So you’ve gathered by my lack of posting that I’ve been busy, as ever. As much as I want to post every day, I have a day job that keeps me swamped, which means I can’t (and I don’t want to because I love my job) squeeze in blog posts. Then to come home and blog for a further 2 – 3 hours after being at work all day is also difficult. AND then there’s just life in general, which is always happening. In my case, Mr Love and I have decided to get married next year and went public last week. Here’s our Facebook announcement image:
Now the first thing that is probably popping into your mind is, “How did it all happen? Where were they when he asked? What does the ring look like?” And I’ve already broken a few female brains by saying, “It happened over the last 2 months. He didn’t ask. I have no ring.” Say whaaaat?!
DON’T LOSE YOURSELF
It seems many women are unable to understand that marriage is as much their choice as it is a man’s. And in the same way that a man shouldn’t date a women for years with no intention of marrying them, neither should a woman. I feel far too many of us put the value of our lives in proportion to whether a man loves us or not. Women will have a goal, like visiting the Eiffel Tower or trekking through the rain forest, which will go out the window when a man comes along. It’s as if anything they wanted to do for themselves gets shelved but, “Hey! It’s ok. I’m loved. Better to be loved than achieve one’s own aspirations, right?” WRONG.
The best relationships, that I know, are the ones where each person is able to pursue their personal interests without negative influence from their partner. And often the partner wants to come along too, for love, support and fun – not because they’re forced to, but because they want to. They want their partner to have the best possible time even if the experience isn’t to their taste. A good partner would do the same in return.
MARRIAGE IS FOR TWO PEOPLE, TWO LIVES, FOR LIFE.
I find many women become really resentful when they’ve been ready since year 2 and it’s year 6 and still no ring. Eish. Why not just talk about it? That’s what Mr Love and I did. All through our 6 years (ok only from like year 3/4 onwards) we would talk about our future together. What we personally want to achieve as individuals and together. We would talk about ‘when we’re married’. This year we just decided to really look at it. Have you ever explored how much venues cost? How much wedding dresses cost? How much wedding bands cost? How much food, musicians, etc. cost? Weddings ain’t cheap! So why sit around waiting for your man to propose and not just realistically consider it, together – can we afford to get married? What are our options? If you can’t afford to get married, FINE! Great! Be together! Be happy! Live! Experience life. Don’t think your purpose on this earth only starts once you have a ring on your finger. Purpose comes from within.
Often guys are overwhelmed by the cost of jewellery, the cost of everything and they don’t ask because of it, NOT because they don’t love you or don’t want to be with you. So if you open the dialogue, make a strategy, then it allows him to ask you and organise a ring. How does that fit in with me not having a ring? Well, we’ve picked a venue and a date and now that we can ACTUALLY, realistically get married, Mr Love is in the process of having the ring made (I also grew up on a diamond mine and would like stones from my hometown included. If your Mr Love gets a ring and asks you first, great!) and will give it to me in a special way.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR TURN
Ever wondered how no one wants to date you and then the second you start dating someone, like 3 guys crawl out of the woodwork and like you at the same time? And you’re like, “WTF?! I was just sitting single and bored for months! No takers!” I personally believe men are attracted to fun, interesting women. When you sit sucking on your drink, at a bar, with beady eyes, looking desperate, guys are like, “Ag, no thanks. Not looking to babysit someone desperate.” When you’re happy with interesting experiences, and stories, and laughs to share, that’s attractive. So go be interesting. Go get stories, go get a life. Literally.
RULES FOR ENGAGEMENT
While people have called me skeptic, I have also had to listen to them bitching when the person ‘changed’ or isn’t who they thought they were. Well how would you know who they are if you haven’t known them, truly, for a few years? Here are my rules of engagement that I have always stuck by since the age of about 21:
- No getting married before the age of 25. (You’re going to be together forever, what’s the rush?)
- No getting married without dating for 2 years, engaged for 1.
- If you’re over 30, this time can be cut down because the BS tends to be less too.
- Living together first, A MUST.
- Must meet in real life! And must meet familly in real life too.
We all love our boyfriends until you hit the 2.5 year mark and realise they irritate the lights out of you. Give yourself the time to check if this is the case. A 1 year engagement is good. Cape Town is a busy wedding city, you’re not likely to get everything you need in less than 6 months because service providers get booked up WELL in advance. Living together first is a MUST. Yes, even if you’re religious and I’ll tell you why: half the time guys can’t believe how messy the girls are! YO! Women are more untidy than men half the time! And I can promise you – he didn’t see that coming. And visa versa: maybe he has an annoying cough that didn’t bother you before it kept you up all night! Wet towels on the floor (or bed), never washing his whiskers out the sink, who’s feeding the pets? Cleaning their poop. Bad behaviours can be super annoying. And what about the cost of food, electricity, rent, laundry and cleaning items? How does a washing machine work? Trust me. Living together allows life to get real, real quick. Live together and see if you can tolerate one another. You’ll thank me later.
While I agree with discussing the realities of marriage, and whether the relationship can and should go there, you’ll never catch me on my knee proposing to a man. As in, don’t ever say, “Hey John, will you marry me?” If I’m so liberal, why? Because a man needs to step up. If he wants to be with you, he has to opt in. Making it too easy for him is a risk, I feel. Also, he might say yes out of obligation. If a man really wants to be with you, give him the opportunity to ask. Then it’s his idea, he owns it and is choosing it for himself, not opting in.
WHAT’S WITH THE UGLY ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT?
People get SO caught up in the hype of weddings, combined with terrible taste, we just had to play on it. Do yourself a favour and Google awkward engagement images. You will cringe for hours. Our invitations won’t be this ugly, but we thought having a laugh and making people realise it’s just 1 day, try to keep calm about it, would be perfectly illustrated by our flying Yoda head, Nessy spatula (which I saw on Mantality), pegasus, etc.
PS WHAT IF I GET DIVORCED?
If my relationship does fall apart in the future, I won’t take back anything that I’ve said here. It’s truly what I feel and have believed for years. I feel that I have a balanced and realistic outlook and if things don’t work out for me in the end, I’ll do it all again in exactly the same way. The truth is that all relationships are a risk. But be sure to do you. There’s nothing more you can do.
YOU GOTTA WIN A LITTLE, LOSE A LITTLE…
In our time we’ve lost jobs, lost parents, travelled, gained jobs, started blogs, studied, bought cars, got a cat, moved – life’s been real. And it’s TOUGH, beautiful and wonderful. If you’ve found your friend of happiness, be together, be happy, dig deep, struggle, laugh, love and live. Remember that jewellery won’t help you when the bad things comes along, it won’t change the depth when the good things come along, do you and do your relationship that works for you. Don’t get caught up in the wedding hype. Plan a marriage, not a wedding.
So on that note, cheers to 2016! I’m excited 🙂
Thanks for reading xx