Hellur! Tis I, your deadbeat blogger emerging from the silent ashes as a gabby, married Phoenix. Completely re-charged and in charge! *brushes off cereal crumbs with quiet dignity*
I have a few musings on marriage. Or, more precisely, on the decision to get married.
Everyone has a range of time in their own minds in which they think is a reasonable time to get engaged or married after the “start” of your relationship. For some, anything serious before 1 year of good ol’ fashioned dating is irresponsible and impulsive. For others, there’s no reason to keep dating after you’ve had 2-3 grueling dates in which you both outline your worldviews, faith, life plans, and toilet-paper-on-the-roll orientation preferences. The 1+ year crowd likes to wait and see how people and relationships play out over time. The intense interview crowd sees dating like skirmishes. Get in and get out – either through fading back into the forest of singleness or diving straight into the pool of eternal promises.
From my perspective, each person can take their own relationship at whatever pace they want, as long as the other party (or parties, for you polygamists out there ! jk jk) is fine with it. I think what rubs me is that most people – and ALL female relatives – think the appropriate range of time for dating they have conjured in their own minds should be the appropriate range of time for all couples, in all situations, of all backgrounds. So if any couple “rushes” according to the Cautious Connor’s, or dawdles, according to the Rushing Reginald’s, their relationship is doomed. DOOMED!
To me, it just completely depends on the couple. I have friends and acquaintances who made a short work out of dating, and their marriages seem to be just as stable and happy as any others. For certain personalities, age groups, etc. this is perfectly acceptable.
Although, of course there are the couples that rush into things and realize they don’t know each other and have made a terrible mistake. At best, they can sometimes turn the boat around and sail into a wonderful marriage, but often they sink as soon as they realize the other is a bit of a dud when they’re not in active woo mode.
My husband and I probably took a longer-than-average time to get to the point of engagement, and I’m actually very grateful we dated as long as we did. I can’t speak for my hubbadubs, but I needed the time. I needed to know how we reacted to each other when one or both of us was going through a hard time. I needed to know that it was love I had, not a love-y feeling. I needed to know I still loved him when he wasn’t showering me with attention. To me it was great, and I don’t think I would have been able to say “si” to marriage without that knowledge and experience.
For some though, the stretches of time just reflect true dawdling, or a reservation with the relationship itself. Can’t commit, but don’t want to quit. I’m sure some people thought that was the case with my hubs and I, and to them I emphatically flick my hair in defiance.
So my avid reader, I present the case that there are many reasons to take a short or long time to get to the point of engagement, and a relatively fast or slow journey is not necessarily a “warning sign, ” or cause for worry among loving friends and relatives. This is especially hard when you or someone close to you has experienced the “bad” form of fast or slow – you are hypervigilant and ready to warn someone you think may be heading in the same direction. I’m here to tell you to take a deep breath, relax, and let each couple be the pace setters for their own relationship.