one in a million
58. To be able to thank Hashem for answering my Tefillot
59. To have a marriage anniversary- just another occasion to celebrate- and to receive gifts!
60. So when creepy guys hit on me in the subway I can say things like “my husband would not be too happy about this…” (I could do that now, but I’m not a good liar)
61. To finally be able to see shtick that guys do at weddings!! I can never see over all the women who push to the front so I have no clue what kind of cool things go on.
62. So I can always been sincerely happy when others get engaged and married instead of feeling “When will that be me?”
63. So I can start this next stage of my life
64. So that I won’t end up being an old maid
65. It’s the cool thing to do
66. I love proposal stories and can’t wait for the day when it’s a reality and I can stop dreaming about my own
67. I love stories about how couples met, and can’t wait to have my own of those, too.
68. To have someone around to fix broken things- guys are handy
69. To be with someone who inspires me, someone for me to inspire
70. To be “Mrs.”
71. To have an extra hand to help my father build the Sukkah
72. Someone (else) to sit with my father in shul
73. To have someone who can be chazan and sing my favorite tunes
74. Because going to a restaurant by yourself is pathetic, and going with a friend is just not the same thing as with a spouse.
75. Because life is more fun when it is experienced with someone else
76. To be on onlysimchas.com
77. To change my status on Facebook to “married”
78. To rekindle old friendships- somehow when you get engaged/married, people come out of nowhere to wish you Mazel Tov
79. Someone to travel the world with
80. To have a place that I call “home” that is not my parents house (I try to call my current apartment “home,” but it just doesn’t stick. Although I suppose in some sense my parents’ house will just always be home.)
81. Because when I see parents who mistreat their children in public (such as on the subway) I long to prove that I will be a better parent than that
82. Because I like to see things from different perspectives and guys think very differently than girls
83. To have deep meaningful conversations
84. To be able to learn more Torah. Let’s face it, guys know more Torah than girls because they have a Mitzvah to learn Torah. I hope he’ll share some of that knowledge with me. (“Hey honey, guess what I learned today?”)
85. So I can stop worrying, “What if I never get married? What if there is no one out there for me?”
86. So I can be a shadchan and set people up
87. So my single friends can use me as their “married friend” reference
88. Two words: Diamond Ring. (Actually, I personally dislike jewelry, and wish I didn’t have to wear a ring when the time comes, but I know if I don’t then I’ll spend my life answering the people who ask me why I’m not wearing one. I felt like I had to put this on for all the people who were thinking it.)
89. To have someone to look good for (note: I mainly look good for myself. But it would be nice to have someone else to appreciate it, too.)
90. So I can eat whatever I want without having to worry that I might *gasp* gain a few pounds
91. A great way to lose weight- to have someone to give half the bag of M & M's to
92. Marriage = Sharing. Sharing = Caring.
93. It’s a great excuse for being antisocial
94. Someone to help shovel the snow. Women are just not as strong as men. (Ok, at least I’m not)
95. Someone to shop for- I’ve never bought a tie!
96. To learn new things- like how to tie a tie. (OK, *you* try coming up with101 reasons…)
97. Someone to argue with every now and then. Resolving conflict is so satisfying. Shalom Bayit takes work, but the end results seem to be amazing.
98. So that I’ll understand things like why newly married friends fall off the face of the planet (As in, “When you’re married, you’ll understand.)
99. Because when I look at my parents, and my grandparents, who are so in love and such great role models of what a good marriage should be, I wish that I had what they have.
100. Because true love is a powerful emotion, that I believe has the power to change a person
101. Because I am impatient and I’m waiting...

Now that you have read the list:
• Any reasons that I missed? Any other reasons you can think of?
• Pick 3-5 that you would say rank pretty high on your list




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46 comments:

  1. I loved the list! some were very funny, some were thoughtful, some societal, and some were, well, religious ;-)

    There is a concept in psychology of cognitive availability where when one is forced to come up with a long list of items, they will have difficulty reaching that total, and consequently not hold them in the same regard.
    For example: if you had to come up with 8 reasons you were at risk for X disease, and someone else had to come up with 3, the one who only had to come up with 3 will believe themselves to be more at risk

    I think forcing yourself to come up with so many reasons to get married, also makes you think of all the reasons why you don't want to get married.

