As a kid I believed that love was very simple, you would be walking along the beach one sunny day and you’d bump into a stranger, your eyes would lock and you’d instantly connect, fall in love just like that you’d get married and live happily ever after.
I was convinced falling in love was that easy, so romantic, and so effortless?
Boy was I wrong!
If you’ve ever read any of my blog posts then you’ll know by now that I’ve had my fair share of troubles of the heart. If you know me personally you’d have witnessed my many failed attempts at finding my soul mate, my one true love.
For someone who is 24, I’ve experienced many heartaches, broken dreams and shattered illusions of romance. Despite all the pain, I still feel so lucky to have been able to love so passionately, I think the greatest tragedy of all is to never experience true love.
At some point or another, I truly felt like I’d never meet the one. So much so that I had convinced myself that I’d didn’t even want to get married.
I had my life planned so perfectly, or so I thought. I would get married to some rich guy, who I kinda, sorta liked. I would have babies with them and then we would get divorced and I would be free to have my career, my babies and freedom. I never wanted to marry for love. I was so cynical about love that I would often tell anyone who would listen that people who would marry for love and only love were idiots, and that I would only ever marry for convenience.
I would often laugh, judge and look down on people who married someone who didn’t have money, my aunties had done that, followed their hearts and didn’t think much about their future other than loving their husbands. I didn’t understand it and therefore I wrongfully disliked them for it.
During this period of my life, I never even knew what love was like and what it meant to feel absolutely bound to another person, not bound in a suffocating way but more bound physically, emotionally, mentally, like your soul is one.
Even though I’ve had my fair share of relationships, boyfriends, girlfriends and lovers…I never understood what love really meant.
It wasn’t until I met Peter* and he changed my life completely.
I used to believe that cheating was acceptable, I have cheated before, I will tell you that now. I have also encouraged men to cheat on their partners before. I used to think that anyone who cheated was truly miserable and in terrible relationships, I would blame the innocent partner for their loved one cheating with me. I used to justify my actions by saying “Well if they’re so happy then why would they need me to spend the night with them? I’m doing them the favor.”
I was that selfish and conceited that I actually thought I was some kind of hero saving them from a lifetime of misery, never once did I see my actions as wrong.
I’d like to point out now that who I was all those years ago, is not who I am now. I changed, I really did, and I owe it to the wonderful man I am with now.
Until him I didn’t know what it meant to love the right way, that (I’m stealing this quote from an Atomic Kitten song) love didn’t have to hurt to feel good. My partner didn’t just teach me how to love, but he also taught me what it meant to be a good person.
For years I beat myself over how terrible I was, with Peter* I learnt to seek out forgiveness from those I wronged but also to forgive myself.
My longest relationship prior to this was 2 years. It was quite messy, quite painful and very unhealthy.
I was convinced I was going to marry him. But I’m glad we didn’t, otherwise I’d have never had the reality check I needed.
After Peter and I had surpassed our 2-year anniversary (the longest relationship for each of us) I started to feel a little uncomfortable. I got a little antsy because I just didn’t know what to expect moving forward.
What did couples that are together for over 2 years do? What do they talk about?
We’d never really talked about long-term plans that involved each other; in fact we were pretty content in living in the now. But we knew in order to have a long lasting and future relationship then we would have to start thinking a little more ahead than the next day.
We were living together already and so really we’d moved pretty quickly in our relationship.
That’s the trouble with moving forwards too quickly; you’re getting everything exciting out of the way and pretty soon there won’t be much else to look forward to. Peter* and I never really had to have a sit down conversation and say to each other, we’re going to get married, we both just kind of mutually decided we were going to be partners forever, in all sense of the word.
I know you’re probably thinking we’re not romantic, and we probably aren’t the standard definition of romantic, but we have created our own romance, and it is far better than the flowers and romantic meals you see in movies.
Peter* and I LOVE, car picnics, late night drives and urban exploring. Our version of a date night is going to Tesco’s late at night, or going bargain hunting for anything and everything. We like spending hours in department stores and going on spontaneous midnight trips. He and I stay in bed all weekend watching bad TV shows and discussing characters like they’re our friends. We redecorate our bedroom more than a couple of times a year and we have a strange obsession with sea food (and that means buying any fish possible) we’ve set one too many fires in our house and we’ve both been seriously injured, resulting in a and e due to playing around or in the name of science. We are anything but ordinary but to us it’s perfect.
