Is He Really Claiming You For Ever After?

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So – what do you do when it seems he’s “claimed” you – and then he’s gone?

This is a jump-off from Jon’s comment/post (find it here) and a comment from Linda about what Jon said – and, to me, this is one of the most frustrating and common situations I hear about (and, yes, I’ve been through it myself, too) – a man who SEEMS like, and ACTS like he “wants” you “Forever” – but then disappears.  Here’s Linda’s comment and my take on it all:

“Rori, Interesting Post here. I am not sure what to believe anymore. I met a man who for lack of better words he claimed me! It was quite flattering. I (we) were totally ourselves with each other. No struggles simply being with each other. I was wonderful. He told me more than once I completed him. I was a perfect fit, things between us flowed like milk and honey. His man energy was alluring and I fell hook line and sinker. There was not one thing that was out of sync between us. Our emotional connection was our strongest point.

It was always easy to be me. That is who I have always been. I would never become something I wasn’t for a man ever! I am not that desperate and I have to live with myself everyday. I was never insecure or anxious and completely relaxed with him.  So.. in some regard I have experienced what he (Jon) is talking about.

However, it all changed suddenly.!!! and I mean suddenly. As I type this as of a week ago the man who chose me, the man who claimed me, whom I flowed with for two years… is not even talking to me.. says he is not in love with me and loves me as a dear friend! What is up with that!!!??? I find out too he is seeing others via the internet. Which by the way is suggested a great pool to fish from but I have never found a keeper there. They all seem to play games on there and they are all players

When did it all get to be so hard? Who changed the rules here? Does a man become a boy? Or was he a boy just pretending to be a man. I am truly scratching my head here. I totally and without reserve fall in love with a man who totally was into me… and now I am left picking up the pieces of my shattered heart and trying to figure out what the heck is going on. I am down right ANGRY!!!

It seems that somebody is always changing the game and it is us women that are responsible for it in some way because of insecurities etc…. and we have to keep reinventing ourselves. I am tired of it all. When are men ever gonna be held accountable too?”

And here’s my answer:

Linda, so sorry you had to go through this – and here’s my take (perhaps Jon will weigh in here again for the man’s point of view…):

It is not possible to “flow along” with a man for 2 years.  “Claiming you” is not a girlfriend/boyfriend thing – and it has nothing to do with what he SAYS, or how you “click.”

Claiming you is exactly what it says – Marrying you – and Jon puts it very clearly – that if you were to ask a man if he’s going to marry you, he has three possible answers – “Yes, No,” or “I don’t know yet, I have to see you more and know you better.”

The only “Claiming” answer to that question is YES, and the only action to CLOSING THE DEAL of that answer (words are cheap and easy), is MARRYING YOU.

Until that happens, you are only, merely – perhaps joyfully, but still, status-wise – DATING him.  He has logistically left you open to other men, and that’s what you must do – engage with other men.

If a relationship does not get to the marriage part within a year – it tends to dissipate, and the “work” that has to be done to deepen the relationship, without the “forever-afterness” of marriage – just never gets done.

Marriage has a lot of ups and downs.  The process of intimacy can be so scary that we can get stuck all the time – almost in a cycle, or seasonal, or whenever challenges and pain and anger come up.  And it’s the bonds and officialness of marriage that at least give us a fighting chance of working THROUGH those scary, stuck times – within OURSELVES – and getting to a much deeper, richer, more thrilling on all counts relationship.

And even then – it’s so challenging that divorce is common.

WITHOUT the officialness and bonds of marriage – it’s so much MORE challenging to work through the triggers and the pain that are SUPPOSED to come up as you create more and deeper intimacy.  It’s just easier to back away from doing the work on yourself and find someone else and start fresh.

Often, finding “someone else” means an “ex” who conveniently shows up in the middle of your relationship.

That’s why it’s crucial to NEVER GIVE UP your options until you’re CERTAIN this relationship is going all the way to marriage (if that’s what you want) – and then to KNOW, deep in your heart and mind – that marriage is JUST THE BEGINNING.

Love IS a journey.  It’s in relationship with another human being that we grow ourselves, and in the process, a relationship takes on heroic status.  WE become HEROES as we move through this journey.  We are constantly tested.  We go forwards and backwards and sideways.  We confront OURSELVES.  This is not for the faint-of-heart.  Not for the timid.

