Note: The names of some participants have been changed to maintain anonymity. I was at lunch with a friend one day when the discussion of marriage surfaced. Out of nowhere, we both said, \u201cI don\u2019t think I want to get married.\u201d We looked at each other and went, \u201cReally, you too?\u201d While some see marriage as the next step in life as an adult, others, my friend and I included, are deciding not to say \u201cI do\u201d. At least, not in the near future. Could it be a fear of commitment, lack of financial stability, or simply finding the union unnecessary? Here\u2019s what we have to say. 1. Getting Married Can Be Expensive 29 years old and in a relationship, Rakesh believes marriage is expensive \u2014 especially if you want to do it \u2018right\u2019. He explained, \u201cYou could get away with a small, meaningful ceremony, sure. But you\u2019re going to upset family members and friends.\u201d Rakesh believes that \u201cAll that money could be better spent on a house, a car, or investments.\u201d Also 29, Jun Jie\u2019s resolution to stay unmarried was a series of small realisations. \u201cWhen I learned how much my best friend's wedding cost, I was speechless,\u201d he shared. He could never justify to himself an extravagant wedding with 100 guests. Currently in a serious relationship with his live-in girlfriend Puteri, he continued: \u201cThe money should go towards an emergency fund or medical bills. Plus, it feels like too much of a hassle when we\u2019re both still climbing the career ladder.\u201d 2. Getting Divorced Is Also Expensive (and Tricky)\u00a0 Image via Pinterest As for Jun Jie\u2019s girlfriend, Puteri, her feelings towards marriage had been cemented since she was young. \u201cMy grandma was married off at 13 years old when the Japanese army was rounding up virgins to be used as sex slaves. At the time, marriage was a form of protection.\u201d \u201cSure, she remained safe, but she lived her life shackled by the responsibilities of motherhood, raising six children since she was 14.\u201d \u201cIt\u2019s sad because she wanted to be a writer and teacher. So from young, I didn\u2019t have a favourable view of marriage. It\u2019s really a trap.\u201d She cited a few other reasons not to tie the knot \u2014 unfair inheritance laws, unfair treatment of women in Islamic divorce courts, the ability for men to take four wives, and further complications if couples have shared assets and children. \u201cThat's why it\u2019s called tying a knot. It's hard to undo the knot once it's tied,\u201d she quipped. Emma, 23, used to see marriage as a goal in life, having grown up in a Christian household. When she had her first boyfriend, who is also Christian, the couple were constantly reminded about why they were together \u2014 to get married. However, throughout the years, a few things changed. \u201cI think I realised I didn\u2019t want to get married a few months after my first heartbreak,\u201d she opened up. \u201cI thought it was a temporary feeling at first. You know, from the hurt. But after I saw how difficult and expensive it is for my mum to get a divorce, I became even surer of my decision,\u201d she shared. 3. Marriage Does Not Equate to Happy, Healthy Relationships Emma\u2019s views on marriage also changed when she had to witness a crumbling marriage first-hand. \u201cThe husband fell into a gambling addiction and it just tore the family apart,\u201d she recalled gravely. \u201cHe stole from his wife and kids to feed his addiction, and he refused to seek help. He wrote his wife down as a loan guarantor without her consent while she had to raise their children all alone. It really made me think.\u201d For 27-year-old Jo, marriage and romance felt very separate as she was growing up. \u201cRomance was beautiful, but the natural outcome of marriage seemed very dull,\u201d she mused. Surrounded by the married couples (parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins) in her life, Jo noticed how they weren\u2019t especially happy \u2014 just accepting of the situation. \u201cThey didn't seem to know how to love each other or even cared to try harder,\u201d Jo said. \u201cI did not want to be one of them.