Relationships nowadays aren’t built on the same foundations as they used to be. Seemingly, dating for only a few months is long enough for many people to decide to marry.
This is a phenomenon I’ve never understood. How is it possible to know if you truly love someone after barely being told their name? The experience I’ve had in this, both myself and with loved ones, has led me to believe that this new foundation is made of mud more than concrete.
While my marriage ended, I had been with my ex-husband for about four years. It was true, we married soon after high school was over and having a child, but we were fighting an uphill battle from the start. Never would I have thought the man I loved would just walk out one day, but sure enough, that’s how it happened. Alone and pregnant with baby number two, I watched the door close on that part of my life. It was devastating, to say the least, but I vowed to learn from my mistakes.
Not long after our separation, I met someone. He was funny, loved kids, didn’t mind that I was pregnant and most of all he respected the fact that I wanted to take things slow. I didn’t want to repeat the past and I refused to let another man into my life who could walk out on me or my children.
It’s been almost five years now and we’re still together. We may not be perfect, but we’re perfectly matched. Not only are we lovers, but friends, too. It’s a completely different type of relationship. We can talk as though we haven’t seen each other in years, laugh at jokes we’ve heard a million times and share dreams and ideas like we haven’t already. Part of it, I believe, is that we’ve grown together. We’ve learned how to be together and what makes the other happy. We share responsibilities and enjoy each other’s company. He’s fallen in love not only with me but my children as well. I found a love I’d been searching for without even looking.
From my experience, love can be a tricky thing. There are some who fall so desperately in love they couldn’t imagine a day without one another. The question I ask, how do you know it’ll last? I thought my ex-husband was it for me; no other man held a candle to him. Boy, was I wrong and it took me four years to realize it. I’d rather have a love that doesn’t hurt.
My boyfriend and I have tried to understand the thinking behind marrying early. We’ve both agreed that had we gotten married shortly after dating, our marriage would have suffered. There was a lot for us to learn about each other and we needed time to do it.
To bring this full circle, we’ve seen loved ones struggle because they’ve made the decision to marry too early. It’s disheartening because love and marriage shouldn’t continuously be a battle. Seeing these things have solidified our decision that waiting is the right thing for us. However, trying to spread this knowledge to others has been difficult.
So here’s my message: What’s the rush? If you love each other, there’s no reason you can’t wait. Just because you wait, doesn’t mean you’re afraid to commit. Understanding each other and making sure you share the same goals and ideals is more important than anything else. Take your time. Have fun. Real love doesn’t have an expiration date.