Seriously. We could all use a little inspirational reality check now and again.
So for all the ladies (and interested gentlemen), I present a video that provides just that kind of perspective.
(Notice the link didn’t say, “Top Ten Ways to Get Any Guy to Like You”)
Let’s be honest for a moment. A happy relationship is high on the list of desires for a vast majority of us. We live in a world where we can mostly make our own decisions about who we want to be with. But what does that really mean to you?
Well, here’s what it means to me.
1. Marriage is not the “next step” in a relationship. It’s a completely new relationship. Having a BF/GF is one thing. We used to call it “infatuation.” And no, we didn’t used to call it “courting.” Courting is completely different. Courting means you’re pursuing the possibility of marriage. And marriage is a union. It’s the time in your life that you give up being solo and become a team with someone. Often that means romance, but contrary to popular (media) belief, romance is not required in a successful and happy marriage. Pick a person who will be a good parent, who will be around even when you screw up (because you will), a person whose faults you can live with, and a person who makes you feel fulfilled. You can be picky, but don’t be too picky. No one is perfect, after all.
2. To reiterate the video, be yourself. Once you can do that, you’re ready to find the right person for you. If you create another personality because you want to snag someone, they won’t stick around for long. And breaking up is hard to do. It’s not just a song. I swear.
3. Honesty is invaluable. Oh yeah, we all know that we shouldn’t lie, but that doesn’t actually stop us. The appropriate amount of honesty may be different for everyone, but for me, open honesty about everything is what works. My husband and I have no secrets, literally. We both have an obligation to the other person to keep that the truth. After knowing each other for almost a decade, we’ve learned that honesty is what helps us grow and be close. Maybe you should give it a try.
4. Love, real love, doesn’t waver. Forget Hollywood and all those books and Facebook statuses that talk about “love.” Real love is different and you know it. It’s the same love you have for your family. The same you have for your friends. “Love” is not a red-colored heart. It’s a commitment; a loyalty to someone. No matter what they do, you won’t stop loving them. (Omit all those ridiculous exceptions, like “if I killed your mom.”) My husband and I both know from experience that we can screw up so royally that we’d expect the other person to leave because they deserve better. I didn’t leave, and neither did he. That’s who I married.
5. Like college, romance isn’t for everyone. Relationships, in the you’re-mine-and-I’m-yours way, aren’t for everyone. You have one life. Just one! Be passionate! There are so many things that are in this world just for you! Finding romance might not be it, even if you felt all your life that it is. But until you have that perfect-for-you person, it isn’t. You are better off without that person until the day you meet. The day might never come, but at least you’ll have been happy your whole life because you weren’t waiting. (Sheesh, sometimes I feel like I should take my own advice! I feel like I’m always waiting for something!)
More Insight than you probably wanted.
Look, I might be young, but I’m not stupid. I’ve heard from all ages that I made a mistake getting married young, but I know I didn’t. I’ve also heard that it was the best thing I’ll ever do, which I truly believe. I chose a life partner. That is what spouse means to me. He loves me just as I am, even though I talk about Lizzie Bennet Diaries too much, even though I make him wait 1.5 hours while I write a blog post, even though I’m so terribly imperfect. I’m perfect for him, and he for me.
Have a beautiful life. Lengthy post over.