You only have to talk to me for five minutes to know that I am a planner. Yes, I cuddle with check lists, excel spreadsheets give me the warm fuzzies, and I would never think of diving straight into something without mapping it out first. Spur of the moment, fly by the seat of her pants kinda girl? Sooo not who I am. I'm not an action packed, good at sports, musical genius or anything of that sort. Nope, what I am folks, is an organization loving, concept creating, perfectionist of a planner.
So, as I alluded to in my last post, I was channeling all that planning energy into planning our wedding. Only. . wait, there was no wedding yet. . . because he hadn't even proposed yet. Ha, yeah sounds so ridiculous now. I don't think I'm the only one out there who has done this though. In fact, I KNOW I'm not the only one who has done this. You meet someone, you fall in love, and then one day you wake up and that sneaky little wedding gremlin is sitting on your shoulder, telling you that things are getting serious, and you should PLAN PLAN PLAN.
Before you know it, you are the girl who is talking about possible venues, color schemes, and oh yes, the ring. People look at you quizzically and ask, "oh, are you engaged? I must have missed that, Congratulations!"
(Cue sheepish stance, complete with uncomfortable squirming)
"Um, well, no not technically, but, it's coming soon! So I'm just planning ahead. . "
I can look back on it now and laugh at that awkward period of "almost engaged but not quite" or as many choose to refer to it as "the waiting period". But I wasn't laughing at the time.
Nate and I had talked about it many times before. After everything we had been through, we had come to the black and white conclusion that we were meant to be together. I wanted to grow old with him, and he wanted to grow old with me. Having come to that conclusion, I surmised that the next logical step would be for us to get engaged pronto so we could get married and start this growing old together business. Funny thing about relationships, and life in general for that matter, is that it is not all about what you want.
There were so many other things at play in our lives at the time; hunting for new jobs and starting those jobs, picking up and moving to another state, and the lovely lovely recent state of the economy all took a front seat to my ants in the pants mantra of the super fast engagement. I am a traditionalist to the core, so the "Will you?" was all on him and the "of course I will" was all on me. I knew that I just needed to be patient and wait for the right time for him to ask me and all would be well.
But honestly, I wasn't very good at waiting. In fact, I really stunk at it. I was constantly talking about getting married, or shoving ring pics in his face, and whining (Yes, I whined, I was a 5 year old, what can I say?). In my most dramatic of moments, I sometimes felt like I was going to grow old just waiting on him to ask me that one freaking question. We fought often during this time. I think he felt pressured to ask me because I talked about it so often, but he wanted to do it when I wasn't expecting it: in his own way and own time. And there I was on the other side of things feeling like our relationship had stalled and feeling a slight bitterness for the gender roles (he asks, I answer) that I had promised myself I would stick to.
A funny thing happens when you love someone. You are able to step outside of your own feelings, wants, and needs, and put the emotions and happiness of your partner above your own. It took me a while, but boy did I have a lightbulb moment. I realized that each time I pressured him about buying a ring or where or when he was going to ask, I was stealing some of the joy that he deserved to have while planning the proposal. He needed time and space to think about the where, when, and most importantly, the how. I wasn't allowing him that chance. I was making the proposal a stressful and negative thing, when it was supposed to be a happy and romantic thing. Worst of all, I was putting a strain on the wonderful relationship that we shared. I was letting the need to know everything, stick to a timeline planner in me get in the way of being a good partner. Not cool me! Not cool!
So I backed off, I enjoyed our time together, I stopped asking about the rings, we stopped looking at rings, we went back to just doing the things we always did, being a couple goofballs who drink way too much coffee and I was able to, once again, look forward to our engagement with a positive outlook. No more, "when is it going to happen?!" and lots more, "when it happens that will be great". Was I able to completely stop thinking about weddings? No, not even close. The constant perusing for wedding insiration?, yeah that didn't change one bit :)