I’m having a hard time lately, putting things into words that I would be satisfied to share with everyone. Putting something on Facebook or my blog leaves so much open to criticism, and the experiences I’ve had with Chris lately, and even more so the feelings I’ve had that go along with them, seem just too, well, sacred, to leave them open to that.
I knew I loved Chris in October of last year, in part because in romantic relationships, I give whether I really want to or not. Somewhere along the way I picked up the idea that I had some kind of moral obligation to be in love, whether or not that was a rational, healthy thing to do. So it’s been a new experience to love someone who actually loves me back, who invites thought-out behavior and healthy patterns. I keep talking about how this makes sense in my mind and in my heart, because that’s something I haven’t had before. I’ve had several experiences where my head was perpetually anxious about what my heart had gotten into. I’m much less at odds with myself this time, although there are still some elements of that. I think that’s normal though – that’s real life, the subjection of the natural man to the Spirit.
I went to the temple today, and participated in an endowment session. All through it, I kept thinking about how Eve was a follower, and there’s a rightness and a nobility to that. That led me to conclude, as prompted by the Spirit, that I ought to let Chris lead, and give him the space to do so. I think in a month and a half from now, we will be rather better prepared to take marriage out of hypotheticals and really figure out the logistics of it. We’ll be prepared to handle that much commitment. For now though, looking at places to live in Indiana feels a little awkward and premature, and when people ask, we tell people that Chris is leaving for Indiana and I am staying here. That’s still the plan right now, as little we like it, simply because we’re not emotionally prepared to admit to any other course of action.
I think being on the brink of engagement is just an awkward place to be in a relationship regardless, because technically, as things stand in the present moment, there’s nothing more serious going on than a simple dating relationship. But your future could be so much more than that, if you decide in some not-so-long-from-now conversation that you’re going to tie your loyalty to that one person. It makes me understand better why people use the passage in Ruth for wedding vows. Regardless of the practicality of independence, it’s no longer the code by which you operate. You spend the rest of your life reminding yourself to function as a single unit with another person who clearly has their own brain and agency and history. Daunting and rewarding, and somehow fun as a combination of the two.
I love the concept of marriage, but the practice is one I have to psych myself up for. I think Chris would say the same thing…I think he’s trying to get excited about the idea of being married, since (if I understand correctly) the idea of having me around all the time is already appealing.