Mr. Fantastic is at choir practice, so it’s my first evening alone as a married woman. It feels strange, but also very familiar. It was even nice until fifteen minutes in, when I heard a mouse (or, you know … something!). I’m glad I already had my drink, because I’m not leaving the couch anytime soon.
Anyway, I had decided that I would use this “free” evening to write a blog, but hadn’t (still haven’t) decided on a subject yet. WordPress tells me it’s my sixth anniversary on this site and I started browsing my old posts. My first blog ever was almost ten years ago (on a different website) and I had just discovered my mother was pregnant with Knight. How time flies …
It seems fitting that I’m reflecting on the past today. My life has changed so much over the last ten years. And not in the least the last few months. And I have changed too. Looking back at the posts I wrote when I was in my early twenties, I’m grateful for the changes that happened to me and proud of the changes I accomplished in my life. And now that I’m married (hey, for over two weeks, so I know what I’m talking about), I finally feel I can say that 90 % of the advice about dating and relationships (pre-marriage) is utter rubbish. There, I’ve said it. So, for your enjoyment: five pieces of advice that can go straight into the bin.
— 1 —
Get married! (or its variations: don’t get married / get married young / don’t get married young)
If and when (an with whom, obviously) you get married is something so personal no one can really say anything about it at all. Yes, sure, there are statistics, lots of statistics. But the fact that 40 % of marriages end in divorce or that people who marry later are 31 % happier (totally made those number up) doesn’t say anything about your specific relationship. And even if each and every one of your friends is married or it is ‘expected’ in your community to get married right after college, that’s no reason to get married.
My advice? Reflect on your own life! What are you called to in life? What do you want from life? And if you are religious, pray about it!
— 2 —
Don’t be too picky!
Oh, puh-lease. Even if I wanted to count the times people told me this, I couldn’t have. If you think you’ll die if you aren’t married, go ahead and marry a guy you picked randomly. If you think it might make a difference whom you marry, please spend some time reflecting about what’s important to you in a husband and in a marriage. Yes, it might take a while before you find a partner and get married. In my case, it took over ten years, but am I glad I was picky! Mr. Fantastic is amazing and he’s the perfect man for me. I wouldn’t settle for anything less.
My advice? Spend time discovering who you are and deciding what is important to you in a relationship. Don’t settle on the important stuff.
— 3 —
“Huh, didn’t you just say yourself that we should be picky and shouldn’t settle?” Yes, yes, I know, be picky and don’t settle on the important stuff. But, please, do settle on the small stuff. This can be a bit tricky, because it’s hard to define what’s important. Once again, this is really personal. For instance, food preference isn’t really important for me, but if you’re a dietist and your partner is all about fastfood all the time, it might be a dealbreaker.
Once again: spend time discovering who you are and deciding what is important to you in a relationship.
— 4 —
It’s not you!
Okay, so maybe this isn’t technically a piece of advice and some of you might stagger at this, but hear me out! I’m not saying you’re not good enough if you’re unintentionally single, but single or in a relationship, you are you. And it sure won’t hurt at all if you work on yourself. Should you start dressing differently, lose weight or get exciting hobbies? If you’d like to, why not. But that’s not what I meant. What’s really important is that you become yourself, because you want people to see who you are (and if you don’t want people to see who you are, you might want to work on that first). And no matter how wonderful life has been, we’ve all been hurt and we’re all formed by our past. I’ve yet to encounter someone who’s ‘finished’. We’re all a work in progress, so get to work.
My advice (that’s getting boring): spend time discovering who you are and start growing.
— 5 —
You’ll find him when you stop looking! (or any “you should … and then you’ll find him” advice)
Ha ha ha. This advice shouldn’t go in the bin, it should be shredded and then ritually burned before launching the ashes into outer space.
My advice? There is no magic trick to “finding” Mr. Right. Okay? It’ll happen when it happens (if it happens, but that’s another topic).