Often I scroll through social media feeds and get that bitter sweet feeling when a wedding photo of a friend or a friend of a friend that someone I know has been tagged into. Why so bitter sweet? Because marriage itself confuses me. I’ve never been married and never really believed I ever would be or wanted to be.
I remember my drama teacher when I was 16 telling us about the history of the wedding ring being the guild around a woman’s neck when she became the possession of the man. I’m not sure whether that is true but it’s stuck with me forever. As a woman who believes in equality that was something I did not want, to be a possession and yet so far most of the time that’s what I’ve been but only by allowing myself to become one.
My perception has been what’s been holding me back and not the reality of the situation. They often say a man is happiest when he’s married in a relationship and I have often found that a man who is serious about you does move to the marriage chat pretty quickly if he sees himself being with you.
My own previous engagement was in my mind something that was a label but not a serious intention to ever get married. Saying yes to my daughter’s dad felt like something we should do and I really don’t think either of us had any motivation to actually go through with a wedding. Changing my name to his was out of the question for me, but for him I think it would have been a must. I sometimes that his motivation for his proposal was status, ownership, and doing what you should do and not really love for me, yes one time it was there but in the end that had died. If I was to surrender my name and become a wife it would have had to have been because of love and nothing else and that just wasn’t there, this was purely habit.
When I see a friend beaming with happiness I hope more than anything else in the world that it’s love and not habit. I know with those I see today that it is. Those Disney princess photos I hope stay with my friends forever and that the beginning of or legal confirmation of the rock that is their relationship is something they will treasure forever.
I have friends who have dreamed of their wedding dress since they were tiny, they know how they will look and feel in that perfect dress. I have no idea, I change my mind daily, sometimes it’s a full blown ball gown, others a demure 1950’s style dress, then other times full on wolf princess because the idea of snow, nature and forests appeals to me.
I often want what I tell myself I can’t have, and when I start to get it I get scared of losing it so my walls come up in preparation for the hurt. The one we call ‘the one’ joked he would only ever have been able to have afforded a Haribo ring, was he thinking about it or telling me he just wasn’t suitable? I think it was both.
Perhaps every girl wants that princess moment, it may be Snow White, Belle or Pocahontas but we all secretly want to be the princess for a day. It’s the bit that comes after that sometimes we’re not sure about.
The idea of saying vows in front of people I know scares me a lot, the idea of being judged for loving someone because love was something to make fun of when I was growing up. Something that wouldn’t be for me. I know that my parent’s were probably trying to protect me from doing it all too young by discouraging the idea of love, and my mother would often tell me career first. I rushed in and did relationships anyway, but probably out of rebellion.
Now I sit and wait for my Disney moment, it certainly isn’t all I want out of life but actually is one of the things I’d like to have. ‘The one’ said that fairy tales always end in tragedy, but tragedy is okay if there was happiness before and after.
Perhaps if I change my perception on marriage and realise that you’re making a promise, just like casting a spell you’re putting your dream out there for all to hear so that it will come true. If you don’t tell the universe exactly what you want, how do you expect it to grant your wishes. And if you act in a way that opposes what you really want then the universe will give you more of that because that’s what you’re actions ask for.
So dream your dreams, be that princess every day in your head. Look at your wedding photos and remeber that that princess is you, you may be in PJs or your gym kit but inside you are that princess. The bitter feeling of what I tell myself I can’t have is fading when I see the happiness of my friends and the hope that one day I’ll have that too if I only believe a little more.