The thing about being in a relationship as an adult is it makes you start to think about the future. Once in awhile the topics of children or marriage will arise, albeit quite briefly, and you share your thoughts. Those outside of your relationship will ask as well. Everyone has it ingrained in them that the normal way to go about these things is to meet, fall in love, get married, and have children. That is what we are supposed to do and what we will want to do even if we don’t quite feel like it now.
The idea of marriage and kids has generally been a far away, pie in the sky sort of thought. I don’t remember a time I ever convincingly said, “I want children.” I think the wedding was a much more attainable and realizable goal, if one were to call it that, in my mind but even then I always maintained that if whoever I was with didn’t want to get married I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. Those relationship steps were, overall, things that I thought I would do but that I was never sure would actually happen or if I wanted them.
Now that I find myself in love, sharing an apartment and a cat, these things should be more prominent I would assume. We have not been together long enough for either marriage or children yet but they have come up once in awhile. During these conversations it has not been decided for sure whether either of us really need these things.
A couple of weeks ago I went to a wedding show with my engaged best friend and a few other women who are close to her. I am excited for her, weddings are still exciting to me, and I was excited to look at all the things for her. I really loved looking at dresses for her, imagining her walking down the aisle in one of those beauties, looking like a beauty herself, and standing beside her (probably crying) as her maid of honour. I was excited and interested for her. I really look forward to her wedding day because I know it will be beautiful.
But not once that day did I think, “I can’t wait until my time comes for this.”
Now, granted this could just be that we weren’t there for me and my brain recognized that I had nothing to do with the actual getting married part, but I don’t think so. I think anyone who really wants a wedding would have still been filing some things they saw away in their brains. I came home excited for her and thinking I don’t want a wedding at all.
I’m not anti-marriage. I’ll get married, sure, but it will be small and understated. I’m okay with going to City Hall and simply, as Queen Bey says, putting a ring on it. This much I know for sure so far but I can truthfully say that the whole children thing to me is still far beyond me.
But what does this mean for me? Does it make me a bad woman, a bad girlfriend, for being unsure if I want these things you’ve always been told you should want? Should I be looking at the venues and photographers and dresses and prams and baby bags and feeling some tingle of desire? Am I missing something crucial inside of me?
It is an odd thing to realize that you simply don’t long for what you always assumed you would. It is like when I always thought university would be my bag since I really, really loved school. Then I started it and hated it and got all confused because I was supposed to want this. Supposed to. I think that if I’ve learned anything from the false starts and mishaps I’ve experienced over time is that you can never assume you know what you want if you’ve never once considered another option. In the case of school it wasn’t until I thought about what I actually wanted and what I enjoyed that I found a post-secondary option that was right for me. In the case of marriage and children it wasn’t until I thought about what actually felt right to me that I properly envisioned standing in City Hall and having a small party afterwards, sans baby bump.
I love weddings. I think they are wonderful, beautiful things. I love children. They are funny, weird, expressive, and sure of themselves. I get why people want them in the biggest, grandest way. But I just don’t. And that’s okay.
And really, I could take that wedding dress money and finally get myself those three hundred dollar Dior sunglasses I made the mistake of trying on in Holt Renfrew that day with dollars to spare. Now that’s dream-worthy.