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  2. really impressive! i dont think i could have done that!
    my top reasons would be
    1. having kids/a family of my own
    2. to be able to decorate my home (i cant wait to do that!)
    3. to host guests
    4. to have someone to completely share my life with in all senses..

    ~ that list is not in any particular order..just btw

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  3. harry-er- glad you liked the list. Interesting point about the psychology of making lists. Putting this list together didn't make me think of all the reasons why I don't want to get married, since that would be a pretty short list.

    aminspiration- those are pretty good ones.

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  4. oh, for my list:
    2. So that I can host guests
    8. To live with someone who I chose and who chose me
    80. To have a place that I call “home” that is not my parents house (I try to call my current apartment “home,” but it just doesn’t stick)

    and mine...because weddings are awesome

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  5. harry-er- #37 is "Because weddings are so much fun"

    PNN- that's a good one!! I've seen a number of those...salt and pepper shakers etc.

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  6. I pick 3 through 7, then 29, 32, 40, and 43.

    I think you can tell something about someone based on which reasons they pick. Feel free to build your profile of me :)

    Now ask me which ones are totally not for me...

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  7. SternGrad - wow! great list! seriously, sometimes it scares me how similarly we think :D
    IDK how you came up with all of those :)

    It's hard to narrow it down to just 3...but anyway:
    1. to build a bayit ne'eman b'yisrael - a holy home. finally, a religious and holy environment. guests, food/cooking, divrei Torah/him sharing what he learned at shiur, and zemirot are all included in this :D
    2. to find my true other half & best friend. the person who will truly understand me, guide me, love me, etc.
    3. to have kids/a family

    wouldn't it be nice?
    *sigh*

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  8. I don't think one even needs reasons to marry. Hashem set up the world that birds fly, fish swim, and couples marry. Desire to wed needs no validation.

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  9. lawschooldrunk- those are high on my list as well.

    Sefardi Gal- it is funny how alike we think! Those three sum it up!

    Bookworm- My personal philosophy on life is that everything needs a reason. I was that annoying little kid who asked "why?" and then "But why?" and so on. One could say "Who needs a reason to eat- if you want to eat, eat! It's a natural thing." That is true, but if we just ate things because we wanted to, we could end up being very unhealthy. I also think it is important to make sure I have the correct motivations for doing something. For example, if I made this list and realized that I wanted to get married let's say just because of reasons that came down to peer pressure, I would hope that I would rethink things.

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  10. Primum Non Nocere - ASoG and I have discussed what we're doing this year, and we basically decided we're forgoing that for now. We're kind of polar opposites on the idea: She doesn't really wear costumes, and I go all out making (not buying) very intricate, cool costumes of favorite pop culture characters.

    I do recall a facebook picture of a friend who wore a wedding dress and his wife wore a tuxedo (with black skirt).

    This is a wonderfully entertaining and enlightening list.

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  11. Sterngrad, I really liked reading this list. It was so interesting, real, funny, and honest. (By the way, please let us, faithful readers, know when your onlysimchas "engaged" page comes up! Looking forward B'imheyra B'yamenu! :-))

    I think one reason (I'm not sure if you mentioned this) that I would want to get married is so that I have a guy to hang out with in social situations. I feel like being in a mixed crowd makes single girls feel really insecure; there is a certain sense of confidence with having someone, who as you said, "To be with someone who loves me." The difference between marriage and a superficial friendship relationship is that marriage is binding- that person in the crowd is someone who chose you, is designated for you, and for you only.

