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SMU Daily Campus


Backup partners and marriage pacts, will it lead to a ‘happily ever after’?

At one point in your life, you have pinky promised your best friend of the opposite sex that if things don’t work out for either of you down the road, you’ll have each other.

The pact claims that if neither one of you are married, typically by age thirty, you guys will get hitched.

The question is, why do people do this?

Marriage is defined as the state of being united to a person as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

Normally when you get married, it’s with someone that you feel intense chemistry with. A “soulmate” that you see spending the rest of your life with.

Marriage is the legal and formal binding of this relationship. Not only is it a huge step in a relationship, but it is a milestone in life.

The pressure to find someone that’s marriage-worthy starts to build either towards the end of college or right after graduating. You start figuring out what exactly do you want to do in your life, where you want to live and who do you want to be with.

The five-to-ten year plan that you’ve mapped out in your head starts to unfold.

It’s scary.

And this is why I believe we make pacts with close friends, ex-boyfriends or other potential long-term partners.

You know they are reliable, manageable, and convenient. You have a decent amount of chemistry with them and you know that they will be a good partner and parent down the road.

But most importantly, you make the pact to help ease your mind.

We know what we want in a future partner. There’s a list of criteria that “the one” must fit, and until we find that person, we accommodate by finding someone who can at least get five out of the seven right.

As you grow older, you may or may not find the person to meet all your requirements. Maybe both you and your friend found soul mates, and lose touch. Maybe, just maybe, you may find that your “backup plan” was the right person for you all along, and after years of staying in contact, you both end up together at the right moment in time.

There is no definite way to find out who your soulmate is. You can’t mark a certain place and time to meet them and plan exactly when you will get married, if that is what you want.

Once college is over, and you approach that time in your life where everything starts to get really serious, don’t forget that you are still young. You don’t have to get married by a certain date or you’ll expire as a potential partner. You don’t even have to get married if you can’t see yourself doing it.

At the end of the day, you’ll find someone who will be your best friend, your confidant, your soulmate. And once you find them, you won’t have to worry about anything else.

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