Have you ever read the dystopian novel A Brave New World? In it exists a seemingly utopian society where marriage was not only not a necessity, neither were families, committed relationships, or parents. Everyone walked around in bliss thinking completely of themselves, and society functioned in that way.
And, when I heard Devale Ellis, a man in a committed relationship, say “no” to the question “Is marriage a necessity?” in the Couch Conversations episode titled that very question, I thought, “Uh oh. Is the completely self-involved society of A Brave New World that far away?”
In the episode, Khadeen and Devale Ellis welcomed two couples to the couch: Alisha and Bam, married for five years and together for eighteen, and Kelita and Emanuel, married for four years and together for eleven. Devale was of the mindset that marriage was not a necessity, and the debate started from there.
Just hearing him say that was jarring to me. As stated, my traditional mindset went directly to the ails of the modern but dreary lives of the characters of the aforementioned fictional dystopian society.
But of course, that was me just extrapolating. After watching the episode, I calmed my mind and realized, men really do have a very different mindset to marriage compared to women. For the men on the panel, it seemed as if they thought marriage was a superfluous way to say that they loved their woman. “You know I love you” is a common refrain and was indeed spoken by Bam in the episode, and he felt he did not need a piece of paper to show that.