A man either takes the relationship with you all the way – and commits to the heroic journey of love and wants to travel that journey with YOU – or he doesn’t.

And there’s no way to know until that happens.  2 years is a very long time. It’s a very long time for a man’s “I don’t know yet, I have to see you more and know you better” answer to percolate.  So, while he’s bubbling and thinking, and weighing and ENJOYING YOU at the same time – Do not, please – EVER close down all your options in the belief that “what you have going” is the “real thing.”  It’s not “real” until it really is “real.”

Getting fooled does not make you “stupid.” (Read about Anne Hathaway missing the truth that her man was a CRIMINAL.) It just teaches you to be even more aware of all your instincts and intuitions next time – so that you can learn to observe and experience more deeply while also learning to trust YOURSELF more fully and completely.

Linda, I’m so sorry you discovered this the hard way – and yet I know you’ll be able to use EVERYTHING you learned in this relationship – the great, the good, the bad, the surprises – to get EXACTLY what you want very, very soon.

Love, Rori

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28 Comments

  1.  #1Cassandra on December 8, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Lind….I too hate that youa re going through this. What came to my heart as I initially read your post was that this man simply does not deserve you, your time or your love….period. I do know that it is NOT that easy though. I can TOTALLY relate to the ‘he claims you and then he’s gone’ thing to the degree that I gave up everything for him because HE said that he wanted us to marry last FEB so I let him move me here in January and then after giving up my life in another city I get here and he freaks out saying that we will marry in 08′ but does not know when…then 09′ and now it is “I will definitely marry you but I can’t tell you when.” If that is not the ‘I don’t know yet, I have to see you more and know you better.’ thing than I don’t know what is! I am getting angry even writing this!!
    As you know, things have been so so so much better since I have found Rori and the tools but I am still in that place of is he or isn’t he??? Even last night after an amazing weekend together he said even told me again that we will get married – he just can’t say when and we weren’t even talking about it….just out of the blue he said that he hopes that I know that we will get married one day….he just does not know when…..but that he can’t imagine his life without me. Well after reading this post I feel so angry. I feel like I am stuck on HIS TIME and because of him I can’t even circular date because we live together now….although I don’t want to circular date although I know that If I had my own place I should be circular dating for ME! How can I know if he is ever going to marry me?
    Rori, in one of your first posts to me you stated that I should beware of him..that he is toxic. I have not yet been able to get your Toxic Man program but what did you mean when you said for me to beware of him..that he does not want to marry or have children? Things have been so great lately and this is what I want but am I barking up the wrong tree here even though things have been so good?
    Love,
    Cassandra



  2.  #2Cassandra on December 8, 2008 at 9:08 am

    OOOOps forgot to mention that Mr. Past has told me over and over that I all I need to do is say that word and he will come and get me and my things and we will get married and start that family once this cancer thing is behind us. Just like your post above mentioned…..he is indeed an ex that I nearly married several years ago. I am scared that I could miss out one way or the other. Mr. Past calls me now every day to check on me and he does tell me that he loves me but is that just the pursuit? He SEEMS….key word there…SEEMS ready to get married and start a family but then again so did Charles when I moved here. Any insight? BTW…I am in love with Charles and want to spend my life with him.



  3.  #3Angela on December 8, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Dear Rori,

    Thank you thank you thank you! In this last post, your truth about marriage and what the reality of being in an intimate relationship with another person means, hit me very hard when I read it. This truth is EXACTLY what I’ve been searching for all my life, your words nailed it right on the head. I feel so happy! – (I want to jump and shout it out to the rest of the world!)

    The way you described marriage was so simple yet so unbelieveably profound, I was overwhelmed by its beauty. I can’t thank you enough. This is one of the great truths of life I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

    Thank you so very much for all the amazing work that you do!

