Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Get Married and Just Make It Work

I was talking with my fella the other night about relationships past.  He mentioned that over the years he's been told some words that I'm sure all too many of us single folk have heard:

"Why don't you just find a nice person, get married, and make it work?"  

Why on earth would a person choose a partner for life on that premise?  Would you choose a business partner on the premise that you could make it work?  No!  You'd find the person who is the best type of match for you and your goals - someone you know will work hard by your side and has the attributes to create an equation of a successful relationship.  Because we are talking building the life business of eternity here.

I thought back to a young man I dated for a few months at the beginning of the year.  We got along Phelps and Olympic Medals.  But over the course of those few months, we came to realize a strong clash in our senses of humor, my passion for theater matched his dispassion for theater, and my desire to be in an exclusive relationship definitely did not match his desire to remain unexclusive until he knew he would marry the girl (I still don't know how you can know you can marry someone without first establishing the bonds of trust only found through an exclusive relationship, but now that is neither here nor there).  I also found that we were imbalanced in our dedication to work vs. personal life/adventures.  Yet, for those few months we enjoyed each other and saw potential in where the relationship could lead.

Could we have made a relationship work?  Yes.

Could we both find people who would make relationship-building a much less complicated ordeal?  Triple yes. 

Recently, that man became engaged to be married.  I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that the conflicts he and I had are non-issues with his future bride.  While he and I technically could have "made it work," I know he will have a much more fluid experience in loving someone that matches him in the ways he deems important.

Likewise, I am pleased as punch to be spending time with someone whom I don't share personality-defining conflicts with.  Cause, c'mon, all who know me know that my punaholicness is part of the charm of who I am.  And who would I be if I didn't bust into song randomly anytime, anywhere?  Or my readiness to jump at the chance for adventure?

Why would you try to make something work with a mismatched puzzle piece, when you can find a piece that fits you so much more?  I just don't get it.*  

*I recognize that once you are actually married, you work yourself to the bone to make things work, but that work seems like it would be a whole lot easier if you find a suitable match to begin with.  That isn't to say you need someone perfect, just someone who fits.


j said...

I definitely think that people can fall into the trap of thinking that the fit has to be PERFECT, when there's probably no one who is an exact fit.

That said, I'm definitely with you in wanting to look for someone that its easier to make it work with.

Janell said...

Hang in there. It's short-sighted to marry someone nice _now_ with the intent of making it work than wait for someone you look forward to making it work with.

Janae said...

I feel like I am always on the same page as you, Larissa. :)

I was engaged about four years ago. I think back on that and think that we definitely could have made it work. We were both committed. But he is now married, and I think it's to someone with whom a lot less work is required.

There are a lot of foundational commonalities people need to share, non-negotiables, if you will, a similar emotional core, serious complementing, that needs to go on for a relationship to be not as much work. Why add to the load?

miss kristen said...

Although I agree with you there is a fine line between "making it work" and being too picky. Too often I have watched friends miss out on great opportunities because their standards have been so high and impassable that something as silly as how she chewed was a deal breaker.
A very good friend told me once "What you have to do is make a list of things you WILL NOT compromise on; these things need to be the big- (and I mean eternally big) ticket items. What are the things you cannot--in any way, shape or form--compromise on? You do get to keep those. What are the things that you've come to realize, as you've matured, don't matter all that much. You might be surprised to learn that swashbuckling doesn't hold as much charm at 30 as it did at 16, but a smile that melts your bones does."
I'm not saying to ever settleon your big ticket items, but it's ok to be willing to compromise on some things, too. I love theatre. Mr Wonderful doesn't, yet he'll go because it's important to me. He likes video games. I don't, but I've been known to play Lego Batman with him a time or two.

Murph said...

Ya know, you’re right… But…
My wife and I have been married for 20 years (This October) and we have very little in common. She’s Country, I’m Jazz… She’s funny and out going, I’m serious and closed up… She’s sappy LDS romance, I’m A Clockwork Orange… She’s 7 Brides for 7 brothers, I’m Sweeny Todd. Really, when you get right down to it the only things we have in common are our love for eachother, love for our children and our belief in God.
Why did we get married? When we met, we just hit it off and we became each other’s best friends. Marry your best friend… that’s the best advice I can give you.

Heidi said...

I agree with Miss Kristin :)
First, I think you can honestly make just about anything "work". But will they make you happy? I think being happy in a relationship should come more naturally than having to work at something. In my first marriage, I sure did work to the bone to make it "work", but I was still miserable for 99% of it.
Second, I have strong emotions when it comes to girls (and even women) who think their life should be a fairy tale. Who think they should marry a prince and that he will always treat you like a queen. I think this is nonsense. You will never find someone that doesn't get on your nerves or forgets to bring you flowers or never thinks about himself first. We are all human, and we all are far from perfect. So finding what you are okay with compromising on is the key when walking the fine line in dating.
I used to always weigh out my options: On one side - My life with this man. On the other side - My life single. Single won out most of the time because I just never really wanted to hold on to them that much. I had to be happy with my own life because that was never going to change. Well until I found that guy I didn't want to let go of.

Giselle said...

Love this

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