    Many of the reasons you listed, I agree with completely. Though I have not entered the realms of dating yet, I feel the pressure; people ask me all the time if I'm dating yet, and I'm like, "no!"It's as though I am being thrust into a world to which I am a stranger. I feel as though people automatically assume that the next stage following high school is dating. Since when are graduates from high school instantly mature and prepared for marriage?! That is what I would like to know.

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  12. SoG- thanks!

    tikva4eva- I do plan to post it on my blog when I"YH I get engaged, but that unfortuntely will not be any time soon!

    To have someone to attend social events with is definitely a big reason- I don't know how that one didn't end up on my list! It's always nice to have someone to go with to your random 4th cousin's bar mitvah.

    Don't let anyone pressure you to start dating when you're not ready. High school graduates are definitely not automatically ready to get married. Some people aren't ready even for several years after high school, and that is OK. Marriage is not something to rush into.

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  13. I'm not saying there aren't reasons to do things in life. We eat to nourish our bodies, obviously. That's not along the same lines as "Why do birds fly?" It's how the world was set up, when Hashem sculpted Chava for a lonely Adam.

    The problem is, you gave yourself a 101 reason limit. Then things are bound to go awry. Sure, social pressures are a motivation, but I like to keep those suppressed, at the back of my head, telling myself firmly that I wish to wed for myself, and myself alone (okay, maybe a little for my grandmother).

    Who needs 101 reasons?

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  14. Bookworm- It's true, you don't need 101 reasons to do something. That was just for fun. :) But in general I believe it is not good to do things for no reason at all, espeically for doing big and important things. You also have a reason- because Hashem set up the world so that it should be this way- that men and women get married.

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  15. Actually, there are at least two Halachic reasons for requiring a woman to marry, although both are the subject of dispute: חשדא and שבת

    שלחן ערוך אה"ע א:יג
    בה"ט שם ס"ק כז
    פ"ת שם ס"ק כג
    אוצה"פ שם

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  16. this post has been tagged
    http://ayeshivishharry.blogspot.com/2011/02/blinded-by-light.html

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  17. harry-er: thanks for letting me know- I appreciate it!

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  18. most of these 'reasons' dont require marriage to actually occur..

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  19. This post is a disgrace to the feminists who fought so that you could even go to Stern college. I believe that not because I don't believe in marriage (I'm married myself), but because of dangerous and chauvanistic ideas like the one in number 84.

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  20. I think you may want to come up with something better than this one: "social pressure- its what society wants from me". I mean, I feel social pressure to smoke pot. I guess I might as well just go for it.

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  21. Apparently some people do not understand my sense of humor. That's ok though, thanks for reading! :)

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  22. "84. To be able to learn more Torah. Let’s face it, guys know more Torah than girls because they have a Mitzvah to learn Torah. I hope he’ll share some of that knowledge with me. (“Hey honey, guess what I learned today?”"

    First of all, I am going to agree with anonymous above that this is in total opposition to the feminism that Stern College believes in (I am not referring to anything radical, but rather to simple self respect for who you are as a self-sustaining, college educated, bright woman!). I hope that you don't believe most of what you posted, because if you do it means that you consider yourself subordinate to men in every way, Jewish and otherwise.

    To refer specifically to #84, it is true that the chiyuv does not fall on a woman to learn Torah. But if you choose to, WHICH YOU SHOULD, the source of it should not be "Honey, what did you learn today!" Open a sefer and learn yourself. Any man would be happy that his wife has enough yirat shamayim that she chooses to spend her time learning Torah, whether she is obligated to or not.
    I hope that you don't really think that your relationship to Gd is contingent on the second hand references to sfarim your husband will one day mention in passing.
    Good luck.

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  23. Anonymous 5:05pm-

    I said straight out at the beginning of my post that, "Some of the reasons are serious, some are meant to be humorous, some are ridiculous, and others are terrible reasons to get married."

    So no, I definitely do not believe in half of what I wrote!! Most of it was a joke, and meant to be humorous. I do not plan under any circumstances to cook and clean for a guy while he opens jars, kills bugs, and takes out the garbage. He better plan to do some of the former things, because I plan to do some of the latter ones.

