Friday, January 9, 2009

Thoughts on Love and Marriage Vol. 1

I'm from Alabama. Which means that 3/4 of the people I grew up with were married before the age of 25. The last remaining stragglers seem to have all gotten engaged over the holidays. Which got me to thinking about marriage. As I peruse the pages and pages of Facebook pages announcing happy coupledoms in happy poses many emotions run through me: the emotional equivalent of the word "awww", judgement on ring size and bridesmaid dresses, and the unfortunate and inevitable feeling of jealousy.

I hate feeling jealous. It drives me crazy and makes me feel like a weaker human being. So I decided to delve straight into my jealousy and figure out what was up. The bottom line is that i want to come to a conclusion about whether I actually do want to get married at all. That would be a good start for me.I have wanted to get married before. Well, I should clarify. I have thought that I wanted to get married before, but then when it actually came down to it I ran faster than a speeding bullet away away from the proverbial alter.

So I haven't come to a conclusion about whether or not I even want to get married. Which means I probably wont be anytime soon. I'm not opposed to marriage. I am a constant crier (with joy) at weddings. I love the idea of meeting your soulmate and staying with them for a lifetime. My step-dad and mom and my stepsister and her husband all have very good marriages. But I guess that's the thing about all these Facebook weddings. I'm so curious. I want to ask all the smiles if they think they have found their soulmate? Did they know instantly? How long did it take to know they wanted to get married? Was the feeling mutual or did someone have to be convinced? I want to know whether it will last. And I'm highly dubious that everyone I know married the right person before before we even hit a quarter century. I guess we shall see.

But I guess I'm also worried that I've gotten left out. I have loved very deeply, I have even looked for rings but I couldn' make myself marry that person. In my dating past I have always relied on formulaic stereotypes. It must be instant or the guy must chase after the girl until she magically realizes that he is the one. For the last five years I wouldn't let a boyfriend kiss me on New Years Eve because I believed (for some reason) this would mean we would break up. After one painful breakup I decided that all the boyfriends thereafter should chase me and I still haven't lifted a finger to show someone I'm interested unless they do it first.

But maybe there isn't a formula? And maybe not everyone is meant to get married? Not that I'm saying I would NEVER get married. Because that isn't true. I don't want to die old and alone either- but married right now? Gives me the heebie jeebies. (which is always met by marrieds as, "well you just haven't met the right person).

Oh and the children question. I don't have an answer for that either. I love children but the thought of having my own is not something that I'm completely cozy with. And if you don't have children, then you don't really ever have to get married. Right? Right?

I guess the jealousy/confusion has also been caused by the complete 180 my mother has done on the subject. Growing up I wasn't even allowed to act like I had a crush on a boy and the mantra "do not get married before you are thirty" was repeated loudly and strong. But now that I'm almost 29, every guy I mention is met with the new mantra, "is he the one?" What? I wasn't raised to believe in "a one." And now I'm supposed to know him.

Oh well- I ramble on while probably one or more of my friends is posting the happy news of their impending nuptials. And I'll be happy for them. And then I think that I'm pretty happy right now with my current station. I have an obcsenely caring boyfriend with whom I'm taking it slow. I don't have an answer for my mom. But for right now that is alright with me. I think.

To be continued...


baconfat said...

there was a month-long stretch in november where no fewer than four couples i knew (3 socially and one through work) had their marriages end. thankfully kids were involved in only one instance. something to keep in mind.

Ralston said...

You basically can't listen to anyone's opinion. It took me a long time, but I finally realized that EVERYONE will have an opinion on whatever you do in your life. I've been trying to figure out whether to work/how much to work after the babe arrives. Some people are like, "Oh, it is so noble of you to stay hom and care for your child." Then others, "How could you give up your career?" And you know what? At the end of the day, none of those people really care what I do! So no one will ever approve 100% of what you do. So you better be sure that you're doing what you want with your life.

Oh, and the universe has no time frame on finding a person and getting married. That's something that we do. So relax, realize you'll know when you're ready and you'll recognize the person you're supposed to be with. I do wonder, though, that the longer you remain unmarried, the more used you get to your own ways. So marriage is not about that--it definitely requires compromise. :) You're great!