Posts Tagged ‘choice’

From Black and White to Shades of “Grey”: Does being left at the altar mean the end of a relationship?

Wedding Bouquet by Rosen Georgiev/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wedding Bouquet by Rosen Georgiev/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A certain popular television series got me thinking tonight. When do you know it’s right to join your life to another? To add him or her to your hub of your community? To allow him or her access to your other communities?

When do you know it’s right to become married?

I say “become married” rather than “get married” because I do not believe that marriage is something you acquire. Achieve, perhaps, grow into, most certainly, but pick up like eggs and milk from the corner store? No.

Also, I believe it is possible to become married without having a wedding. If you throw the law out of it (which it should be), and if you throw out definitions using variations of the same word (sloppy), then we see the third definition in Merriam-Webster as being:

An intimate or close union

Which is entirely possible to develop without celebrating it, without publicly stated vows, without rings or things or kitchen sinks…

Now, I am not discounting the importance of weddings. I do not believe that in general they are frivolous affairs which change nothing in any relationship. I believe they can be quite transformative, but that every wedding may not necessarily be so.

I’m simply questioning the all-encompassing significance our society places on the altar. Is it truly necessary to have a wedding in order to enter that state of intimate union with another?

And, as in the case of our fine characters who inspired this line of thought, can a relationship survive one of the two not making it to the altar? How devastating to the relationship must it be?

I can understand that to the individual left waiting it must be a tremendous blow to the ego, and to your faith and trust in the other person, and that latter part necessitates that it must affect the relationship – but must it be devastating?

An intimate or close union. Union. That requires two people, two wants, two needs, two schedules, and two perspectives to consider.

And I believe one can be entirely ready for a marriage, for an intimate union, for a partnership of that magnitude, and yet, not be ready for a wedding.

Obviously communication is key, but if you are planning a wedding (and hopefully the after-wedding) with a person, and you show up on the day, brimming with certainty and anticipation and a certain amount of trepidation… and that person simply doesn’t arrive… Does it change who he or she is? Does it change who he or she is to you? Does it change what you want from/with him or her? Do you stop loving him and wanting her and needing him or her?

Or can you accept that it happened and move on and still be with him or her?

Is that too much? Is it an act devoid of self-respect to stay on? To continue the relationship after inconsideration and perceived rejection and (typically) intimate public humiliation?

Obviously, one cannot know until one is in such a position, but I can tell you what I hope from myself, and my partners:

Perhaps I am too romantic. Perhaps I was raised by parents who demonstrated such unconditional love that I can’t imagine any singular act on it’s own changing that type of bond.

But that’s just it.

“I love you forever” doesn’t come with caveats. Unless you put them there.

Perhaps it’s the divorced child in me, but I’ve had enough of secrets and ifs and situational relationships. A marriage is not the place for them. Not for me, anyhow. By the time I’m looking down an aisle (or trail, or path, or ribbon, or slip’n’slide – whatever we set up), I would hope that I am already considering that person waiting for me to be my partner, and for I to be his or hers. We would already be family. Our marriage would already have begun, and would not be solely dependent on a wedding happening that hour, that day, or at all.

You shouldn’t have to say “I’ll have an intimate union with you, only after we sign documents/speak vows/party with family,” it should be a process. An ongoing ever-evolving process. I hope I wake up everyday from the moment I know that person to be part of my family and think to myself “Today, I marry you” whether there’s a wedding or not.

What do you hope for in such an experience? Please share your story below.

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The Benefits of Friendship

I'm totally the one pulling the other out into the beyond!

My Friend courtesy Dino De Luca/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today was a good day. And not just a happy car ride ego boost either. It was  good.

Dashing and I had lunch on Sunday, the first time we had seen each other since our final date night, and it was nice, awkward, and hard, and fun, and nice.

Yesterday was rough. But I managed to reach out to my best girl friend and cry on her shoulder (on a weeknight, just call me Miss Social!), and this morning I woke up and just knew that I was going to rock the sh*t out of being Dashing’s friend.

I love him, yes. I am head over heels in love with him, true. But that was also true back when we were “just friends,” I was just fortunate enough to be in denial then.

So today instead of suppressing all my love and raw nerve-y emotions, I just, well, let them live and breathe outside of me. It sounds like such crap, but I really just focused on being his friend and remembering what that was like.

And it was good. I didn’t burst into tears when he called. I was genuinely excited to text and talk to him. I was hungry for the first time in a month.

