Today I'm heading up to Boston for my first bachelorette party, celebrating the soon-to-be wed C who was my sorority little sister. I haven't seen her since 2006, so I'm very excited for this rendezvous weekend of shenanigans.
But I've still got a lot going on in my head about this whole future thing.
As a child of divorced parents, I thought I'd be freaked out by the idea of marrying someone because all I heard about was how I was more likely to get divorced myself than my peers with married parents. My mom pounded into my head that I didn't need a man, but that I would date lots and lots of them before finding the right one. Even then this didn't resonate with me, but I did like the idea of not needing anyone. When I had my first serious boyfriend in college, though, the idea of marriage was less scary because I was in love for the first time and of course thought I'd met the man I was going to marry. I daydreamed about having a house together and sharing a happy life together. Quite sickening stuff actually, but normal for a 20-year-old. I thought I'd be married by age 25. Crazy kid.
When my college boyfriend and I broke up after he hooked up with one of my friends, I enjoyed single life for several years. I didn't date anyone really, just made friends and focused on myself. I was surrounded by powerful single women for the first time and began considering what my life would look like without a partner. It didn't scare me to think about being like these amazing women who had the freedom to kick ass in the world on their own. I figured I'd eventually move to DC, establish myself in my career, meet an older, established man, and get married when I was in my mid-30s. Sounded like a fabulous plan.
Then SCL came into my life. He was not what I had planned--younger, academic, and (yikes) in a relationship. But after nearly a year of flirtation and sexual tension, eventually we gave in and got together. I thought he'd be a fling. I was finishing up grad school and really desired no lasting connection to the school. But our time together was intoxicating, and soon we found ourselves in that all-consuming, nearly blinding infatuation stage. I couldn't just let go of that.
In those early weeks I felt that I loved him and that this was going to be the man I'd marry. And that feeling, while it sometimes wavers, is still there now. Sometimes I wish I were more freaked out by the idea of marriage, that I was in that place of being fine with it happening or not happening. But thoughts like that are so different in the abstract when there is no smart, handsome, compassionate man in my life.
I do want a life with SCL. I believe in him and in the work he's doing. We share the same values and view the world in similar ways. He challenges me and pushes me in ways that I need to be challenged and pushed. The core things we share are rare and beautiful. The barriers of age, maturity, and his being a student are temporary, and I guess I feel like if I can hang in there, he'll come around eventually. Perhaps this is a dangerous way to think about things, but for now it's where I place my hope.
I think that the fact that you aren't freaked out by marriage says that you plan on doing things to make marriage work - with whomever you decide to marry.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Krysten. You are very gracious.ReplyDelete
Marriage is freaky, even (and especially) when you are in one. There is no magical, perfect person who will make everything easy. It's hard work and it's difficult at times. BUT it is so worth it, and you can end up with a person who is open and willing to take on the challenges that a relationship requires. When two people are willing to work on themselves and their relationship, THAT is magical, THAT is what a lasting marriage is. Being freaked out is pretty much par for the course at times. I totally get where you are coming from.ReplyDelete
Totally agree with you on this: "Sometimes I wish I were more freaked out by the idea of marriage, that I was in that place of being fine with it happening or not happening. But thoughts like that are so different in the abstract when there is no smart, handsome, compassionate man in my life."ReplyDelete
I feel the same way. It also doesn't help that none of my close friends have had very serious relationships; as in, 'I can see myself with him' serious. It freaks them out that I am ready to get married. My best friends, whom I grew up with, and know me better than anyone else in my life, don't understand me. It's the first time they can't empathize or give advice.
Right now, I want to get married to my current boyfriend (we've talked about it, he's not ready, that's a whole other issue). I really want it. I think what we share is singular and beautiful and we've grown so much since we started dating (there's a lot of growing to do when you're 19). And though I can imagine myself later in life, being single and being happy, right now, it's not what I want.
So all of that to say yeah, I get you.
Also, to answer your questions from the previous post, I'm 23 and my boyfriend just finished his 1st year of his PhD in chemistry, which is usually a 5 year program. And if you want to be a professor, which is his goal, you follow that up with a 2 year post-doc (more or less), then you get offered a job, and then you work like crazy so that you can get tenure. And then you're like, 40. Awesome. Can't wait for that.ReplyDelete
btw- boston is great. I live in Cambridge, about 1 mile away.
I love your blog, I catch up from time to time. I have been a bit pissed at SCL for his lukewarmness but I understand why he is this way. Please keep your eyes open honey.ReplyDelete