There’s no doubt, particularly as life spans have increased, that there is less certainty about finding and keeping lifelong love with just one person. A 2014 survey of 18 to 34 year-olds commissioned by the USA Network drama Satisfaction found that 43 percent would support a beta marriage model—testing relationships for two years before deciding to commit or dissolve.
Also, 36 percent of respondents backed the real estate marriage model in which couples would commit to a set period of time, ranging from five to thirty years, and at the end have to renegotiate if they want to remain married.
If you think this has some validity, let me help you out: The beta and real estate tests are not going to work. They’re already setting the stage for failure.
A successful marriage is a total commitment. It means that either you go for it or you don’t go for it. If you’re not sure that you’re marrying the right person, then don’t get married. It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards.”
I think the problem is that we walk into marriage with our eyes half shut. Sometimes a person will think, “This person has a lot of flaws, but he (or she) will be my project. I’m going to fix him (or her).” News flash: If you can’t love someone as they are, if you think you’re going to change them, then you’ll be in for a real shock.
Figure this out ahead of time, because wedlock should be a padlock. If you aren’t married yet—even if you’re engaged—and things aren’t working out, then go ahead and break up. If you are not willing to make that commitment, then do everyone a favor and stay single.