I look forward to seeing him again. And hearing about his plans, and letting him know when I come across things that interest him.

I don’t know what it is about many long-term romantic relationships that I’ve seen or been a part of, but it seems like we forget how to just enjoy our partners. How to take an interest in a day that was exactly the same as the one before, how to make plans without taking the other for granted, how to talk about things outside of “where do we stand, where are we going, and who’s going to clean the dishes along the way.”

And the flirting! Dashing and I aren’t quite there yet, but I am really looking forward to it, because for the first time, I think it might happen. Again.

Love can be a really heavy thing. It is serious and huge, but it can also be light and freeing. I think I forgot that, and then I tried to force it to be light and fun, and wow, did that not work! I was so excited to have found the serious and huge love that I wanted to revel in the solemnity. Dashing, wise man that he is, and this being his second crack at the huge seriousness that is forever tried to tell me to just enjoy.

I have a hard time living in the now.

I would look back wistfully on our very passionate beginning, and then look forward to our mysterious, exciting, daring future. And I just wanted to get there. To find out what is was going to be. Or go back, to the sex all hours of the night and day, and passionate kisses hello and goodbye, when everything is new and marvelous.

I’m a go-getter. I set my sights on something and I go for it, whole-heartedly. Sometimes I trip and land on my face, or walk into a wall, sometimes I get lost along the way. But it is always entertaining, and I’m always moving towards something.

So you know what? He needs me to be his friend right now, I can do that. Because I never stopped being his friend. I just forgot how to let the friendship shine, because I was so excited by how much I loved him. I didn’t know I could love someone this much. Honestly, I kinda always thought those ingenues were lying or exaggerating or brain damaged or something.

Because “You are my everything?” How loaded is that? Also, how sad?? He is your EVERYTHING? Like your job and your family and your friends and your hobby and everything???

But I kind of get it now. Because while I wouldn’t build a life around Dashing, I really want to build a life with Dashing. Around what’s best for each of us, and both of us together.

This journey is going to be tough. And rocky. But it will be worth it, because no matter how it ends up, I’m going to learn and grow, and I’m going to get to do a fair chunk of that with him, and for him, and because of him. And isn’t that really essentially what I asked for when I said I wanted to live with him?

Choices and First Impressions

Hands Creating A Star by creativedoxfoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image “Hands Creating A Star” courtesy of creativedoxfoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

OK, so clearly if you look at the blogs I follow, without visiting those sites, you can assume that I am a hopeless romantic, with a desperate, perhaps obsessive need to marry and procreate, chasing all things stereo-typically feminine, relationships, home, children…

Would it surprise you to know then that I’m actually quite the pessimist romantically? Or that, contrarily, in no way do I feel like if I don’t get married and have children my life will be unfulfilled and signify nothing in the grand scheme.

See if you actually visit these blogs – and you should, these are sassy, smart, strong women, did I mention the sass? If you actually visit these blogs, you will find these talented writers show their battle scars proudly, and openly discuss choices – and how it’s not really about the choice you make, it’s about making the choice, and knowing that there are other choices that could have been made, that others will take, that it’s about humanity and figuring it out and embracing the mess, and feeling the pain, and creating your world through your choices. And building your community. It’s about finding people who support your choices and who will push you to make the choices that are right for you.

So. Pessimist me reads wedding blogs because like Meg says, it’s about hope. And growing up. And pessimist me reads mommy-blogs because they’re about struggle and innocence and growing up and the funny things kids do and about how mommies don’t stop being people just because they created people. And they help me work through my issues with my own mom.

What I’ve learned in my years of blog reading (and yes, I’ve read all the archives of 7 out of 9 of these blogs and I’m working on the other two), is that just as I like my Adam Sandler with some Drew Barrymore, I like my oh-my-goodness-love with a little bit of reality. I like my tragedy with a lot of existential irony. I like my comedy with some poignant revelations to the bigger truth of human existence. And I like it all with wit and conversation.

That is what they offer. That is what I’m trying to build here. That is what I’m bringing into my life, and putting out to the universe, because as people we don’t always look beyond ourselves to consider the other choices out there. We don’t always take the time to laugh at ourselves. To think about what we believe, and why. To look back on what we told the world we believed and say, “Now, I’ve changed. I’ve tweaked, I’ve grown, I find this to be true for me now.”

Because I am still growing up. And these people, I choose them as part of my community as I continue to grow into who I will one day become.

Student living and me.

Just life. But through the eyes of a Blue-eyed History student.

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