I know a young man who will be going abroad on vacation in the fall, before all Europe falls into a sinkhole. His travel companions will include his girlfriend, his best friend, and his best friend's girlfriend-if they're all still "together."
They have been "together" (the new term for "married," I guess) for a couple of years now. Nevertheless, as a precaution, the young man has taken out flight insurance: "November is a long ways off," he explained. "Anything can happen."
I do not think I would like to be the young lady in this story. The couple's relationship is working right now, but the young man has hedged his bets in case it is no longer working come autumn. He is always, in his mind, contemplating the two scenarios of sticking and splitting, of being with her and being done with her.
I got married in April, and my understanding was that whatever will be going on in our relationship by the time the maple leaves start falling, my husband is sticking with me. And I will stick with him. If I thought any other way-if I had the slightest inkling that my spouse is nursing two competing scenarios in his mind-it would completely rob my freedom and my peace.
But the rules are all new nowadays, aren't they? Another twentysomething friend of mine who visited from Silicon Valley last week told me that most of her friends choose to "hook up" instead of marrying. What used to be rebellion is now prevailing wisdom: Why would anybody ever commit to an unknown quantity, after all? Wouldn't they be fools?