By KEYON BAYANI
If you want to be married or in a long-term relationship, but find yourself attracting Mr. Won’t Commit, or, Mr. I Don’t Believe in Marriage, I’ll tell you why — it’s because you’re not being upfront.
Yes, you heard me, you’re not being honest with yourself or the person you are in a relationship with. It’s pretty bold of me to come in here and say that, but I am an authority on the subject. I spent almost a decade of my life compromising and bullshitting to myself because I thought that the person I was with was going to change.
What a bitch, right? Why should someone else change for me?
I didn’t see it like that then, I played the victim — you know that friend who is always crying and complaining about the relationship she is in and never does anything about it? The one that you all get sick of because you have told her about a gazillion times to move on, he’s not the right guy for you, blah, blah, blah, falling on deaf ears!
During that time of compromising, I did things that I cringe about today and would easily say no to. I became a vegetarian for a while to please him (I have nothing against vegetarians); I fasted for 10 days in a row (but hid in the pantry and fridge stuffing my face with leftover pizza and any other food I could lay my hands on so he didn’t see). I hiked for six hours in the bush with two little kids and my brand new, never-worn-before hiking boots, and still have scarring on the back of my heels some 10 years on from the festy massive blisters I developed. I promised not to talk about marriage or moving in together despite my every fibre wanting to get married and to live with my soul mate… but he wasn’t my soul mate, I was forcing him to be. I was controlling that person, that relationship, trying to secretly and manipulatively manufacture my desired outcome; to get married and live happily ever after.
Why did I do that? Well I suppose from the outside looking in, it was because I didn’t want to be alone, so Mr. You’ll Do was enough. Also, my first marriage failed and I just knew that there had to be someone out there who believed in happily ever after, so poor Mr. You’ll Do was getting pushed into being Mr. You’ll Do As I say!
And to be brutally honest, I didn’t love or respect myself.
So what happened? Well I’ll tell you what happened.
I wrote a list.
One night I was sitting with my kids whilst they were watching TV, and in part as a joke and something to dream of, I wrote out a “shopping list” of what I wanted in a husband.