To the friends who think my lack of relationships is my downfall,
There’s been an incident on my mind this week that I’ve really wanted to share, but needed time to think through what I really wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I mean isn’t that what writing is really all about? (Disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing against people who are married and want to get married. You do you!)
This week I was talking to a friend of mine–okay maybe more of an acquaintance since it’s been years since we last talked–and we were in the thralls of catching up when, of course, relationships came up. More specifically, my lack thereof…
We were reminiscing on my past relationships, because let me tell you, they’re quite entertaining. As the laughing subsided, though, this acquaintance threw down the question I knew was coming because it’s always inevitable when I’m catching up with someone, especially if they’re engaged, married, or expecting…
“You’re such a catch Nicole… why have you stayed single for so long? There must be someone.”
Let me just make very freakin’ clear… I hate this string of sentences and how people tend to put that janky emphasis on the word “someone.” In my opinion, it’s problematic for a multitude of reasons and the resulting conversation is never a fun one. Any conversation that follows is usually awkward, confrontational, or just lame. To avoid any of these outcomes for this particular conversation, I tried to laugh it off, give one of my usual sarcastic remarks, and change the subject to avoid the conversation I’ve had so many times before.
This time, though, she was not letting up. Pushy is the best adjective that comes to mind. As I predicted, the resulting conversation went the confrontational route. She tried selling me on all of the amazingness that is marriage. All these positives and benefits I’ve heard time and time again… All things I am quite cynical of… for good reasons (but that’s a story for another time).
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m pretty opposed to the idea of marriage. I like the idea of having a bomb ass party to celebrate a forever relationship, but I just can’t get behind turning something that’s supposed to be magical into a contractual and legal agreement. I just can’t get behind the language and formality of it. (There’s a bit more to this than just that, but again that’s a story for another time.)
This belief of mine makes a lot of people uncomfortable. I understand that it’s a different way of thinking and seeing the world, but come awnnnnn I could believe in SO much worse. But let’s get back to this conversation…
So she’s pushing marriage down my throat. I’m being told how much happier I’d be. How much better life gets. How much more valuable the world becomes when you marry someone. Thank GOD this conversation was happening over the phone because I could not contain my eye rolling. Like, really?? Marrying someone is going to do ALL that for me? A signed piece of paper contractually binding me to someone is going to revolutionize my whole life? Hmmm… I’m calling bullshit. Let me see the research and statistics behind those statements, please.
So I finally gave her the response I had been repressing to be courteous, but enough was enough..
“I really think we put this concept of marriage on this crazy pedestal. Getting married doesn’t do all that… being in a kickass relationship does! Just because I don’t believe in marriage does not mean that I don’t believe in being with someone forever. I am all about faith and commitment. I do believe that love exists. Why do I need to marry someone to love them forever. How does that ceremony and contract in any way change my affection for that person? It doesn’t. It’s a show of love, sure… but I can show that love in so many other ways that are way cheaper and way less stressful. Just because I don’t believe in marriage doesn’t mean I don’t want to find someone to live out my days with. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. We live in a world where too many people believe in polarities. It’s all or nothing. Just because I may not want to marry someone doesn’t mean I’m not going to give them my all. And, not getting married doesn’t make that relationship nothing.”
Well, that one caught her off guard…
After a relatively long and awkward pause, she finally responded with, “Well, I never thought of it that way…” Andddd I had thought, finally someone gets it! Sadly, she followed this line up directly with, “But come on! It’s marriage! Every girl wants to get married.”
Insert ridiculous eye roll. Once again, can you show me the research behind that statement? Last I checked, I’m a girl… and I don’t…
I don’t get why it’s so difficult for some people to wrap their head around this. Was there a time where I used to fantasize about my future husband? Of course. Do I have a Pinterest board dedicated to a wedding celebration? Duh. Do I think one day it may happen? Maybe. But, I’m not obsessing over it. I don’t think it makes or breaks a relationship. Just because I don’t want to be married doesn’t mean I want to be alone. I don’t have to choose one or the other. That just isn’t how the world works. I’m not afraid to love and be loved. I don’t resent the idea. Am I skeptical at times, sure… who hasn’t been? Do I wanna find some ridiculous, kindhearted, and handsome dude to live out my days with? For sure. I want to share those laughs. Those experiences. Those memories. I want a family. But why does that all have to be tied to a marriage. In a world of “progress” why are so many people so strongly tethered to this archaic tradition?
Love doesn’t need a binding contract. Love needs a smile and hearty laugh. Love needs an open heart and open mind. Love needs someone who will make you laugh until your body aches. Love needs someone who will make you laugh when your heart aches. Love needs trust. Love needs adventure and excitement.
Now I am no expert in love. Believe me, my relationship passport would make some people cringe, laugh, cry, and just say, “what the actual fuck.” But it also isn’t my first time at the rodeo. Love may need something different depending on who you are. But this is just what I need. It is my life after all.
For me, marriage doesn’t equate a happily ever after. For me, it’s waking up with someone who makes me laugh. Six or more dogs chillin’ around us. Kids asleep in the other room. Having a wedding and a ring on my left hand doesn’t make or break that.
Now, I will never say never. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll live out a Hallmark Channel original and end up swooning over someone who makes me believe that this contract is worth it. I sure as hell don’t know God’s plans for me. But for where I’m at right now… what’s so wrong with loving someone forever, minus the contract. Love isn’t hinged on that one thing. Love is a multifaceted, constantly changing concept. You can’t tell me that not wanting a marriage makes me incapable of love or wrong in some way.
Believe me, I can feel. I can care for someone so deeply that it takes the wind out of me. I have, and I know I will again. I don’t need to be constantly dating for that to happen, though. I’m young, I’m happy, and I enjoy my life as I slowly begin to figure it all out. Don’t try to make my life feel in adequate in some way just because I don’t want or believe in the same things as you.
Yes, there is someone. Maybe not right now. Maybe I’ve already met them and have no idea. Maybe they’ll come my way in the least opportune moment. Maybe they won’t come for years and years. Who the hell knows? Definitely not me. But why on Earth do I need to fill my days with a “someone” to get to this concept of marriage and the happily ever after. We all sit and complain about not having enough time… it’s because we put our time in the wrong places. I refuse to do that. I was a serial dater in college and I refuse to go back to that. It was empty. I felt nothing. It was stressful and an absolute waste of time. None of those poor schmucks were my forever (and I say poor schmucks because those poor guys had to deal with me at probably my worst). So why waste my time with meaningless relationships? I’m a busy lady. I’ve got shit to do and lives to change. I’m not gonna hop from 2 month relationship to 2 month relationship to achieve the goal of wearing a white dress and signing a paper that’s supposed to represent forever.
When it’s right, it’ll be right. I’ll know. The universe and its Creator will make it happen. And when it does, watch the fuck out world. We won’t be a conventional couple, but man will we rock the shit out of life and love.
Let me live the life I love and eventually I’ll find the one whose love changes me. Challenges me. Strengthens me. Makes me come alive in ways I haven’t yet. Until then, I’m just gonna keep laughing my way through my days, adopting dogs, drinking whiskey, and hiking through breathtaking landscapes. Because in the end, this is my life and not yours. If this is my best life, than let me live it. If marriage is your best life, than live it. But, let’s not waste time trying to convince each other that our best life is the only way for everyone to live a good life.
Your chronically single, yet amazingly happy #chillestgirlalive