Last spring, I was having lunch with a close friend when we started talking about her relationship.
Everything was going great and, having been together for such a long time, the mutual love and support was flourishing. We talked lightly of them eventually tying the knot, and I explicitly remember jokingly saying, “I bet he’s going to propose this weekend.”
Lo and behold, that following Saturday I received a text with a photo of her engagement ring followed by an infinite amount of exclamation points.
There are different studies that show that show us that millennials are getting married later in life, but in an interview with Bustle, relationship expert April Masini said that “this isn’t because we don’t want the commitment; it’s because we simply just don’t want to get married.”
Well, there must be something in the water because I’ve lost count of all the people my age that have gotten engaged just within the past year. People I go to university with, people I went to high school with, people I know by association; all taking what, to me, feels like a major step just as we’re all finding our footing in adulthood.
Maybe it was the solemnity of the situation that was making me wary.
What does it really mean when you make those heartfelt vows in front of your friends and family? What does the ring on your finger truly symbolize? What happens after the wedding day? Making such a big promise to not just anyone, but your “person,” was something that I just couldn’t fathom. I can commit to a lot of things: graduating college, finding a job, being an awesome dog-mom; but committing myself and the rest of my life to another person was something I never really thought about.
What if things changed? What if you fall out of love?
Admittedly, part of my confusion had to do with having never been in a romantic relationship myself. Scrolling through all the posts, there were more than a few times where I started to wonder what it would be like to find my person: how or if I’d change and would there be that extremely cheesy rom-com movie moment where I see them and everything stops.
Listening to everyone gush about their fiancé, watching them “say yes to the dress,” asking their best friends to be their bridesmaids, and even playing the part of bridesmaid myself, I was intrigued and almost envious.
With every status update and ring photo on Instagram, it became more and more of a mysterious phenomenon; a trend I wasn’t in on. I began to feel like I needed to be in a relationship just so I’d have a “someone.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly proud of everything that I’ve accomplished in my life thus far, but the idea of having someone at the end of the day who is rooting for me regardless of my successes or failures made my heart pang with an unfamiliar longing for something – someone – unknown.
Then I started to think back to something that the friend I had lunch with said that day. She said that when you find your person you just know. All the pieces fall into place from there.
And that’s when it hit me: it was all serendipity.
What good is attempting to force something meant to happen by coincidence, by chance? I consider my friends and colleagues who have or are getting ready to, tie the knot to be extremely fortunate to have found their person so early in life, each with their own unique backstory.
Good things come to those who wait and I want serendipity.
Until then, I’ll happily sit with the rest of the wedding guests and watch love take its final form.