Too many people nowadays are postponing marriage. Some appear to be afraid of making the life-long commitment that marriage requires. It's a little like going out to eat. A person may think, "Is there bacteria in the food I'll be served? I could get sick from eating it, and even die." So to avoid that remote possibility the person stays away from restaurants, when he or she could be enjoying a perfectly healthy meal if eaten at a reputable place. To stretch the analogy to marriage, the solution is to date reputable people. That will improve your chances of finding the right mate and enjoying a happy, lasting marriage.

That being noted, let's assume you are dating and have fallen in love with a reputable person, but you don't want to risk committing to marriage. Here are a few of the excuses people give for not committing to marriage and why they don't hold much water.

Excuse 1

We need to live together for a few years to make sure marriage will work for us.

The truth

The truth: According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, "unmarried co-habitations overall are less stable than marriages. The probability of a first marriage ending in separation or divorce within five years is 20 percent, but the probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within five years is 49 percent. After 10 years, the probability of a first marriage ending is 33 percent, compared with 62 percent for co-habitations. Michael McManus, co-founder of the Marriage Savers Ministry, claims Couples who live together are gambling and losing in 85 percent of the cases... . more than eight out of 10 couples will break up either before the wedding or afterwards in divorce.

Excuse 2

My parents are divorced and I'm afraid that will happen to me. I don't want to go through the misery divorce caused them and their children.

The truth

You can let that ruin your future marital plans or you can learn from it. People who discover the reasons for divorce in parents or others they know, will be able to make the corrections in their own marriage. A college student, whose parents divorced, said, "I refuse to let my parents' divorce ruin my chances for a healthy marriage. I can learn from their mistakes and make my marriage strong and lasting." This learning can be enhanced by observing the behaviors of happily married couples.

Excuse 3

I'm not financially well off enough to be married. I need to have enough money to buy the things my spouse and I want for a comfortable living.

The truth

If people wait until they have enough money for the luxuries of life their parents or others enjoy, they will miss out on the opportunity of working with a spouse in making dreams come true a little at a time. We've been married nearly 57 years. Thank goodness we didn't wait until we had a fat wallet before we married. We simply fell in love during college, got married, and made it work out. Some of our most treasured memories are the times we struggled together, praying for guidance as we worked out our financial needs.

Excuse 4

My girlfriend or boyfriend is a great person, but has a few flaws. If I keep looking I might be able to find a person that fits my perfect mate list better.

The Truth

No one is perfect, not even you. Find someone with basic qualities such as honesty, faith, hardworking and caring. The rest can be worked out through life experiences. As you work toward joint goals personal growth and improvement will come. Couples need to allow time for that to happen and find joy in the journey together as they become their best selves.

Do it!

Marriage takes courage, as does every worthy accomplishment. Be sure you are in love with your intended. Does he or she make your heart leap? Do you both have the basic qualities mentioned above? If so, then get married. There is no need to end up like this lonely New Yorker, as reported in a recent newspaper editorial. He said, "... at 44 my life was not so different from the way it was at 24... . By never marrying ... I [ended up] alone in a lonely apartment with only a stalker to show for my accomplishments and my years."

It's up to you. Make it happen.

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