Friday, July 20, 2012

the pressure to get married and finding closure in past relationships...

I guess I'm not the typical Southern belle because I just don't believe in "THE ONE"...You know, the ONE that most typical girls are searching for from the time they are...about five?! Yep, that sounds about right. Sorry, I just don't buy into the hype. I thought I did a one point (you'll read about that later)...Now, I know what some of you are thinking..oh, she's bitter, heartbroken, blah blah blah. Hey, maybe I am..I'll admit, I've been burned but I've also never been one of those girls who were naming their kids in the fifth grade.

Let's go back a few years (ok..let's go back several years..ahhhh..) to high school where dating was cool and fun. I say this because when you're in high school, you don't care if this is someone you could spend FOREVER's easy...oh, he's cute and I like hanging out with him, so we should date, right?! If it doesn't work out, you break up and probably end up dating one of their friends and they date yours..well, if you're from a small town like me it's likely to happen. No pressure and usually low drama (except for a few people in the past that I have dated that probably could have benefited from some time in a padded room...) moving get what I'm's like as soon as girls enter college in the South all they think about is their MRS. DEGREE. It truly blows my mind. All they can think about is walking down the aisle instead of walking across the stage to get that diploma. Don't get me wrong, as you can see from my previous blog, I love weddings. Actually, I just love wedding dresses. Why?! Because I'm girly and I like big, poofy, beautiful, sparkly gowns. In fact, if I could have a wedding and not actually have to wake up the next morning with the realization that I was married..I would totally be into it!

Listen, I know a lot of my friends are reading this (the engaged ones, the married ones, the crazy ones that are desperately looking for ANYONE to marry know who you are..) and y'all are thinking "oh, she just hasn't met the right person"...well, maybe you're right. Maybe you're not though. For as long as I can remember, I've never wanted to get married and I've never wanted to have kids. I don't know why, I just haven't. Some people think it's weird but I just think it's different from what MOST Southern girls want. I'm okay with that. Honestly, I just don't think marriage and kids are for everyone. I've always kind of had that feeling that the whole white picket fence lifestyle just isn't for me. I'm not hating on you if that's the life you live. I have a ton of friends who are happily married and engaged and I'm truly happy for them. I think if you meet someone who you feel you can truly commit yourself to and you know you love unconditionally, then go for it. The thing that I see more often though is that people are getting married because they feel like it's the "next step" or the "right thing to do"....oh please don't get me started on this...but, I already have so let's just dig right in!

I'm going to give you some very vague but very personal examples. I dated in high school and college. A lot. Not seriously though. I got bored with people and I never liked the idea of commitment....HOWEVER..there was ONE, not "THE ONE" but THE ONE for me at the time...that I dated in high school...we all have ONE. We call them different things...the first LOVE...the  ONE that got away...whatever. You know who this person is in your life and I know who it is in mine. This was a guy I dated off and on for several years. I don't know what it was about this particular person but no matter how many crappy things he did and no matter how many times he broke up with me (heck, sometimes I didn't even know that we were broken up, he'd just fall off the face of the earth)..I always took him back. I can't even tell you how many times I cried and begged for him back. Yes, this is embarrassing but hey, it's my blog and if you want honesty, I'm gonna give it to you. HOW PATHETIC IS THAT?! Girls, if you take one thing away from this blog, take this...NEVER BEG A MAN FOR HIS AFFECTION. Do NOT do it. Seriously, you'll look back in regret like I do now. Of course, back then I was more of a loose cannon and I was so overwhelmed by my puppy love that I was willing to be the crazy ex girlfriend who was determined to win him back. When I went to college, things changed. I realized there were a whole lot of guys out there to date and suddenly I wasn't as worried about him anymore. I think this was about the same time that he realized his options weren't as bountiful since he never left our home town. BUT..I blame the extremely long summer vacations and Christmas breaks plus boredom in your hometown that draws you back to certain people. That's exactly what always happened. I'd get back home from my college girl adventures and he'd be the first person I'd see. We'd spend the whole break together each time and it felt like nothing had changed between us. It had though...we were both going in different directions but we were comfortable around each other and knew we could count on each other to be there. Then I moved to Nashville and realized that there were even MORE people to date than ever before. This was fun for a little while but I eventually got bored and realized that quantity does not mean quality. Nashville is a tough city to find a good guy in..and looking back I was probably trying to meet guys in the wrong settings...ladies, you're most likely not going to meet someone you wanna take home to meet the parents at your favorite bar. You're just not.