    In terms of #84- you are right. I should have been more specific. While I agree whole-heartedly that it is ideal for men and women to know the same amounts of Torah, the truth is that I personally have not learned very much Gemara, as that subject was not offered in my high school. I would say that I know Tanach much, much better than the average frum guy. But I know far less Gemara than the average frum guy, too. When I wrote "let's face it," I meant we should face it because I do believe the average frum guy knows more Talmud/Gemara than the average frum girl, even if this is not ideal.

    I also did not chas v'shalom mean to imply that my husband would be my main source of Torah! That would be quite appalling! I currently learn Torah on my own, almost every day, and will continue to do so. I agree whole-heartedly that women should learn Torah.

    You have no idea how ironic and amusing these comments are to me, considering that in real life I am often called a feminist, and I am a big proponent of women learning Torah.

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  24. "I also did not chas v'shalom mean to imply that my husband would be my main source of Torah! That would be quite appalling!"

    Uh..sorry to bring this up, but I don't find anything wrong with a husband being the main source of Torah and the woman being the nurturer of the home, actually. I don't find it appalling, I find it beautiful.

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  25. This blog has gone viral... kinda to show what's wrong with frummies... It's clear you have zero concept of marriage and are being forced into this situation by your community. The cultural implication of this posting are very far reaching.

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  26. Thank you all for reading. I added an Editor's note at the beginning of this post, which I hope you will all read. I am truly flattered that this post has been getting so many hits, and as with all my posts, I hope it generates discussion and that you find it thought-provoking.

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  27. Can you please respond what the problem is with the husband being the main source of Torah is? Or was that too also humorous, because I don't really get it. (It's hard to hear the tone in your voice over a blog...)

    Thanks!

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  28. I do hope to learn Torah from my husband as mentioned in #84, that was not humorous. However, I did not intent to imply that he would be the main source of Torah. It is important for both men and women to learn Torah. My response to your comment depends on what you mean when you say "the main souce of Torah." If you refer to Halacha, then I understand if you want to keep your husband's minhagim and such.

    However, in general we try to get information from a first hand source. While I suppose some women rely on their husbands to clue them in on things like politics or the news and things like that, but I think that if the news was something you really cared about, you would read newspapers yourself and not get the second hand version from your husband. My personal belief is that if Torah is truly important to you and your life, you will have a desire to study it on your own.

    Learning some things from your husband is great- I currently learn Torah from other people, family members, and close friends. But I don't think one's husband should be the main source of Torah.

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  29. Hey, I'm normally a lurker, but I actually laughed out loud at #26 (getting to cover your hair on bad hair days) because it's so true!

    Also, I agree that the idea of your husband being the main source of Torah in your life contradicts Stern College's ideology, but I'm certain I would classify that ideology as 'feminist' (says this self-declared feminist). If I had to pick one not to like, I'd go with #71 -- why can't you help build the Sukkah? I do!

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  30. what aboutv having biyah?

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  31. Anonymous -- isn't that included in #40?

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  32. I am engaged right now, and I have to say, I strongly believe that the only good reason (yes, only) to get engaged is because you want nothing more than to spend the rest of your life with that one person. Wanting to get married for the sake of getting married, to me, seems silly. You should want to get married because of the guy, not because the institution of marriage is oh-so-fun.

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  33. Susie- I completely agree with you. Those who want to get married just to get married end up rushing into it and marrying the wrong person. I would only marry someone who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

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  34. I'm going to take the challenge to compile a list of "101 reasons to stay married" - I'm remaining anonymous until it's done and will email you once I have the full list. :-)

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  35. Anonymous- I will be happy to post it as a guest post once it is done! :)

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  36. this makes a greaaaat drinking game!!

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  37. It's gonna take a while but I'll send it to you once I'm done and then you can gladly post it on your blog!

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  38. SternGrad,

    I do think that it is possible for a husband to be the "main" source of torah for his wife.

