One of my good friends just got engaged and I am so excited for her. It’s a really fun though crazy time. She was asking me about my advice and tips about planning a wedding, being married, and also how to keep the fire alive. I had a few that I shared with her before realizing that I should really express my thoughts about it all on here.
Let me start at the beginning. Some many of my friends want boyfriends. They act as if it is some wonderful, life fixing box to check that they so desperately need. You don’t need a boyfriend. Hell, some of you may not even really want boyfriends. Finding a boyfriend should just come organically. Focus on living your life and they just stumble in. It’s so much nicer that way. I’m not saying close off your heart. I would never say that but don’t go search for love.
When you go in trying to search for love or trying to check a box, you miss so much that you may not like about the person. A great relationship starts with friendship and I know that sounds so stupid but it’s true. Will and I are best friends. The way I see it for every fight you have that should have at least 1:1 ratio to every laugh you have. It’s better if you can get it to 1:10 but hey, whatever. Our relationship bloomed from friends, to friends with benefits, to “I don’t want to hook up with other people”, to we’re official. I can’t tell you how much happier I am because of it. Mostly, it’s because I can be myself and he really knows me. I’m a huge joker who is kind of a weirdo but he enjoys that about me. If I had started our relationship with “boyfriend” mindset, I probably wouldn’t have shown him that side of me in fear that it would make me not who he wanted to date.
So that is my feeling on trying to get a boyfriend. Now, let’s talk about romance. You know planned romance is kind of bull shit. I can tell you expecting and waiting for a guy to say the perfect thing to you is not only unfair but so cheesy. It’s so much better when guys tell you things in their on time and on their own terms. The important thing is that you can see they care by the way they act. If they treat you well and can’t keep their eyes off of you then you should already know what they are thinking. But some guys aren’t good at expressing these things. But make sure they actually are treating you well. Don’t make excuses for guys who treat you like crap just because you don’t want to be alone.
Also, don’t rush into marriage…When I got engaged every girl get saying, “I want to get married.” and I’d always ask why since they were mostly single and didn’t have a person who made marriage worth it. They’d always respond with like, “I just can’t wait to have that white dress and walked down the alter as the groom cries then we’d have a big party.” I wanted to say to them, “No, you don’t want to get married. You want a wedding. Don’t confuse marriage with a wedding”. I instead tried to keep those thoughts to myself in order to not offend the majority of my friends.
This is the real deal: Marriage is really difficult. I’m not even that far into it and I can tell you it’s hard. It takes a lot of compromise and every decision involves to people. What will you have for dinner tonight? Yeah, that seems like an arbitrary example but it’s true. That’s a decision you no longer make alone. Obviously, thanks to websites like seamless, I can get Mexican and he can get Japanese but it’s still a discussion that happens like every night. It’s something as small as that which makes you realize you aren’t on your own anymore. But it’s the big decisions that really get you. Right now, Will and I are weighing the pros and cons of changing coasts. Better for my career. Maybe not better for his but not bad since he can do his job pretty much anywhere.
On top of it, there is a responsibility that comes along with being married. You want to say “ah fuck it”, quit your job, move to a shack on the beach, and just make money doing odd jobs while working on what you are actually passionate about. Well, wait, and watch your entire family freak out as they tell you that now that you are married you are an adult and you two can’t do those things anymore. You’re sitting here saying, “Well, why not? It will make us happier as a couple and if we were both single, it’d be what we want to do.” There is a weight of responsibility that goes along with being married. You’re expected to have your shit together rather than just figuring it out together. But if I was single, I’d just move to LA and take whatever serving job there was and he would quit his job and start to pursue his dreams yet as a couple we both feel this pressure to keep it together like the world wants us to.
The other thing about marriage that I always tell my friends when they are considering getting engaged is this: Think about your relationship now. Think about what makes you happy and what makes you really mad. Think about the health of your relationship. Now, this is as easy as it’s going to get. Your relationship will not get any easier when you get married in some ways it’s harder. I guess, in some ways it’s easier too but mostly, it’s heavier. Getting married doesn’t solve any problems you have or take away past hurts. The only thing that solves those issues are the work you put into your relationship. Don’t be fooled by Disney and the “and they lived happily ever after.” That’s not what happens. It’s more like, “and after the stress of planning a wedding was over, they’re lives completely went back to normal.”
This is why I tell all of my friends to really think about the decisions they are making about marriage and relationships in general. This is why I caution so many people about not diving into relationships just because they want to be with someone. Being alone is wonderful. You learn so much strength and independence from being alone. If you are feeling like you need someone so badly that it is making you desperate then you need to look inside yourself because it is truly saying something else.
Relationships while extremely rewarding are complicated. So when Friday comes and you are sitting around single, enjoy that you aren’t stuffed in some crowded restaurant where it looks as though cupid has shit red and pink everywhere you turn. Watch Under The Tuscan Sun inside of The Notebook and think about all the ways you want to fall in love with yourself. I’m tired of watching all of these girls feeling the need to check off all these boxes just because society makes you feel that way.
Also, everyone remember that Valentine’s Day isn’t about the Hallmark bullshit we’ve turned it into but rather celebrating a Saint who would secretly marry couples who were in love during a time where the Catholics weren’t allowed to marry. It’s historically a really romantic story but the heart shaped boxes filled with chocolates are as much crap as the corn syrup filled chocolate actually in them. If you want to celebrate love then do it every day. Just know that you are blessed to experience and know love, all kinds of love. I think this is where I will leave my ranting today.