So before I could come to even tell you guys “all about the Man”, I am suddenly ENGAGED.
If you think it feels rather quick, I will save you the trouble of checking through my unwieldly blog posts, and confirm that it has only been six months.
It was a surprise but we had discussed it. We are both in our 30’s, dated before and have a very good sense of what we are looking for in a partner. But does that still give you a justification for ‘rushing into things’ as one friend put it? Here are my thoughts;
1. Feelings are not as important as Character: Personally, I think the Western outlook on romantic relationships (and many other things frankly) is very topsy turvy. People want feel ‘in love’ with someone and on that basis they commit a lifetime (not really considering the divorce rate) to someone. I am choosing to be with this person, committing to him not based on emotions but also because of a rational assessment of his character….observed over time (we had been friends before starting a romance) and experienced personally. Not to belabour the point, but I really want to be with someone who understands and values the committment foundation of marriage even more than the emotional elements. When I began this relationship, a friend of mine gave me some cute advice that I think is applicable to almost anything in life actually, “Dating is like snowboarding; commit to going down the hill and you will have a lot of fun; otherwise you’ll fall and hurt yourself”. In other words, whatever it is ‘go hard, or go home.’ Please hear that I’m not suggesting just jumping into marriage as that is a full committment. I’m saying that once you have made the decision to date, date with all your heart. If you have decided to marry, be married with all your heart (full committment – don’t have any back doors). Committment at the heart level…not stages in a relationship. Of course without step 1 (character), I would not do step 2 (committment) of any kind (heart or escalating the stage in relationship). Attempting committment without character is a recipie for failure and heartbreak….as I’ve experienced in my own life.
2. Weathering Storms: We have been through quite a few challenges already what with me having employment issues and family troubles. Through it all I have seen how he treats me and how we handle stress together. Certainly, I will not say that it is a perfect replication of what marriage is like but certainly I feel confident we can talk through things.
3. Not for everyone: I want to STRESS that for most people, I would recommend seeing someone through the ‘seasons’. What you really need to spend time assessing is the person’s character…not your feelings as emotions honestly come and go. Assessing character takes a lot of time….
4. Planning for the Marriage, not the Wedding: As soon as we got engaged, friends talked about the date and shopping for the dress. Guess what I zoned in on? PMC (Pre-marriage counselling). I know, I know….I’m such a nerd. Honestly, I’ve been waiting for PMC pretty much since I learned of its delicious existence. I only have some vague ideas of what this is all about but it so much more important to me then getting the right hall or perfect dress. I have committed to being married and I want to take some good time to figure out exactly what that means for us and how we can avoid the pitfalls of so many who have gone before us (Pitfall #1: being in debt over the wedding…….:) I do not want to be arrogant (as I have the tendency for…eek!) and think I have relationships all figured out.