Boy meets girl.
Boy and girl fall in love.
Boy proposes to girl.
Girl says yes.
……. then what?
It's a common story with different variations; some boy(s) / girl(s) - depending on preference but the underlying theme remains: PROGRESSION. Within every relationship, the need for progression exists. What actual progression consists of, I wouldn't know - well, I wouldn't be able to define it for you. It's subjective, at least in my opinion. What one would view as progression, another may not acknowledge at all - who's to judge what's acceptable?
Hm, the simplest example I can think of is the use of titles. At one point a couple goes from just talking/dating/seeing each-other to a "couple" - calling someone your boy/girlfriend or husband/wife somehow solidifies things or it's supposed to.
Preface: In NO way was that last sentence meant to be facetious; you'll see where I'm going with this. I promise.
Countless moments in my life have been unnecessarily consumed by defining my title, my social status... I wanted something palpable to show people the progression I was making in my relationship & by extension, my life.
I used to think:
"When I get (this), I'll be happy."
"Once I get promoted, I'll be fine."
"Once I'm married, we'll be happier."
"All we need is a house & we'll be able to build our home."
I have aspirations for the relationships I'm involved in, for my career, for self-betterment, for life in general - I always have and I always will but I see now that my rationale was slightly flawed; I say slightly, simply because I allowed materialism to dictate my progression. What people thought of me mattered more than how I felt about myself. I rationalized that if people perceived my life to be good, it must be good. I moved through each relationship stage seamlessly but I ultimately failed to reassess our stability. People are constantly growing, changing in every-which-way. We both grew into adults that only shared a timeframe with one another – we shared no values, no interests, we shared no common goals. Growing/changing was an unknown variable that I didn't account for. At this point you're thinking, Christine - life isn't a formula. To that, I say yeah I know, NOW I know. It's such a naïve, elementary concept but I honestly thought I was setting up these fundamental blocks filled with random objects and social standings that would somehow transpire into my happiness.
With a lot of time, patience and self-forgiveness, it's easy to see that it was completely natural that I wanted to commit to one man, to call him my boyfriend, to want to get married, to get married in order to devote myself to him BUT all those things are secondary to loving genuinely & wholeheartedly.
Instead of loving to warrant a reaction, we should love to simply love. When you love genuinely - it's unbiased, selfless, it's loving someone through their flaws. It's an infinite loop, if you really think about it. We'll give all that we can, we love as best we know how and in return, they'll reciprocate - they'll love you the way you want to be loved. In my case, I know that the commitment will come, marriage is likely to happen (hopefully) and a home will eventually be built but it'll be on our terms. Our progression is ours to define. Remember - so is yours, don't allow anyone/anything to make you ever feel differently.
About our author: Christine is a positive outlet for those who surround her. An activist for equality for EVERY circumstance, she believes that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. When she's not training, working or writing, she's usually thinking of pizza 🍕 (this is why we love Christine!)
*Follow Christine's blog at: A Blueberry Girl