“I don’t want to be married.” I proclaimed to my girlfriend, the makeup artist, whom I haven’t seen in over a year.
Last year I meditated on love and through that mediation I realized I was ready for marriage. Next, I ran into people everywhere I went who showed me the dark side of marriage. For the past month and a half I have written about those experiences. This post is the second to the last post in the series on marriage.
For the past three years, each Fall and Spring, I have volunteered with an art’s therapy non-profit that works with at-risk teens. Through this program I have developed true friendships with a few fellow volunteers.
I met the makeup artist during the very first arts therapy session that I did. I don’t quite know how our friendship blossomed? She started a Woman’s Prayer group where we’d come together, during our potluck dinner we’d talk about our lives and then after dinner we’d pray for each other. It was discussions of our challenges, fears and relationship woes that bonded us together as sisters and friends.
“Are you dating anyone?” She asked. It had been a year since I last saw her. We caught up in bits and pieces as we were setting up the art space before the teens arrived.
“I’m not dating.” I told her. “I’m enjoying being single and I don’t want to be married.”
“I don’t believe that,” she a responded back. “I believe you want to be married.” I was a bit frustrated with the conversation and frustrated with the push back I kept getting on the subject all year.
That night, we went to dinner for much needed one-on-one time. I told her about my realization that I was ready for marriage, then about all the people that I meet that unknowingly built the case for me to stay single. I concluded with the statement, I don’t want to be married.
She sighed and asked me a question that I often circle back to on this subject.
“Do you have three friends, who are your peers, that have a marriage or relationship that you would want for yourself?”
I sat and thought. One family popped up in my mind. Then a second family popped up in my mind.
“Wait. That are my peers?” I clarified.
“Yes.” She answered.
The families I thought about were all a decade older than me.
“No,” I answered. Sadness came over me because I could not think of any peers who have marriages or relationships that I would like to experience for myself. Even typing that makes me cringe. After dinner when I got home,I thought more about her question . After a long brainstorming session, I finally, came up with three couples/ families, who are my peers, but none of which are currently close to me.
“Find someone who is a peer, who has a relationship that resembles what you desire. Have that woman mentor you in singlehood to prepare you for the marriage I desire.” The makeup artist told me before we parted ways.
The essence of this suggestion is a good one. Singlehood for most women is spent trying to lure men toward them for sex, dating and/or marriage. Preparing yourself for marriage means, to do the opposite and focus on yourself and your own growth.
Be a whole person not an image or an idea, images and ideas are false and won’t sustain you overtime.
You will have a better chance at a solid marriage or relationship if you know yourself fully. Plus, if you lived the life you want in your singlehood, you will reduce your chances of a midlife crisis in marriage.
Give yourself a real shot at a good marriage, because once you are in married, it’s a whole new ball game. I have heard those stories all year long.
Love – Stephanie XO