Rethinking “I Do” - Loving Without A License
by Debra Vernon, Founder & CEO of Joynup on January 28, 2022
In the last century, the marriage license has become a sign of legitimacy for relationships. It didn’t used to be. Throughout history, wedding ceremonies have been considered the moment that commitment begins. In many cultures, commitment and family have strongly been seated in religious faith and traditions.
Now, around the world, couples are choosing once again to define romance, partnership and family on their own terms. Couples are sharing living space, household responsibilities, finances, parenting, and more without a marriage license, so they’re free to choose how they build their relationships.
This trend towards freedom and self-determination has taken hold across the United States. Millions of Americans are committing to one another based on their individual choices. According to recent U.S. Census data and Pew Research, there are approximately 18 million Americans living unmarried with partners.
Why are we coupling up without a license in higher numbers than ever? According to Pew Research, we want love and companionship but we are questioning why licenses even have a place in this arena. Licenses are required for certain professions and for driving a vehicle. That’s understandable. Doctors and drivers need training and testing to make sure they’re doing it right. What training and testing is required for a marriage license? None. Websters defines marriage as “the relationship that exists between two people who are united as spouses.” No reference to a marriage license. Could it really be “just a piece of paper”?
Unfortunately, it is not. A marriage license is so much more - and it’s not all that good. A marriage license comes with its own terms and conditions. And most couples don’t know what they’re getting into. They are signing a silent prenup, without any disclosure. Even if they have a written prenup, a divorce court can throw it out. Couples usually don’t find this out until they split up, but by then, it’s too late. They have irrevocably invited a divorce court to decide how they will live, where they will live, and who will own what, even if they want something entirely different.
That is why we created Joynup. Joynup helps couples discuss and agree on their own commitments. By enabling couples to choose how they commit, Joynup empowers couples to enjoy the best parts of life together, reducing risks and red tape. Studies show that relationship satisfaction is directly proportional to a couple’s depth of commitment. By choosing our own ways to build our lives together, now couples can enjoy higher relationship success at lower levels of stress and cost. When you choose how to commit, there’s no limit to your love.
Visit www.joynup.com to sign up and don't forget to follow us on Instagram @joynupinc.