    I refer to a scenario where the husband has s'micha, is extremely knowledgeable and well versed in tanach, medrish, mishnayos, talmud, halacha, mussar, etc, to the point where he knows more than any "Rabbi" or "Rav" to whom the wife would possibly communicate.

    In this circumstance, aside from human interaction, there'd be no reason to ask "shailos" to outside counsel or go to shiurim as long as the husband had time for his wife in this respect.

    In fact, if one has a husband like this, it'd possibly be detrimental to seek outside counsel (unless, i.e., conferring on halachic divorce ramifications or the like) or go to shiurim because there would be outside influence that could conflict with familial hashkafa or halacha.

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  39. lawschooldrunk- this goes back to my point about women who rely on their husbands to fill them in on things like politics. If a woman was married to a man who was an expert Historian, and had a high level degree in that area, then of course she would ask him about history. The same is true if a man is a an expert Rabbi- of course she should go to him, since he is an expert in that field. The same would be true if a woman is an expert in a certain field (Torah or not Torah)- of course her husband would ask her. Despite that, I still think there is benefit to studying Torah on one's own.

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  40. A couple of Points:
    a. Lawschooldrunk- we are now at an era where, fortunately, women are capable of experiencing every field. women are no longer considered lesser than men simply because of their genders, they are now considered equivalent in mind and capability to their male counterparts. in every field. so yes. if your husband happens to be a rabbi, and he happens to have more knowledge in a certain field than you, feel free to take advantage of the talents and knowledge of the male you chose to marry. be my guest. the same should go the other way. no one is disagreeing with you on that.
    but there's a difference between learning and gaining understanding from another, and having another be your main source of knowledge. being as women are now able to open up books, learn the texts, and seek truth on their owns, women are able to, for the first time in history, contribute intellectually and religiously to this religion. no one should be your main source of Judaism, of connecting to God, other than yourself. simply because, if you think that no other reason suffices, you can connect to God the most, you can grow the most, if it's coming from within you, and the connection is your own. learning about and growing in Judaism from another is nice, but it pales in comparison to the amount that can be done, accomplished, and internalized if you do it on your own. Your religion is your own journey, it is not your husband's, it is not anyone else's.
    b. Sterngrad- i am currently a student at stern, and while some of the reasons you stated are, yes, humorous, on the whole i found this article to be grossly offensive. there is a stigma attached to stern, and it is largely unfounded. there are really smart girls at stern, and the many of the classes are challenging. girls are not all about marriage at stern. to continue that sentiment, and to do so publicly, is to continue the distortion of reality for those who haven't experienced stern first hand, and don't know better. by writing articles like these, you're just continuing the long and old stigma of stern girls as desperate, dumb frummies, and you aren't helping people see reality. it's also just disrespectful towards those of us who go to stern who do take ourselves and our minds seriously, and do see our worth beyond pleasing a husband some day. so make whatever list of articles that you want about marriage, but in doing this, please, for the sake of truth, self respect, and respect for others- take stern out of your name.

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  41. Anonymous- I did not intend to offend anyone by this post. In fact, I think I am more offended by your comment than you were by this list. I suppose it was not clear to you, or to the many of other people who read this list and were upset in any way from it, that I strongly believe that MOST of the reasons on this list are terrible reasons and more importantly, are not real reasons for me. I definitely did not intend to say or imply that Stern students (or myself for that matter!) are "desperate, dumb, frummies" and I am quite sorry that you and the rest of the world read my post that way.

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  42. Sterngrad-
    i'm not sure if the amount of offense can be measured. i apologize if you were offended by my offense. my critique regarded the fact that this degrading article was written altogether, as well as an argument of its actual content. though the content wasn't intended as serious, and even if "the rest of the world" understood its humorous tone, the publishing of such articles, the advancement of the overall stigma and notion in our culture, was what concerned and appalled me. i understand that you weren't trying to offend anyone and your intentions are appreciated, but if "the rest of the world" wasn't able to accurately read your post, then maybe the problem exists with your post, and not the rest of the world.

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