I think too many of us are guilty of settling. We undervalue ourselves. We accept far less than we deserve. We look for someone else to fill our voids. We get older, we panic, we worry that this might be as good as it’s ever going to get. We look to fill the empty space in our beds and our hearts. And inevitably, we find the wrong person. Because how could we find the right one, when we’re feeling so anxious and pressured and lonely?
Fast forward, and we find ourselves tied to people, having made vows to cherish and love each other until DEATH do us part; only to file for divorce six months later because we just weren’t feeling it anymore. And we can’t seem to figure out where it all went wrong.
What the f*ck is up with that?
We treat marriage like we do getting a new outfit. We set our eyes on it, have to have it, wear it maybe a few times and hold onto it for a few years, until we get bored/it shrinks/we put on weight/it goes out of fashion, and we decide it’s time to let it go. Who cares though? We’ll go out and get a new outfit tomorrow.
When did that start being okay?
When did divorce become the norm? I know that sometimes, for whatever reason, things don’t work out. Sometimes, love is destined to fall apart, despite our best efforts. But when did we stop trying? When did we convince ourselves that forever would be a daily bed of sweet-smelling roses? When did we start believing that love isn’t worth all the hard work, struggles, and pain that go with it?
We’re Gen Y: we rely on Google to find all the answers to our questions, we rely on Facebook to remember all of our loved ones’ birthdays, and we rely on our smartphones to simply make it through the day. We expect everything to be easy, and too many of us simply give up when we realize that it’s not. We give up on marriage, because it’s probably one of the hardest things that anyone of us will ever go through in our lives.
I also believe that, for some strange reason, people choose to date people they know are not right for them. When I date someone, I have to be able to see a real future with them, pretty much from the get-go. I don’t understand people out there who choose to stay in relationships that are just meh. Relationships that lack fireworks; relationships that are clearly toxic.
There are many things in life that promise to be mediocre, but love is absolutely not one of them. It’s so very, very rare. And you owe it to yourself to at least open up to the possibility of finding it.
Don’t stick with something just because it’s okay.
Who wants okay? I sure as hell don’t. You should be picky when it comes to dating. And if you can’t see yourself marrying the person across the table from you on date number one, then ask yourself why the hell would you want to go on date number two? You might dismiss that as ridiculous, but if you aren’t that into them now, and can already see multiple things you don’t like, what makes you think all of that is going to disappear in the future? Imperfections and flaws only magnify in time.
Take a moment. Close your eyes and imagine your perfect partner. Imagine what they look like, what they do, and who they are. Now tell yourself about the person you just described. Were they kind? Were they funny? Were they confident? Were they loving? Well guess what? You have to be that person. You have to choose to be kind, and funny, and confident, and loving. You have to choose to be those things every day. That is how you will meet the love of your life.
Maybe you haven’t met them just yet; and that’s okay. Some of us just aren’t ready yet. Some of us are meant to be discovering other parts of what life has to offer us right now. So don’t rush into anything with anyone out of fear of getting left on the shelf. So what if you’re the only single one left out of all your friends? I’m sure there are days when all of them wish they still had the freedom that you do, so just enjoy it! Don’t get married because everyone is doing it. Get married when you meet someone who you cannot imagine living a single day without; someone who makes life even better than it already is.
I’ll tell you one thing – if I get married, that is IT. I vow to do that once, and only once. Call me an optimist, or a clueless dreamer, but I don’t want to experience that with more than one person. For me, marriage is still this sacred and beautiful promise that is made between the hearts of two people. It’s not something any of us should enter into carelessly.
It’s vowing to love each other through the ups and the downs; through everything.
And if maintaining a successful marriage for a large part of our lives was easy, then it wouldn’t be so damn special to see. Nothing worth having in this life will be easy. It’s time we all woke the hell up and realized it.
Featured image via montanaleephotography