I DO not

i do not_Fotor

About two weeks ago I deleted my secret “I do” page on Pinterest, all of it. I deleted a wide selection of cakes, entrées, decorations, dresses, rings, cocktails, song lists, and everything else I once thought would be essential for my big day. Every single pin was gone in the click of one button.

Why?

No, I didn’t get dumped. I didn’t join a covenant. I certainly did not commit to a life of celibacy, and I have not decided to give up and become a crazy cat lady – yet. I deleted my wedding board because I began to recognize that this factor was becoming an ultimate destination and focus of my present relationship, and I hated that.

When you’re 21 years old, and attending a Christian college where “ring before spring” and “MRS degree” are overused jokes (with an actual hint of realism), people start to ask questions about your near two-year relationship. “When will he ask?” “What would be your ideal date for it?” “What would your colors be?” “Who would be your bridesmaids?” The questions become more intense every month that you’re with him, and soon it is so easy to fall into them yourself.

I fell in love with the idea and talk of a wedding before a ring was even on my finger. That just seems so backwards to me.

Girls are hopeless romantics, and when you fall in love with a boy, it’s easy to also fall in love with these conversations and fall out of the complete reality of the beautiful, rare, and short phase of love and relationship that you are currently in.

Girls think about every part of the wedding, and we miss out on the opportunity to be completely present for the dinner date that weekend. We fantasize the honeymoon and forget that he is right next to us watching that same movie that sent us to tropical love desires. My marriage, my husband, my happily ever after is right now, and for a long time I was missing it. I was taking every step to lay a foundation, and I wasn’t even there to fully enjoy it. I would find myself lost in some future fairytale when an incredibly regular and beautifully ordinary day was happening right in front of me.

When Andrew and I started to date we both established that we were done dating “just for fun.” We both established that we were at the age where we were done just messing around, and we were ready to get serious. Many call this “dating for marriage.” The thing is, I wasn’t, and am not, dating for marriage. The marriage is just another thing, another step, another signed paper in the whole of the relationship.

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I’m dating for a life-long companion. The flowers, dresses, and cake would only be a day of that life.

Today, tomorrow, and yesterday are the beautiful steps in the direction of our lifetime. The brutal arguments that we had during the eighth through tenth months, the many TV shows we’ve binged watched together in the past year and a half, the nights we went out to celebrate birthdays and internships, and the nights we staid in due to lack of money, that’s us. That’s where the real matrimony took place and continues to take place everyday.

We became best friends, the holder of each other’s secrets, the subject of each other’s jokes, and most of all, each other’s favorite companion all in these average everyday moments.

i do not  3He’s not my husband, and I’m not his wife, and don’t ask me when that day of official titles will come. I don’t know. I honestly don’t care anymore. It’s time for me to start really enjoying and engaging in now with him, because never again in our relationship will we have another one-year, nine-month, and 14-day anniversary, and I’m so excited to share today, tomorrow, and next Friday with him!

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I’m not dating him for marriage. I’m dating him to further develop a friendship and a love that will withstand anything the future might throw at us. Reality is so fun, and I’ve only recently discovered that fact. I’ll have anywhere from six months to a year to plan a wedding when, and if, we enter that season of life, but today, I’m just going to plan another bowling date for this weekend and we’ll go from there.

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