Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When's the wedding?

There are some people in my life that I won't talk to about Gentleman Jack. I won't mention that his children came into town with him this weekend. I won't discuss how his boys adore me or how my girls beg me to take them back to Louisiana when I go visit.

I don't talk about it because I can sense their worry and hesitation.

They want to know our plans for the future and don't feel comfortable with a non-answer. Most especially, because there are children involved.

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I remember when my ex-husband and I were dating, we would frequently be asked, "When's the wedding?" because we dated so seriously for so long.

Then when we married, we were asked, "When's the baby?"

Then when we had a baby, we were asked, "When's the next one?"

Why does everyone feel the right to decide what is going to happen next in your life?

Seriously. Is there some timeline or chart you're supposed to check off? Because if so, GJ and I have both been there, done that. We see how well that worked out for either of us.

I have friends who have been in long term relationships and they never married because they didn't want to. I have friends who don't have kids because they choose not to. Why is that a problem?

Why is that considered 'not normal'?

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Over the weekend, my Gentleman, myself and all the kids went on a nature walk at a local museum/wildlife sanctuary. We took lots of great pictures of his sons with my daughters.

As we were leaving, GJ asked if we could get someone to take a picture of the 6 of us. In one beautiful shot, we are all looking at the camera and smiling. Six sets of denim clad legs that could be... maybe... one day... one big family.



I can't lie. Since we took that picture, I find myself looking at it. Could it be?

Then my Gentleman asks me on the phone the other night, "Do you find yourself looking at the picture of all 6 of us?"

"Maybe."

"Pfft. Maybe," he laughs, "You know you do. And I do too."

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I do believe that GJ and I both feel a bit gun-shy after previous relationships. I know that I certainly wonder if all of this long-distance-goodness can translate into real-everyday-life wonderfulness.

After all, I spent a year and a half listening to a man in my last relationship plan out our future together without really ever referring to me as his girlfriend.

Funny huh?

I only realized that the other day. The only time he implied I was his girlfriend was when I suggested that perhaps he go find another one. Yet, I hung on to those glorious plans and pie-in-the-sky conversations about how our relationship would be like no other. How we'd be the perfect made-for-each-other couple.... only to find that it was just that: a dream.

I do believe that he loved me. I do believe that he wanted that. But as I hung on to those words, that dream evaporated into nothingness.

So, yeah, I'm a bit nervous about these same conversations with Gentleman Jack. The difference is palpable though.

When I cling to GJ's words, much more loosely than I ever did in previous relationships, they're always followed by action. Instead of cold nothingness, my arms wrap around healthy, warm love.

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Gentleman Jack and I love each other. I believe we both love the idea of joining these families into one big almost Brady-like family. At the moment, however, we are also very happy with where things are and neither of us feels the rush to change it.

What if we choose to have a long-distance relationship for years? What if we choose to continue seeing each other twice a month, living in different towns, staying in contact and emotionally supporting each other over the phone on a daily basis?

Is that not still a relationship? Will we still be judged for not being 'normal'?

Then so be it.

Normal is overrated anyway.

I have no idea what is going to happen. We're still, as we have since the beginning, taking each day as it comes and having a damn good time at it (and quite frankly, our children are too). Until one of us decides we want more, no decisions need to be made. No wedding needs to be planned.

"It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life."
~Green Day

18 comments:

  1. I think you put this very well, T., in many ways.

    You have so MANY good things going for you--and all the kids--just the way things are now. If things go forward and you join more formally? It would probably only get better. But there's no need to rush. Be in the moments where you are.

    Very, very, very happy for you, T. I wish you SO much continued goodness with Rascal and in life.

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  2. When you're in a long distance relationship, I think it's easy to get caught up in what a "normal" relationship is supposed to look like. 'Normal' for you can look like whatever you want it to.

    I know what you mean about other people not necessarily feeling very comfortable with the terms of your relationship, that happens with us, too. But I know you know this - the only people who matter in this is you, Rascal, and your lovely kids. And if it's working for all of you, then that's all that really matters.

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  3. Similar to what Momma sunshine says - your normal is not the same as everybody else's normal. It's one of those 'your mileage may vary' situations.

    I also believe that if/when there is another step to take, you will know when it's right for you. It'll hit you like an epiphany (or a brick in the back of the head), but you'll know.

