Glowing down the aisle – The proposal
“Are you sure??? “ I repeated as I stared at the man I know I want to marry, down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.
Perhaps not the answer one would expect? Funny, yes, but why couldn’t I just scream “YES!” at top of my lungs like I have seen in movies? Why would I answer THE question with a question? Why couldn’t I just let go, be in the moment and live this fairytale I have dreamed of all my life? After all, I have known for the last 4 years, he is my forever person, my perfect match. We have talked about marriage so many times, so what’s wrong with me then? I thought this was supposed to be the “happiest day of my life”? Why am I being so in my head?
Living in an overly romanticized society is challenging. It feels as though we are always chasing the next thing that we think will “sweep us off our feet”. We live in a world where we long for connection and love, yet it can be as disposable as a simple swipe left on a screen. However, we put an incredible amount of pressure on what we expect relationships should make us feel - all the time. No wonder marriage can be so scary, I mean who can live up to that?
The truth is, saying yes is making a choice, and a BIG one at that. A choice that will affect you and the rest of your life forever, and a choice like all the others choices, that has an outcome. Any big decision deserves a moment of reflection, a pause before taking the leap of faith into the unknown. Why? To make sure you are giving it your best shot!
Despite how great your relationship is, how much of a #CoupleGoal you are and how deeply you love each other, saying yes is more than that. To me, marriage is a recipe and love is ONE of the main ingredients. However, it is also choosing your life partner, the father of your future kids, the person you will take most of your vacations with, your retirement buddy, as well as the person who will drive you completely nuts at times, will challenge you in many ways, will make the same silly jokes you don’t find funny anymore, the one who will also forget garbage day and so on…
As I felt the wave of emotion come on, I dared to ask myself the tough questions. Questions I thought I had already thought about and answered, but for some reason felt completely different to me now that it all got real. "Am I making a good decision in regards to the daily bustle as well as feeling completely fulfilled in a relationship forever?". Daring to ask this was not easy, not romantic but oh-so necessary. In the middle of all the « congratulations! » and « tell me how he did it? « or « show me the ring, » I had to face myself, crack myself open, and be brave enough to dig deeper. In a moment where everyone expects you to be and feel nothing but happiness, having existential questions can seem out of place or even shameful. I decided I would not let shame win this one and I would be vulnerable enough not to hide behind dress shopping and wedding planning. I would feel all that I was truly to feel in this moment and not what was expected of me as a newly “bride-to-be”.
Lonely is actually how I would describe the moments between the bursts of insane happiness. But it is in that loneliness that I learned to own my YES and my decision to the fullest. Fear is what gets in your head during this time. But it is in facing our fears that we discover the beauty of courage and enjoy the rewards that are waiting for us on the other side. Stillness is where I showed myself kindness and found peace between my analytical self and my romantic heart (yes they are getting along just fine now thank you). Mourning is precisely how it felt to say goodbye to the term “girlfriend” and embrace the word “fiancé” as my new title. I guess you could call it an identity crisis! Turns out, these feelings, thoughts and emotions are absolutely normal - thank you Internet - what a relief! Many women experience this at various stages of their engagement and at different levels of intensities, but sadly, we don’t talk about it because it doesn’t fit in our happily-ever-after script.
Being on the other side of it now, I see the worth in having questioned the process rather than simply go through the motions. I feel this conversation is necessary in ending judgment or association of these feelings to what we assume is doubt. Instead, we should encourage newly engaged couples to talk about these feelings, and emphasize that they are completely normal in such a big transition time. To expect getting engaged to boil down to one singular emotion of happiness is simply not realistic or human.
Now that my expectations have had a rude awakening, now that I have done the work, I feel completely liberated, and I stand so much stronger in my decision. I feel free to fully enjoy this experience because going deeper means I’ve expanded and rooted my joy. Having my hubby-to-be walk by my side every step of the way with nothing but support, patience, kindness, and unconditional love for me and my process, only made it that much more evident that he truly is by far my best decision yet and without a doubt the one for me. I cannot wait to walk down that aisle to him.