    With much love,
    Angela



  4.  #4Rori Raye on December 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Oh, my goodness, Angela – Welcome and Thank You, and I’m so thrilled that this has helped you. I look forward to more of your comments and to hearing how things are going for you. Love, Rori



  5.  #5tinque on December 8, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I mostly agree with what’s here, but there’s something that I just can’t let go by. Now I will preface this by saying that it sounds as though Linda is not living with her guy, and that does make somewhat of a difference. In one year one is only just starting to let down one’s guard and allowing the real person to emerge, maybe some less if a couple is living together. I feel strongly that it takes at least another year to really get to know each other if not two more. I do feel though that by this time that they should be living together if that’s what they both want. There are some people in committed relationships who choose to live in separate homes, spending part time in one and the rest in the other, but this isn’t common.
    Marriage is not the be all, end all of relationships. So many rush into it way too soon and with very large blinders on. Yet I love the idea of marriage as a spiritual, sacred something to be shared between two people, something very personal and very intimate. I won’t get into my personal details other than to say there’s no questions my man has “claimed” me as his one and only, yet we’re still not married even after going on seven years. Maybe someday we will, and maybe we won’t, but either way, our deep commitment, our deep love and adoration, respect and passion for each other will not be affected.



  6.  #6Linda on December 8, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Wow, Imagine my surprise when I opened up the website today and found my comment for this new post.

    Unfortnately I often do seem to learn things the hard way and try my best to not need a repeat lesson! I really am not sure how my situation could have been handled differently. I was very communicative about goals and many discussions from both of us were had. but…Dating multiple others will definately is on my agenda!! from now on… I have a strong intuitive feeling that I am gonna hear from this man again when he gets over “whoever” or “whatever” has brought all this on. There was too much great stuff between us…. Inspite of all that… he gets no “claiming rights” until he or any other man for that matter proves himself to me. I will not hang my hat on one fellow again even if I am totally in love with him until the commitment is really there. I wish I had known that before.

    Fool me once shame on you… fool me twice… you all know the rest. I like what I read recently.. us ladies should be doing the choosing Know what you want and dont compromise on the things that are really important. ( I got off track there)… That is where accountibility that is missing will be. Let the man know what it takes to be with you and dont back down.

    You are so right Rori…I AM going to have the relationship I want very soon smiles… Linda



  7.  #7alias girl on December 8, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    tinque i am very interested in your arrangement. i do not think i want to get married. plus just bc a guy asks to marry someone does not neccessarily mean you will get the kind of commitment you were hoping for. i am interested in who the man is in his llife. that will tell you a lot about his capabilities of commiting to you as well.. in my opinion. i just want to grow up with a man since i am still very immature myself. (or with men if that’s what it takes 🙂 ) when i am more mature and more capable of commitment myself i will then revisit the issue and see where i stand. that is how i feel in this moment. could fluctuate depending on which way the wind is blowing.



  8.  #8Maria on December 8, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Linda, keep us posted:)



  9.  #9alias girl on December 9, 2008 at 3:28 am

    wow. so after a really rough night of having my feelings come up triggered by god knows what and just really trying to be there for myself and have compassion and just riffing and loving and morphing and finally feeling better i realize that the commitment that has been most lacking in my life is my commitment to love myself and stand by myself and appreciate myself and have compassion for the sorriest parts of myself and the shadowey parts that really want to stay hidden in fear or shame.

    if i can commit to myself then i can probably imagine committing to another.

    babysteps.



  10.  #10Maria X. on December 9, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Wow ladies thanks so much for all your comments I really feel appreciative…You know what if we continue sharing we will have added power in our relationships…because we are all already POWERFUL I truly believe that…Bless us all!



  11.  #11tinque on December 9, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I wanted to add to alias girl’s comment in support that yes we absolutely must learn to cherish ourselves first. How else can another love us otherwise?
    My partner and I started living together after only five months, by accident really, and maybe this was a blessing, for we had the chance to see each other up close and personal all the time, but despite that, it still took a good three years until all the cards were on the table so to speak. So please take your time. No matter how old you are, take the time, and be patient with yourselves and with the relationship. I grew enormously throughout this period, transformed really, and this allowed him the freedom and safety to release his true self and give me his heart completely which allowed me to give mine to him, little by little. It’s all a wonderful, lovely symbiosis, but this takes time.
    Rori will be putting up another one of my pieces soon and though the topic is about porn, it’s also about the dynamics between men and women. It ties in nicely with this subject here. Please look for it.
    Love, tinque



  12.  #12JP on December 9, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I’m with Tinque on this too – I have the committed relationship but I’m still healing myself and don’t feel anxious to move things any faster than they are, we still have our own places. We spend a lot of time together, every day or if we can’t we speak on the phone. He and I are used to our own spaces and to move in together after a year feels too fast.

