Ok, I figured out what I was going to say yesterday.
I often find myself worrying about how to navigate relationships. I wonder how much of myself I should give and how much I should hold back. For example, the title of yesterday’s post was going to be “Too Much Too Soon”.
See, I worry about putting myself out there too soon. It’s something I worry about pretty frequently. The concern isn’t debilitating – I don’t stay up late at night thinking about it – but it is a constant underlying thought I have.
I guess the issue comes up because I want something that isn’t available for me right now. I want someone to connect with, someone I can talk to about stupid stuff but then also really important stuff, I want someone who will be there for me whenever I need them, and someone who won’t mind being there. Since I want this so much, I try to get it from people who can’t give it to me and I end up disappointed. I think that’s why I relate so much to depressing love songs. Not because I’ve ever been in love but because I kind of know what it’s like to feel something like unrequited love.
I just have a lot of feelings. And problems.
I’m not so worried though. I think I need to focus less on hypotheticals and more on reality. Not in a sad, deflating way, but more in an appreciative way. I’m a romantic; I tear up when I watch inspirational/romantic movies, I’m a really big fan of Valentine’s Day (maybe even hypocritically, since I don’t consider Halloween a holiday while recognizing that Valentine’s Day isn’t much different), and I think that one day, I’ll meet the guy I’m supposed to marry. But sometimes I get into trouble. Sometimes, I fall back into old bad habits. Sometimes, I’m more of a hopeless romantic.
I think a year ago, I thought I was mature enough to be married in a year. Not because I was in a serious relationship (because I wasn’t) but just theoretically. Now, I’m not so sure.
Seeing so many (Facebook) friends get engaged and married is exciting but it’s also a bit revealing. I mean, less than a year ago I deactivated my FB page because I didn’t want to see pictures from a wedding I didn’t attend and also because I just didn’t want to see other happy pictures. THAT’S SO DUMB! That’s one of the most dumb things I’ve done. Ever. But knowing that does make me wonder about relationships and marriage and my general maturity.
I consider myself an appropriately mature person but I don’t know if I could be married right now. I know there’s no absolute test to determine your “marriage-ability” and I know that being in a serious relationship produces a lot of personal growth but sometimes I look at friends my age tying the knot and I’m kind of shocked. I mean, it’s not like they’re babies but they’re young. And I’m still young. And honestly, I don’t know if I’d want to be married even a year from now.
It’s weird, I always get annoyed when people talk about all the great parts of being single because they mostly sound fake. Sure I can do a Paul and develop my relationship with God or I can take a trip to some random part of the world one weekend or I can apply to grad schools all across the country but am I honestly doing any of those things? I can’t afford to take a cool weekend trip (although I am kind of saving up) and I applied to grad programs that were close to home (except one) because I like being near my family. (I can say that my relationship with God has been cooler/more fun/more awesome.)
Outside of bettering my relationship with God, the best part of being single for me has been time. Time to figure things out, time to figure myself out, time to work through other important relationships, time to meet new people and experience new things. I don’t know if I’m ready to give that up just yet and spend my time focusing on another person. That may sound selfish and immature but that’s probably because it is.
Don’t get me wrong, when you’re married, you have time. You have your entire life. But that time is different. It’s steady and constant and forever. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. I can’t imagine what it would be like to tell someone, “I will be with you forever” and actually mean it. I want someone to say that to me but I would have a lot of trouble saying that to someone else.
Of course, all of my problems don’t preclude me from marriage and I am very aware of that. But thinking about these things does put some stuff in perspective for me. I told a friend (or two) I wanted to be married at 23. I’ll be 23 in 4 months. That’s pretty young. My mom didn’t get married until she was 28 but things seemed to work out pretty well for her. I think I can wait a little while.
But hopefully when I do get married, my friends will still be willing to be in my bridal party, awkwardly dancing at my wedding.