Being single is one thing, people get the usual pressure from the society (over 30). Nothing new, it is time to hurry up and find someone. When you are single you get used to it (see old posts below). When you are in a relationship for a long time however, you need to be prepared for another type of pressure…
The unavoidable question; “And when are you two going to get married? “Classic! I was lucky enough to “enjoy” this fascinating question for a year at least. Recently I have been talking to another friend who brought these memories back and made me realise how many of us have been through this or going through right now…
Being in a relationship for 5 years without “the” ring can make you feel doubtful. Even if you are not that type, people around you would remind you that subject every day, so eventually you start to raise these questions: “Does he still love me?”, “Does he plan with us?”, “Is he just lazy and wasting my time?”….. Worst dates in the diary: Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, 30th birthday, trip to Paris, Rome, Venice or Thailand (not a full list, I know). And this is the time when those nasty expectations can ruin everything because they only make people feeling disappointed. And disappointment can lead to bad decisions. Surprise pregnancy (the child will fix everything), getting on dating sites, having an affair, or just simply being happy because it is still better than being alone etc.
I think it’s actually not about the ring. Happy couples do get married after 5-20 years and the ring is never a problem. It made me wonder why. The ring is only a symbol, the most important thing is communication and how the other person makes you feel. If he talks about the future, kids and expresses his love on a daily basis this fear doesn’t exist. Likewise if he never mentions the future, kids or the fact that you will get old together, you start to have this awful fear and you are probably right, something is not ok. And everything can fall apart pretty soon after.
It feels like a lifetime ago when I used to face this pressure every day. Due to the fact that this friend has just told me her story, my feelings from the past became crystal clear for a couple of minutes (those comments, the sadness). How people were checking my finger all the time, how he didn’t say anything when they asked us. Of course he didn’t, because he knew that what we had just wasn’t enough. I don’t blame him by the way, I know why he didn’t feel it and he was right.
I will never forget that moment when I got my birthday present, a trip to Venice (which is beautiful by the way and highly recommend it). I knew it would be our last trip. Being there where everybody holds hands and there is so much love in the air and many engagements on a daily basis. Except us of course. It was visible that we were not one of the many happy couples. We didn’t have it anymore. That special something was gone. Normally I take many pictures, that time I only took a few… This is how Venice could become a sad memory for a year or so.
Now I don’t mind to remember it at all. I only remember the good things of course. Time fixes everything. Two months later we weren’t together… According to my friends they all warned him not to take me to Venice if there is no ring. But he loved me (just not enough) and wanted to make me happy. Guys really don’t think like girls. He really didn’t think it would be a problem. They looked at my hands after the trip, not his. Colleagues, family, friends and even my hairdresser.
I can really feel other people’s pain and doubts when they tell me about their fear and I don’t have an answer. I can’t give any advice and I wouldn’t. All I can say is that I know how you feel and I made one promise – I’d never ever ask couples about when and if they are planning to get married. And I’d never ask married couples when they want kids. And never ask them when the second one is coming. You just never know what they are going through. How long they have been trying or what other problems they have. Stick to the weather. English people talk about the weather all the time for a good reason. It’s safe….
(Author: An, not edited)
Next: Being out of practise