If you follow me on the ‘gram, you might have noticed that I posted on December 31st about getting engaged on December 4th. It took almost a month of processing the news for myself and sharing it personally with loved ones before I could tell it publicly.
It’s an interesting thing, really. I wasn’t a girl who dreamed, daydreamed or even imagined her wedding – ever. Despite being a lover of love in every way and a fan of monogamy, the idea of marriage just never crossed my mind.
Despite my parents being married and later separated, then my sister being married and later divorced – I had no real negative feelings surrounding it, I just never considered it for myself. I think I found the idea to be a bit antiquated, especially considering its main history of being a legal contract between two families that rarely (if ever) involved love. Also, the social construct (created by advertising and patriarchy) of what a “wife” was supposed to be was everything I was against. I also don’t abide by any religion and I disliked the idea of marriage as a requirement to faith or family expectations. My feelings are always to follow your heart, not some text that was written in ancient times and not what your family thinks is best (but, that’s just me and no offense to others who disagree).
I also found the idea that we all want a diamond ring, a white dress and a fairy tale to be strange. I mean, it’s evident that we are all under the influence of marketing, media, and societal norms.
The diamond engagement ring standard was invented in the ’30s to sell more diamonds at a higher cost, brides wearing white as a bride was a trend made in 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert and the idea of “happily ever after” simply, cinematic magic.
I guess I mostly disliked the idea of weddings/marriage to be an “absolute” for others, especially for women. It quickly becomes an obsession, a thing to be had, a moment to make. I feel like it loses its potential magic when women are hinting, nudging (or nagging) boyfriends and when men are looking for a woman who will play a role. Often times, men propose out of fear and women say “I do” only thinking of their wedding and not a lifetime of marriage (which involves ups and downs).
I like the idea of everyone just actually doing what makes them happy. I think that means spending time thinking about what YOU actually want and how YOU feel. Maybe that involves marriage and maybe it doesn’t, we can all decide.
Also, an expensive ring, gorgeous wedding and a contract don’t make for a perfect union – it takes two people who are committed to their relationship AND more-so themselves. I think the biggest mistake made in any partnership is the idea that the other person is supposed to make you happy. Nah fam, it couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re expecting others to fill your cup, while they’re trying to do the same for themselves, you’re looking for a letdown. I think of it like this: when you’re on an airplane and they give you instructions in case of emergency, it’s said that if your oxygen mask falls down you put it on yourself before helping others, even children. I didn’t understand that for so long. I thought, “a helpless child needs it first,” but after a while, I realized “if you can’t breathe, you can’t help anyone else.” It’s true for every one of us. We are the only ones who are in control of our happiness.
Having said all that, here I am, the girl who never imagined an engagement (until I met 🦊) Now, engaged. It took me some time to process.
As a Taurus – change is not my thing. “What does it mean?”, “Who am I now?”, “Do I want a wedding ring?”, “Do I want to get married?” A lot of existentialist thoughts ran through my head. I was the “downtown It-girl” who for myself (and others) – represented female independence, autonomy, and rule-breaking. I didn’t break rules on purpose, it’s just most things that feel natural to me are opposite of what is considered “lady-like” or “acceptable.” I can’t sit like with my legs crossed (see below) I can’t be told to do anything (because I’ll literally do the opposite) and I refuse to wear high heels in most social settings.
Ultimately, my excitement outweighed my confused self-identity, which was really just my ego. I love this man, whole-heartedly. It has been a love affair since it started. Marrying my best friend would be an honor and I didn’t need a ring to know that I would spend the rest of my life with him.
The ring? Traditional, sure but, I love, love, love jewelry and I celebrate life moments with adornment. It works out that it’s a diamond engagement ring sine my birthstone (April) is a diamond.
And a wedding? A tradition, yes – but it’s the way you approach it that will make it different. I throw and attend parties for a living. If anyone knows a good turn-up, it’s me! Also, parties and ceremonies are a human tradition. We all celebrate in our own way.
Maybe I drank the Kool-Aid, I don’t know. I’ve been in a couple of other long-term, monogamous relationships and the topic of marriage was never a conversation. It wasn’t something my exes or I ever really discussed. When I met 🦊, it was one of the first things we happily conversed about. So maybe having the right partner at the right time is the difference?