In my last blog on marriage, you might have gotten the impression that I was obsessed with getting married way back when. Far from it. I had actually pretty much given up on meeting the man of my dreams, or someone who might hold my attention for the rest of my life, by the time I met my now husband. I had been dating for a few years; but after several disappointing dates and relationships, I had decided that being single might be the life that was meant for me.
It was difficult to turn my life over to a commitment that I wanted to last forever, or at least until death do us part. The mere sound of eternity to one person brought me up cold, and so I wasn’t going to take any relationship lightly. My parents’ marriage had been arranged and not a happy one. The observations I made of it growing up, and the window through my momma’s eyes of a difficult and challenging union, made me want to get my marriage right the first time.
Mind you, my first boyfriend was in fifth grade. He was another one with a great laugh and eyes that twinkled and made all the girls feel like he only looked at them. In this case, and unlike mine and hubs Valentine love story, I broke up with this boy on Valentine’s Day. As much as I liked him, I think I liked the idea of being in a relationship, however innocent it was, that made me feel special. While it made me nervous, I sort of liked the attention and talk that came from our peers because we were one of only two “couples” in school that year.
I went on to date him again in the ninth grade. Again, as much as I liked him, the stars did not align and we went our separate ways. He got married while still in high school becoming the father of a little girl. It is strange, but I remember feeling sorry for him. I wondered what kind of life he faced being married so young. He was divorced by the end of high school. And there it was, another notch on my belt of reasons not to get married or to, at least, be extra careful about “tying the knot.”
While still in high school, I started going steady with a guy four years older than me. We were part of the same church youth group, and mostly dated while hanging out with them. We did the usual young person thing of movies, bowling, miniature golf, billiards, and fuse ball. Our favorite eating haunts were Sonic, Pizza Hut, Denny’s and a few local Mexican restaurants, namely Taco Fiesta and El Senorial. This relationship, which lasted four years, was more a way of staying safe from dating others than being in love with each other.
When it came to getting serious and setting a wedding date, we both agreed we wanted to get married some day but just not to each other. It was something we both came to realize together but separately. We didn’t realize this at first, of course. We actually looked at a few homes, one was a rental and the other a new home-build. We broke up for two weeks, got back together for two weeks, and then broke up again. After dating for so long, it was difficult to give up on a relationship which we had grown so comfortable with. The reality of not wanting to be married to each other was difficult to process, but we eventually adjusted, accepted it, and departed separate ways.
I went on to date other young men – many were wonderful and others not so much. As is the case sometimes, the nice guys had no spark and the bad boys were too much to handle even for themselves. Once I moved to the big city in my mid-twenties, I was smart enough to know that I wouldn’t be settling into a long-term relationship with anyone unless they were “the one.” I made a rule for myself. Three dates tops. I would go on a first date. If we liked each other, I would agree to a second date which would be, really, a “test” date. If my date passed all the tests or criteria, then we would go on a third date.
I only got to the third date twice. Both times I realized I should have stopped at the second date. I resolved that maybe being single wasn’t really a bad thing. I mean, at least, I liked my own company. I started to spend more time reading, hanging out with girlfriends, and learning how to eat out and attend movies alone. And so that is where I was when I “bumped” into my now husband. Even feeling or “knowing” that he was the one, I was careful to not jump right in. Once, after a date of fishing on Braunig Lake, I even considered not dating him anymore. I told myself I would not be calling him. I would only continue to date him if he called me. He called.
And it is that right there what has kept this relationship of ours alive. It has taken the two of us interested enough in each other to make it work even through misunderstandings, disappointments, and other difficult times. To marry or not to marry, is a personal choice. I am so glad that I didn’t jump into every relationship that presented itself to me. I am glad that I developed my little three dates rule. And I am glad that I was so determined to ask this man out, this man who became my husband and can make me laugh even when, after a long tiring day, I don’t feel like it.
Weekly blogs are usually posted on Sundays then shared on other platforms including but not limited to, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook depending on the topic. Topics include: integrity, marriage, social media, and acceptance.
Next week’s topic will be on social media.
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Thank you for reading and continue to keep safe out there. Spring is coming!