food for thought – on getting engaged

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ADHD / advice / DBT / lately / love / marriage / reflections / wedding

For today’s post, I thought I’d write a little bit about my thoughts and feelings since getting engaged one month ago. If you’re in the mood for some random, mushy ramblings, read on!

Conrad proposed to me on October 6th this year, and the whole thing still feels so surreal. I think the biggest surprise so far has been the fact that being proposed to really wasn’t a ‘surprise’, like I thought it would be. I guess I always thought that the scariest part of being proposed to would be the decision (aka, yes or no), but the thought didn’t even cross my mind. Actually, if I’m totally honest, there wasn’t even really a question, but rather a suggestion to get married. Once I understood what Conrad was saying, I told him he had to ask me, to actually say the words ‘officially’, because I wanted to say YES! The overwhelming feeling in my gut that this was the right thing to do eliminated any question of whether or not this was the right decision, and that was what surprised me the most.

In general, I’ve always approached love from a rational, rather than emotional, perspective (something I find quite odd as I am an extremely emotional person…see below for more). Call it a protective measure, or perhaps even a degree of levelheadedness I can’t apply to other areas of my life, but I can be very harsh when it comes to incongruities with love. For example, I’ve judged friends for staying with unsupportive boyfriends, unable to understand why they’d stay with someone who isn’t good for them. I’ve ended relationships because I couldn’t see any conceivable future. I’ve also resisted new relationships because I couldn’t see them going anywhere.

What I’ve found in my relationship with Conrad, however, is that there is some validity in going with your heart, instead of your mind, when it comes to love. At any given time, I could give you at least five reasons why marriage might not be a great idea (we don’t have a lot of money, we’re young, I’m not established in my career, I don’t know if I’m ‘ready’, I have my general doubts about marriage as a whole, etc.). Yet, none of these reasons were as strong as the desire to be married to the person I love.

I’m currently taking part in a Dialectic Behavior Therapy group to get a better handle on some of my emotional overreaction to stuff, and this resonates so much with what I’ve learned so far. For so long, I thought that my emotions were bad and that I should just use my brain instead of getting upset over something trivial, but I know now that emotions have just as much validity and importance as logic does, and both need to be applied to make informed, wise decisions that feel true to our authentic selves. When it came to love, something I believe to be very important, I was too scared to be swayed by emotions and relied solely on logic. When it came to other, less important things in my life (like the decision of what to do on a Tuesday night, for example), I relied so heavily on emotions that I often ended up doing something stupid (such as staying out late when I have an early meeting the next day).

Slowly, I’ve learned to trust my head and my heart when making decisions both big and small. Tuning into both can be extremely helpful in figuring out what the best decision is for you, just as ignoring one or the other (or both) can be detrimental to your happiness and health. At any given time, we can ALWAYS come up with valid, rational excuses NOT to do something (apply for grad school, have a baby, make a friend, try a new hair cut), but that’s usually the easy way out. The hard part is actually sitting back and listening to what your wise mind is telling you and not being afraid to go with whatever that is.

Right now, mine is telling me to marry the man I love and continue to build our lives together, through both the good and the bad…

What’s yours telling you?

xxLena

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