Marriage Propaganda

I was at an advertising agency today where I saw a magazine called Squaremeal Weddings prominently displayed. I took a photo of it, which accompanies this piece.

Seeing the mag reminded me of a presentation I’d attended the week before where a major legacy publisher revealed that, amongst others, the wedding ‘niche’ was really driving tevenues for them in what was otherwise a challenging market.

There is little doubt that weddings are big business in the UK. Earlier on I passed a jewellers store where the biggest draw in the window was engagement rings. So while we may read statistics suggesting that marriage rates are falling, out in the real world it feels like the opposite is true. It feels like everyone is getting hitched.

Look now at that picture of Squaremeal Weddings. It shows a beautiful woman dressed in white smiling enigmatically as she shows off a prominent engagement ring and touches her (presumably very expensive) necklace.

Most images for magazines of this kind are like that, showing the happy bride ready for her big day.  This, it is implied, is the endgame. The wedding, in visual terms, is presented as the climax, the conclusion.

The happy ending.

But of course we know that wedding aren’t predominantly ‘happy endings’ as much as precursors to unsatusfying marriages that end in divorce, since almost half end in failure (and even more in built-up urban areas).

I am not someone who believes readily in conspiracy theories. It would be ridiculous to speculate that magazine publishers and other businesses who target people looking to tie the knot are in some way conspiring to create ‘marriage propaganda’. They are simply business going where the money is, as businesses do.

But it is clear that the pumping out of such images helps foster a social environment where marriage (and especially the wedding day itself) is seen as hugely aspirational.

Since most of these businesses target women predominantly then it should be no surprise that girls over about 27 (like my ex) are keen to the point of mania on pushing relationships along the path from dating to cohabiting to marriage.

What we have is a virtuous cycle where businesses, in targeting an existing ‘need’, are simultaneously fuelling that same need.

And of course most men just go along with it, particularly young men. If you haven’t much experience with women and you meet a hot girl who after a while starts pushing marriage, you have to be strong to go against the grain.

And why would you? Because after all, the way marriage is advertised in the culture is that it is a lifetime commitment with someone you love and who loves you.

That this more often than not doesn’t materialise is little less than tragic.

Sometimes when I’m out and about I see good looking young guys out with their wives and I can’t help wondering, are you really happy with your life as it is? Or would you actually prefer to be playing the field still, if only you’d give yourself permission to do so?

I guess there’s no way of knowing. But the reports I read online and hear from my married friends tell their own story. And as long as society pushes marriage as a kind of fairytale panacea, the more dufficult it is for us to have a sensible conversation about what long-term relationships should really look like in the 21st century.

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Shawn - October 11, 2017

I wonder if its more about the ring, the planning, the dress, ceremony, receptions, and all the attention rather then the commitment? A part of me thinks a wedding is just an excuse to get presents and have a party. If a man has any assets a prenuptial is a must!

    tfadmin - October 11, 2017

    I definitely think a lot of it is to do with the ring, pressies etc. Unfortunately a lot of girls (and possibly guys to be fair) don’t think a lot far beyond that. Cheers, Troy!

      Shawn - October 11, 2017

      Your right about guys not thinking about the future… or maybe haven’t seen what girls are capable of yet, and think they locked in a hot wife for life with sex on tap, and its time to relax finally. I’ve been to 3 weddings this year and I hate to say it but 2 out of the 3, I wanted to take the groom aside and tell him every thing I know first hand and what I’ve read. But that would kill the vibe and all you can do is cheers him and be happy for them. People don’t take advice until they look for it anyway.

        tfadmin - October 11, 2017

        This is the thing. I will talk to friends about my experiences with women, observations and what I’ve read etc, but I don’t tend to give direct advice because each man has his own journey and who knows if something is going to work out or not? But I do sometimes wonder if this or that marriage will work, then later I’m proved right. Troy

Bilal - October 11, 2017

A good article .
Yap it’s a big industry.
I believe in marriage , but i don’t believe in wedding .
What i mean is i wanna have offsprings but … No fucking money wasting big pompous wedding . No fucking expensive ring and all that shit . I am not poor but i dont see any use of all that shit.
I ended 3 very good relations just cause them girls wanted a Disney Wedding .
Nope . I would rather go to Botswana and marry a girl from there or to Afghanistan . But no wedding ….

    tfadmin - October 11, 2017

    I totally agree man – the wedding industry has gone crazy. People spend a small fortune on one day, and for what? If you want to be with someone then that’s cool, but you shouldn’t need to bankrupt yourself just to prove it! Cheers, Troy.

Zio Gio - October 12, 2017

I was married once in my 20s. Lasted 10 months. Then I Partied and “gamed” before I even knew wtf game was for a good decade. Settled down w a girl for last 13 years but now I’m craving the old lifestyle. Is it suicidal for a mid 40s bald guy to drop a nice boring life to get back into it? I’m so torn. Not really happy here but the quality of women out there seems to be shit nowadays. Should I stay or should I go now. That’s the question.
I guess my point is that marriage takes a certain personality type. I think you’ve gotta be wired for one chick. Most of us aren’t I don’t think.

    tfadmin - October 12, 2017

    I think you’re right that most of us aren’t wired that way. Blackdragon says only the most boring, vanilla people are. Probably less than 5% of population.

    In answer to your question, no it’s not suicidal, you CAN get back out there and slay it even if you’re bald and in mid-40s. As for the quality of girls, well, it depends what you’re looking for. Assuming you didn’t want to jump straight back into the fire of LTR then there are plenty of fun, pleasant girls out there you can have a good time with if you look for them.

    As to whether you should leave your current girl, it sounds to me like you probably want to, but ultimately (and annoyingly) it really has to be your choice, since only you know the reality of the dynamic between you. If it’s broken I’d say cut loose—you only have one life. At the same time no point in being rash and doing something you’ll regret. It’s a thorny dilemma we all come face-to-face with at one point or other. Cheers, Troy

PJ Pires - October 12, 2017

It isn’t a CT. It’s a full propaganda using emotional weak-woman mind to make so good cold-hard cash. Much moolah.

You know, in fact it’s a profitable op. The peak for woman in a marriage is the party and the ring (and all photos posted at IG and FB).

For man? He can pay all (or 50% minimum) and go to hell later (we always know what a marriage will end up).

Looks like a good deal, innit xD?

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