It’s 4:00 am and I’m having trouble sleeping. I look to my left and my husband is knocked out cold, I hear the sound of the heater and the rattle of the wind. I’m thinking about next week, our singles mixer, and trying to picture the event in my mind.
What will people expect? Since I was able to feature a ton of women, will that attract some men to come out? What kind of music will they play that night?
I hope that the singles mix and mingle is worth it. If nothing else, I hope that new networks and friendships begin. I hope the attendees recognize that this is their time to meet new people while celebrating their singleness.
I’m thinking about all of the comments I’ve received from singles saying, “Y’all are goals,” “I can’t wait to get married,” or “I’m tired of being single.” I’m thinking that I need to make sure they know the truth.
Marriage is definitely worthwhile and I’m grateful for mine. However, the truth is marriage isn’t glamorous. It is not a prize or an accomplishment. It’s literally a commitment to love someone in spite of differences, flaws, and broken promises. It is accepting someone as they are even when they don’t deserve it.
The best advice I can give a person wishing to no longer be single is to love yourself and recognize your value. Because marriage is work, and everyone’s relationship is different.
That’s what being single is all about, right? It is the best practice for marriage. It is being committed to yourself, learning from mistakes, forgiving yourself, healing, and growth. I mean, if you are unable to love yourself fully, how can you honestly love someone else, right? Perhaps, but that’s easier said than done.
If you get nothing else from this 4:00 am rant, please understand that your future partner isn’t going to rescue you from yourself. The same struggles, fears, and anxieties you had before you got married will resurface.
The only difference is you have someone witnessing it all. Hopefully that person is encouraging you, helping you get through your issues, and instructing you to get expert assistance when needed.
So when people say, “couple goals” or “relationship goals,” I’m going to continue to respond “nobody’s relationship should be your relationship goals.” It’s not a jab at my marriage because I think I have a great one; but, it’s an honest response to a compliment that no one deserves.
Until then, love yourself and love one another. I hope to see you at Minerva next week.
This weekend marks our five year wedding anniversary and it is hard to believe all that we’ve accomplished over these last few years. From raising our children while enrolled in doctoral programs to participating in a number of community service events — outsiders want to know about our marriage and how we are able to juggle everything. The short answer is, it’s a team effort.
Admittedly, it took time for us to work at becoming in sync to work as a team. We have had issues and have had a number of tough conversations about how we want our marriage to be, why we got married in the first place, and even if our marriage is going in the right direction.
Ultimately, we have learned that marriage is much like a plant seed. It needs fertile soil, indirect sunlight, adequate rain, protection from bugs and disease, and pruning to bloom. I’d like to put emphasis on the protection and pruning. I could write a biblical sermon about the parallels between marriage and plants. I’m going to flush that out in another post before I lose track of the 10 things I wish for my marriage.
Throughout our relationship, I’ve grown much more in love with myself, Kerwin, and our family. From friends, to lovers, then newlyweds to now, our marriage has been truly transformative and the longer we are together the more proud I am of what we’ve accomplished.
As I reflect on the success of the last five years, I’ve compiled a wishlist of what I’d like for us to continue as we spend our lives together.
10. Keep our stock up.
As Kerwin accomplishes goals – education, fitness, and career, I want to accomplish mine. My wish is that we continue to encourage each other to accomplish goals. I’m grateful that we are both willing and able to make sacrifices for one another so that we keep our stock up.
9. Share our relationships.
We have a number of relationships outside of our marriage — work colleagues, church members, classmates, that we share. My wish is that we continue to share our relationships with each other, that we continue to trust each other, and that we remain selective with the company we keep.
8. Give and take honest advice.
This one is hard to write but appropriate for this list. During the earlier stages of our marriage, it wasn’t easy taking or giving advice to each other because we were successful at being single. We didn’t truly value the advice that the other person had to offer. Now we listen and are open to loving critique. We are much stronger and trusting of each other. My wish is that we continue to share with each other and talk with each other first before seeking the opinions of others.
7. Laugh a lot.
Kerwin is the funniest man I’ve ever met. He keeps me laughing. We truly have a good time together. Sometimes I can get him to laugh too. I appreciate that he knows how to lift my spirits and have a good time. My wish is that we continue to bring joy to our marriage and laugh a lot.
6. Remain spontaneous.
I do not enjoy routine. I get bored easily. If given the option I’d rather watch a tv show instead of a movie because I prefer the commercials. I love the spontaneity of our relationship. When I get off work, I enjoy when we have an unplanned event to attend, or Kerwin is able to come home early. My wish is that our marriage remain spontaneous and fun.
5. Be accessible.
We are accessible to each other. We are first in each other’s lives. When I need him I expect him to help me and he feels the same way. There is something special about being in a healthy relationship with someone who wants to be there for you, a true helpmate. My wish is we never ignore the other and that we continue to be accessible to each other.
4. Create romance.
I used to think that romance was dating, gifts, and soft music. Now, romance is putting gas in my car, washing the dishes, doing laundry, or giving me some time away from the kids. His idea of romance hasn’t changed and I make sure to do those things for him. My wish is that we continue to share what romance is and then provide that experience for each other.
3. Meet in the middle.
There are things that I like to do that Kerwin doesn’t like to do and vice versa. During the early stages, we had to learn how to meet in the middle. We learned how to spend time together while engaged in different activities. We do this when Kerwin is watching a movie and I’m reading or when I’m in a Barre class while he is playing basketball. My wish is that we continue to meet in the middle with our activities.
2. Be forgiving.
Not one time, not two times, but many times, I want us to remain forgiving. We’ve done something hurtful, did something out of character, or just got on each other’s nerves before but it’s all been forgivable. My wish is that we continue to have a short memory of faults and remain forgiving of one another.
1. Love each other anyway.
My top wishlist item is for us to just love anyway. I am who I am and I’m glad that he is still here. He is who he is and I love it. Sometimes I’m in a great mood, sometimes I don’t feel like being bothered, sometimes I’m quiet, sometimes I’m sick, sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I don’t want to go out etc. He also has those days. Even when we are not doing what the other wants, I wish that we continue to love each other anyway.
As I conclude this post, I’d like to learn from the married folks if you think this list is attainable. From the single people, I want to know what your future marriage wishlist contains. I hope you share this post and comment about it.
To Kerwin: You are the love of my life and I thank God for you.