Now, when you get lonely and you realize your dating options are starting to dwindle down, guess what you do? Yep, you go back to that ONE comfortable person in your life hoping that they are available. The problem with this is...well, there are a few but let's just start with 1) most of the time, they won't be available because y'all are both getting older..especially if this person stayed in your home town and is ready to settle down...2) you're never going to get over this person if you always have them in the back of your mind. You have no NEED closure..and it can be painful.

With that being said, I think I prevented my feelings for this person to put up a wall. I never really cared about anyone like I did about him. My friends would always ask me why..what was it about him? I couldn't even tell you. I had just convinced myself that for some reason, we were supposed to be together. Now, during these few years I was in college and moved to Nashville, I had my chance to have him back...and guess what?! I TURNED IT DOWN. I walked away. I thought "nah, I don't need him."....well...I felt that way until I found out he got engaged..and then got married....

I was tortured by this. Did I make the wrong decision? Did I pass up my chance of being with THE ONE?! Was I destined to be single because I was being stubborn?! Had I screwed up my chance with him because I had built up a wall and refused to be vulnerable?! All of these things were constantly going through my was awful...seriously, a nightmare.

After over a year of these thoughts, I finally had the chance to get some closure and let me tell you it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I've had therapists and friends tell me...YOU HAVE TO GET CLOSURE..yet, nobody knew how I was supposed to do that. Some help that was! It was a simple conversation that helped me close that chapter in my life and move on.

My point in all this is I think a lot of people have those feelings of "lost love" and "the one that got away"...and I just don't buy into it now after experiencing what I did. I think people develop a certain comfort level with past loves and it fools them into thinking that you can never feel that way again. They never get the CLOSURE that they really need. For me, I had to have a conversation with this ex...for you, maybe it's just writing down all of your feelings or simply accepting the fact that the person is no longer in your life for a reason. Maybe you have questions that need to be answered or you just need a cold hard reality check that it's OVER.

With all that being said...I don't really believe in the ONE. I think it's possible to love and be in love with many people throughout your lifetime and that there is no such thing as "the one that got away" because if they were supposed to be in your life...they wouldn't have gotten away, right?!

Also, if there are any single ladies my age out there reading this..I urge you not to fall into the trap that society wants you to. ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE SOUTHERN. It seems like in the South the pressure to get married and have kids ASAP is even worse than anywhere else. Live your life. Go after your dreams. Don't get married because you've been dating your guy for a while and it seems like the next logical step. It shouldn't be about that..and whatever you do...don't PRESSURE a guy into proposing to you. I don't know about you, but when and if I ever get proposed to, I want it to be because someone can't imagine their life without me, not because I gave them an ultimatum. AND..don't buy into the fact that you can't be happy unless you are married and have kids. Like I said before, I don't think it's for everyone and I'm pretty convinced that it's not for me. Only you can decide what's right for you and who is right for you...

and when anyone asks me why I'm not married and why I don't have kids...I'll just reply why my new favorite phrase taken from a hilarious book I'm reading right now (WE'RE JUST NOT THERE YET..perfect title)....I'M JUST NOT THERE YET! (and don't know if I'll ever be..) If you wanna read this book, you can find it here! Also, check out their blog and follow them on twitter @literarycowboys! Shout out to Daryl and Seth for sending me this awesome book...if you want a good laugh about dating and the stupid things girls do (and there are lots of them...) you'll wanna check it out!

All my Southern guys and gals out there...what do y'all think?



