Things I Wish I Had Done Before I Got Married
Things I wish I had done before I got married
I’m not complaining about my life (okay maybe I am a little). I truly believe I had to go through everything I’ve been through to end up where I am today. I certainly don’t regret having my wonderful daughter but I do believe that if I knew then, what I know now, I would have done a lot of things differently. This is why I’m teaching my daughter some of the below things before she settles down with one person, (assuming she will) for the rest of her life.
When I was young, I was on one path and that path was to find a job (not necessarily doing something I enjoyed), earn enough money to move out, find a husband, get married, buy a house, have kids, live happily ever after. I couldn’t see anything beyond that. However, knowing what I know now I wish I…
Had Traveled More
The path I was on didn’t involve traveling so it wasn’t even on my radar. I was driven to be “responsible” and started down a path of doing what was expected of me, at a very young age. I never stopped to look around and see if there was a better way. I think if “a better way” bonked me on the head, I still wouldn’t have seen it because most of the people around me were doing the same things I was. That confirmed to me that I was on the right path and I wouldn’t dare do something differently than the people around me.
I couldn’t afford (financially or esteem-wise) to be a risk-taker and even though I thought it would be nice to travel, it wasn’t something I could even conceptualize enough to make happen. Basically, I was too afraid. Afraid of disappointing remarks/looks from the people around me. Afraid of the financial risk. Afraid of looking like a failure. Afraid because I lacked the emotional support from my family. So many fears caused me to not take any risks.
Who knows where I would have ended up and what my life would look like now, if I had traveled.
I recommend that people explore different places before they settle down in one spot. Yes, it will cost money so learn as much as you can about money.
When my cousin was young, he worked for 6 months out of the year doing odd jobs to earn money so he could travel the other 6 months. Of course, I thought he was crazy at the time because…I mean…how irresponsible, right?! Well, the jokes on me because he was young, no ties, no kids, no mortgage and he has seen so many great places and has met interesting people. Once you settle down, you can kiss that freedom goodbye.
Had More Sex
I graduated high school in 1985 and it wasn’t acceptable for young women to be more experienced in the bedroom than her male counterpart. It wasn’t like back in 1950 when women had to be virgins, however, the unspoken “rule” was that a woman could have one (maybe two) sexual partners before she got married.
Let me explain what I mean. It was an unspoken perception that women who were “too sexual” were considered slutty and therefore not suitable for marriage. Even though it’s not a requirement for a woman to be a virgin in our culture, it’s unacceptable for her to be “too experienced.” I could be wrong but I believe this is because nothing can ever encroach on a man’s virility. A woman’s sexual experience wasn’t openly talked about but it was definitely frowned upon for her to be more “experienced” than her man. Like it or not, it’s their world and we’re just livin’ in it! If you did have more experience than your man, you kept it to yourself because revealing your level of sexuality could mean the difference between the title of a “married woman” and a “spinster.”
I didn’t go away to college so I was still under the watchful eyes of my parents. I had a few long-term relationships which were monitored closely since I was still living at home. I wasn’t sleeping around with multiple partners but I wish I would have had the confidence and the opportunity.
When you’re young and you’re having sex with young, inexperienced partners, your knowledge of yourself and your partner is limited. Kinda like “the blind, leading the blind”. I wish I would have gained more experience sexually before settling down with one person.
Had More Female Friendships
I think I would have benefited from friendships with strong independent women. Most of my friends were weak, dependent women. I didn’t have any examples around me of women who were driven by something other than the need for male attention and validation. My sister was not a good example either since she met her husband when she was 18 years old and was gone from my life.
I’m certainly not blaming anyone but myself because you gravitate toward the people that are most similar to you…I think? Most of my female friends were desperate to get married and have babies. Even though I knew deep down I didn’t want those things right away, I spent so much time pursuing it, there was no time leftover to focus on anything else. I should have been enjoying my friendships instead of being just another cow being herded toward the slaughter.
Had More Male Friendships
I had dysfunctional relationships with men, starting with my dysfunctional relationship with my father. Therefore, I was insecure, self-conscious, hyper-sensitive to testosterone as I typically became all giggly, stupid and flustered when I sensed a male was in the vicinity. When I look back on it, I shake my head in disappointment.
I think because of my family dynamic and how my mother seemed to worship my father and treat my brothers with high praise, it swayed my views of men. In school, in media, in social settings it appeared to me that men were held in high regard. Women were subservient and less worthy.
When you think of yourself as “less than” someone else, it alters how you behave. When I was young I was always afraid to talk to males and I think that was because I felt they would not think anything I had to say would be of any importance anyway. Instead I sat silently.
If I’d had the confidence, it would have been easier to be friends with males which I believe would have helped me expand my knowledge of myself and the world. I would have been less intimidated in social situations, work situations, dating situations, etc. I think it would have helped me become more well-rounded as an individual so I would have had healthier relationships all around.
Had Spent More Time Alone
From an early age, boys were a distraction for me. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 18 years old but for many years before that, I yearned for one. I wish I hadn’t because I feel I wasted a lot of years pinning and whining over really stupid stuff. I could have been so much more productive if I had focused on making myself a whole person instead of focusing on finding someone that could potentially make me whole.
When I finally started dating, it was hard to go back to being alone. I became dependent on that feeling of being with someone else. It’s as if dating created new levels of insecurities and self-esteem issues. When you start dating your focus turns to “Okay, now that I have him, how do I keep him?”
Instead I should have been spending time alone to figure out me first and how I wanted to live my life. I think if I was a more confident person I would have been okay being by myself and I would have sought out healthier relationships.
The reason for this post is because I see many young people making the same mistakes I made and having regrets. I’m hoping that by sharing my experience, I can provide a different perspective. I’m not discouraging marriage but it isn’t the only option in order to be happy. What I am doing is encouraging you to figure out who you are and how you want to live your life, before settling down.
Once you get married and the kids come along, everything changes. You will look at the world differently than you do right now. To be better prepared for marriage and family, figure out what’s important to you. In that journey you will most likely attract someone who has similar goals which will increase your chances of success in that relationship.
If you are married, are there things you wish you had done before you settle down?
If you are single, do you have things you want to accomplish before settling down?
Comment below :)
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