After the marriage proposal, the happy couple immediately started calling all their friends and family spreading the good news. It did not quite play out that way for me.
Me, twenty something.
Valentine’s Day. I had gotten my boyfriend of about ten years, a bouquet of red roses. I thought it was a sweet declaration of love, and the roses were a great price. My boss was selling them discounted to staff, so why not get him a dozen red roses? He picked me up from work accompanied by his friend. This worked in my favor as this meant that I had an audience for my grand gesture, I stepped out of the office building with this beautiful display of roses and presented it to him with a smack on the lips and a “Happy Valentine’s Day my love!”
His face beamed as he blushed not even trying to contain his appreciation and excitement. Mission accomplished, for me. We were not the couple who celebrated Valentine’s Day ever. We were both practical, lazy shoppers or maybe we weren’t that interested in each other or the relationship. Heaven only knows.
Anyway, the evening was spent doing what we always did mid-week. We fed the birds, chat about nothing and everything while watching TV. An hour or so into our evening he left the apartment to pick up our takeout dinner. He didn’t offer to take me with him. I honestly didn’t want to put on clothes and leave the house, so I opted to wait on him without suspicion.
When he returned; I was seated on the floor legs crossed engrossed in some book. I started to get up to assist with spreading out our meal, but he insisted that he had it under control. I sat down, allowing my man to serve me. After all, who does not like to be served by their love? The food was absolutely vile, but we sat there and ate like troopers since neither one of us wanted to cook at that point. Half- way through our meal I left the room to get something when I stepped back into the room, he grasped my hands and fell on one knee.
I knew immediately what this meant! He was going to propose to me.
I didn’t feel any excitement at all.
I wanted to lift him off his knees.
How could I tell him stop?
His eyes were soft sweet, and sincere.
How dare I say no!
Is marriage not every woman’s dream? Especially after dating for 10 years with a child.
Didn’t I love this man?
Hell yes! I loved this man. Dammit it I Love this man. However, the timing was not right. We were going through some serious changes, and it would have been best to work through them minus the pressure and expectations marriage.
So, I said yes….
How the hell could I not say yes!
This was a decade of dating and a life time of memories! How could I possibly say anything but yes?
I was about to get married in a year’s time.
If my reservations were not enough to walk away. My fiance immediately gave me a list of things I would have to stop doing and a list of things I would have to start doing now that I had agreed to being his wife.
There was no pause between me saying yes and him stating his demands.
I was floored!
10 years and a lifetime of memories and dude had the audacity to flip the switch on me!
This again should have caused me to back pedal.
However, I didn’t. We told our families and started planning our wedding.
Date set and no concrete plans. One week before the wedding and we called it quits. Honestly, it was me not we. I felt trapped and my prison walls were closing in on me as we got closer to THE DAY. The challenges we were experiencing had ballooned into more than the relationship could handle. Let me fix that, I hadn’t matured enough to recognize or even had the willingness nor interest to put in the effort required to make the relationship work. Nor was I willing to allow myself to be stifled by the expectations of others. We loved each other, but there was no room for me to grow outside of the relationship. And although it’s never easy to leave familiar faces and places sometimes one has to in order to get to know oneself.
Life really is like a box of chocolates, just like Forrest Gump said. I plan to keep it moving no matter what I encounter. Red flags will not be overlooked just because my emotions are raging and standards will be share from the onset so that no one feels strung along.
Have you ever felt like you’re losing yourself for the sake of a relationship?