  1. I was one of those you mentioned who felt the need to have "someone" all my life. Ended up with "someone" (thankfully someone who loves me!) but can look back at all the wasted years and all the opportunities I missed along the way because I was always looking forward to and thinking about the time when I would be married and have children and caring for my family. Many, MANY, missed, lost, and squandered opportunities for betterment, fun, adventure, travel, you-name-it. I love my family and cannot imagine life without them, but I CAN imagine having ENJOYED the years before they happened, because I feel like I would have so much more now to offer them as a person! Enjoy your life - seek God will all your heart, mind, and strength - and He will lead you into unbelievable adventures and then, eventually, possibly into love and family. Wherever He leads you, you can be sure it will be exactly what you need and where you can have the greatest positive influence. Love you so much! Keep writing, and keep sparkling!

    1. I remember your HOPE CHEST, Mel! haha....well I'm glad that you found Clay and you have three little angels :) however, I do remember some of the people that you used to date....not gonna name any names..HAHA! Love you!

  2. Hi Courtney,

    It was so encouraging to read your blog today! I have been struggling lately with a desire to date. As I enter my senior year of college, I am surrounded by girls getting engaged and married. Though I know I truly don't have time for a boyfriend, I still desire to have someone to have fun with and talk to. Being from the South, I definitely agree with everything you said. I am trying hard to trust in God's plan for my life and not get caught up in what society tells us we should be doing with our lives. Thank you again for sharing your story :)


    1. Hey Michelle! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! YES! We have to trust God to bring the right person in our lives at the right time...sometimes He makes us wait..and we have to be patient...even though that's really hard sometimes! I do know a lot of awesome women a lot older than me who are still single and they are so happy! I also talked to a friend today who just got married at 33 and she said it was the best thing she ever did by waiting! Stay strong and encouraged :)

  3. Hi Courtney,
    Not sure how I found your blog, but I felt compelled to respond after reading this post. I too don't necessarily believe there's "THE ONE" for everyone out there. Sometimes people are put into your life for a reason, and it may not be a forever one. When I was 23, I got married to the guy I was dating in college. We had been together for 3 years, graduated college, had good jobs and it was "the next step". I loved him, and I never in a million years thought I'd ever not be with him, but after 2.5 years, we separated and divorced. It was my call and it shocked everyone in our lives. I just realized over time that I was a stranger in my own life. My marriage (obviously) wasn't perfect, and really I felt like I was made for so much more than being someone's prim and proper wife. I had so much in life I wanted to do and accomplish, and being married to the person I was married to meant having to give up all those dreams. Like you, I wasn't the girl who dreamed of her wedding all her life. I was in no real rush to get married, but it seemed like the next thing to do. He put more pressure on me that I realized after the fact.

    After the divorce, I moved away and dealt with a lot of emotional issues. Leaving wasn't the hard part...having to pick up all the pieces of my life is what almost broke me. I questioned every decision I made, and I didn't trust myself to make good choices for me. I realized I always let other people (and society) influence my decisions and my direction, and I never really decided things for myself. I always thought I'd have kids, but I never really remember having any desire or maternal instinct to have them. Now I'm finally accepting and embracing that maybe kids won't be a part of my future, and I'm okay with that. I love my life now. I have a great boyfriend, we have no timeline, and I no longer feel like I'm inadequate if I decide to never have kids. It's taken me awhile to get there..I'm 27 now, but I feel I'm more true to myself than I've ever been.

    It always disappoints me seeing girls rush into marriages and "real life" just because that's what society makes us think we need. We all should take time to figure ourselves out and be honest about what we really want. Being from Texas, I see that intense pressure people have to get married before they're out of college and it drives me crazy. I encourage everyone I know to take time to get to know the person and yourself before making such a huge commitment.

    I don't know if I'll ever get married again. I don't know if I'll ever want kids. I'm not counting it out completely, but I'm just at peace with not knowing. And I'm okay with that.

    1. Hey Amanda! Thanks so much for sharing! loved reading your story! It's awesome that you and your boyfriend aren't allowing the pressure of society to dictate your relationship! I hope you'll continue to be happy :)