I have been around many singles in my life. In fact, I’ve spent more of my life single than married. One of the conversations I heard many times (as a single) was I can’t wait until I find the person of my dreams. (I also threw my two cents in along with the best of them.) We would talk about how we felt our lives would change (for the better), and we would laugh and discuss the benefits our mates would bring into our lives. Now that I am on the other side of the fence, I get to look back and reflect.
When I was single, my entire focus was on me. I did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. I ate what and when I wanted. I engaged in the activities I liked, and I associated with those who suited my taste. I did things at my own pace, and I didn’t have to consider anyone else’s opinions. I worked long hours if I wanted to, and if I did not feel like talking when I came home, I didn’t. My money was my money, and I spent what I felt like spending and saved what I thought was reasonable. Point blank, I made decisions with me (and only me) in mind.
Then, I was fortunate enough to find that special person. The only thing was he thought differently than I did. He didn’t do things on my time schedule, and his experiences were different from mine. He had a way of handling situations that was not familiar to me; and even though we have the same core values, we differ in many ways. He raises issues that I didn’t previously consider. He brings out things in me (good and bad) that I didn’t know existed. Our relationship stretches and tests me in ways that I could have never experienced as a single person.
This was when I learned the importance of compromise. I’ve learned that when two people embark on a journey such as marriage, there is a give and take that’s essential if they plan to stay together. One person’s decisions don’t only affect self, but each decision a person makes affects the other person. A person doesn’t have to lose himself once he gets married, but he has to compromise (there’s that word again) when there are disagreements.
Even with the learning curves associated with marriage, I’ve enjoyed the journey. It has helped me discover things about myself that I didn’t know existed. It helped me to examine my decision-making process, changing my focus from self only in order to consider the relationship.
So if you’re single and wanting to get married, ask yourself one question. Are you ready to compromise in order to be joined to another? If the answer is no, you might need to stay single because marriage has a way of pushing compromise front and center in both of your lives.