No, but its not? A romantic relationship is *not* the definition of marriage. I don’t understand your confusion.
Merriam-Webster does not define them as such:
marriage, (n): (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage>
so marriage is
a contract (in religious terms, a covenant)
union (not just romantic attraction).
marriage involves *commitment* beyond just “hey i am romantically attracted to you and you to me so lets sex it up”
its societal purpose (and the reason why government got involved in marital contracts in the first place) is to unite two people to create an environment conducive to raising children new members of society.
its not just another relationship, it is a relationship that has to be taken to the next level: permanent commitment.
I guess nowadays most people thinks it just a fleeting romantic attachment, though. Hence the confusion here. But if that is true…why get married at all? Why not just cohabitate? Oh, tax benefits and property laws and stuff? Well it looks like you just contradicted yourself. The government can’t regulate your romantic relationships. It can regulate your marriage.
Thus, even on the most secular level, marriage must be something more.
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