On love, marriage, and fate

love marriage and fate<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.

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12 thoughts on “On love, marriage, and fate

  • Reply Revanche August 22, 2010 at 15:17

    It’s funny, isn’t it, how it comes down to one seemingly insignificant choice that has the power to influence several years or more of your life?

    PiC and I shared the same dynamic for a long while – he was ready to get married and I couldn’t handle the idea of weddings which is what I equated with the idea of marriage. I’ve let go of the idea that the wedding is so necessary since I’m trying to let go of the overwhelming sense of duty to familial tradition (he hasn’t) but now that I’ve moved in, it’s definitely changed. He’s happy enough to stop pushing for marriage and I’m happy enough to be ok with marriage. *shrug* It’ll happen when it happens, I suppose. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Nicole @The Penny Frugalista August 22, 2010 at 17:23

    Your journey to coupledom sounds exactly like mine and my husbands — we were of two different cliques in school and would never have spoken to each other. When I met him 7 years later, I turned him down for a few months before finally ‘giving in.’ While we both had similar ideas about how the relationship would progress (and we were older, in our late 20s), you have to do what feels right to you. if it means waiting, then hopefully he will wait with you. =)

  • Reply Stephanie August 22, 2010 at 17:55

    I’ll admit, I get a little tired of seeing the facebook updates: So and so is engaged, or married. And I kept feeling like I was the only pf blogger left that wasn’t engaged or married! So it’s good we can band together πŸ™‚

    I waver between wanting marriage really badly and shuddering at the idea of it. Either way, I’m not really keen on how much money a wedding is supposed to cost. Attending or even seeing pictures of weddings, I don’t understand where people come up with all the money to have these extravagant affairs.

    I agree that there are lots of financial/grownup issues to deal with in marriage. My boyfriend and I already live together, but with other roommates as well, so we’re not really living together in the typical “living in sin” style πŸ˜› We share a lot of our expenses (rent/utitlities/etc. because we’re roommates, grocery and dining out/entertainment costs because we’re a couple). Still, we don’t have any joint accounts or anything. Also, the bf currently is unemployed (though he’s looking!) and so that’s not the most appealing when you’re thinking of getting married (wouldn’t really want to spend excess of usual expenses, meaning rings, weddings are out) and I like the idea of marrying someone gainfully employed…it has a lot more promise in it.

    Anyway, with your last sentence…I would say yes. But he’d have to ask. πŸ˜›

  • Reply Amanda August 23, 2010 at 01:28

    Wow, that’s huge. I completely agree with what you said in terms of needing to be stable before setting off towards the sunset and getting married though. I don’t know why – well i do, in theory – but there are so many reasons why I disagree with people who think that as long as they’re very in love and feel “right” that they should get married right away. I say, be happy, secure adults first then drown yourself in more bills and dirty diapers. Plus, weddings are supposed to be special – it’s a better idea to be in a better situation financially so you don’t have to compromise how you envision your “big day” to be due to budgets, etc.

    Good call though. 22 is only 3 years older than me. I can tell you i will hands down be at least 25 before contemplating marriage. Hell, I’ve never even dated anyone for a year…

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair August 23, 2010 at 04:48

    I wrote a post about this once and not very many people liked it because I said I don’t believe in Fate, I believe in Coincidences. However, I guess you could consider fate and coincidences to be one and the same.

    Lately I’ve been thinking about marriage A LOT. I don’t know why, I’m only 21 (almost 22) so super young. I need to get it out of my head because it’s not happening, and I don’t want it to happen, for a couple of years yet!

  • Reply gem August 23, 2010 at 06:28

    Oh I’m totally with you that marriage should come after financial stability has been assured. My friend from high school is getting married within a year though, and she is already financially stable. Not in the sense of they’re set for life, but he has a great job and they live in a house that they’re confidently paying the mortgage on… it scares the bejeezus out of me! Why am I nowhere near that???

    I guess we all have to do things at our own rate though, right? *deep breath* It’ll happen in it’s own time.

  • Reply Kara August 23, 2010 at 07:06

    I think that reaching adulthood can come in many different ways, not just by getting married, especially with so many people breaking the traditional “Engagement, Marriage, House, Kids” order of operations. Everything costs money, and I think you just have to prioritize what you want to come first. For Kyle and I, it was a house. Sure, we could have got married first, but then we couldn’t afford a house.

  • Reply The Non-Student August 23, 2010 at 14:20

    It’s all about timing. No reason to rush into things.

  • Reply slamdunk August 23, 2010 at 16:10

    You are wise in not wanting to get married too soon. If the situation is right it will happen.

    The Mrs. wanted me to ask her much sooner than I did–we always laugh about those days.

  • Reply Airam August 24, 2010 at 17:24

    I like this.
    And agree with your view on fate. To me life is like a movie…it all works out in the end as it’s meant to, but it’s still your responsibility to decide how you’ll act/ what choices you’ll make until them.

  • Reply Tell Me Tuesday August 25, 2010 at 03:28

    […] On Love, Marriage and Fate (Musings of an Abstract Aucklander) […]

  • Reply Aspiring Minimalist August 25, 2010 at 14:02

    Great points!

    I agree that both parties should be established adults with a handle on their lives (including money) before getting married. Getting married is much more than about being in love, it’s about a partnership – supporting one another through everything for the rest of your lives. That’s a huge commitment. Not to mention you are young, and now is the best time to enjoy your life as carefree adults πŸ™‚

    On the other hand, if I were to get married one day, I am torn on whether I want a wedding or not. At first it was a firm “no” with all the crazy time planning/organizing/ etc that I would dread (I am so not a hostess!). Then, there was the part about family, and having them there when we declare our commitment to one another.

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