You're certainly welcome. It's good that you think about it and what it means to you, and your responsibility in loving, and being loved.
All contracts and all religious ceremonies aside, the bottom line is still that you pledge your love to another and trust that person to love you.
When the pledge is broken and the trust gone, no contract nor religious ceremony can restore them. The pledge can be renewed and the trust might (notice I said "might") be rebuilt at least in part. But it still takes love that is worked at.
I happen to think it is much easier when there is romantic love and sexual attraction. And if you are very fortunate, you either share a lot of interests and likes and dislikes, or you can complement one another well. If you are too dissimilar, and unwilling to compromise, clashes will come. And if the relationship is not codependent, it will not survive.
But if it is codependent, it kind of dies on the vine, so to speak.
So, I say develop your interests and your life. When you meet someone who stirs your very soul, speak your heart. And if you both speak your heart honestly and transparently and decide to pledge your troth (with or without a marriage), then you can decide if marriage is for you.
I think it is a wonderful thing that should be available to anyone. But I also think it should be something done fully intending to make it a lifetime of commitment.
Don't be hopeless, Joe. Be hopeful. There's plenty of good people. I talk to them all the time.