\u201d \u201cThere are so many other things that I value that aren\u2019t falling in love. I cannot bear the idea of being trapped in an unhappy relationship that I was encouraged institutionally to be in. I value myself more than I value anyone else's perception of me,\u201d she stated. Jennifer, 24, says her idea of marriage when she was younger was exactly like in the movies. \u201cWith happiness, never-ending romance, shining smiles, and happily-ever-afters. But now that I am older, I realise relationships shouldn\u2019t be bound by a piece of paper." \u201cWhen my brother got married rather impulsively to a girl who was just using him, it brought him much regret later on. I don\u2019t want to make the same mistakes.\u201d \u00a04. Marriage Should Be a Want, Not a Must\u00a0 With her wild curly hair and big, bright smile, Devin, 30, shared: \u201cI used to think I had to be married by 25 with kids and a house. Raised by a family from East Peninsular Malaysia, arranged marriages were a norm. My whole life, I\u2019ve been pressured as a woman to see marriage as an achievement in life.\u201d But after witnessing other people\u2019s broken marriages and watching documentaries on why marriage was created in the first place, Devin came to the conclusion that marriage was overrated. \u201cI was engaged once. I remember when he went down on his knees, I couldn\u2019t feel a thing. There he was, crying, but I wasn\u2019t. Safe to say, things didn\u2019t work out. I guess I\u2019ve realised from my different relationships that my relationship with myself should be my priority.\u201d Despite pressures from her family to get married, Devin has no regrets and is happy with her life as a single lady. \u201cI don\u2019t need a paper to prove I\u2019m in love with and committed to my partner. I would rather focus on the relationship itself and on growing together.\u201d 5. Sometimes, Getting Married Doesn\u2019t Change a Thing For 37-year-old Adam and his girlfriend, the possibility of marriage has been tabled a few times. \u201cSince we are already living and working together with three adopted cats (and a possible fourth on the way) as our \u2018children\u2019, we do not see how getting married would make a difference.\u201d \u201cIf a couple does not plan on having children, I don\u2019t think there is a need for marriage,\u201d Rakesh shared. \u201cI always thought I\u2019d want to have kids but here I am with someone who doesn\u2019t want kids. Without kids, I just don\u2019t see a point in getting married \u2013 legally and financially.\u201d 6. There Is More to Life Than Marriage Currently single and dating casually, Emma\u2019s revelling in the freedom of living as her heart desires, without worrying about how her actions and decisions might affect a partner. \u201cI\u2019m enjoying my time alone, meeting new people, and simply having less stress. Maybe I\u2019m not ready for the commitment of marriage,\u201d she said, shrugging. \u201cBut what\u2019s wrong with that? We\u2019re all running a race of our own and as long as I\u2019m happy, I don\u2019t see why I should conform to the norms,\u201d Emma finished. Will these millennials change their minds about marriage? Jun Jie was couch-surfing at a friend's place when he met her parents. \u201cDuring a conversation we had over breakfast, I learned the parents never married. They simply moved in together and had a baby. Yet, there they were, living together as a happy family.\u201d It was like a switch went off in his mind. \u201cI realised that love between two people is what's most important, more than any legal certificate. After all, if it isn\u2019t meant to be, getting married or having a kid won\u2019t change that fact.\u201d Rakesh wants to see where his own story takes him first. \u201cIf it leads me to a partner with similar life goals and who also wants children, then yes,\u201d he admitted. But he remains realistic, saying that it\u2019s entirely possible that it will never happen and that he might have other goals to pursue. As for young Emma, she might change her mind when she\u2019s older and when she feels like she\u2019s found someone whom she can build a future with. But then again, maybe not. Jo feels the same way, sharing, \u201cHonestly, perhaps! There are people who marry because that one person was worth it even if they disagree with the idea of marriage. If I ever marry, it will be because I felt it was right, not because it is some milestone to check off a list.\u201d For Devin, however, she is confident she\u2019ll never change her mind about marriage. If she does, it would be because of her respect for her family and culture. For more stories like this, read: Seven Reasons Why I Don\u2019t Want a Wedding When I Decide to Get Married\u00a0and What Made These Women Stay in Their Problematic Marriages?