Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sex, Relationships, and Marriage, Or It's All About Timing - Part Two: Relationships and Marriage

Relationships and marriage go hand in hand pretty well in the context of what I want to address (which is timing), so until divergence is warranted, I’ll refer to them both as simply “relationships.”

Timing is everything when it comes to relationships. Meeting someone at the right time in your life. Meeting them at the right time in their life. Both of you being in a place to contribute something to the relationship. Both of you being capable of understanding what is really important to you and what you want out of life. These all are essential for a successful relationship.

The real point here is this: stop trying to force it. This may sound very woo-sa and philosophical, not to mention difficult to hear in this day of CONTROL ALL THE THINGS, but it holds true: these things happen in due time. They will not work out if you force the issue, or go looking for them. 
Believe me, I understand how hard it is to just let it happen. I’m all about forcing some measure of control over my life, especially dealing with ADHD. I have also found that if I leave a matter to someone else to handle, it doesn’t get handled. A lot of that is my own personal damage, but I know I’m not the only one that has such a — let’s call it “proactive” attitude about their life. It is aggravatingly difficult to find that Zen space and just let it be.

Frustrating as it may be, that’s the only way it works out. Now, I’m not saying you need to make a list of qualities that are musts/deal-breakers (that rarely ends with anything but disappointment), nor am I advocating planning every detail of your wedding (down to buying the wedding dress) because “you’ll never know when you’ll meet Mr. Right.” Both of those are products of The Crazies, and will net you little other than a houseful of cats and broken dreams.

What I am advocating is this: learn to enjoy who you are. Learn about yourself. Love yourself. Learn about life and the world around you. Sure, you’ll be confronted from time to time with happy couples and it may get a little heart-stabbity, but if you can find contentment with your life and comfort in your own skin, you will spend way less time pining over the lack of a significant other.

When it comes to marriage… Well, it’s not for everyone. I went there and did that, but I realized in retrospect that I did it for a lot of the wrong reasons. I did it because I thought I had to. I did it because I had this misguided notion that I would be a failure as a human being if I didn’t, although the thought didn’t present itself so consciously and succinctly at the time. Granted, I loved the man I married, but the timing was wrong. I know; big surprise, given the title of this, well, NOVEL, at this point.

Marriage is just as much about the right timing as it is about motivation. As I said, these things need to be done at the right time for you without trying to force them, but they also need to be done for the right reasons. Getting married because your parents/family/peers pressure you to do it is NOT the right reason. Getting married just so you can finally understand what all the fuss over sex is about is NOT a good reason. Getting married because otherwise you’ll be a failure as a person/a horrible person/whatever miscellaneous guilt trip you’ve laid on yourself or has been forced upon you by some aspect of your youth is ALSO no bueno.

Getting married because it is the right time, the right place, and the right person… Those are good reasons, and they are all pretty much necessary. Get married when it feels right and for no other reason. Think long and hard about it. Realize that what it should mean is a lifetime with that other person. A lifetime of change, compromise, and understanding.

Both of you will change, perhaps drastically. As stubborn as some people are (read: as stubborn as people like me are), we still change. We grow. We learn from our experiences and they shape us into the people we will be. We are not static. We are constantly adapting to our environment. And both of you have to accept those facts about your partner. You have to realize that, just as you expect them to be understanding when you change, so, too, must you have patience when they are suffering growing pains.

Marriage is not for the faint of heart. Some people live without it completely, having detached themselves from the religious/societal notion that it is required to have a healthy, happy relationship and to be successful in life. 

The real point here is that there is no right or wrong way to go about your life, especially when you keep in mind that you are the only one that has to live it. Remember that when your family tries to pressure you into one degree or another, or your friends beg you to go out partying the night before a major test/interview/audition/whatever. You are the master of your own destiny, and you will have to deal with the consequences (both good and bad) of your actions.

Sex is not a bad thing, so stop demonizing it, and it is always more fun when there’s an element of safety. Kinda like a roller coaster.

Relationships happen in due time and not before, so quit trying to force them.

Marriage is a job of work and should only be entered into for the right reasons.

Life is short. Eat dessert first.
That last part wasn’t really relevant to the rest of the post, but it bore noting anyway.

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