Commitment is a Weird Place, but it is OKAY:
The commitment of engagement found me in a weird place. Once Joshua and I went from dating to engaged, I developed a strange feeling of disappointment. Not disappointment in my decision, and certainly not disappointment in my upcoming wedding and marriage. I felt weird and when I told Joshua about it, he felt the same way. And since then, we’ve known several engaged/married couples who went through it as well.
It’s okay to be disappointed that the “unknown” is over.
That’s what we all felt! A very strange disappointment that the unknown was over. None of us would ever go on a first date again. We would not get to go through the exciting “getting to know you” phase again. None of us would stay up late again wondering what was going to happen. And the thrill of a first kiss is something we would not feel again.
There was something oddly disappointing about that.
Human Nature and the Journey:
Here lies a truth about human nature that I believe 100% contributes to the divorce rates in our society. We enjoy the unknown, the uncertainty, and especially the journey.
There is a beautiful finality to marriage. We’ve found our partner, we’ve finished the race of dating, we get to settle down, to start having kids, and build our lives together. But it is so difficult to envision how much of the journey is still there! To this point in our lives, all we know is the journey of searching. We are comfortable in the discomfort of not knowing, of exploring, of waiting
When we get married, we cannot even comprehend the uncertainties we will experience: struggle/joy of having kids, of buying a home, of making career changes. All we know as we prepare for marriage is that it’s time to settle down, stop searching, and start building. For some reason, that can be a little disappointing.
Searching is inevitable; building takes courage. It is easier to date, even if it seems horrible, than it is to be married. You can still bail out when you’re dating if you don’t enjoy the building. You can go back to searching until you find your “perfect” situation. I have to imagine this contributes to divorce culture: it’s easier to hit the reset button and go back to searching when the building gets tough.
Commitment is okay, even if it’s scary. Building a life is okay, even if it’s hard. Don’t be afraid to move forward, even if it means surrendering your ability to walk away when life gets difficult.