Our argument took romance out of the equation. As we explained it, Americans were already waiting longer to marry, and fewer than ever believed in the “sanctity” of marriage. As urban working women in our 20s, we no longer needed marriage to survive — at least not financially. We weren’t religious, so we didn’t believe that unmarried cohabitation or even child-rearing was an issue.
But we were also cynical. As children of the divorce generation, we had watched cheating scandals proliferate in the news. We had given up on fairy tales, and we didn’t know how anybody could see the institution of marriage as anything but a farce. It was “broken,” one sociologist told me. So, what was the point?
But would it have worked? I’ll never know. What I have learned is this: While “happily ever after” may indeed be a farce, there’s something to be said for uttering “I do.”"-
Jessica Bennett twists the knife: Modern Love - A Case For Marriage
Do we need marriage because it makes it logistically more difficult for the other person to leave? Do you need a piece of paper to prove you’re not going to run out quite as quickly?