The other day, I served a table that asked me how many children I have; I went about answering it the same way I normally do: “None at the moment.” That usually ends the conversation. However, this man decided that the idea of me wasting my life without children and a husband was ridiculous. He asked me why I didn’t have any. I politely told him that I was pursuing other things in my life currently, and I didn’t have the time or the opportunity to do so. From here, the conversation went further south. He told me that I’d ought to hurry up before it’s too late, and I pretended to find this funny and told him that I would do my best to change my priorities around to get married and start a family.
Though I’m sure many would be offended by this man (I admit that I was slightly put-off), this conversation did make me start thinking about how we look at the value of someone’s life. Here we are, the 21st century, and somehow, we’re still stuck on the idea that our happiness lies in finding our one true love, getting married, and having a baby. And, the people that choose a different life, a different path, are ostracized. Even if it isn’t said out loud, the questionable glances and judgment is there.
Think for a moment what this is teaching our children (well, not mine because, as mentioned, I have none). They are constantly bombarded by Disney movies telling them that their Prince Charming, their soul mate, is out there somewhere waiting for them, and when they find them, that’s when happily ever after begins. Of course.. that bubble is burst after the first few failed relationships… the guys turn out to be more like Hans from Frozen than Phillip from Sleeping Beauty.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not always the guys. Sometimes, as females, we get a little.. hmm.. ahead of ourselves. There are those moments that happen with a simple smile from are date.. and it turns into the distant sounds of wedding bells in our minds. I’ve done it, you’ve done it.. let’s be honest.. we’ve all.. jumped ahead. Pinterest proves this. How many of you have a wedding board and don’t even have a boyfriend?
Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it the constant bombardment of a timetable that society is telling us is a one size fits all?
Recently, I’ve been thinking more on this. Why am I in a hurry? Sure, I’m nearing 30, and my childbearing days are not as plenty as they used to be. How can that be an excuse? There’s adoption. I could love any child, regardless of it being biologically mine. Why can’t I simply stop and smell the roses? Appreciate what life has offered me?
I’m trying. I think we should all try. The timetable that starts the moment you have your first date.. throw it away. Maybe you’re ready to commit and they’re not at the same place yet. Ask yourself two questions: “Do you love them?” If the answer is yes, then ask, “Are you in love with them or do you just need love?”
Who are we to say that our timetable is more important than theirs? If you have needs that aren’t being met, then find someone else. But, just because society attempts to shove the one-size-fits-all logic upon us.. doesn’t mean we should do it to our significant others. Remember this: Different people need different amounts of time, and there are no guarantees.
Would it be nice to step into a relationship knowing that you were guaranteed a white dress and ring.. sure. I guess.
But what fun would that be?
Instead of worrying about the future.. about what you can get from them. Stop and enjoy it. Enjoy them. Who cares if the white dress never comes? You’re making memories.. these may be the best days you’ve ever had with someone, and that is what is important. Not the title. Not the dream. It’s the person standing there with you for as long as they do.
Sometimes things don’t work out, and that’s okay. Because that person has shown you something about yourself that maybe you didn’t know before. Don’t hate them for not following your timetable.. love them because they were apart of it at all.
Maybe marriage isn’t something in my future and maybe I’ll never have kids. That’s all okay because I will never be able to say that I haven’t loved… because though it’s terrifying to fall in love, our heart is a muscle and the best exercise that it has is falling in love. That’s why it hurts when things fall apart.. you’re not broken.. you’re just a little sore. So, go out there! Exercise those hearts! Let it soar as far as it can!