Now, barring all of the stupid boy competitions going on here, I really think he was somewhat serious about getting married fairly soon. We have talked about getting married before, we both want to, but we just have never put a real date to it, and he hasn’t asked me yet. To me, marriage is this far off fairytale. It’s this sort of daydream that I think about, but have never thought of what will happen if it ever actually comes up — if I ever have to actually pick a date…wear a ring on my finger, etc. I just sat there, after he said that, and was speechless. So my question is: After you’ve found the guy, how do you know when you are ready to get married? I know that I want to marry this guy, but I am right now feeling a little panicked that this might actually happen. (In a year and a half, no less!) — Not Quite Ready for the Aisle
Well, first of all, you can tell your boyfriend that a 12-12-12 wedding is out of the question because 12-12-12 falls on a Wednesday, and that’s no kind of day for a wedding … especially when his brother will be getting married on a Friday (and everyone knows Friday weddings are the best). In all seriousness, if you feel like you aren’t ready for marriage yet and your boyfriend’s comment freaked you out, then you really need to have a discussion with him about your ideal time-frame and make sure you two are on the same page — or, at the very least, aware of what book you’re each reading, you know?
Marriage is a scary thing, for sure. I knew I loved my now-husband, but committing myself to him for life was such a … well, commitment, that after we got married, I started sleep-walking! Like, literally. Awake, I was just fine, but while asleep, my subconscious must have been processing things like crazy because there were a handful of times that I got out of bed — while still asleep — walked around the apartment and talked to my husband as if I were someone else. One time, I even asked him where his wife was. Crazy, right? And the thing was, I remembered it the next morning when he brought it up. I remembered feeling like I didn’t know who I was or who he was and the only word that made any sense to me was “wife,” so I asked him about his wife hoping that would give me some clarification about who and where I was. But it didn’t, and I remember crawling back into bed thinking, “WTF?!”
Luckily, those episodes only lasted a few weeks, but I think they’re testament to what a big psychological change it can be for some people — like me — to go from being someone’s girlfriend to being someone’s wife. There was a definite adjustment in how I self-identified, and I suppose for at least a few weeks there I felt a little lost between these “labels” I’d given myself — or labels I felt had been given to me. And I wanted to get married! It was a decision I was very, very happy to make. But that didn’t make it less scary or less intense or less … forever. Getting married is a big deal, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by the idea. In fact, I’d have been more concerned about myself if I had gone into it with no sense of permanency.
So, what I’m saying is, if you know in your heart you’re with the right person and you know you want to marry him one day, don’t worry too much about feeling scared or freaked out about making it real. Talking all this over with your boyfriend will help some, but if you’re like me, these feelings of, “Oh my God! I’m really doing this!” may not go away until weeks — maybe even months — after you tie the knot. And that’s fine. As long as you let your boyfriend know that your feelings are only because you take your love for him and your commitment to marriage so seriously, and not because you doubt your choice, you and he will be fine. But … on the flip side, if your feelings are because you do doubt your choice, then, obviously, you need to be truthful about that first to yourself and then to him before you agree to marriage. Listen to your heart; it probably won’t lead you astray.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.