hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Short Term is Long Term (Quasi Deep Thoughts from HP)

I've noticed this tendency among women who are unmarried but who hope someday to be married to not want to become involved in relationships with guys that may not last a particularly long time. Perhaps due to general incompatibility issues like faith, or logistical issues like location, or a myriad of others, some relationships simply aren't built to last. But is the knowledge that something is due to end a reason to not pursue it? Our culture puts such a high premium on marriage and long-term commitment that I think it often blinds us to other possibilities.

I tend to think that fate introduces you to certain people at certain times for a reason and that every human relationship is an opportunity to enrich your world view, learn something new, or simply have fun. Yes, it can be painful to grow attach to something that you may have to let go of, but that pain shouldn't (in my opinion) be a reason to avoid the experience of the good. Life is painful. Deal with it. Fear of it shouldn't prevent you from experiencing another person in such a way that you may actually grow as an individual.

Marriage is not the be-all and end-all that our culture makes it out to be. Nor should it be used as a yardstick for personal progress. And just because you aren't on a marriage track doesn't mean you're "behind" or "ahead" of those who are. Just do your own thing and stop comparing yourself to others and to cultural institutions that don't fit your specific contexts.

If someone rolls across your path who intrigues you, take a closer look. You never know what you might get out of it.

*stepping down from soap box and back into my slippers now*


Blogger Pagan Marbury said...

I wholeheartedly agree. You should choose men who excite you, complement your life, teach you and learn from you. Different people bring things in and out of your life. I've never regretted any relationship (well, maybe my behavior during some early ones) because they all built on each other until I met the one.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Irish Red said...

Abso-frecking-lutely! Marriage is NOT the finish line of your life. I particularly enjoyed the "yardstick for personal progress" metaphore.



10:18 PM  
Blogger Michael J. West said...

Marriage is not the be-all and end-all

Marrying Erin Shannon is.

11:52 PM  
Blogger "Write this in your book..." said...

Excuse me, but I’m going to need to borrow your soapbox for a quick comment.

"Perhaps due to general incompatibility issues like faith, or logistical issues like location, or a myriad of others, some relationships simply aren't built to last. But is the knowledge that something is due to end a reason to not pursue it?"

Those are absolutely sound reasons not to pursue a relationship. In my very early 20s, I was in a relationship that I knew from the beginning would end because of serious compatibility issues. His family couldn’t / wouldn’t accept me for cultural and religious reasons. He never wanted to marry nor have children. I did. We had different aspirations. Still, I said to hell with it and decided to enjoy the ride with this witty, charming, and generally wonderful man... for 5 years! I was terribly in love with him and when the relationship dissolved, I was broken for a good, long while. It took me several years before I had even the slightest interest in any other man. Was my life enriched for having known him? Did I experience "personal growth" as a result of the relationship? Did I come to know myself better and figure out what was best for me in part, because of the relationship? Yes. Yes. And, yes. But had I been more practical in the beginning and not gotten involved, I would have inevitably dated others during that time. Those relationships may or may not have developed into something serious. Who knows, (and at this point, it doesn’t really matter,) but at least I wouldn’t have set myself up for certain pain if the relationship had blossomed into something more than a fun person to casually date. I am not a masochist; I prefer to minimize the pain in my life if possible.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

1.) Pagan, welcome. I'm a fan.
2.) Red, check and check.
3.) MJW, hee. I figured the about-to-be-hitched would have a different view on the matter.
4.) Write this, welcome, the soap box is plenty big for both of us. While I'm sorry to hear about your experience, I guess this a matter of "to each their own." Like Pagan, I have never regretted any of my relationships. Even with the ones who have turned out to be less than stellar individuals. You live and learn and for that I am grateful, but it certainly isn't for everyone.

3:25 PM  
Blogger EclecticBlue said...

I think I'd like to print this out and send it to my mom. That whole "yardstick of personal progress" thing. Yeah. Great post ...

8:37 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

EB--Be my guest! (and btw, welcome)

2:47 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

Hey Pretty--I completely agree with you. I don't conciously try to avoid relationships that don't seem as if they are heading towards long-term, but I do find myself being very hard on them, and (sometimes) rather hastily dismissing people or situations if I think they won't 'become' something else.

In fact, I was just having this very talk w/myself last night..and wondering if, in my searches for someone, I am not failing to see anyone??

Great post. =-) Thanks for stopping by...

2:55 PM  

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