It’s been difficult to find time to write lately; not because I don’t have the actual time, but because my mind has been plum full of all sorts of things, some thoughts veering towards work/health/family, but most making a beeline for the boy. Nothing catastrophic, just lots and lots of contemplation about him, me, and relationships in general.
We have reached the stage now where, to me at least, it’s do or die time right around the corner. Not because I want to get married in 3 months, but because I EVENTUALLY want to get married, and sadly, my clock is ticking faster and faster. Which in turn makes me spend a lot more time comparing reality and my mental wishlist. Yes, I know I probably have at least 5-7 more baby-making years, but I want to make sure I get some time with my person before the little anchor, er, lovebug comes along. And, as I’m sure my fellow unmarried 30 or nearly 30-somethings can relate to, this can cause a teensy tiny bit of stress.
Recently, (like, a month ago) one of my best friends met someone and fell completely in love. Like, head-over-heels, he’s-the-one, lets-have-a-baby-tomorrow kind of love. Which is awesome. And I’m excited for her. But as I watch her bliss out, it’s causing me to a) be completely jealous and b) wonder about my future and future husband.
While there are always a million thoughts swirling around in my head, I tried to distill them down:
One: I wonder if that’s really supposed to be everyone’s experience? Do we have one person in the universe who we meet and then *POOF* we magically know within a day or week or month that we belong together in blissful euphoria? I know that my parents got engaged after 3 months; another couple I met eloped after six weeks; countless others have experienced the same thing. Or is it ok to test the waters for a couple years before committing to the dive?
On one hand, I feel defective. Why haven’t my relationships been this magical? Have I not yet met “The One?” But on the other hand, there are so many things I love about the person that I’m with right now, and I can truly see potential for a real future (which is why I’m still with them, obviously). And I see examples of relationships where it was not a magical journey of instant happiness but slow rising and carefully crafted. So this can only lead me to conclude that both instant bacon and a slow-baked ham can be equally as good; it just depends on the situation.
Two: If you fall into the category of slow-baked ham, how do you decide which ham is right for you? If you don’t have an instant soul recognition, how do you decide which imperfections (because there WILL be imperfections) you can live with and which you cannot? In my experience, I feel like if you have fun together, are able to communicate, and you are both dedicated to the relationship, it works most of the time. However, you need to make sure that you can survive the very real, very scary waves that the ocean of life loves to toss our way, which takes a special kind of bond that doesn’t just spring into existence (for most people).
Three: How much do you think about the future versus focusing on right now when deciding on the aforementioned ham? What if the present (due to money, schedules, or other conflicts) isn’t what you’d like, but things will most likely change in the future–should the future have a say? Or should the present be the only litmus test? How much can we hope for change versus reconciling with reality?
Most times when I write, I can come to an answer. But some things in life, I believe, just don’t fall into place that easily.
Life is always going to be hard. If you’re alone, it’s hard, and if you have someone to share the burden with, it’s hard–just in other ways. But if life were super easy, we wouldn’t learn anything along the way, and that would be a shame.
If anyone has any experience, wisdom, or input to share in the comments, I’d love to hear what you have to say! Life ain’t easy, but it’s easier when we work together to figure it out.