By bride-to-be L. 

I’ve been engaged for 6 months, and I have more than a year before the wedding.

I must say: engagement didn’t come easy for me.

When my boyfriend asked me to marry him 3 months before we actually became engaged, I said what I felt in my heart and in my head at the time: “I don’t know.”

At that time, I was struggling with a lot of stress and anxiety about my place in life and my future.  I was living in a city where I didn’t want to live, at a job that didn’t feel right, and with a man that I knew I loved… but I was struggling with a lot of big questions.

Did I love him enough to be married to him forever?

For better or for worse, till death do us part?

How do I know how I will feel about our marriage in 5 years, 10 years, or even 40 years?

How do I know that the little questions that arise about whether he is “the one” aren’t really my intuition telling me that he isn’t?

Is marriage even right for us? Is marriage right for me?

So where are all these existential questions coming from?

You see…

I come from a family of divorced (but happily remarried) parents.

So if the statistics and research is right, I’m already coming in with a low marriage success rate.

I also saw firsthand with a close family member how marriage could break two people down to their absolute lowest level, and that scared me.

And I’ve witnessed how many other friends and acquaintances were taking alternative routes to partnership – such as having a family without the “marriage contract” – and it seemed to be working for them.

So I struggled for a long time with the idea of marriage and what it represents to me.

And, to be honest, I’m still struggling to figure that out.

But much of my indifference and/or anxiety about marriage shifted when I realized the following things:

1. While marriage may not mean a lot to me, it means a lot to my partner.

For him, it’s the first step to starting a family, so I realized I needed to acknowledge and respect what marriage represented to him.

2. I can’t predict, analyze, and “what if…” everything – especially our long-term partnership.

At some point, I have to make a decision and trust in my ability to make the one that is right for me – for us – at this point in my life.

And right now, the love we have, the trust we’ve built, and the life we’ve envisioned feels right.

3. There is no “perfect” marriage.

We grow up with all these narratives about how you are supposed to feel when you meet “the one,” and how your life is supposed to so much better because of him.

And even when it’s not easy and effortless, you will still be brought back together because it’s “meant to be.”

These expectations aren’t reality.

With some reading (The Five Love Languages provided a lot of  insight for me) and conversations with friends and family, my lofty expectations were brought down to a more reasonable and realistic level.

So while I’m still working out what marriage means to me in my relationship and life, I can say that I’m looking forward to making our partnership official…

Without the trepidation I had before.

In fact, over the holidays last year, I was the one who proposed to him.


< Go Back to Blog