Monday, October 20, 2008
I'm not sure that I will even publish this blog... I figure that I will write it and, depending on how personal it gets, I will decide whether or not to let it out into the world. So if you're reading this, apparently it has been published.... which doesn't necessarily mean it isn't personal.
It's funny how you can look at people's lives and people's relationships and envy what they have. I have had people tell me that they envy my life and/or my relationship and when they say that I sometimes get a tiny sinking feeling in my chest. I think that many people have lives or relationships worth envying but only from an outsider's perspective. No life or no relationship is perfect and if someone tries to convince you otherwise... they're lying! Let me explain why I bring this up.
I do have a really great life and, from a career perspective, it's pretty damn near perfect. I love what I do, I have insane job security, and, on top of it all, the pay is great (at least in California)! I am so happy that I chose nursing as a career and it fits me perfectly. Of course there are downsides to the nursing profession (i.e. shift work, wiping ass, etc) but the pros outweigh the cons by far.
I also have a great relationship. My boyfriend (further referred to as BF, although I know most of you know who he is, I just don't want this to be about him, because it isn't.... it's about me... and since this is public, ANYONE can read it) is great. We have been together for a year and a half and we've made it work even though we live in two different states. We're both very physically active and love to mountain bike, run, snowboard/ski, work out, etc. I've never dated a guy that is athletic like me and it is so refreshing to have someone who enjoys the same physical activities that I do. It's also great that he's good at them and can beat me instead of the other way around... I've dated guys who are physical wusses and I could practically run circles around them... which is such a turn-off for me. We're also very like-minded politically, socially, and environmentally. He gets my obsessions with bio-diesel, recycling and being anti-plastic, changing the world, Obama for president, etc... and he's totally passionate about all of it, too! He also makes me laugh, we tease each other in such a fun, flirty way, we have great conversations.... it all seems so perfect.
Until the other shoe drops.................
He doesn't believe in marriage and he doesn't see children in his future.
Let me explain. We've talked about marriage a lot and he knows that, someday, I would like to be married. Personally, I don't believe in it for religious reasons or social reasons but I believe in it as a commitment to each other where we state that "we" are together in life, through all that happens, both good and bad. For me, it's not about the ring or the dress or the cake or the flowers (which I could do without, frankly), it's about standing in front of our family and friends and making a lifelong commitment to each other.
My BF, on the other hand, doesn't believe in marriage for any reason. He believes in being committed to someone regardless of having a piece of paper stating such a commitment. He sees us being together "for a long time," as he puts it, but doesn't see how making it legally binding changes his commitment to me or our relationship. He has asked me to make my argument as to why I want to get married, but it isn't something I can put into words.... it's just something I feel inside... something that I know I want in my life. It broke my heart to hear him sound so negative about something that I want someday... and, frankly, I wouldn't want him to marry me for any other reason than that he wants to... not because I want him to.
The "no kids in his future" thing is another problem. I haven't 100% decided one way or the other whether I for sure want kids or not, but I'm not willing to forgo the option if, someday, I decide that I do want to have them and then I am with a man that doesn't share that desire. It makes my stomach queasy when I think about how our futures and our goals might not coincide.
I am not angry at him and I don't believe that he is "wrong" for what he wants for his future: Both not getting married and not having kids are choices that many people choose to make, especially in this day and age. What I struggle with, is thinking about how it affects me if we stay together and that by doing so, either I have to give up my dreams of marriage and kids or he has to relent and possibly do something that he wholeheartedly doesn't support.
This is my conundrum to which I see no solution. I oscillate between being okay with whatever happens to "us" in the future, be it together or apart... then to being completely anxious over that exact same idea of us not spending our lives together. When I think about our relationship possibly ending, a gut-wrenching feeling tears through me. On one hand it seems so illogical to end a wonderful and fulfilling relationship right now because of a possible future misalignment. On the other hand, I wonder if I am setting myself up for a greater heartbreak by staying in a relationship that will ultimately end because of those misaligned goals.
I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with the outcome of my decision, whatever that may be. I think either way, someone is going to be heart-broken...
.....and I think that someone is going to be me.