If we were to jump in a time machine and go back 5 or 10 or more years ago. If you were to tell me that I would be giving marriage advice on a blog, designed for hopefully inspiring folks to get out of their comfort zones and take some risks for the betterment of themselves. I would have asked to you hold my Pabst Blue Ribbon while I fall on the ground, crying with laughter.
I used to be one of those "I'm probably not ever gonna get married" kind of guys. There is a very short and long story to this but blogs are supposed to be bite-sized, I think. So I will give you the short one.
I grew up with parents who loved each other very much. But, both of them had rough childhood's with parents who were alcoholics and had mental stuff that made regular life very difficult. My parents didn't have any good examples of good relationships so they were just doing their best and they both made their fair share of mistakes. They would often fight, dad would leave and my little sister and I were young so we never really understood what was going on. After seeing this cycle of break ups, get back together for the first 13 years of my life, my dad left for good. This is right about the time boys and girls start paying attention to each other in that hormonal kind of way. I liked girls and every once in a while, a girl would like me. The dating thing would happen and eventually, one of us would call it quits.
Break ups always hurt but I was pre-programmed. Break ups are a very natural part of the dating, love, relationship cycle because that's what I saw and that's what my parents saw and that's all I really knew about that. It's Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" all over again. How do you explain sunlight to someone who has only seen shadows?
Now, I promised to try to keep this short so I will cut out some huge, dramatic chunks. What I learned from this was getting married is probably a bad idea because my parents relationship was a mess. Both of their sets of parents had all kinds of issues. Based on my limited ideas of what the relationship world is, I would be best not to ever get married.
Well, we can look at this in a very simple way. If you got food poisoning, would you never eat again? And it really is that simple. Just because you see something happen in someone else's life (bad or good) doesn't mean that is going to be you life. You have so much more say so in your reality than you might think. In order to learn that, you will have to challenge yourself. I only delve into this pile of cliches because I have been challenging myself thoughts, ideas and very belief system for about 10 years now. I have no no means, figured out the secret to life or consider myself any kind of guru of anything. But, my life has changed in the greatest ways over the last 10 years and all of that comes from releasing old thought patterns and taking new risks based on no experience in these new "risky" environments.
This long intro bring me to the the reason for the title of this Blog. This was supposed to be about a conversation I recently had with a good friend. He wants to propose to his girlfriend of one year but doesn't have enough money in the bank to buy her the ring he wants to get her.
Now, this could mean one of two things. 1. He is BS'ing and doesn't want to pop the question so the money is a great excuse. I don't think that is the truth in this scenario. So, it's probably 2. He really does want to marry her but he uses the money thing to delay because there is a fear that lies under the surface. These are all maybe's by the way. A. He is petrified of being turned down. B. He's afraid that he will mess it up. C. Maybe I'm just projecting all of my old silly programming onto this story that he doesn't even know I'm blogging about. As I get older, I find out that I am usually never right about much and when I am, it's usually only a portion of the whole story.
I told him, we'll call him "Big Mike", I told Big Mike, don't worry about the money or size of the ring. She loves you. She won't care what kind of ring you get her. I know this because I was using this as an excuse for a while as well, before I popped the question to my girl. And it was only in my head. I gave myself the same excuses. But was it really money for a ring that kept me/Big Mike from proposing? I doubt it.
Despite what you ladies might think about us guys, we are all not the same. Most of us, who seem like we don't care, really care the most. We have grown up in a society that told us to not show our feelings so we spent a lifetime, trying to push it all down to look more "masculine" and all that did was pushed away any possibilities of finding "the right girl" or guy or non-binary, which ever applies to you. Times are changing and guys are being given more room to express themselves and open up which means less dating issues in the future I hope. I won't pretend to know what teens are going through now but I hope they are getting more opportunity to show their emotions so that it doesn't take decades to unwind enough programming to give ones heart to another person who is probably a bit of a mess but is trying to find someone who will help give some balance to their lives.
There is no perfect scenario and I know that's a cliche to even mention but we humans need to hear things many times, before it really sets in. I was 44 years old before I asked my girlfriend of 8 years to marry me. I had a mental war within myself for way too long, coming up with all of the reasons why I shouldn't get married while staying with this lady, who, by the way, never pressured me to take that step. If she did, I would have probably spooked and left. You can suggest to people, new ways to look at and deal with life but they will almost never do what you think is right. They will do what they are able to do at that time and not a second sooner.
There is a delicate balance and there is no perfect science or mathematic to figure out the opposite sex and how we all find our "perfect" person. We are all just trying to figure it out and in 100 years, the speech and ideas and processes will be vastly different but we all will still be working through age-old stuff like "Am I worthy?" You are not alone. We all feel like this at one point or another.
When I popped the question to Theraysa, my neurosis and negative mind was working overtime, coming up with every reason to not pop the question. I had enough excuses to fill a Bible but I went out, bought a very small right that wasn't even the right size. I was pretty sure she wouldn't want to keep it because it wasn't really her style. She did want it and when we went in to get it resized, the design was already as small as it could be. We had to return the ring, find another ring, resize that ring and so on.
None of it was perfect and none of it bothered her and that's how I got to begin to see that she was the girl for me because she had already seen me at my worst many many times. She still said yes. She sees my effort that often falls flat and she still seems to love me because I am trying and rarely succeeding. I didn't do any of the proposal stuff perfect and she still said yes!
I will highlight more imperfections in other posts because that's what we all need to see in life. The tv/internet commercials keep presenting life as this shiny, perfect experience and it isn't and that's ok. One thing that I battle with on a constant basis are these wedding websites and platforms that make everything seem perfect when they aren't. Then I changed the way I approached the situation. Maybe they aren't trying to be perfect rather, they are just trying to focus on the lighter side. There is more than enough darkness to see in the world everyday. maybe we all need to start looking at life they way most wedding websites do. Let's find the light and fluffy. Let's look for the good. Let's be nice at all possible turns.
Even if all of that effort were a total failure, wouldn't it be better to be better to yourself and everyone around you, looking for light rather than focusing on the things that don't work? Feel free to comment and add your ideas of what resonates with you. Is this on point? Do you feel that this message of "Finding the Light" is delusional? We are all connected and in this together. How do we make it better for ourselves and everyone else we connect to?
PICTURE BELOW: Airstream Road trip 2017. Theraysa and I had lunch at stellinamarfa.com in the famous MARFA, TX. The food is awesome. We spent 3 days in Marfa, ate at almost every restaurant and every one was top notch. Everyone needs to go to Marfa, TX at least once. It is a gem in the middle of nowhere. It heats up between May and September so cooler months are ideal.