This question has perplexed me for a very long time. This weekend has brought it to the forefront of my mind, and that's why we are discussing it.
Somehow this past weekend, before 8 pm on Saturday – FOUR of my friends have gotten engaged. I am very excited for everyone to start the next chapter of their lives – so as I write this, only a small part of it is stemming from jealousy that this stage of life is NOWHERE close to where I am, despite my best efforts.
Let's discuss two of the couples.
One was married before and apparently divorced. They moved in together at six months when the guy bought a house, and now a little over a year of dating they're engaged. This couple is a great fit; I have no qualms about them and the idea they will have everlasting happiness.
Couple two is where my issues begin.
He was in a very serious relationship for about six years. It ended in a heart breaking way and about a year later he meets his now fiancée. They date for under a year, and I remember hearing early on all of his doubts about her regarding how much she parties, etc., etc. This gal has also been engaged 3x prior.
So is there just a certain wall people hit at a specific age where they let go of the negatives and put a ring on it?
I have an ex that I lived with and almost married. We moved in together after three months, looked at rings at six and were broken up at twenty. It wasn't the speed at which we moved that broke us, it was just general life goals we didn't share. He was a homebody, never left his hometown for anything, only dated one girl before me, & was eight years older so you'd expect him to have accumulated more life experiences and dating experiences than me but that just wasn't the case.
I felt like I was always leading him. Always pushing him to want more out of life. To crave the same greatness that I crave. I don't want just wealth, I want a fulfilling life where I spend each and every day doing things I actually enjoy vs doing something for a paycheck. I take the typical American rationale/thought and I throw it out the window.
I want crazy love. The kind it hurts to live without!
With this ex, despite him being the KINDEST and most generous guy I have ever met—he just didn't have that same passion that I have.
So I left the best boyfriend I have ever had; I moved out and I broke his heart.
It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I wrote a letter and read it to him after drafting it for weeks because I knew otherwise I would never get the words out…
I still question if leaving him was the right choice. We were happy, he treated me like a queen, he adored my family, loved my friends….He was and still is completely wonderful and had I stuck it out when I was twenty-two, we would have definitely been married and likely thinking about kids.
But would I have been truly fulfilled?
I think people can change to a certain extent—but that fire in someone's heart and eyes can't be inspired by anyone but yourself.
My ex-has been dating someone new for about one and a half years. We keep in touch. When they first started dating, he texted me and told me. I drove to his town the next day and we had dinner. I could tell he was using her as a method of making me jealous. It worked, I was not happy that some blonde chick had swooped in and grabbed him. But I had a boyfriend (not serious) and I knew I had no room to say anything.
He told me if she had a problem with our friendship, she would have to go.
Fast forward two months into their relationship I get a text from an unknown number telling me to stop talking to him. I tell her that our friendship isn't negotiable and if she has an issue, take it up with her boyfriend.
Guys—I get why she was pissed. I am a lot prettier than her, more successful and we lived together—this was no small relationship. Of course, she wants to claim her territory. I get it.
But still, the problem is hers and his – if he wanted to stop talking to me, that was on him.
They've been together for a year and I ask when he is going to propose. He says that he has no plans to do such (this girl is 33, aka she's starved for that ring).
He tells me, with certainty, “I think you should marry the person you can't imagine living without and….I can live without her.”
This past October… I had a big work event in his town and apparently, I had some mail that wound up at his home so I stopped by. It was tense, I was nervous, it felt weird being back in my old house… He looked visibly shaken to see me as well. I asked him why he was with her, give me the reasons.
He said – she bakes for me, she cooks for me, she does the things she knows I like.
I lost it.
I literally lost it.
I moved an hour outside of the city for him! I started a business that TOOK OFF and spent two+ hours a day in traffic so that I could come home to him every night. And then to have my lack of cooking and cleaning thrown in my face, it was just too much. How do you expect me to have time for that while trying to build a career?!
It wasn't fair and it pissed me off.
I stormed out and slammed the door.
He called me as I drove and I told him that when I was twenty-two, struggling to make a name for myself, leaving the house at five am and returning at nine pm – there was no energy left for those things. Nowadays, I am much more in control of my life and career so I am able to cook, I am able to hire a cleaning professional, I make shit happens and my life is pretty damn smooth. F him.
So congrats, you found a maid + servant + housekeeper – brafreakingvo.
Point of that long-winded story is – he is the definition of settling. He still hasn't proposed to the girl, and who knows when he will but I suspect it'll happen eventually.
Leaving her would mean starting over again and I simply don't think he has it in him. Plus he is such a nice person, the idea of breaking someones heart is probably just too much. And I am sure he loves her and is comfortable.
So are all of these folks who are littering our news feeds actually marrying their soul mate/other half?
Or did they hit that spot where the clock felt like it was running out, they no longer felt they'd find better and marriage was the next step?
The divorce rate globally is way too high for all of these people to actually be great matches. So I guess deep down I know the answer to my own question… and had I settled, I'd be married right now too.
Off to my next tinder date,
Elle // www.lifeisnotarom.com