<image via twose on flickr>
I believe, to a degree, in fate. I believe things are meant to be, and that things work out. Yet I still think we are responsible for our own choices (don’t ask me how I reconcile those wildly conflicting beliefs, because, well, I don’t).
Sometimes I look at him and wonder how we came to be. What we’re doing together. Where four years have gone, and what the next four years will bring. I marvel at the miracle of love and life and opposites attracting.
We went to the same schools for most of our school-aged years. We had nothing to do with each other. He was big, sporty, a loudmouth, a bit of a troublemaker, not one of the elite popular but part of the cool crowds who went to parties and drank beer. I wouldn’t have been allowed to go to those parties even if I had been invited.
Shortly after my first big relationship fell apart, I went to a low-key party at a friend’s. T was there, as part of the extended social circle. As the night wound down, we sat in a circle under the stars, and I compiled a list out loud of all the qualities I wanted in my next boyfriend. He met them all. We hung out a few times on our own after that; I resisted his attempts to ask me out. I thought it was too much, too soon. When I finally agreed, I made him wait a week for my answer.
I can honestly say if it was not for the one night when our paths crossed, I don’t think we would be together. We come from such different backgrounds and ran in such different circles, that I don’t see how we could possibly have come together otherwise.
Sure, I know anything is possible – we live in a strange world – but let’s talk big picture here. He had finished up with school and was due to go off to the army (he left three months later). And although he didn’t end up making a career of it, what if he had? Odds are I would have carried on with my life and spent my university years bar-hopping and trying to find a decent guy, winding up bitter and alone. Or something like that.
I’ve had one other ‘real’ boyfriend in my entire life. As much as I wanted him to be ‘the one’ and loved the romantic idea of my first love being forever, I couldn’t picture us getting married, having kids, etc. But I can with T. I don’t know how our families would gel, but me and him? I know we could do it, and I’m looking forward to it.
He often talks about marriage. Our situation is kinda reversed; he’s the one who wants to do it sooner rather than later. And I’ll admit, with so many bloggers getting engaged, and getting the warm fuzzies everytime I see his baby niece/nephew, sometimes I feel the same way. But realistically, I don’t REALLY want to be changing dirty nappies for planning a wedding for years yet. And aside from my vision of getting married in my late twenties, there’s another reason I’m still not quite ready.
See, to me marriage means becoming a real adult. That means security and stability. It means having a steady job, a steady income, being able to provide for your future family. It’s all very romantic to spout sentiments like “all you need is love”, but that’s not going to feed you, put a roof over your head and keep your car running. And if that makes me an unromantic, so be it.
Money isn’t EVERYTHING, but it does matter – not least of all when you’re looking at a lifelong commitment. When he is at the stage where he can present me with a ring without having to raid his bank account – who knows? That might be as soon as a year, or it could be much longer – then I’ll be ready to say yes.