It’s happened. I’ve become the person I never wanted to be.
Before I had a long-term boyfriend…heck, before I even had a sniff of a boyfriend, I used to tell all my friends “I’ll never be that girl who’s desperate to get engaged“.
You know the ones – always suggesting to their boyfriends that a bit of bling on their left hand wouldn’t go astray. Leaving hints about cut and carat. Loudly exclaiming to him every time someone you went to school with gets engaged “They’ve only been together half as long as we have!“.
Hi, hello…over here. Yep, that’s me, and I’m not happy about it either.
It’s a constant battle. I genuinely never wanted to be a diamond desperado, but marriage has always been really important to me. I’ve been planning my wedding since I knew what one was and used to spend my high school textiles classes designing the perfect dress (even thought it would be so last season within six months, let alone after 15-odd years).
When close friends are getting married, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, and sometimes I can’t help but wonder what my own special day will be like. It’s around these times that I probably talk about my ‘pretend wedding’ a lot more than normal. Excessive amounts perhaps. Yeah ok – I talk about it too much. (It’s probably a telltale sign you have a problem when wedding ads start showing up in the sidebars of Facebook…and no, you haven’t changed your relationship status to ‘engaged’.)
Whilst deep down I’ve known I’ve become my worst nightmare, I was still denying to myself that I was in a hurry to get hitched until the tell-tale sign occurred on our recent holiday.
We went to Fiji for my boyfriend’s brother’s wedding. There was only a handful of unmarried ladies there and well, you can bet your last dollar that I was at the front of the pack come bouquet toss time. After quite the impressive leap (even if I do say so myself), it wasn’t long before the joke began that I’d elbowed one person out of the way and given another a black eye in the process of catching that bunch of frangipanis. (No one was harmed in the catching of those flowers BTW.)
I had a photo taken of my glowing self (or maybe I was just sweaty…Fiji is exceptionally humid) and posted it on Instagram captioned with some hashtags from a particular Beyoncé song about liking it and rings. You know the ditty. I did it as a bit of a laugh, because that’s the song they played when they did the bouquet toss, so it was in my head at the time. No big deal.
But then I got home.
In less than a week I had a total of FIVE people ask me if I got engaged whilst I was overseas. After I let them down gently that no, they wouldn’t be invited to my wedding anytime soon, (and yes, I was still desperately not engaged), they nearly all commented “I saw the photo of the bouquet and thought something might have happened!” A couple mentioned the hashtags in particular, which I didn’t think was a big deal at the time. But apparently it came across as a bit of a demand to my boyfriend – put a ring on it or else! I explained that unfortunately catching a bunch of flowers doesn’t quite seal the deal, but I started to see where they were coming from…whilst simultaneously seeing how they perceived me, and how my actions had caused that.
The funny thing is, however, is that the idea of getting married has slowly become less and less important to me recently. I’ve started to see it more as a piece of paper and a ring rather than a compulsory life-long commitment, and apart from the bonus of a giant party (and the burden of paying for it), getting married essentially will not change a thing about my relationship. For some, it changes everything, whether it be due to religious beliefs or perhaps just personal ones. But my boyfriend and I moved in together after three months of dating. We got a cat one year later, and then added a puppy not long after. Almost two years ago we bought a house. At this stage, dividing up our assets (and animals) would be a much bigger headache than getting a divorce. So what exactly will marriage mean for us?
It’s been drilled into me since I watched my first Disney princess movie that getting married is supposed to be one of the best and biggest days of your life; the start of a new chapter. Maybe that’s why it’s been so important to me. Maybe that’s why I feel like I’m not moving on to the next stage in my life until I am married. But one thing for certain is that tying-the-knot won’t increase or alter the love and adoration I have for my boyfriend; that is already very much there and according to both of us, is for life. It won’t mean we treat each other differently. It won’t signify a giant step in our relationship. I mean, I’m not even planning on changing my surname.
Maybe I need to put down the bouquet, stop stalking people’s wedding photos on Facebook and back away from all the wedding talk…for now anyway. I don’t want to be that girl who talks incessantly about her wedding whilst her friends sigh and roll their eyes because she’s not even engaged yet. I think there’s a few bigger things I could be focusing on right now, and it doesn’t include colour palettes or catering.
So for the moment, I’m trying to avoid all mentions of “wedding dress” or “bridal party“. Oh, and Beyonce karaoke – no matter how catchy that tune is.