By the time we had celebrated our third year anniversary we were mourning the loss of our two carefully selected baby names for our non existent children (THANKS FOR STEALING THE ONLY NAMES WE COULD AGREE ON ROYAL BABIES!!! – but on a serious side note, I really wish I had placed bets on the royal baby names because apparently we have the same taste in classic names as the royals…go us?) People had begun to start joking about when we would be getting married and our parents would be cringing. I would always wonder why because we were adults, it’s not like we were 17 with no definitive life plans. We would just brush these questions aside and answer with jokes of our own, or simply ignore them. We were never offended, it’s just a difficult thing to answer when you’re barely out of University and haven’t even got a job yet.
The reality of how serious our relationship really hit when we got out first joint account together! After that happened we pretty much stopped having ‘his money’ and ‘her money’ it was suddenly, ‘our money’. It worked better for us, living together meant we shared a lot of costs and it got quite confusing to remember who had paid what etc.
Let’s fast forward to our 4-year anniversary and I decided I wanted to start a scrapbook for my dream wedding. Instead of getting totally freaked out Peter* took me to Hobby craft and told me to go crazy choosing the art supplies to help me with my scrapbook. I was so shocked by how easy it seemed to discuss the topic of marriage, and no longer were we talking in the sense that ‘let’s get married so we get a tax break’ it was more ‘let’s get married because I seriously cannot wait to live the rest of my life with you.’
During a conversation with my Mum, she asked me if marriage was something Peter* and I discussed and I told her out right no. Because that was the truth, we didn’t really seriously talk about weddings, marriage, and children. It was always a light conversation filled with lots of jokes and sarcasm. In fact I never really thought too deeply about it until it became something my Mum would point out every time I saw her.
One night during dinner, I asked Peter* if he ever thought about us getting married.
Peter*: Of course!
Me: Of course?
Peter*: Well yes, I think about it but now isn’t really the right time.
And anytime I mentioned it after that I was met with the same response. OMG, I’ve just committed the ultimate spinster sin! I am mentioning marriage far too often and almost forcing him to propose by talking about it so much.
I know he didn’t see it that way but it was starting to make me feel nervous knowing that because he didn’t think it was the right time, then it meant it wasn’t really on his mind.
That’s okay, I would tell myself every night. But was it? Was it genuinely okay or was I telling myself this because I had begun my panic over never getting to walk down the aisle?
I mean it’s so common for people to be together 10+ years before they get engaged. But those people were usually together from a youngish age, not in their 20’s. If we waited that long I’d be in my 30’s before we got married and then we’d be almost 40 before having kids because my new life plan involved enjoying married life and having adventures as man and wife before popping out a couple or 6 kids.
People started asking Peter* and I if we were okay, if our relationship was in a good place and if marriage was on the cards. It added a lot of pressure but to be honest, it was starting to fill my head too. People asking just made me feel uneasy.
If it’s not the right time, then when will it?
If I was ready then why wasn’t he?
Did he not love me?
Was I still not wife material?
The questions that would plague my mind.
Then everyone I knew or used to know was suddenly getting engaged, married or having babies.
Was I going to be the last to get married?
Honestly, it’s exhausting being this frantic.
The thing is Peter* is the opposite to me, he is calm, cool and very practical.
He isn’t the kind of person who is a spur of the moment, let’s do it now (except when he’s drunk and he buys an apple watch because it was on sale…) Knowing this about him used to make me feel quite bad about myself, I would question why he didn’t feel ready to settle down with me.
“I’m a catch right Mum?” I’d question my Mother so that she could give me the compliments that only a mother can give.
“I think you’d make a good wife, you can cook now”
Little compliments like that and I would feel somewhat comforted.
But still, he doesn’t like it enough to put a ring on it.
This is the thing, I wish people wouldn’t put thoughts like this in people’s minds then maybe people would break up a lot less…or maybe it’s saving them from future heartache?
Am I being impatient? Should I just silently wait my turn? What is the right amount of time to wait before you reach that point when you’ve waited too long?
I know it isn’t a race and I know love takes time but these worries happen to many people.
One of my best friends read a book about Commitment-phobes, she swears by the book and actually the author is coming to the UK to do a seminar, I want to go but I’m worried it will put more unreasonable thoughts in my head.
He loves me right? I don’t know why I’m asking you this because I know he does. He loves me and with or without a ring, I love him too.
When the right time comes we’ll finally be able to get married and have all those exciting things to experience, for now we should just enjoy the fact that for a few more years we get to live wild, young and carefree…until the babies come to consume all of our patience, good nights sleep and random adventures.
Will he ever propose? Maybe, maybe not, either way, if he doesn’t propose to me before I’m 40, I’ll probably propose to him, either that or I’ll convince him to join a church with me and we can marry God together, the sky’s the limit when you’re crazy and irrational like me!
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday, and you proud everyday!
Peace and Love,