The man I once thought I was going to marry got married last weekend. By all accounts, it was a beautiful wedding. (This is one of those thank-goodness-for-facebook moments. Some of my friends are still friends with him, so I got to see pictures. Pssh. You wouldn’t be a little curious?)
When we met in 2007, it was instantaneous. The beginning of summer crept over Chicago and I fell in love. When I saw him before I moved back to Chicago, the feelings came flooding back.
When I moved back to Chicago, I was naive enough to think that it’d be easy for us to be together. It wasn’t.
There was a big fight, the fallout, and then the gradual rebuilding of what would be one of the greatest loves of my life.
I was patient (not a state of mind I’m entirely used to). I played it cool (again, not something I’m familiar with). I was awesome (of course).
Our tentative embrace of the potential relationship resumed. I knew it was officially unofficial when, after a party at their new place, I fell asleep in his bed. Just as I was drifting off, I overheard someone asking about me, and clear as day, I heard his response, “Katie? She’s my main squeeze.” I fell asleep smiling.
The next summer, he drove with me out to Colorado. I remember driving into Rocky Mountain National Park with him, thinking that I wished I could bottle the happiness that I felt. It was the swell that you fill in your core when you’re so full of beautiful emotions. It was everything I knew would never last.
(ahh! and there’s Simon on the right. That’s one love that will never die.)
As the summer faded to a close, things began to crack. There was the gradual frustration that I felt with everything. There was the future. We began to talk about the future, and I stopped seeing us and started seeing my parents (hint: not a good thing). We fought. We broke up. The anguish was drawn-out, peppered with those moments of hope that all would be salvaged. It ended badly.
I am thrilled for them as they begin their lives together as husband and wife. But I am so relieved. I don’t even feel bad saying that: I am so relieved. About a lot, but mostly the fact that I am not married.
I want to be married someday very badly, but I am very much willing to wait until it’s a thousand percent right. (Even if that means I end up 45, single, and find myself “accidentally” adopting cats from shelters and taking them home to keep me company while I drink Malbec and wait for my pineapple curry to be delivered from the Thai place.)
But damn, this world can be a very lonely place. Even when you’re not alone. But even so, the thought of getting married as a means of ensuring companionship is terrifying.
In the very immortal words of Outkast, “Forever never seems that long until you’re grown.”