A few years ago, I was on the phone with my sister telling her about a guy I was dating. I told her I really liked him, but I was worried I was going to mess it up. She replied: You won't mess it up. And I said, I know, I know. But he's just so nice and smart and I'm worried I'm going to do something to mess it up. So she said it again, a little more firmly, that I couldn't mess it up. And I probably said something along the lines of the fact that she'd never actually been on a date with me, so how could she really even know that?
And she replied: I know you won't mess it up, because if he's your husband, you can't mess it up. No matter what. There is no "messing it up" if you're meant to get married.
As someone who has an advanced degree in worrying and 20+ years of practice using control to pretend-manage anxiety, this was brand new information. I made her repeat it again.
If he is supposed to be your husband, he will be your husband. You cannot mess this up.
I've found that sometimes, as women, we think we can out-perform heartache. Maybe if I say the right things and look pretty and am super funny and don't ask for too much, we can be happily ever after.
This doesn't work. This leads to a relationship full of performing. A habit of becoming smaller to diminish our own needs. A life of becoming buttoned up and perfect so we are perceived as less needy. It leads to quiet instead vibrant.
It leads to trying to squeeze ourselves into these little boxes that can be stacked on a shelf, instead of floating free in the ocean, feeling the big splashes and salt in our hair and sun on our faces.
If you're anything like me, and you think that sending a perfectly crafted text or being that "super cool chick" that is go with the flow and doesn't need date nights, will make your relationship last forever: I get it. I have been there.
But, I assure you, downplaying who you are and what you need will not add years, days, hours or even minutes to your relationship. It will not lead to connection and love. It will not feed your relationship or your soul.
We owe it to ourselves - and to one another as women - to be the fullest, most vibrant, honest and abundant versions of ourselves. We owe it to ourselves not to pretend or perform. We owe it to ourselves to believe that we are enough, with all of our needs, passions and desires.
If it is meant to be, it will be. I promise you. You cannot mess it up.