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  4. Totally agree here - your nornmal works for YOU, it doesn't mean it has to be everyone's normal. I also agree re: the marriage thing. I'm in the "never say never" frame of mind, but it also begs the question of - is it really necessary? And only you know that, nobody else. And ps - I love how awesome your relationship seems - gives me hope for my "someday" :)

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  5. T- I think that I have lived the "not normal" life for so long, that I can't imaging "normal".
    You are doing what is right for you and your girls. That is all that matters.

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  6. Single parents HAVE to think outside the box when it comes to relationships. That IS our 'normal'. We find a way to make so many other things work, why not relationships too? As long as you and your kiddos are happy don't worry about what other peopel say or think.

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  7. My relationship with Scott has not been "normal" up until the last 5 months. We have been together for over 4 years. In those years I was always in SC and he was in S. Korea, then Texas, then Iraq. Just cling to your love for him, and forget everyone else. Who cares if your relationship is different. That doesn't make it any less real.

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  8. I'm with Momma Sunshine and Mindy on this one. Normal doesn't have one face, and we shouldn't be so quick to categorize everything anyway. The implication is that whatever doesn't resemble the established normal is therefore not as good. I say bullshit to that!

    Marriage also needn't be the brass ring either. Our culture is absurdly fixated on marriage as the be-all-end-all. And for those of us who've been married and divorced, we really ought to know better, and recognize that a loving, honorable, committed relationship is family, with or without the legal paperwork.

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  9. T, I stumbled over your lovely site today and your blog was very inspiring to me! I think it is wonderful that you are both choosing what is best for you and your children and letting things fall into place if they are to be. It is a rarity to 'not rush' things and so I found your blog so honorable and wise! I also could relate to what you shared in this whole 'outside-push' and often refused to be a part of it! My hubby and I are also enjoying taking it at our own pace and aren't afraid to say 'nope, no kids, we aren't ready yet..'.. I wish you so much relationship success and joy in life and look forward to following some of your other blogs! warmly, Jenn

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  10. Amen.

    The hubs and I have been married 6 years EVERYONE is always in our face "when are you having kids" when we tell them "WERE NOT" we are looked at like leapers. Its a little out of control really..

    And we did long distance for 2 years, we lived in different countries. Listen to your heart, everything else will work itself out!

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  11. Thanks for the comment on the six months anniversary post... we are now at 9months and I cannot believe it ... and yes in looking toward the future I have even started counseling...as I work through my own hesitations about what comes next...

    Hope your hesitations go by the wayside soon... trying this again... can be scary, huh?

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  12. Based on what you wrote, it's a pretty big leap to go from a simple "when's the wedding?" question to "Why does everyone feel the right to decide what is going to happen next in your life?"

    Maybe there's more being said than the questions you wrote here? Because asking a question like that is just curiosity. It's not deciding for you.

    If you hear it as deciding for you, based on years of dealing with those people, then that's for you to look within yourself and figure out! (But you already knew that.)

    Glad your relationship is good, and you don't need to know where/when it's going!!!

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  13. Normal IS overrated. Life is messy. If yours fits into a perfectly square little box with a ribbon on top, you're doing it wrong.

    Word. :)

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  14. Ton, this is one of my favorite posts of yours. Viva non-normal! Viva true love! I applaud you.

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  15. I think it's those "normal expectations" that lead us into trying to make the future more concrete and perhaps forcing events before we're ready for them.

    So I say, forget what's "normal" - do what feels right for you, your girls, for Rascal and his children. And, do it in your own time.

    The question that always bugged me was "Are you going to have another baby?"

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  16. Pffft. Normal. No one can claim normal, T. Especially not in relationships. Everyone has their own version of normal. Normal is what you want it to be, what you make of it, and how you present it.

    And because she cracked me up, I'm saying it too.

    Word.

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  17. I couldn't agree more than normal only looks abnormal to those who aren't actively participating in it. My "normal" is very different from other people's "normal." As long as the arrangement the two of you have continues to be mutually desirable, have at it! How many "normal" people out there are in "normal" marriages and lying next to someone each night, only to feel lonely and unhappy? Maybe if we all worried a little less about "normal" and instead worried about "happy," that happiness would be easier to feel worthy of. :)

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  18. Girl what is normal? Maybe what is what is going between you too is normal.

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