We’ve all heard the saying: first comes love, then comes marriage. But as more and more members of the new generation begin to challenge antiquated norms, from choosing to be childless to dismantling the five day work week, many are questioning whether or not marriage is genuinely worth it.

In the past, marriage was considered necessary for establishing a family and ensuring financial security, though times have certainly evolved. While the choice will ultimately fall on the individual, there are some general pros and cons to getting married that can help you answer the question, “Is marriage worth it?”

The Pros of Marriage

Celebrated across cultures and religions, the institution of marriage can be a beautiful thing. Alongside being socially uplifted, here are some positives to consider.

There Are Legal Benefits

At the end of the day, marriage is a contract, and it is certainly not without a wide range of legal benefits. Social Security benefits and filing joint taxes aren’t the most romantic part of a relationship, but they can certainly be an important one. Should anything unfortunately happen to you or your partner, you’ll also be able to have medical access to them.

Companionship and Stability

While there are many of us who prefer to walk through life as lone wolves, marriage can provide a sense of companionship and support for those who desire it. When you get married, you become a team with your partner, supporting each other through life’s ups and downs and providing emotional and financial security. Alongside a sense of belonging, marriage can also be a foundation of stability for a potential family should children come into the picture.

The Union Is Beautiful

You only get to be human once, and commemorating finding the love of your life with marriage is a beautiful human pleasure to experience. Building a home with your person, curating holiday traditions, starting a family and donning titles like “husband” or “wife” with the person you’re in love with can instill a deep sense of pride and even heal wounds of unworthiness from childhood. No one said it would be easy, but if you’re entering the arena with your best friend, every battle you’ll fight will be well worth it.

The Cons of Marriage

Getting married is no small decision, so it’s essential to consider what could go wrong before saying “I do.” Here are some cons to marriage to take into account when making a big commitment.

Marriage Isn’t Easy

While we’ve all heard time and time again that marriage takes work, this isn’t a sentiment to take lightly. Once the honeymoon phase dissipates, facing the raw reality of partnership can be pretty sobering. Surviving financial hardship, butting heads with in-laws, moving through relational slumps, and navigating disagreements can wither away at even the most deeply in love, which is why about 49 percent of married couples end up in marriage counseling.

Weddings Are Expensive

Even if you’re not aiming to put on an entire royal wedding, they can still cost a pretty penny. The national average price of a wedding is $30,000, though that certainly varies. Between paying per plate for your guests, booking a large enough venue, and buying the perfect gown, a proper wedding won’t leave much to desire for the honeymoon. While many young girls have fantasized about their weddings and elegant white dresses since childhood, eloping in Vegas is ultimately the best decision financially.

Divorce Is Also Expensive

Ideally, once you get married, it’s a forever thing. However, you never truly know who someone will evolve into throughout the course of life. While many people fear infidelity and betrayal, it’s also not uncommon for people to simply grow apart. Unfortunately, most marriages end in divorce, and it certainly isn’t a cheap route to take. The median cost of a divorce is about $7,000, though the more complicated or contested divorces can be much more expensive, while uncontested divorces can be less.

Is Marriage Worth It?

Follow your heart. At the end of the day, some of us are built for it, while others would prefer to take the Oprah and Stedman route. Whatever the case may be, just make sure you’re making the decision that honors your own personal truth, takes all realistic outcomes into account, and will make you the happiest version of yourself.