Everyone goes through the year of the wedding. When all of a sudden, your young professional social calendar is full of showers and nuptials and happily ever afters. I’ve heard many of you out there fretting. Tis the season!
If you’re single, you worry about whom to take as your plus one to such a “heavy” event. Whether to call in that solid I.O.U, or go it alone. It’s the kind of thing you can’t blindside a flavour of the week with.
If you’re coupled, you worry whether this will push your relationship into uncomfortable territory. If the heightened emotionality will make you scrutinize how close you are to nearing the altar together…or worse, realize that you’re not even close (and probably shouldn’t be waltzing in that direction).
What makes someone decide to get married – let alone engaged? In a time when an engagement can substitute going steady, I’ve noticed relationships in my network not even get close to a church, chuppah, or mandap. Because we’re successful and career-oriented young professionals, perhaps we feel the need to lock something in, regardless of whether it’s the right fit or not. Or, you have the polar opposite scenario of a serial best-man bachelor buddy who is dumb as a doornail. Oddly enough, both trying to keep their beds warm.
Whatever the case may be, as I was watching a fabulous couple tie the knot at a kick ass Indian ceremony this weekend…I found myself wondering how they got from dating to “forever.” Because, clearly, their method worked.
Throughout the toasts, whether it was parents, friends, or siblings speaking, one thing that became abundantly clear is the blessing of having a significant other who is your best friend. Shared interests or a common path in life may have brought you together in the first place, but that bond has to be further cemented as you share secrets and wishes during courtship stages. It could be a Khloe and Lamar whirlwind romance, or a high school sweetheart steady burn. Either way, attraction develops into more as you recognize the value your significant other drives. Sorry – that sounds like an MBA Barbie moment.
It’s difficult to sift through the young professional hustle and see when an exceptional person has appeared before you. It’s scary! We get so caught up asking friends for advice, or forcing ourselves to play the field, that it becomes increasingly difficult to develop genuine bff closeness with another person, or to cease and desist the games. Yet, this phenomenon is also one of the most uncontrollable and natural flows, if we’re so inclined to just go with it.
As I intently listened to the toasts to one of my favourite couples, I really started to appreciate the simplicity of meeting someone who knows you. Or rather, someone who just wants to know you more. To cause a drop of the frosty guard we’re all too good at fronting. My ice princess heart started thawing as I heard about how easy and normal it was for these two individuals to find reciprocal parts.
Poll any happily married couple about how their relationship bloomed, and they’ll likely say something to the effect of “it just happened.” Without thought or calculation, they just found themselves spending time together and sharing parts of their lives. They just wanted to hang and make out. And that childlike sense of play logically infuses a relationship with the healthy foundation to want to build a future together, to keep being happy. I remember once asking a good friend of mine, after the birth of her first child (and several years of marriage); how she knew that her husband was “the one.” How she knew she wouldn’t commit murder after marrying him. (I know, I’m such a ray of sunshine). She looked at me a little confused, “I don’t remember ever really deciding. It just seemed so obvious once we started talking.”
So go out and try having that unguarded conversation. Maybe you’re about to start getting to know your new best friend.