When it comes to getting ready for marriage, I’ve had quite an interesting journey.
After peacefully ending a long relationship, I was determined to find out “why” it happened. And the only answer that I could ever arrive was that there must be something out there that was a better fit for both of us.
So with that in mind, I entered the single world in search for the person who was that “better fit” for me.
But in between the past relationship and my current one, I went from a paradigm of “a good relationship is a healthy one,” to “a great relationship is a perfect one.”
For a year I struggled with the idea that I very, very much wanted to get married. And I very, very much wanted to find the perfect person to have a perfect relationship with.
As Mr. Lively and I dated, I honestly struggled with the concept that we were right for each other because he didn’t “complete me.”
Though Susie, my partner in crime at Jess LC for three years, would tell you that she’s never seen me happier than when I dated Mr. Lively, I had my doubts as to whether he was “enough.”
It hurts me even to type this. But it was true.
Mind you, I have never in my life struggled with the idea of a perfect man or perfect relationship before. In high school I dated a guy that wouldn’t even call me his girlfriend, and even asked someone else to prom instead of me… and I stayed with him anyways.
But with Mr. Lively I suddenly turned on the microscope.
Though in real life I felt completely great and confident with our relationship, when I looked at relationships shared online I felt we were missing something.
All the glossy pics of couples and tender stories of love had me pining for that kind of relationship. The
fairy tale online kind.
So needless to say, it seems fairly obvious that I should have just smacked myself upside the head and bolted out of my insanity. But that isn’t what happened.
Instead, I doubted us.
And when that fear bubbled up I would also have a nagging worry: are you with him because you want to get married?
Oh yeah. That’s a great thought, I can tell ya that.
To help myself process all of these conflicting emotions I turned to prayer. Whenever I prayed about the situation, I got some calming responses in my heart, but it didn’t give me the outright direction I desperately wanted.
But eventually, after months of spiritual growth, great times with Mr. Lively, and the general maturing of our relationship, I had a breakthrough.
Instead of running away from the fear that I wanted to get married more than I wanted to find the “right” person, I embraced it.
Rather than push that fear down, I brought it up to the light and celebrated it.
YES, I WANTED TO GET MARRIED. VERY MUCH.
The reasons I wanted to get married were largely spiritual by that point (as opposed to some early ego wishes exacerbated by rom coms and romantic blog posts). I now believe that a holy relationship (which can be in the form of a marriage, or not) can bring me even more personal growth. To commit to being with someone through thick and thin, to celebrate them, and accept their weaknesses. To grow together and start a family that I can share this acceptance and love with. That is what a holy relationship, or in my case, marriage, is really supposed to be about for me.
However, as my prayers led me to understand, my ego will inevitably wish for someone that will “complete me.” And I will inevitably fail to find someone who does.
So I basically get to choose someone who has traits that I value, via a mix of my spirit and a bit of my inevitable ego, to be my partner in this journey.
Instead of waiting for “Mr. Right” who sweeps me off my feet so that I’m suddenly ready for a holy relationship because he is perfect, I’m putting the commitment to a holy relationship above my future Mister’s perfection, or lack thereof.
No longer am I looking though a dirty lens of “What does he do for me? Me. Me. Me.” I’m now looking through a clearer lens of “I’m choosing my partner in this journey so we can love, grow, and give together.”
And since I intend for this commitment to be a lifelong one, I’m not taking my partner decision lightly. But I’m also not waiting for a pedestal.
When I think about what person I want to be in a holy relationship with for the rest of my life, my mind and heart immediately turned to Mr. Lively.
The answer suddenly became simple.
His kindness, wit, intelligence, loyalty, thoughtfulness, and good-heartedness are all qualities I’m excited to celebrate in our lives. And with our future children.
And though this may not be the way most people arrive at their marriages (or talk about them online), for me, it is what feels good and real.