Titanic: Yet Another Influence on My Early Views of Love

April 19, 2012 at 7:41 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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"I'll never let go, Jack!"

I was just 14 years old when Titanic came out.  It was at this age that my crushes started turning into what I called “relationships.”  I went out with a few boys for 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and it would end. Somehow the “relationships” would end and I’d be chasing the next guy.

And somewhere in that time Titanic came out.  Somewhere during that time I longed for the love that I saw in the movies.  I remember saying once to a friend and her man of the minute, in my teenage angst, “I can’t be around ‘happy couples,’”  — my longing for a “love” of my own clouding my mind.

In seeing Titanic again, I am reminded of a portrayal of love that truly affected my innocent mind.  Love was this passionate thing that happened so quickly, a chemistry that perhaps was scary or forbidden, a desperation to never be apart.  I’d listen to cheesy love songs (ok, still do sometimes) while talking to “love interests” on the phone — and think that love was this undying thing and that the strong feelings of desire last forever. In retrospect, it would probably be exhausting and quite distracting to have those kind of emotions at the forefront all the time!

What it sounds like to me, now 15 years later, is the feeling you get at the start of a relationship, the “honeymoon phase,” or during a summer fling.  All you want to do is stare at the stars, look deep into each others’ eyes and hold each other.  It’s the feeling you get when you are just getting to know a person, and he/she seems so perfect and there is hope that this feeling could last forever.  It’s before you start falling into the routine of each other’s lives, before you begin the steps of becoming an item and becoming partners.  It’s before you know each other’s habits and secrets.  It’s the phase where your interest isn’t quite human just yet, but a dream covered in flesh.

So now, 15 years later, I still hold on to this idea of love, but of course I know that love is much more than passion and chemistry and cheesy one liners.  Love takes work to keep this feeling going.  Love takes commitment and understanding, compassion and forgiveness, compromise.  Love takes friendship.

But I guess a 14 year old has got to learn the hard way.

The Mrs.-to be!

May 31, 2011 at 7:33 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 12 Comments
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It’s true — I am engaged, and I couldn’t be happier!  It does seem like just yesterday that I was reflecting on my brother’s marriage and was unsure of when I wanted to tie the knot, but at some point during the past year my position changed dramatically.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have no patience, so once it was made up in my mind that I did want to marry my live-in boyfriend, I couldn’t wait for him to propose. I like to say it was “When Harry Met Sally” syndrome — once you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.  But, in following tradition, I had to wait for him to propose.  It was frustrating at times but I knew he was trying to surprise me, and surprise me he did.

He knew that if he took me to a fancy dinner or did anything out of the ordinary, I would know he was up to something, so he kept it sweet and simple — one night while watching TV at home, he came out of the bedroom with a platter of cupcakes and the ring.  I was completely shocked but so happy (and yea, I freakin’ love cupcakes).  It was interesting timing though because I had to get the ring sized and I had a crazy busy time at work and some travel coming up, so we kept the engagement under wraps until I had the ring successfully on my finger.  I was bursting at the seams.

So now that I have the ring, I can officially say that I feel incredibly lucky and blessed.  Six years of friendship, 3 and a half years being a couple, and nearly 1 year of domestic partnership, I can truly say that I am marrying my best friend, the love of my life.  I am looking forward to the big day, the pre-wedding festivities, and of course, the marriage.

And now for a few promises to my readers.  Though I am sure I will be sharing a lot of information about my upcoming nuptials, this will not turn into a wedding blog.  I know that life outside of planning a wedding will continue, and I plan to continue writing this blog following the idea it was built on — my journey to age thirty.

And a promise to my friends, family, and fiancee — I will not be a bridezilla.  I know that “my day” will be “my day” but there are others that have a stake in it, and I want everyone to have a good time.  My fiancee and I are funding this wedding all by ourselves, so we will have to get creative to make this day special.  But I know it will all be worth it to be able to call him my husband and celebrate with all of those we love.

The Osmond Effect

May 17, 2011 at 7:27 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be inspired by an Osmond story, but the news of Marie remarrying her first husband has got me wondering why it is that we live in a world where half of marriages fail?

I’m a romantic at heart, and while I know many couples say this, I’m still going to say it.  I only plan to get married once.  I don’t plan on getting divorced.  But as I watch more and more of the people I grew up with getting hitched, I know that down the road the statistics will likely sadly remain true.

Because people give up on marriage way too quickly.  At least, that’s what I think.  I think it’s true that you can make the mistake of getting married too soon or too young, but I feel like most marriages end because they are just too hard.  Relationships are hard! They take a lot of work and understanding, compromise and compassion.  No one should ever have to go 26 years and realize that they were right all along.  Their first love, who they left a lifetime ago, really was “the one”.

Life can get in the way and cloud your vision, and sometimes it may be hard to bring yourself back to the place where everything was roses, but you have to put up a fair fight.

When I was in middle school, my best friend (at the time) and I came up with ten rules for dating.  I don’t remember them all offhand (if I ever find the pocket size printouts we made for our wallets, I will totally post them), but the one that I do remember may be one of the most important.  Here goes: When considering getting back together with an ex, think about why he’s an ex.

Smart teenager huh?  Of course this was referring to silly 2 week “relationships,” in which the guy was likely a jerk, maybe didn’t even talk to you, and wanted to get back to you in his annual rotation.  But it rings true to me in different ways today.  But it’s a question that should be asked before you break up a marriage or any relationship.  Why do you really want this to be over?  Is it really not working, or are you just giving up because it’s too hard?

And sometimes the answer is that it isn’t working, but if you were so confident at one point to go through the process of getting married to this person, there has to be a strong reason why, after all that, that it’s not working?

I hope to live long enough to see the sanctity of marriage returned to its former stature.  And perhaps opening marriage up to all couples in love will make couples who traditionally have had the right to get married think twice about giving up on love.

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