There are so many emotions that run circles around that 8 letter word. Some people are running terrified, some embrace its beauty, some don’t even see it in their future. No matter what your sentiments may be, I’m here to tell you: the person you choose to marry is the most important decision you will ever make. More than where you decide to live, more that what colleges you apply to, even more than what career path you choose to follow.
I have always been an intuitive and observant person. Even as little girl, I picked up on things I probably had no business picking up on, but that is what shaped me into knowing exactly what I did (and did not) want out of my forever partner. I was observant in determining good and bad character traits in the men in my world. Whether it was from the boys in my own life (friendships or romantic relationships), the men my sister dated, or even from my own father. All these experiences led me to create a so called “checklist” of what I wanted, but more importantly what I needed:
- Go-getter mentality, motivated, & driven
- Considerate of others & self-aware
- Confident in who they are & what they wanted in life
- Have a sense of self/self-identity
- Moderately tempered & self-aware
- Realistic, optimistic
- Supportive & encouraging
- Understanding that I am my OWN person, but together we are unified
- Hard-headed, not able to admit when they are wrong
- Egotistical & entitled
- Controlling, territorial, possessive
- Lazy, satisfied, comfortable
So I had my mental list in head and I went about my life. I was never the kind of girl that needed to be in a relationship. In fact, I preferred to be single. I enjoyed the independence, the freeness of it all, because I was happy with me. That’s not to say that I didn’t have my own insecurities–we all do. But I was genuinely proud of the person I was and all I wanted was someone to amplify that happiness and perpetuate an even better version of myself and for me to give that same love and support in return.
And so my journey began…
Without even realizing it, I had met the love of my life. Was it easy? Absolutely not! But by at the age of 21, I had found what most people take a lifetime to find. Someone I was proud to be with, someone I wanted to put all of my energy into, someone who checked all my boxes. Was I supposed to let that go for a couple more years of so called “freedom”?
Was it always sunny, happy, and rainbows? Hell no. We struggled. I struggled. Some people told me I would be a fool to let this pass me by. Some told me I was too young and maybe in a few years I would find someone again. I had a choice to make. The most important decision of my life.
And that’s when it occurred to me.
Marriage is a choice. No one is forcing you to do anything you don’t want to do. Yes there are pressures that come along with it, but at the very end of it all, you are making a personal decision that will effect the rest of your entire life. Did you hear me? The rest of your entire life. Once I had that realization, in that moment, I had never had such clarity. Everything I would do from this point forward, was no longer mine and mine only. Something else, someone else was now going to be factored in. My husband. The love of my life. From this point forward, every step I took, 2 feet would be right there by my side. To hold me when I’m feeling like the lowest version of myself. To slap me on the wrist when I’ve done something I shouldn’t have done. And to motivate me when I’m not feeling strong enough to do it alone. This person would forever impact every little decision I made for the rest of our lives together. That was powerful. That was something I was willing to try.
Take home note: CHERISH the beauty that is love. RESPECT that marriage is a divine institution. UNDERSTAND the impact saying “I Do” will make on the rest of your life, and RECOGNIZE the magnitude of two people coming together to become one unified force, one team, a marriage.
This is the most important decision you will ever make. Don’t take that for granted.
**For more in depth conversations on this post and many more, tune in to ‘Ever Forward Radio’ on Apple Podcasts and Spotify (or your favorite Podcast player) every third Wednesday of the month!