SINGAPORE: A man took to social media to ask Singaporeans if marriage is possible if the couple plans to be child-free and doesn’t need BTO.

“Why do guys say that it’s not worth marrying a woman if she doesn’t have kids? Or is that traditional thinking?” the man wrote on r/askSingapore on Thursday (March 21).

He also asked if marriage is primarily about demonstrating love and commitment or if there are additional benefits such as “making medical decisions as next of kin” or including a spouse as a dependent in health insurance. 

“Leaving aside BTO and children, marriage has long been a social signal” 

In the comments section, Singaporean Redditors engaged in a lively discussion, presenting diverse viewpoints highlighting marriage’s multifaceted nature. 

They argued that while purchasing a flat and starting a family are significant aspects of marital life, they are not the sole purposes of marriage.

One individual stated, “Leaving aside BTO and children, marriage has long been a social signal. This is the person I am committed to spending the rest of my life with.

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This is the person I trust to make major decisions such as medical treatment for me if am incapacitated. This is the person who will mourn me most when I die, if I go first, and I want to receive all I have.”

Another shared, “My husband and I got married 3 years ago when we were both 32. We are both hardcore childfree folks. I think there’s an inherently romantic aspect to the idea of marriage which doesn’t have to be tied to legalities.

Marriage is partly about standing up in front of your friends and family and declaring your commitment to your spouse. It’s a gesture that is a testimony to your love for each other.”

Meanwhile, others have listed a number of benefits that marriage can bring.

One individual said that at a fundamental level, having a spouse can be critical during medical emergencies, as they are typically designated to make crucial decisions on their partner’s behalf, which might otherwise fall to their parents. 

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“Not married and in coma, your parents make all decisions,” he added.

One individual said, “If you die then your parents get all your money and can throw your girlfriend out on the streets and vice versa.”

Additionally, marriage can streamline various legal and logistical aspects, especially when relocating overseas for work or study. 

For example, obtaining a partner visa is typically much easier for a spouse than an unmarried partner.

Without marriage, navigating visa requirements can involve substantial paperwork or result in no visa options, presenting additional challenges and limitations.

Other benefits of marriage that have been mentioned include advantages in insurance coverage, “to discourage cheating” since there’s the possibility of divorce, potential alimony payments, and tax incentives.

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