I read an article today about marriage and how it might be old-fashioned but will never go out of style. I’m not going to bore you with why you should never say never…ever, especially when it comes to the evolution of human relationships.

I just want to offer Betty a different explanation or view on why some of us prefer to not get married and just live together. I want Betty to understand that just living together does not mean we’re not 100% committed to each other and that we’re avoiding tying the knot because we want an easy out.

I realise what the research shows but I can say that my decision to not get married was not based on any of those factors. Ever. And we’ve been together for 12 years now.

I want you to look at commitment from a different angle and maybe then you will understand that I’m no less committed to my partner than any of my married friends are to theirs. Let me explain.

As you yourself said, when you get married you enter into a legal agreement. If, for some unfortunate reason you want to get out of this legal agreement, you have to pay lawyers and go through a lot of drama to end it.

The sad reality is a lot of people stay in unhappy marriages because they don’t want to go through the divorce proceedings. They don’t want to face the legal battle of who gets what and possibly end up walking away with nothing.

They’re then stuck in a marriage, which to you is the ultimate proof of commitment and unconditional love, but the love and commitment are long gone – they actually want to run for the hills screaming.

Now, in my case and I’m sure other people who don’t plan on getting married will agree, I wake up every morning knowing that I’m in a relationship I really want to be in.

I wake up knowing my partner wants to be in this relationship too, otherwise why would he be here? There is no marriage certificate binding us together – no legal contract was signed forcing us to stay in the relationship or face hell trying to get out of it.

The bottom line is there’s no right or wrong way of doing things anymore. There’s what works for you and what makes you happy and if that is marriage, good for you, but don’t put too much stock in the fact that getting married shows commitment.

The divorce rate is staggering and shows that that piece of paper is not all it is cracked up to be.

How we approach romantic relationships has changed and it is still changing but what we need stays the same. We want to love and be loved, and yes, we want commitment, but that does not require a ring.

Betty, you said you now realise what being married to someone really means:

“It means that you make a promise to completely share your life with someone. That you love them unconditionally. That there is no doubt in your mind that you want to grow old and cranky with this person.”

That’s not what you get when you get married – that’s what you get when you love someone.

Miss_Muse is a Women24 reader and blogs on Women24's blogging platform. You can read more on her blog here.

Follow Women24 on Twitter.

What are your thoughts on relationships and marriage? Do you think relationships and marriage are a package deal? Or is living together enough of a commitment?