On Marriage and Not Settling

28 03 2012

The first time ever I saw your face, I thought the sun rose in your eyes…

I’ve had women in my life say some interesting things to me. Like this -> “Marry someone who loves you more than you love them and you’ll stay married forever.” Or this -> “Don’t expect your husband to stay faithful. Remember, he’s still a man, but as long as he keeps it discreet – it means he loves you.”

I want you to read those two statements again.

Read ’em?….  Okay.

And people want to know why I’m not married yet? HA! The thing is, like in that other post, I’m sure many women have heard ridiculousness like that before.* And I’m just as sure many women could be married by now if they’d decided to just get married for married’s sake.

When I first read Tracy McMillan’s now infamous blog post, I sent it to some of my closest friends for their thoughts. Many were outraged of course, some thought she had valid points, and at least one responded like this – “she’s been married 3 times and she thinks that makes her an expert? I could be married 3 times by now too, but I chose the path of discernment.”

Ah yes. That path of discernment. It’s an interesting one, for sure. And I speak for myself when I say that it can be conflicting at times. We’ve all been there – knowing something isn’t right, so you choose to walk away, but in those quiet moments, you wonder if you were right to do so.

If you’re lucky – like me – you’ll have things happen that reinforce your decision. As I said a few weeks ago, I could be married right now or at the least engaged, but it didn’t feel right. I had that guy that I was told I should want – the one who loved me more than I did him. Well, honestly he loved me and I liked him. So that was part of the problem right there. I had a guy who told me that he wanted to give me the world, that he wanted to treat me like a queen, that he was looking for his wife and he’d found her in me.

And I didn’t want any of it.

So I did the only thing I felt was honorable to do. I told him that I didn’t love him and he should find someone who loved him as much as he loved her. At the time, I knew what I was doing was right, but I also felt like I was betraying my gender as a 28 year old woman who was essentially turning down an engagement prospect. But I also didn’t want either one of us to settle. He would have been settling for a woman who didn’t love him back, and I would have been settling for a really nice guy, who I never loved. That’s not what marriage is supposed to be about.

And regardless of what those women said to me, it’s not at all what I want. I want the responsibilities and the hard work, but I also want what they sing about in the clip above – I want the person I wake up to every day to be someone I could say those words about. And until that person comes along, I’m not settling for good enough.

And I think a lot of other women are taking that same stance these days.

So KUDOS to the women who haven’t settled and gotten married just because you think you should. If no one else applauds you, I do. And I wish you all the happiness in the world when you do meet the man or woman you want to spend the rest of your life with.

*To be fair, not everyone who has talked to me about marriage has said craziness like that, but a significant enough have that it warranted a post.

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