One of my best friends from college recently got engaged to one of my other best friends from college. (Yay!) They’ve been together much longer than The Honey and I have been, and one night chitchatting about long-term relationships and marriage got me thinking. Aside from that legal piece of paper, is there really a difference between live-in significant other and a spouse?
This is how I feel about the subject.
The Honey and I were together for almost 4 years before we got married, and had been living together for a couple of those 4 years. Technically, nothing in our daily lives really changed after our vows were swapped, we already knew exactly what we were getting into, no surprises. But what did surprise me was that in reality, that little piece of paper changed EVERYTHING for me.
He was no longer “that guy I’m dating,” but “my family,” and family is forever. Prior to our marriage, every time we had a disagreement, in the back of my mind I knew I had an out if I wanted one. I let the little things bug me, I gave up on us a lot easier. I could leave him, I had other options, etc.
However, after we signed those papers, put on those rings, something happened where I knew I would never want an out. This was the real deal. I felt calm, secure, and at peace. I let the little things slide cause they didn’t matter anymore. For instance, there were things I put my foot down on, things he disliked but I refused to give up, not because these things were really important to me, but rather out of principle. “I will not allow you to tell me what I can or cannot do.” But now, I feel if it bothers him and it’s not a big deal to me, then why be adamant and cause rifts. Doesn’t mean I’m gonna be a pushover, just means that ‘compromise’ is now one of the most important words in my dictionary.
So marriage did change things for me, emotionally. Our strong relationship grew so much stronger, and my priorities grew to encompass him into it, and I know he feels the same way. We had signed up for this team, it will forever be he and I against the world.
Now that our first child is a mere days away from joining our family, something even stronger switched in me. Weirdly, I’m beginning to understand the works of nature, why the mama bear will rip you to shreds if she feels you are a threat to her cubs. Because that’s how I feel now…the mama bear mentality. I feel the fire in me that will fiercely protect my family, and if you pose a threat to us in any way, I too, will do everything in my power to rip you to shreds.
Things are sort of happening really fast and all at once over here in my world. But it’s good…it’s all good.
This is the most accurate portrayal of woman vs man I’ve read in a long time.
So it’s not just me. Phew 🙂
I saw this list on msn.com written by Erin Meanley, a Glamour dating blogger.
Though I’m not single, I think there are some things that still apply to women in relationships…check out the bold face.
1. Every woman could use one compliment a day.
2. We’d rather you didn’t say, “I’ll call you” if you really mean “goodbye.” Just don’t say anything — we won’t think you’re a jerk as we part ways for the night. And you know the saying that goes, “It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver?” How about, just don’t promise anything and don’t deliver anything.
3. Most of us are not crazy or psycho. We can be emotional and hormonal.
4. If we catch you glancing at our chest wn you’re a foot away, we’ll think you’re rude and have no willpower. You can look, but from a distance.
5. Even the most confident among us can act needy and insecure at times. It happens when you start pullingaway and we’re not aware that that’s what you’re doing, only that you’re acting funny. But oh, you should see how cool and independent most of us are when we’re not daing someone.
6. Feminine hygiene commercials are silly, but don’t complain about having to watch them. Try having to use them — for several days each month, I mean — for most of your life. When you complain, it makes you look insensitive. And weak. We have no sympathy.
7. Please don’t yell when you think we’re driving poorly, especially if we’re from the west coast and we’ve never seen a rotary before. Just give us advice, help, or moral support.
8. If you text, “Hows ur week goin?” we can either reply “good” and risk sounding curt (see #16) or we can send you a 400-word document. Don’t put us in this position. Just don’t text open ended questions.
9. Texting a girl twice a week does not count as staying in contact. It’s meaningless and a wasted of everyone’s time. Let her go.
10. Booty texts: weak.
11. If you’re a mama’s boy and you’re looking for a wife, think about it: what woman wants to be #2? Consider setting boundaries and work on establishing some independence. You and your mom can have a loving relationship without being co-dependent.
12. After you do something bad, it would be so much better if you called us right away to apologize. You think it’s best to wait a few days while we vool off, but what’s cooling off is our feelings for you. Man up. The sooner the better.
13. The reason we’re up in your grill about what time you’re coming over, and the reason we’re so good at communicating our own whereabouts, is that since the beginning of time our parents were making us report back to them about where we were and when we’d be home.
14. High heels really hurt.
15. Teasing won’t bait us. Attempting to wear us down is annoying.
16. 5-word emails seem cranky. Efficient, yes. Loving, no. Greet. Ask questions. Elaborate where possible.
