In order to delve further into Ewhaians' thoughts on marriage, the Ewha Voice talked with a panel of three Ewha students who shared their opinions on various questions that derived from the survey questions. The students were L ― Lee Hye-sun (Fashion Design, 4), J ― Je Ju-hee (Philosophy, 3), and K ― Kim Bo-bae (Industrial Pharmacy, 2).
Q: Do you think marriage is necessary?
J: To me, marriage should not be a must but a choice. Through choosing whether to marry or not, we can choose the path we want to follow in our life.
L: I, too, believe that it is unnecessary, but I see the reason why people marry. I would not give up my career because of marriage. However, since living alone is tough, family seems important.
K: I believe that marriage is necessary. From my experience, singles seem to be less mentally and emotionally mature, and seem to lack responsibility. They also seem very selfish since they are not used to group life.
L: Also, if you are single, in case of emergency, there is no one to take care of you, no one on whom you can depend both emotionally and financially.
J: But then again, why marriage? I believe just living together with a friend or a loved one could be another way out. Not that I prefer cohabitation for couples, but if you really wish for a family, I believe there are other options.
L: Cohabitation is possible too. I believe that institutional marriage could be a restraint in one's life, but then it carries certain legal protections such as equal financial rights. Also, in the institutional marriage system, couples are encouraged to work out relationship problems. Once they are legally married, it is harder to break up than cohabitation.
Q: According to our survey, most Ewhaians think that the average marriageable age is getting older. What do you think is the reason for this trend?
L: I believe it is because students wish to carry on their careers. Nowadays especially, the highest lifetime goal for many women is no longer a successful marriage. It takes time to work on career goals on other plans, and this naturally slows down the marriage rate.
K: Women need to sacrifice themselves in marriage, especially if they have children. Women need to take care of family related business and work, all at the same time. Women stress out to fullfil their reponsibilties as a wife, a mother, and a daughter. Therefore, to sacrifice less, women prefer marrying later.
J: Women wish to be socially and financially ready before marriage. Time is needed to pursue this.
Q: What is your opinion on marriage during student life, that is, marriage at an early age?
L: My married friends tell me that there are certain conditions that need to be met to marry early. Surely, it means giving up many personal experiences and chances as singles. One friend married early because the conditions suited both her and her husband. She graduated university in February, married in March, and left to study abroad with her husband. Marriage for them is like building a life together rather than marrying after everything is ready.
I believe, built-up trust should be the basis of marriage. Then, marrying early could be logical. At a "Working age," it might be difficult to date due to lack of time, thus making it difficult to spend more time building trust.
K: Marriage is something in which one should not only be responsible for themselves, but also their partner. If one is ready to do so at a young age, marrying early seems possible. It is not the age that matters but it is the maturity and readiness of one's mind that is most important.
Q: What do you think is the most important factor in deciding to marry?
K: I think that similar financial and social status of the couple is important, since it is easier to find points of mutual agreement when facing differences. Love is important, but to live together for the rest of their lives, love could be considered as a temporary emotion, but trust and understanding are lasting ones.
J: I think, methods of communication should be similar. During marriage life, couples realize their differences. To find a solution to the conflicts, understanding and consideration for each other are necessary. Sharing similar values also seems to be important since it leads to similar communication methods.
L: I agree that love is a transformational feeling. As time passes by it changes from passion to comfort. I also think that enough time is needed to know as many aspects of your partner as possible.
K: You cannot fully transform your partner. Only you yourself can change. Therefore, you also must be ready to fully absorb all characteristics of that person.