    Hi Alias Girl and everyone – I’ve been offline for a few days. Great to come back and read all your news and comments. Cassandra and TW, what great strides you’re taking, I’m thrilled!!

    Great to meet new people too – Hi DocK, Hi Maria 🙂



  13.  #13Erika on December 9, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Rori, I loved this one so much that I just posted a link to it on my blog. I love the ideas of keeping options open until you find something you’re really happy with and realizing that intimacy is a process and we’ve got to stick it out through the challenging times. I have a date to watch The Thomas Crowne Affair right now with one of my guys … so ’til soon … 🙂



  14.  #14alias girl on December 10, 2008 at 12:21 am

    yes jp & tinque it is so great to hear sort of alternative stories to the common goal of — meet, get engaged, get married. i really want to take my time with someone. not so much to decide on him more so that my system doesn’t get overloaded with too much intimacy too soon and get overloaded and then feel the need to bail to protect myself or feel like i need space just to survive and not lose myself.

    i want to meet the right guy for me. i want to recognize that he is the right guy for me. and then i want us both to want to learn intimacy and greatness together. but no more one way streets. thanks for sharing. i really appreciate it.



  15.  #15Reshi on December 10, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Alias Girl, I so hear you on the not wanting to get overloaded with too much intimacy too soon. When I got married I felt I knew that was exactly what I wanted…and yet 3 years later I wanted to bail, wanted my space, and definitely felt I had lost myself. (To the point that now that I’m alone, I’m realizing that even without my husband and his huge social circle, I can keep myself involved in a thoroughly busy, fulfilling social life…and that’s BEFORE adding dating to the mix!) Intimacy is great but you can lose a lot of yourself and your freedom in the process. I wonder if the man exists who’s going to claim me AND still honor my freedom…a girl can dream… 😀



  16.  #16alias girl on December 10, 2008 at 3:36 am

    reshi. thanks for sharing your experience. it is always so helpful to hear your story and how your a re growing and becoming who you want to be. in this moment (subject to directional changes of wind remember) in this moment i can honestly say i do not want to settle down with one man. maybe i did yesterday. maybe i di at five o’clock this evening but absolutely not is my answer right now.

    i think my ideas are based on fairytales. i would rather have something real. regardless of how that comes to me or unfolds for me. i’d rather have something very very real.i am truly going to open myself to life and see what life offers me.

    i do not want one man at this point. absolutely not. men. or no men. or some men sometimes. whatever. but no one man status in my repetoire. not interested. and i’l tell you it just feels like a huge relief for me. i feel like maybe now i can just relax and enjoy men for who they are rather than what i need them to comform to in order to fit into my fairytale. i feel very good about this.



  17.  #17Linda on December 10, 2008 at 4:02 am

    I noticed that someone commented that it did not say that my man I was with and I did not live together. We did. We both had come out of long unhappy marriages and neither of us were in a big hurry to jump into anything. I believe in taking my time as well. Maybe it was too soon for both of us… maybe the fears he had will disipate. Maybe he will remember just how wonderful we were together.. maybe.. I dont know. I have to love me and cross that bridge when if I come to it.



  18.  #18Linda on December 10, 2008 at 5:06 am

    I also wanted to ad to my last comment something that Tinque said in her post. Growing together slowly allowed her and her man to release fears.. I was hoping that it would be that way for the man I was with but he just closed up shut down toward me.. and pursued other women. I am so glad that it worked that way for you and like you I had no doubt until of recent that he had claimed me and we headed to altar that we had discussed. sigh



