I want to get married.
Someday. To the right person. Ideally speaking.
I've been thinking about what it means for me, ultimately believing in the concept of marriage. It's a very intimate part of who I am and what I believe in. It means I'm open to making a lifelong commitment. It means I would like to partner up for the long haul, with the right person.
But lately I've been thinking even more about what it doesn't mean.
You meet them a lot when you're online dating in your 30s. The Spouse Shoppers. They've got a list, and they're checking it twice. And if you're a match, they're in for the quick swoop if you are. They aren't interested and open to the possibility of marriage; they're on the hunt. Often, and this absolutely goes for both men and women, children are also on the menu. The quick serve menu.
That's not what it's like for me.
The Hunky Actor would like to get married. Someday. To the right person. Ideally speaking.
And sure, I confirmed he was marriage-minded going in. And yeah, I had a brain gerbil running on that future.
In my lifetime, I've also fully researched and considered possible plans for joining the Peace Corps, getting a graduate degree in economics - University of Hawaii or Alaska, and teaching English in Japan. (I ended up at Film School. Still waiting for *that* to pay for itself.)
See, being marriage-minded doesn't mean you're on the hunt. Heck, I may never get married. I'm not psychic, so I don't know.
But, I do have to be honest with myself that it does mean that I'm not looking for a multi-year relationship that doesn't include marriage. Same for the Hunky Actor. So after a year, we broke up, because it wasn't there.
That sort of honesty used to freak me out. A male classmate once said that he never dated girls over 25 because all women over 25 were just looking for a husband. Which, of course, besides being laugh out loud funny, speaks to (well, many things, but) that sort of desperate search. I was afraid that if I was honest about my feelings about marriage that I would come off as desperate to marry. Right now. Anyone. That not being true, I tended to try to play it the other way. Which, since I wasn't looking for instant marriage also held some truth to it.
More recently, another male friend told me that he and his friends used to say that they only dated women over 26/27 because women younger than that *weren't* looking to settle down and be in a real relationship. They just wanted to play around.
OK, people, I'm only going to say this a million more times. There are no rules in the land of individuals.
Well, maybe one. You have to be true and honest to yourself. If I'm talking with someone about marriage or they're reading even these words and all they hear or can possibly imagine is Woman Desperate for Marriage, well, who really cares about them? For one thing, they aren't a really good listener.
You can't do anything about the odd assumptions people jump to. It drives me nuts, but there it is.
Hey, if I'm still unmarried in twenty years, that'll teach 'em.
Oh, wait, I forgot. I'll be bitter and miserable and surrounded by cats.
I hope we can all laugh together at that one.
The blogosphere speaks:
wrestling with me - Erin from maybe we haven't got it all figured out blogs about feeling out of place around "cute girls" because she's more athletic. This one is a must read. Go share some wisdom with Erin if you've got it to share. She sounds awesome, and she needs to hear it.
Jessie blogs at Fairly Certain about why she wants to get married and why she wants a wedding. And can I just say that I am crazy mad about her LJ page background? Totally want for my MySpace.