If the legends are true, I have a bit of fear of commitment. Or, at least I do if you ask any of the people I HAVEN’T dated. *side eye* I could offer up the contents of this blog, the last five chronicled years of loving and losing and lusting, as evidence that this isn’t exactly the case, but to be quite honest, I am not always 100% sure that they aren’t right.
My attitude about marriage has always leaned a bit further on the side of ambivalent. This is not an I-don’t-believe-in-marriage thing, or even feminist why-must-I-join-with-a-man-to-be-complete thing (though, this is a valid question). If I am honest I have to admit that deep down, I have always been rather meh about it. And that opinion has mostly stayed deep down because it is often seen as the opening volley to go back and forth with me about why I am wrong for feeling the way I do. I have seen marriages fail (all of my mom’s), I have seen marriages last (my daddy and stepmom, my godparents), so it certainly isn’t lack of proper role models. And, admittedly, I have been up close and personal for the kind of unique devastation divorce causes, but that doesn’t make me afraid of it per se. Just all the more resigned that IF I do decide to get married, I am only doing it ONCE.
As I have gotten older and my ideas about what I want for myself have become clearer and less influenced by the other voices in my head (family, friends, society, religion), I’ve found that I feel the same way about marriage as I do about children; if I decide to, I will be happy to have done so. If I don’t, I doubt I will feel any sort of acute loss.
I am meh about it; come what may.
If you are a long time reader, then you know I have discussed marriage seriously with two exes; Almost Fiancé (hence, his moniker) and The Great Houdini. I invite you to peruse the archives if you are not up to date on the spectacular failure of those relationships, as I generally prefer not to rehash them because I am trying to pretend they never happened.
But here is sometimes where I confuse myself about myself…
See, we seriously discussed marriage. We talked about the important things like finances and children and where we would live. We talked about the frivolous things like what kind of wedding we’d prefer, what type of rings we’d (I’d) like.
But the thing is, deep down inside I always knew it wouldn’t work out.
And that is the first time I have ever admitted that aloud.
I knew it wouldn’t work out with Almost Fiancé even as I was dragging my best friend to a jewelry store in the mall and picking out a ring. I knew we would be over before he ever proposed or we set a date or anything.
I knew TGH and I would never make it to Puerto Rico to have our beachside wedding. I knew we’d never raise a son with his name or laugh at the other’s hair losing its fight against the gray.
And not because we didn’t love each other or because we weren’t good together. But just because I knew then just as I am certain of now; love is the walls of a marital house. Not the foundation. It’s just not enough.
When people say this, the knee jerk reaction is for people to call you cynical. And I will admit, in certain ways I am. But cynical is not the sum of all my parts. What I am is the type of person that likes to walk into things with eyes wide open; I am no longer willing to be the girl that will pick out a ring knowing that it will never be on my finger. I don’t buy into fairy tales.
Because really, I have never believed that that’s what love, any kind of love, is about. I believe in a balanced team; I don’t care about a white dress. I believe in knowing how to make someone’s eggs; not in caring about a seating chart. I believe in being willing to walk your whole life beside someone; not stressing the politics concerned with who will walk you down the aisle.
So, maybe I have historically picked people with whom I knew there would be no future with. Maybe I have (as a therapist once pointed out) pursued people who were physically distance so that I could have a buffer from being emotionally close.
But maybe I have learned those lessons young so that I don’t repeat them with the men I meet now, whom I know good and damn well aren’t going to work for me. And isn’t that better?
Or maybe I am just hiding behind the meh.