  19.  #19Cassandra on December 10, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Tinque, I loved what you wrote about ‘growing together allowed you both to release your fears. That is huge and again something to be celebrated. I think that once you get to that point you have a connection with someone that is so deep and so special and so very rare. I am happy that you have have that!! That is what I want. I am realizing through this health crisis that I am dealing with – don’t get me wrong…I WILL WIN THIS BATTLE! – that Charles cannot be the man that he initially portrayed himself to be. That was a facade and in jest he sometimes even admits it so know that I don’t mean that in a ‘put-down’ sort of way. I am just realizing that he cannot be the man that I want and/ or need him to be. Sometimes he is that man but not always and I need to know that come hell or high water my man is there for me. My BF once said to me that she knows that if something terrible were to happen to her and God forbid she could no longer walk, or she was disfigured somehow or could no longer fully function that her husband would be there no matter what and still love her and take care of her. In dealing with this cancer thing I am realizing that Charles is not there the way that I need him to be there. I need to be free to think about that not him or whether or not he is going to be there for me or if I am once again going to go through something awful like this alone as I usually have to. Life throws you some awful curve balls and if your man can’t handle what life throws at you and stil be there for you and take care of you then it can’t work. I think that I may be realizing deep down that Charles is not man enough to handle it and again I do not mean that as a put down..we all are who we are and we feel what we feel. I let him know earlier today that I got the biopsy results and immediately he ‘shut down’ which of course sent me into that place of fear….what did I say wrong… is he going to be there…is this going to inconvenience him…..and so on. So….has he ‘claimed for ever after’? I don’t think so but is there a REAL man out there that will? I don’t think so…not in today’s world because it appears through my experience that todays men hit a rough patch and then immediately jump ship.



  20.  #20Reshi on December 10, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Cassandra, weren’t you just saying that there was a guy who did say he was willing to claim you, 100%, cancer and all? I’m not saying that Mr. Past is the guy for you, but what’s keeping you from further exploring whether he’s for real…or other men altogether?

    I am not trying to judge here, of course. Only you can know what’s best for you.



  21.  #21Cassandra on December 10, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    HI Reshi….no you are right in that Mr. Past is willing to ‘claim me for ever after’ but there are things about him that scare me too. I left that relationship because there was a great deal going on in boht of our lives and he did not handle things well at all to the degree that he flipped out and did a whole bunch of awful things like breaking into my apartment and stupid stuff like that. At that time he had some serious issues to deal with and apparently could not cope well. He does not appear to be that way now but how can I tell that from phone conversations? Even last night he demonstrated some of that over the phone in a response that he gave me that was insensitive to say the least. i guess in my prior post I should have said that there are not men that have no abusive tendencies that will be willing to ‘claim me’. LOL He has said and continues to say that all I have to do is say the word but I am afraid to go there because of how he behaved when things got rough for him personally and took it out on me…literally. I do think that he means well but with everything going on here I am not sure I am up for that not to mention I am not really even clear how I feel about him now. I do know that I love Charles and am in love with him but Mr. Past? I love him as a friend and want good things for him but to spend my life with him? Not so sure about that. 🙂



  22.  #22Mocha on December 11, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Hello Ladies! It’s great to read all your responses and I too know the claiming and then disappearing act! To tinque – I am very happy that your relationship of seven years is what you want and he’s claiming you but I have to agree with Rori in her post that if marriage is the ultimate goal then he’s really not claiming you. If a person is not looking for marriage but a live in companion and the two parties agree then that is their claiming one another, but keep in mind that at any time if things decide to turn in a different direction, it’s easier to disappear without that offical claim.

    I also agree that it takes time to get to know each other and allow each person to present their true selves but the way I see it, if that’s the case then when both people are not being authentic and it makes the relationship “imaginary” as Rori says.

    I don’t think that two mature people who want the same thing have to date for years upon years to decide either we are right for each other or we are not.

    I will say that for those in their 20’s yes taking more time to get to know one another is necessary but the truth of the matter is, at that age you are learning about yourself; so to commit with a partner and trying to mature and unsure of what you want is a problem when you rush into marriage.



  23.  #23tinque on December 11, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Mocha,
    I love your name. I agree with you that two people don’t need years and years to decide if they are right for one another, but it does take time to uncover all or most of what that person is about and if any of the discoveries could be deal breakers. Young people may change more as they explore the world and themselves, but many older people come with much more baggage, defenses, fears. So bottom line, all of this takes time; how much time is of course individual. It took me years. It may not take that long for someone else.

    i think my ideas are based on fairytales—–This is so common. So many women and probably men too create a fairytale, often ignoring what’s right in front of them to perpetuate the fairytale. Other people will, even if they love you to the ends of the earth, hurt you, unknowingly or not. No one is perfect. How boring would that be anyway, but within reality, I do believe there still can be that fairytale.



