We dated for 5 years before he proposed. We were engaged for 5 years before I felt like we were ready to get married. We have now been happily married for 5 years. Throughout our journey, plenty of people questioned why it was taking us so long to get to the alter. Some provided advice on things we could do to get married quicker and others shared opinions on why they thought we needed to break up. We would respectfully listen, but in the end, we always made the choice to do what we knew was best for us. I believe that is one of the main reasons our relationship has been able to withstand the pressures society often places on people and relationships. We have never tried to keep up with other people or meet everyone else’s expectations. We have always moved at our own pace and danced to the beat of our own drum. We have been inseparable despite life’s trials because of that.
These days, it’s hard not to come by someone providing advice on what you should and shouldn’t be doing to get or keep a relationship. Everyone has an opinion on what a successful relationship looks and feels like. However, not everyone is qualified to speak on your relationship or relationship status. This is why you’ll very rarely catch me speaking on romantic relationships because I know all to well that every woman and relationship is different. From the outside looking in, it’s easy for people to provide an opinion, but their opinion isn’t really valid when they don’t have all of the facts. While some women would say that they wouldn’t wait 5 years for a proposal, for me that wasn’t a problem. Especially considering that we started dating when I was 17 years old and he was 18. We were young and were still too immature to get married within 1-2 years of dating. People looked at us strange because we were engaged for 5 years, but we were perfectly fine with it because we knew why it was taking 5 years. Aside from me wanting to graduate from college first and save for my dream wedding, I required that we both be on the same page in regards to religion, children, marriage expectations, and household management. I wasn’t willing to say “I do” being 50% or even 99% sure that we were equally yoked. I never took marriage lightly so I needed to be 100% sure that I was marrying someone I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. I don’t regret that we took our time because it resulted in us creating a strong foundation for our relationship to stand on.
Many women find themselves in a rush to get to specific places in their lives simply because they are being influenced by the timelines society has placed on them. Unfortunately by doing so, they end up giving up too quickly on good things and sabotaging relationships that could have been great if they had allowed it the appropriate time to grow. Sis, embrace your own journey. Avoid comparing your life to others and understand that the timeline of your life will not match anyone else’s. It’s okay to listen to wisdom others share about their own experiences, but only apply what fits into your reality. You can save yourself a whole lot of confusion, headaches, and heartbreak by trusting in yourself and doing what you know is right for you.