Dear Reluctant to Wed
I too am uneasy about marriage being a perquisite for long-term relationships I think it’s a trick to get us to conform. Not as many straight people are getting married either. The CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_028.pdf) states that the 2010 marriage rate was 6.8% per 1000 people. The divorce rate was 3.4 per 1000 people. In my time marriage was neither mandatory nor expected - but I did live on Lesbos in the 5th century BCE. I prefer the ideal of partnership for my lovers. Is it going to be the dominator way or the partnership way. Give me an equal to love, someone who will let me be myself and not insist that I conduct my affairs according to some outdated religious mandate.
Here is a partnership assessment tool: partnershipway.org I would far prefer love be linked to civil rights, freedom, the higher self. That way when the marriage fails - as 50% of them do, you will be left with your self-esteem and individuality intact. No other emotion or action seems to be confined or restrained to other people’s morality as much as love. Follow your heart on this one.