Usually when one thinks about spouses, life mates, the sexual element comes first to mind. The idea that this is someone's monogamous love partner and, sure, for almost all couples that is true. I doubt there'd be objections to gay marriages if people weren't fixating on the whole physical aspect of it, however a life partner is so much more than that. I have a friend who drives me kind of crazy, because she wants level of intimacy I considered to be sweetheart territory. It's not that you can't have a good friend who walks you to the bus stop, who is always dispensing hugs and shoulder rubs and gives you 100% of your attention, but the difference between a friend and a life mate is that for the former you are one of many, for the latter your job is to provide the other with what they need. My platonic physical needs are fulfilled to overflow by my husband and more so, by my kids. When you can't even use the bathroom without other humans clinging to your legs and climbing in your lap, you really don't want anyone else touching you. I chat with my husband in the evening and during the day, my attention is monopolized by my 1 and 3 year old. It's a treat to have adult conversation with someone new, but I don't have the time to do a lot of that and if the kids are home, I can't concentrate on anything fully. I don't think I need to keep listing to get the point across. Anyway, my point is, this is what's so special about having a life mate, you might be like me and mine and just say "take a taxi from the airport", but you could be the sort who says "it'd mean so much to me if you'd come pick me up" and the other person does that, because you are his/her number 1 priority. I have the phrase about when love flies in, friends fly out. I think that's garbage. However, I do think there is something to when you're married, and especially when you have children, your list of priorities changes, friends get bumped lower down that list and depending on how demanding spouse and kids are, that could be way down the list. I have no opinion on people's sex lives and I certainly don't think everyone should get married, but it's nice to have a special someone if you aren't the self sufficient loner sort.