How do you know?

I hate hate HATE when people say “when you know, you know.”

I made plans to write about this wretched saying a while ago, but then all of a sudden christmas season happened and people were getting engaged left and right and this happened and I could no longer stay in my uncertain editing period. I’ve tried not to hurt anyone’s feelings, so I’m sorry if I do. But it’s just going to get kind of controversial in this post. Brace yourselves.

Also I thought I’d illustrate my feelings with gifs to make it more fun for everyone.

SOOOO this happens often:

acquaintance: “They dated for a month and now they’re engaged, but I guess when you know, you know.”

me:

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It is probably one of my biggest pet peeves ever. Especially because it is a phrase practically coined by the too-young and the too-restless and the get-engaged-far-to-fast. I don’t know if it’s my young age, or my non-existent boyfriends before T (he is my first “official” although long-term boyfriend… you can read our story here if this is your first time on my page), but there is no way I would say yes to a guy after 4 or 5 months. I was and never will be ready to make that level of commitment after such a short amount of time. After all, it’s been proven that the chemicals in our brain are what give us the happy-go-lucky feeling of being in “love.”

After reading multiple articles and learning about the process in many of my courses I have learned the following:

The extreme high we get (butterflies, giddiness, sweaty palms) can last between a few months to about 6 months. It depends on the relationship.

The “feelings” of being in love last from between 6 months to 2 years. After 2 years there is a definite drop. 

Although we’re sometimes sad when we start feeling more comfortable and less like we’re on cloud 9, it’s actually quite normal and healthy. Think of what it would be like to stay in that state the rest of your life! They’d be all “hey babe, gonna run to the store, see you later” and you’d be all

let-me-love-you

You wouldn’t be able to focus on anything, you would always be nervous when first seeing them, probably lose sleep, and never fully have an appetite (these were my symptoms, always have been. They vary from person to person though). You also would never get the chance to grow into a deeper more fulfilling love relationship with your partner before tying yourself to them forever. Having that comfort, security, and sense of home with T is something I love and would not give up for anything.

I have also read multiple articles about how after two years the relationship becomes more “real.” You stop seeing the person as perfect and the real flaws in the other person and the relationship come out. This may be the make it or break it point in many couple’s relationships. So if according to science this is when you realize actual compatibility….

What if you are married before 2 years of dating?

If you embrace it, work hard at it, etc, you can save your marriage and become stronger. But what if you realize that hey, this person isn’t actually right for me… we were just really attracted to each other. Then what? What if, at the deepest parts of you- you aren’t compatible or don’t have the same goals?

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That’s all I wanna know. But anyway. The point of this was to stand up for those of us in the 5% (*made up statistic) of 20-23 year olds who are simply dating. Because we actually end up feeling pressured, being judged , or feeling left out for both not being engaged AND not being single. My best friends are all single, and so much of college culture nowadays is about how being single rocks. And it does! and there is nothing wrong with it- I am all for strong independent women (and men). We don’t need a man (or woman). I don’t need a man- but I want one. I want T because he’s my best friend and my boyfriend. Can I still be a strong woman and date him? Yes, I believe I can.

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Somehow in between my high school classmates getting ready to go down the aisle and my friends who are out looking for guys I don’t quite know where I fit in. I don’t know who started the pact that said “everyone! quick! get engaged!” but it was made. I would have never known senior year of high school who would be a) engaged, b) married, or c) parents by now.

mila

I guess the objection I have is when people treat marriage like a passing fancy instead of something that is meant to last. I am SO for the institution of marriage, I think the idea of tying yourself to another person for life is a journey that will have many ups and downs but will be incredibly rewarding. In a culture where Kim Kardashian can get married and divorced in little over a two month period, I think people are far too quick to jump into the festivities. (another example of this)

So in conclusion, I hate when these people defend their hasty engagement by saying “when you know you know!” …It’s like they are implying that they somehow hold the secret to all dating mysteries and are simply superior to the rest of us. How do they “know”? What does that even mean? That a magical dating fairy flew down and told them? Because I know for the rest of us it’s not always easy. Especially if you are paranoid, anxiety prone, and neurotic like I am. So, just because I’m not engaged it means I don’t love my boyfriend or he isn’t the one? because I do love him, and I can see us spending the rest of our lives together. So, in the grand scheme of things, are a few more years going to hurt? NO. I’d argue it’s helping- helping us conquer our issues, grow as a couple, and ready ourselves to become a couple forever.

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I knew T was perfect for me when he held me down to pull a glass splinter out of my foot. I kicked and whined but he held me down and pulled it out. Because he cares about me. I don’t know very many people that would get that up close and personal with my feet. I know that’s silly, and seemingly not a big deal, but it is- it really is. Would you rather your husband buy you flashy things or be willing to take care of you, even when you’re not at your most glamorous? Bling is pretty, but it won’t keep you from losing your foot.

ring pop

and neither will ring pops. Sorry.

There’s little things, all the time, that make me know how much I love him. Most of them aren’t even romantic at all in the sense that they don’t look like what we think of when we think of romance, but they are. They are sweet sweet moments where I want to cling to him like a adorable spider monkey and yell “MINE!” (ok, I actually do this. Sorry T.)

Maybe it’s ok if you don’t awaken in the night and gaze at their sleeping face and realize they will be yours forever. And it’s ok if by the second date you don’t hear wedding bells. Maybe we never know for sure (besides you magical unicorns)… We just love the people we love and life happens. Perhaps it’s not one big defining moment when you “know,” but a lot of little things.

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One thought on “How do you know?

  1. So insightful – and definitely something someone in a long-term relationship but not at all ready to walk down the aisle (cough cough, me) needed to read. 🙂

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