Friday, December 21, 2012

The Rules of Engagement

No, I'm not engaged. Don't let your minds run wild now.

It's supposedly going to be the end of the world hour an a half or so. I'm blogging, so obviously I'm not too concerned. I did see that two new couples on facebook got engaged today, though. Crazy stuff! Guess the believe the world is ending tomorrow, so they had might as well make the promise of the rest of their lives today so they only have to be stuck with the idea of "being with someone for the rest of their lives" for one day and don't have to think about the fact that by doing so they will never be with another man/woman again.

I'm only particularly concerned about this in one case, because the girl is 18 and far too young to be getting engaged. She's just getting all excited about growing up and not really looking at how much longer she has to live and figure things out.

Getting engaged at 18 is so silly. You change alot from 18 to 21. I'm thinking back now to my eighteenth birthday.

At this time, I was living with my mother. I was getting my second tattoo. My first one without my mother having to sign. I was irresponsible with my money and did as I pleased. 18 year old me probably would have looked at me now and said "Cool hair, but what the hell happened to you?" I had little love for my family and a hate-filled heart. I was happy with my friends, but I felt miserable and lost even with the best of people around me. I've changed a lot since then. 

Six months after I turned 18, I found out I was pregnant. I believed my child's father was the love of my life and I would stay with him forever. We had a lovely relationship and we meshed so well.

Turns out, our relationship was built on extremely faulty grounds. I knew that at the time, but I didn't think it effected us later in the relationship. It did. We never passed the friend zone. We had a hard time saying "I love you" unless it wasn't in person. We had terribly communication skills. We were afraid to lose each other to other people all the time. We blamed it on our personalities and growing up in dysfunctional families. It was more than that, though. We worked out great together, but we would have been better never getting together and just sticking it out as friends.

It's been a little over 2 years since my eighteenth birthday. I can only imagine what the next two will bring or where they will take me. 

In any case, I've gotten a bit of subject.
Getting engaged, that's what this blog is supposed to be about.

There are a lot of things that people don't take into consideration when getting engaged that they should. If these are not things you think you and your partner can do or be, you should probably consider breaking it off, because as the famous Mrs. Barnes life tip says "Don't date anyone you don't see yourself marrying." More than likely, if you don't think you can be engaged to this person, you're probably not going to marry them.

  • You have to be committed to get married, and to be committed, you must first be insane.--as said at a wedding I went to last summer. This is correct. The first and foremost thing in any good relationship is commitment. You can't be running after other girls or boys. You have to believe that your partner is the best choice for you and no matter how great someone else that prances along seems, you will not stray from that commitment in mind or body.
  • Think about what your partner lacks in terms of what you had dreamt as being your "perfect mate." Are these things you are willing to live without for the rest of your life? If they're not, think twice about engagement. If your partner lacks a certain very important trait, are you willing to accept that? If not, you may resent them for it later.When you're with someone, you should not be with them to change them, but to love them for everything they are.
  • Do you have similar plans for the future? Do you want to have children and he wants none? Does he want to travel, but you want to stay in your home town? Maybe you both want to have kids, but you want them at 22 and he doesn't want them until he's at least in his early 30's. Make sure to set these things straight before engagement. If you want different things out of life and are set on this, it's not worth it to try to stay together. Again, if one of you is stuck living the others dream, it can lead to resentment.
  • Listen to those around you. If your friends and family hate him/her, it's probably not going to work. If this person cannot fit into your world, it is likely to ruin long term friendships or ties with your family. You will be stuck choosing between the people you've known all your life or the person you want to marry. This can cause a lot of distress in your life and put a lot of pressure on your partner.
  • Take religion into consideration. If you are a full fledged christian and your partner is an atheist to the core, is this really going to work? Are you willing to respect their views? On the flip side, although you may both be agnostic now, are you willing to listen to your partner and respect him/her if she decides to get some faith and starts going to church every Sunday?
  • Communication. Without communication, you have nothing in a relationship. If you aren't able to sit and talk things out, everyone gets stressed out. Either they build so much up that they eventually explode or they will find someone that will talk to them about their problems. This person will be someone they will later realize "I can really talk to this person about things. Maybe I'm not with the right person after all."
  • Do you bring out the best in each other? Does she make you laugh? Did he teach you something you've always wanted to learn? Do you enjoy trying new things together? Does your partner seem enthusiastic about your interests or do they simply wish you'd just stop talking about them? Do you appreciate and love the things he does? 
  • Consider how your partners body will change as s/he ages. Will you still love your partner if s/he gets fat? What about when s/he is old and gray? Will you still love your partner when she is going through menopause and acting psychotic? Will you still love him when he can no longer get it up?
  • Consider your finances. Does she spend too much money on clothes when we need to pay the rent? Is he buying too many video games when electric is due in a week? Consider how much money you will be making and what you will be spending it on. Consider how much debt you have as a couple and how you are going to wipe that out. Consider how his/her credit score will effect bank loans, getting a house, or buying a car.
  • How much do you love your him/her when s/he is in a bad mood? Are you willing to wake up to this person every single day for the rest of your life? Are you willing to kiss only his/her lips before bed each night and wake up to his/her face each morning? Are you willing to take the good days with the bad? In a relationship, if someone starts acting unreasonable, you can choose to walk away. When you marry, you're in it for the long run.

to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.

Remember, marriage is forever. There is divorce, but people should really stop looking at that as an option unless there is some sort of abuse. When you marry, you should consider all of these things listed above. If you believe all of these are completely true for you and your partner. Take the plunge. 

If not, reconsider.

Don't jump into it just because you want to grow up or because you want to have children and you believe getting married is the only way to go about doing that. Don't do it because you'd really like a wedding or it just seems extremely exciting. Get married because you truly believe that you don't want to live another day without your partner in your life.

If you liked this, you'll definitely want to check out the pros of being In A Relationship so you don't forget why it's so nice not to still be searching for that special fish in the sea.

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