Monday, January 16, 2012

Settling and "The List"

I've been thinking lately that I ought to get on here and write a relationship-themed post. Yet I could not figure out what I would talk about. Then, a dear friend's blog post pushed me in the right direction.

I was reading A Little Bit of Life, my friend Karli's new blog (go check it out!) and her post really made me think. She was debating one of the age-old relationship questions: Do I settle for someone, or do I wait for someone who has all the criteria on "The List"? It's a tough question, and I'm sure everyone you talk to would have a different answer. But for me, I'd have to say the answer is: neither.

First of all, I don't believe in settling. I'm not a relationship expert, but I have realized something after being Rob's partner for five and a half years: settling is not worth it. But I see why it happens. You get to a certain point in your twenties and everyone starts asking The Question. When is the big day? When are you settling down? And it doesn't matter if you're with someone or not, you get The Question in one form or another. It's the nature of the world. In addition to the questions people ask, you're attending a lot more weddings. You're buying towels and dishes and deep fryers for your friends, and you're asking yourself: Shouldn't I be doing this too? I can see why settling would be really easy to do.

Then there's The List. I didn't make one, but then again, I met Rob at nineteen. But I have thought about what would be on my list, if I had one. I have to say, I would have put some things on there that just weren't necessary. I may have thought they were, but in the end, it turns out I didn't need to have them. For example, I probably would have said that I wanted a man who was really romantic. The type of guy who could be spontaneous and surprise me with a picnic or a candlelit dinner. I wanted what you see in the movies. But as it turns out, Rob is not that type of person. He's not a spontaneous guy, and routine is very important to him. And yet, he has his own way of being romantic that I would not have considered when writing my list. Sometimes he will pick a flower for me and put it in water on our dining room table. Or he will fold all of my laundry without me even suggesting it. He sends me texts when I'm at work just to say he loves me. None of that would have been on my list, but it still makes me happy.

Five and a half years ago, I would not have been able to imagine the kind of love I have in my life. I almost didn't give our relationship a chance, because of my own fears. Love did not happen in the way I thought it would, and it doesn't always look the way I imagined it would appear. Yet, God had something much better, much more fulfilling, in mind for me. I could not have dreamed up the partner and the relationship I have now, and perhaps it's better that way. Had I picked the exact person I thought I wanted, I may never have found what I actually needed.

3 comments:

  1. I agree with so much of what you said! I met my husband a little later than you (I was 25) and I had a list. Although Josh doesn't meet every qualification on "The List", I don't feel like I settled at all. Great post!

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  2. Yeah, I don't think I ever had a list (at least, not one I ever formally wrote down). Kyle was unexpected and I think he remains unexpected. There are times when I think or say, "I wish you would...(fill in the blank)" and I realize those wishes are probably never going to be fulfilled exactly in the way I want them to because Kyle is Kyle and not me (thank God). But yeah, his sort of unexpected way of loving me continues to be there, just under the surface and then happening when I'm not thinking "time to be romantic." I love that about him. I think I take that for granted a lot. Thanks for writing this post - it's really given me something to think about. :)

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  3. Thanks to both of you for sharing with me! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

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