The legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship. Marriage as defined in English by the Oxford Dictionary. Getting married especially in my culture is a rather stressful occasion and because of that it falls at number one on my lists of fears. I suppose this would sound ridiculous to people if I were to tell them that it’s actually one of my biggest fears and I wouldn’t blame them if they thought it was. After all it’s supposed to be “every girls’ dream”. I’m just not sure that it’s mine.Weddings are a beautiful and absolutely marvellous occasion, and I love going to them. I always leave hopeful and believing that miracles surely do happen. But in reality I was raised on a very steady diet of Disney movies and really cheesy and cliché romantic comedies. So it’s a safe bet to say I have really high expectations when it comes to relationships and everything that comes with relationships. But on the other hand, the media and reality shows are portraying stories of infidelities and divorce that just feed the flame of fear connected to marriage.In my culture getting married is a long process, before anything can happen the groom’s’ family needs to send a letter to the family informing them that they wish to marry their daughter. A date is set and lobola negotiations begin, a price is set (as a dowry), and only after the price has been settled can wedding preparations really begin. A lot of money is spent on weddings, and I guess that a part of me (that is also very financially conscious) is afraid that all of that will go to waste if I were to get a divorce (also divorce lawyers are really expensive).I know that divorce is rapidly become a common thing in society, but I really want to do this just once. I’ve watched people get married then become completely miserable and I don’t want that for myself. I don’t really know where I fall. To me, being married has never seemed important. If I have someone I want to be with, I’ll just be with them. But I’m aware that marriage is something that is expected of me. I once had a talk with my mom about this and I told her that I really didn’t feel the need to get married, and she told me that I’m young and I quote “don’t really know what I want yet”. My mom then asked me that if I didn’t get married when and how would she get the chance of telling people “ukuthi uyashadisa namhlanje”(my daughter is getting married).Another thing about marriage that I’m not mentally prepared for is having to put someone’s needs first. I understand that I don’t have to do it all the time, but I think I simply cannot find it in me to make decisions keeping in mind that there’s somebody else in my life. Being selfless is difficult right now (and I haven’t even vowed to be with someone “till death do us part”) and I think that it will only become more difficult as responsibilities pile on.Responsibilities of a wife in my culture are kind of a big deal. The ideal wife would be someone with good manners, who can cook, who will clean and take care of the family. And in all honesty I don’t think I fit the criteria. I remember an event in my life that left me feeling very hurt but a little empowered at the same time. I was standing in the kitchen with a family member of mine when he basically told me to get acquainted with the kitchen because if I don’t “I won’t get married”. And I just remember replying (in my head of course) “Maybe I don’t want to get married”.And that’s the truth, maybe I don’t want to get married, maybe I don’t want to have to deal with all the stress that comes with getting married. But I think the honest truth is that maybe I really am too young and don’t really know what I want. I think all these experiences and what I’ve witnessed have made me slightly biased to one opinion of marriage. And I think that as I gain more experience in my life, I can be able to judge marriage better. Maybe as I get older my opinion of marriage will have changed. But I think that my real fear is that it will be too late.