Will you marry me?
These four life-changing words have been haunting me for a while. Like many other girls in long-term relationships, I waited anxiously for the day I’d get to say yes. But does anyone really know what they’re saying yes to?
When you’re in your late twenties, it seems your entire network of friends and acquaintances pair up, some in a desperate frenzy to not end up alone. And not a beat too late, Facebook obnoxiously fills your smartphone with photos of rings, babies, and every wedding-related detail you never cared to know.
In the same way people say that you’re never really ready for marriage or you’re never really ready for a baby either. And it’s not because you don’t love the person or don’t enjoy their company. It is all about being with a person who is as complex and imperfect as you are, and accepting them for it. And it is about being with someone whose ability to bring out both the best and worst in you brings you to your knees.
When we were growing up, we learned that couples in fairy tales always lived “happily ever after.” But we never discussed what happened after “happily ever after.” Like many girls, I read fairy tales like Cinderella, hoping to one day meet my prince and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, most fairy tales give us an unrealistic picture of what our life with the prince will be like. Thankfully, I learned that marriage isn’t a fairy tale. And girls need to stop searching for Prince Charming, because he only exists in books and movies.
Chasing the fairy tale leads many women to jump into marriage quickly when they experience immediate chemistry with someone. A good marriage is a commitment to complete half of religion, honor and support each other and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s harder to build that with someone you didn’t get to know. We are taking two people who have come from different households and maybe different backgrounds and expecting them to just get along. Fairy tales don’t include that.
In this country, we do not teach people how to be married, and this is one of the failings of our system. Even marriage that seem to be made in heaven will require attention and maintenance. That is why so many fairy tale romances fall apart when the imperfections show.
What does it really means to form a partnership and marriage with someone? To meet someone and eventually make the decision to share a life together. To be brave enough to embark on a journey that is ridiculously fraught with imperfections. To give over a piece of your heart and in turn accept another person’s heart Then you have to creating your own happily ever after on a more realistic level.