17. If we say we’re babysitting for a friend, we did not say we want to have a baby now and that we want you to be the dad. “I’m babysitting” simply means, “I’m busy being a good friend.” You are paranoid and it’s embarrassing.
18. Stop talking about marrying us until you actually give us a ring.
19. Please be aware of how serious and in love you sound. Just say, “I like you,” not, “Let’s fly to Miami next month.” (I thought guys were supposed to be direct.) Sure, it sounds cooler (and less vulnerable) to talk a big game about Miami, but com next month, you won’t remember saying anything about Miami.
20. If a girl has pretty eyes, she has probably heard men tell her that five thousands times. It’s fine to repeat the compliment, but you’ll make a much bigger impression if you find something else to compliment.
21. As far as having children goes, you have the luxury of time. Appreciate it.
22. Taking us for granted is probably the worst thing you could do after cheating and lying. Since woman are very good at appreciating each other, your behavior looks kinda selfish to us.
23. The word is “cherish.” Do you cheish her?
I met BF at a bar. Yes, a BAR. At Tonic, no less. Talk about taboo! If you live in NYC, you’ll know that Tonic is not where a girl goes to meet potential boyfriends, never mind “The One.” It’s where a girl goes to get picked up, or when she’s dragged by her girlfrinds who are looking to get picked up and she’s left by herself bored out of her mind and feeling completely out of place (which was what was happening to me that night of nights).
In my years of bar-hopping and girls’ nights out, I’ve learned that you can;t go out with the intension of meeting a guy. They can somehow smell your desperation and then the only ones you’ll attract are the riffraff. Which I guess is why, when I least expected it, and definitely where I least expected it, I met BF.
Our meeting circumstances were a bit different. First of all, I hit on him. He too, was dragged there reluctantly by friends “who needed a drink” and though he had already noticed me, he was not the type to approach random girls. Good thing I took the initiative. Second, he had JUST moved to New York, not yet tainted by the “always looking for the next best thing” culture that has jaded even the most romantic. He seemed genuine and that tickled my fancy. Yes girls, it can happen.
To be honest, though I was mezmerized by his stunning blue eyes, intrigued by his shy awkwardness, and probably beer-goggled by all the Blue Moons and Jack on the Rocks I ordered him to get me, I still did not think of him as a potential boyfriend. He was just starting dental school, and though his friends made fun of him for dropping “the dentist card,” I actually found that to be a turn-off. Sure, he may be a dentist one day, but what are the chances of me still being with a guy I met at Tonic in FOUR YEARS? Also, I hate dentists with a passion. (Another time, another story.)
But for the time being, I saw him as a cute guy I could have fun with. Just to make sure we were on the same page, I even went so far as to tell him on our first official date that I am not a relationship person, never have been, and wasn’t looking to start one anytime soon. I was terrified of being emotionally intimate, and in order to keep my vow of never letting a man hurt me, I’ve always mentally kept them at an arm’s distance from my heart.
He, however, was either not listening, or did not view this as a road block. Without stopping to look both ways, he barged his way into my life and basically said, “Listen, dodo, when you see something good, don’t let your cowardliness and insecurities ruin it for you.” Out loud he said, “I work really hard for what I want and I don’t stop til I get it,” while my inner self snorted at his arrogance and thought, “Welcome to New York! Good luck getting me to settle down.”
Luck he did not need. In the days and weeks to come, his persistence and his sincerity, and his willingness to look the other way when I was typical New York wishy-washy wore me down and I started thinking, “Ok, what is his deal?”
Having only been in New York for a few months, and living off student loans, he didn’t have the same bank account or connections as most of the douchebags guys I was used to dating, but our dates were hands-down the most romantic and thoughtful ones I’ve ever been on. He wooed me, and in the fast-food-relationship world that is New York City, how many girls are lucky enough to experience an old-fashioned courtship?
I started to confide in him, to share with him insecurities, goals, and secrets both good and bad. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was beginning to trust him, or if I was just trying to repel him. Look, I’m not perfect. You better leave now before you figure this out on your own. But you know what? He didn’t run away, and my wall cracked, little by little.
Then, on the night of July 15, 2008, after an amazing dinner at Blue Water Grill, I clutched the 2 overpriced roses he bought of a con street vendor, we walked hand in hand along Pier 1 to view Olafur Eliasson’s waterfalls falling off the Brooklyn Bridge, and I thought to myself, “Heart, what is happening?”
That is the night of Roses and Waterfalls, the night we later coined our anniversary date, and that is the night, for the first time ever, I finally let go and let love creep in.
I’m about a week late posting this, but Happy 2 Year Anniversary, baby.