playing married + why i think it's a bad idea
I've played married before. I played married for about two and a half years, in fact. I was the roommate who was never home, and the extra roommate a house of guys really didn't want. For all intents and purposes, he was my mental husband. I already had him nice and neatly placed in the spot reserved for whoever that will be one day in my mind. You see, that's the first thing that happens. You somehow get married in your head. Next thing you know wake up and realize you've been pretending to be a wife without a ring on your finger or a promise made. You make him your mental husband. He ceases being your boyfriend and someone who is not a guarantee, but maybe wants to be your husband one day, and he begins taking on a role that he was never intended to. And that stresses both of you out. There's way too much unnecessary pressure on the relationship. So one day you realize you're bickering like two people who can't stand each other (partially because you kind of can't), and you don't know why. I'll tell you why. It's because you've opened a door that you weren't supposed to open yet.
We've forgotten how to date. We've forgotten how to hold any kind of emotional boundaries, and have chosen to only consider "boundaries" in a relationship things of a sexual nature. We've allowed it to become a free-for-all. And while it's no one's fault but our own, who can blame us? We just don't know any better. It's human nature to follow the leader, and we're following the lead of our favorite married couples, because that's the rational thing to do. We forget we're not married. We start sleeping over innocently enough, because it's convenient and I'm-sick-of-driving-home-at-12-oclock. We start sharing every part of us, every past-hurt and hope and dream and scar, because no one's ever told us about emotional boundaries. We start blowing off our friendships and isolating ourselves, because he's so much fun to hang out with. We start opening ourselves up physically, because it's just what comes next and we have no self-control. And before you know it, you're playing married with the pros.
And then you break up. And the healing process is about 1,000 times harder because you're playing divorced now. And he was everything to you. Everything. And nothing's really keeping him here because you weren't married. So he's free to go, no real repercussions. I've walked through this, the deepest parts of this. And the healing process was hard. We shouldn't have been that far in. Even though we'd both long since checked out of the relationship and it could have been much worse, it should've been easier. If I had fought against the desire to play married.
Because it's a fight. It's a fight to watch J leave every night and not beg him to stay over. It's a fight to not give him every little piece of me because I love him and trust him so indefinitely. Sometimes it's a fight to not hole up with him and never spend any time with anyone else because he's my favorite and I don't feel like I get enough time with him. And yes, it's a fight to keep it in our pants. But that's what you do for love. You put your self and your desires aside, and you fight. Because in the end, choosing to not play married is one of the least selfish things you can do for each other. The reality is, until you say I do, that person you're dating isn't yours. They could very well be intended for someone else, no matter how strongly and surely you feel that they're the one for you. You could break up. Crazier things have happened. J and I could break up tomorrow. So date with that in mind, with the intention of preserving yourself and the one you're with for the person they're meant for. Because it could be you. And how awesome will that be, if you are? That you've saved yourselves for each other, and not just physically. You've saved those deep, untouched parts of your heart for each other and have the rest of your life to discover them. One of the most dangerous parts of playing married is how dang fun it is. Which gives me a little hope, because I like to think being married is pretty fun too [I refuse to buy into the "marriage is all work and no play" dialogue]. And fun things are dangerous. So this really is something you have to daily choose to fight against. But in the end, it's worth it. I only want to be married once, whether it's in my head or not.