When you tell folks that you have made a list of 30 things you’d like to do before you turn 30, a couple things happen. If they know you well (and therefore know your marital status: single, but in a relationship, for those that are wondering) they instantly assume that getting married is #1… BECAUSE I AM GOING TO BE 30 AND WHY WOULDN’T GETTING MARRIED BE #1 ON MY LIST?! If they don’t know you well, their eyes instantly glance down to your left hand, in what I’m sure is supposed to be a discreet move. Here’s a heads up: it’s not. I see you…because I have eyes. Anywho, once they discover the absence of a
huge sparkling ring, they instantly assume that meeting someone and falling in love is #1…BECAUSE I AM GOING TO BE 30 AND WHY WOULDN’T MEETING SOMEONE AND FALLING IN LOVE (AND GETTING A RING, I SUPPOSE) BE #1 ON MY LIST?!
Folks have seemed surprised thus far that my list doesn’t contain anything having to do with romantic relationships. But, in my mind, marriage, or a healthy relationship isn’t something that belongs on a list, just waiting to get crossed off. In large part because those are things that I have a limited amount of control over. While I can book a flight to another country, get in my car and take a roadtrip or find a new recipe each month, I can’t just wake up next Tuesday and decide to get married. Yes, technically I can head down to the courthouse with a man in tow and get a marriage license, but that’s not really how it works. Marriage is something that my partner and I would have to agree on. And my list isn’t about that. It’s about me and things that I’d like to accomplish in the next ten months or so. That might seem selfish, but it’s simply true. While I do someday hope to get married, I’m never going to put marriage on a list with a deadline and a little box next to it to check off. Instead I’m going to focus on creating a healthy, stable relationship that is moving forward. And a large part of creating that healthy, stable relationship for me is not talking about my relationship ad naseum to my friends and most certainly not talking about my relationship on facebook, twitter or this blog. 🙂
This is definitely something new(ish) for me. I’ve long subscribed to the commonly employed practice of filling my girlfriends (and sometimes guyfriends) in on each argument, each disagreement, each sweet gift, etc. I even use to write about it. What I discovered was that most of my friends were just as clueless as I was. And on top of that, no one wants to hear about how deliriously happy you are in your new, perfect relationship (except your other friends who are also in new, perfect relationships). So I stopped filling in my friends on the particulars. I realized that when I focused on figuring out how I felt about what was going on in my relationship, instead of how my girls felt, it became very easy to navigate what used to be confusing and stressful. I’m not necessarily sure there is a direct correlation, but I do know that not sharing every detail of my relationship works for me. And for that, I am grateful. 🙂