I’m about to get real honest and real with you guys about my current relationship sitch. Matt and I have been talking about getting married. Not to say that this is a new conversation or anything… it’s been a lingering topic for quite some time. We are shopping for a home, looking to settle down together, and marriage just seems to be one of those important parts of the equation. But right in this exact moment, it isn’t a vital part. I don’t have a ring on my finger yet. There was no grand beautiful proposal (yet.) For now, I am just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the opportunity to arise when Matt decides to sweep me off my feet and propose.

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The Perfect Picture Moment

When you see engagement posts on Facebook, it is really easy to get wrapped up in the perfect picture. I wrote about it in my post about how Facebook can compromise our happiness.. But when it comes to engagements and romantic moments, it is especially true.  The dramatic down on one knee moment where the girl looks so shocked and surprised that this special moment she has been waiting for forever is finally happening. But what we forget and tend to ignore is what happened before that beautiful perfect picture moment: The private conversations between two adults who openly discuss the possibility that they are destined to be together forever.

Everyone has those conversations differently. For some, it is a very clear passionate romantic form of expression, “I love you, and you love me… let’s spend the rest of our lives together.” For others, it is a casual “We should get married,” talk. Sometimes it is a conversation that happens more than once, just so that we can be sure this thing we are so happy about is “for real.”

But either way, I’m pretty certain that there is always some sort of conversation that comes before that grand big proposal. Because let’s face it: Guys are logical human beings. And to think a guy goes out and invests thousands of dollars in a ring without at least hinting towards the possibility with his girl first is pretty silly.

What Happens Next? The Girl Goes Crazy.

So after that conversation, here’s what happens: The girl starts imagining her life as a newly wed. She starts getting excited about all the amazing wonderful memories she is about to make: The proposal, the wedding, the celebration. All of it. And in the process of getting excited, it is really easy for some girls (me included) to start freaking out over the possibility that this thing you suddenly want so badly could take months, or years. When the heck is it going to happen? and How Long do I have to wait? It’s the waiting game… to the extreme.

Feeling Out of Control.

I guess those feeling all circle back to an important issue most girls have: and that is the ability to feel comfortable with being out of control of our destiny. The truth is it’s mostly up to the guy right? Sure we can pressure and push and trying to hint that this is something we are just really really wanting to happen, but ultimately it is the guy’s decision to make the move and pop that question. And so we wait… some of us patiently, but most of us, let’s face it, completely stress out the whole time. “When is it going to happen already!?” and “How Long do I have to wait?” And then some of us go to this even more deeper place, and start worrying that maybe that conversation we had was just a “hypothetical” …. or even worse: What if the guy changed his mind about us and doesn’t want it  anymore? What if he is getting cold feet? — Waiting game turned what if = disaster.

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For a While That Was Me.

I’ll admit… it’s been months since Matt and I had our initial conversation about getting married, and I honestly have no idea when it is going to happen. In the beginning, in the early months after our first talk, I freaked out and started to believe every single moment was the potential for a proposal. Literally.. it was ridiculous. Matt would leave the bedroom to go brush his teeth at night and I’d be convinced he was going to get the engagement ring he is hiding… He would call me outside to see something cute the dogies were doing and I’d run downstairs with my “surprised” face hoping he would be down on one knee when I got there. It was like this big ball of anticipation was consuming me, and for a long time, it was a hard thing to shake. And it definitely weighed on our relationship. He knew I was in waiting. And because I was constantly expecting something bigger, it was hard for me to appreciate the little happy moments that came in our relationship during that time.

The Game Changer

There was a pivotal moment for me when all of that anticipation seemed to disappear… it was the moment I started asking myself “Why Do I want to Marry Matt?” I was so obsessed with all the reasons that I thought he would want to marry me (and sometimes obsessed in fear over the reasons he wouldn’t want to) that I stopped asking myself what it was that I wanted. And what I wanted and still want is to be happy with a man I love – a man who I truly feel completes me, and makes me more of the person I am truly meant to be. He is the most wonderful kind man I’ve ever met. Why wouldn’t I want to be happy with him forever? But the reality is, I don’t need a ring on my finger to do that. I don’t need a proposal to happen in order to feel that way. I can just feel that way right here and right now. Looking at our relationship from that small change in perception helped me realize that what mattered most wasn’t the moment with the fancy proposal that I was once so desperately waiting for. What mattered most was the love we shared and the memories we could create before the proposal just as much as afterwards.

 The Lesson

No matter where you are in your relationship, always remember that things grow and evolve naturally. When you force situations or try to make things happen more quickly than their natural time line, you get a jaded and less fulfilling experience no matter what it is: proposal or not. And no matter what, remember the emotions behind what it is you are longing for in your life are most important. It doesn’t make sense to spend months being unhappy because you are waiting for a proposal to make you feel good again.

I know now that no matter what happens along our relationship journey, that being in the moment and celebrating what we have right here and now is the best way to treat my relationship the way it deserves. And if a proposal never happens, I know that we still had a lovely amazing wonderful relationship because we were both present in the NOW of it all. And what happens after the proposal? Well… Happily ever after of course.

But for now, I’ll have to admit… it’s pretty happy too.

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