1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Friendship replaces marriage in the modern value system January 16, 2013


It is another interesting trend: Friendship as a value takes the place of marriage in the modern western world. What we see on the surface is the relationship status “girl-friend”, “boy-friend”. It is not by chance that people choose this words to explain that they are actually lovers.  In many western countries this kind of relationship has been legalized and has almost the status of marriage, even from the taxation point of view. Despite this fact people, especially males tend to see this kind of relationship as a “light” version of marriage, a less value-loaded status with less responsibilities.

On the other hand we have a significant shift in the collective consciousness regarding the value of friendship. While the girl-friend-boy-friend-relationship has less weight than a marriage, we can see the value of friendship as an intimate relationship without any sex involved rising high.In the online world, thanks for Facebook & Co it is a matter of prestige and social value to have many friends, no matter how “real” they are.

In the offline world people start loving, relying on, valuing friends more that their families. Why? First of all, for various reasons (one is given here) the generations of 20 to 50 year-old in the West suffer from problems with parents. For many a family is not the place to relax and enjoy, on the contrary  it is a place to quarrel, debate on relationship issues and even sue each other. At the same time it’s becoming a great problem for young people to create their own families – may be because they have seen so many divorces, may be of high expectaions planted in minds by the mass media… Whatever it is, the lack of peace in the family corner makes people seek peace and joy elsewhere. And many find it in friendship.

A true friendship is a perfect relationship because it does not suggest any responsibilities and obligations like a marriage does. We are free to meet up, talk, do some activities together, enjoy… We do not “have to”… and yet we are happy to help, to support, “to be there for a friend in need”, to invest time and money. But why? What moves us?

Friendship gives the security of a “safe” relationship and stability, which has always been the role of a marriage but seems to be not the case any more: Marriages/relationships may come and go, but a true friendship is normally a life long thing. Interestingly even happily married people value the most the fact of being friends wit each other – and this was not the case even a century ago.

One of my favorite authors explained why friendship is the ultimate form of any relationship –please read this beautiful piece here.

I believe that this trend of friendship becoming a higher value  is the new step in the collective evolution. Friendship across boarders is the new reality. Beautiful relationship with people from far away or at home town are part and parcel of our daily life. Getting new friendship cultivates our hearts and makes us more aware of others. It makes us collective and teaches to enjoy every human being.

With loads of love to all my online and offline friends,



16 Responses to “Friendship replaces marriage in the modern value system”

  1. multiroledestroyer Says:

    I would reserve my opinion as it is most conservative you can imagine. However it would be calling this Friendship business as diluting the sanctity of marriage. No friendship calls for sacrifice. Its only ÍF YOU LIKE TO’. Marriage involves sacrificing career, peace, happiness without any notice of that. No glory is attatched with marriage hardships, friendship is a marketing version of marriage.
    MARRIAGE IS SPECIAL EXCLUSIVE BLESSING FROM GOD and friendship is a consolation prize for not able to sustain the side effects of marriage. Marrage is success, frienship is compromise. Friendship is a Godless Eden.

    • axinia Says:

      dear Friend, i see and share your point completely. But in this post I am observing the facts of modern Western life and the situation is what it is: less and less people want to marry, and the value of friendship is increasing. This is some process in the society and only with the time we will see where it leads.
      To me personally friendship goes beyond marriage, although marriage is a wonderful and totally awesome thing of course! Friendship is a sacred relationship, same as marriage – but I can marry only one person and have friend as many as I want.

  2. Maybe it is that now heart aspect is becoming more important of material aspect. Most of western people are already satisfied at material level and do not need to find satisfaction in marriage, they only need to have close to them people to share love and interests.

    Of course nothing is taken away from the value of marriage. As we know the spiritual growth in marriage can very fast and strong.

  3. aurelianporumb Says:

    i think is more about fear… fear to make a mistake… people are bit afraid to take responsability… when you have to sign a form, to make a commitment, specialy when you know you are vulnerable… we don’t want to admit but we care… just we are also affraid thinking that postponing to make the mariage will eventualy hurt less in case somnething goes wrong——souch un illusion!!!——- also when you love somebody you are still not sure of yourself… not marying may be also a lack of self confidence… or trust: Do i realy love her? or Does she realy loves me? apart from material side (if you are sure about the feelings then no material problem)
    so love comes with security! security that we care, we are there allways, that we’ll do anything to protect the family, that we will go over our egos, conditionings to make it work… security that the loved one is somnething special!

  4. Marriage is coercion. Friendship, in a way, is also coercion, but we can choose and change the person.

    Destination Infinity

    • axinia Says:

      In the West you can easily choose and change your spouse or girlfriend, it is probably not the same as in India. In some western countries like Switzerland or German (this i know for sure) the friendship bondage is much stronger than the marital.

      • In India, marriage is not much about the two people concerned. It’s more about the two families, wealth-transfer (dowry), show-off (grand marriage ceremonies) and other such stuff. It has survived all along because a very heavy economic factor is attached to it. Now that people have become more independent and not dependent on family wealth (at least in cities), it should be interesting to see how things go from now on. I bet it’s the beginning of the end.

        Destination Infinity

        • axinia Says:

          That’s a valid, point, DI…interesting…although I believe that the essences of marriage at least in Hinduism is much deeper than financial gain, at least at the depth of the collective consciousness (Shiva-Shakti principle).

  5. dianavirtualassistant Says:


  6. axinia Says:

    While writing this post I was wondering how many readers will misunderstand it :). Does it come over that I am against marriage institution? -if you feel it from the post then I am really sorry…

    I love marriage, I am happily married and i think i have written some very marriage.inspiring articles on this for instance: http://shaktipower.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/marriage-made-in-heaven/

    This post is nothing as an observation of one interesting trend, which one can see very negative but at the same time positive…and this is what I tried to do – to observe and to reflect on that.

  7. Dear Axinia…I think friendship (speciallly between men and women) it’s one of very few things that is totally unselfish…this is its power!…because our life is based on relationships where you have to give or to get (also in marriage) and you never are totally free…and specially in this time we need freedom (of our soul and mind!)

  8. Mark Brown Says:

    Marriage is against nature You say that you will love, respect your wife/ husband your whole life. But that is a lie because you could not know what will happen tomorrow, no one knows.

    • axinia Says:

      it is true Mark, no one can promise anything about tomorrow. But what is important is the intention – to love, to trust, to be faithful. It is not unnatural.

  9. marriage is not a product…. who has an expiry value….
    marriage is commitment …..it is engagement and excitement at beaning but enrichment , nourishing and achievement at the end ….it sustains… today I listen a TV talk where all have expressed a good opinion towards live in relationship telling there is more responsible behavior in live in relationship ..it is new trend setting in India…

  10. A Goodrich Says:

    Great and insightful article here. Friendship is very pure in its essence.
    Marriage is an artificial construction created by religion and society.
    The intent of it is beautiful, but sadly it does not always end well.

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