  24.  #24JP on December 11, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Tinque, I think we must be the same person 🙂 !

    “many older people come with much more baggage, defenses, fears. So bottom line, all of this takes time”

    – yes, and people come from so many different backgrounds, and not all of those backgrounds are nice. My response to my childhood was to become a lone she-wolf. But I bought into the Romantic Dream too, and that, together with my low self-esteem, was a recipe for dreadful insecurity and anger that kept me in unhappy, short relationships for 35 years.

    I’ve moved on from that now, still learning, getting there at my own pace rather than forcing myself.



  25.  #25Sandy on March 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I want to expand on something Alias Girl brought up: “just bc a guy asks to marry someone does not neccessarily mean you will get the kind of commitment you were hoping for. ” I can personally vouch for this one. My 2nd ex-husband married me after 1.5 years, and a little over a year later I came home one day to find his things gone – no warning. I’ve had casual boyfriends with whom breakups were more involved. NY and NJ laws changed in ’07 – now you only have to be separated 3 months in order to file for divorce. Marriage has been downgraded to a simple negotiable (and easily breakable) contract – breaking up is no longer hard to do.

    Conversely, I know deeply committed couples who have been together years and years, and have not married, with both parties happy the way things are. A contract of the heart. Point is, I don’t believe that marrying you is necessarily the milestone of a man having “claimed” you. How can you ever really know if he is claiming you? It really depends on how HE views marriage. My ex-husband apparently viewed marriage as a transient state (or a joke) and therefore it was very easy for him to offer it to me in the first place, and just as easy to pull out of it. It means less to a rich man to give you a diamond necklace because it’s easy for him to afford it – whereas it might mean he world to a guy who had to save up for a year to get you the same thing. It’s a bit of a myopic view to believe that MARRYING you = CLAIMING you, considering that I see this as being more and more common.

    I’d like to see Rori come up with a more effective framework for guaging “being claimed” but at this point it’s more of a moving target. I think we’re better off setting our own limits, boundaries and goals. Also to have a sense of HIS values and what HE views as a milestone (NOT by what he says, but by observing him over time) so you can fill in the blank of “__________ = claiming me.” Whether or not marriage happens to be it, be uncompromising and don’t let him drag on and on in his wishy-washiness. Circular dating is a brilliant concept – we receive the gifts each man has to give us, even it it’s simply eye contact & a smile at the supermarket – and keeps us from devaluing ourselves in our own eyes and in the eyes of our men. We need to be a little more ruthless when we are not being treated right. Radical honesty is the best policy – hide your true feelings from no one. Find your inner goddess, your divinity, and let it shine.



  26.  #26Rori Raye on March 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Sandy – Welcome, and thank you for the great comment.

    The way you discover how anything is for you, if you’re being “claimed” or not – is how you FEEL.

    However – we’re in learning mode, here.

    And the general standard for “claiming” is marriage, ceremonies and rings. So, if that’s in your head, it’s likely in his head also – and it’s a vantage point from which a conversation can be started.

    There are exceptions to everything – and yet, we sometimes take the easy route of considering ourselves and our men as “exceptions” in order to avoid seeing the truth.

    The role of marriage in life is changing – not because of general “ethics” – but because we women are becoming financially self-sufficient, and because so many men are being “feminized” these days.

    But the instincts of men – masculine energy men – are the same.

    The bottom line here is learning authenticity, and learning to trust ourselves. We have to make some rules for ourselves in order to feel safe enough to take serious steps into the unknown. Marriage is too deeply ingrained in us as a standard to simply ignore it – so it’s a very convenient barometer of what’s going on with most men.

    Love, Rori



  27.  #27Sandy on March 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks Rori. I like that better, about using your feelings… This of course needs to go with a nice big spoonful of awareness and self-honesty.

    I see what you’re saying about marriage, it still is the standard (and the yardstick) our society uses, generally. So I understand how it could still be pretty reliable in most cases. It just concerns me the increasingly casual attitude towards marriage AND divorce. Also for those who choose not to marry, it’s good to know they can see where things are at.