Anyone who truly knows me knows this: I don’t want to get married. None of them, on the other hand, really know why. Or if they do they should enlighten me because it’s something I’ve lately been trying to answer myself. I’m surrounded by many beautiful, successful marriages. So why wouldn’t I want the same the happiness of my parents and grandparents? Have I given up on love? Am I an extreme feminist who hates all men? Do I spend too much time reading statistics on how 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce? The answer to all the above-- No.

It’s not that simple, condensed or cut throat. Instead it’s a lengthy, drawn out mixture of reasons, beliefs and- to be honest- girlish stupidity. All of which led to 20-something me waking up one morning and declaring my indifference toward marriage.

The reason this is a drawn out mixture of things is because I can never keep a long story short. I’m too much like my mother. I ramble. I share more information than people care to know. While my mother talks this way, I write this way-- at least when it comes to this blog. I feel the need to write, "Warning: Excessive rambling. Read at your own risk." before every entry. Everything else I keep short and straightforward. That’s what journalism majors are supposed to do. But here I break the rules. So before I get any more off topic, let’s see if we can both get through this next bit of rambling. Shall we?

REASON #1:
The obvious choice: My past. Enter sixteen-year-old me. I was a senior in high school who believed I didn’t want to date until after graduation. Boys were immature and I had more important things to focus on, like remaining a good little girl and graduating a year early. Like most girls who haven’t been in a relationship, my viewpoints of dating were shaped by my fellow peers, chick flicks and TV drama. None of which are reliable sources. I was naive + I was stupid. Just like everything else in life-- we rarely know what we’re talking about until we find ourselves in that situation, whatever it may be.

So here’s the overview: I met a boy. I fell in love with said boy. This boy lusted after another girl who became a serious problem. Throw in verbal, emotional and a pinch of physical abuse. Before we get overly dramatic, like both my brother and mother have done in the past, I was never beaten. Nevertheless I had several bruises during this relationship from where this boy would grab my arm or wrist and refused to let me leave. So I broke up with this boy and regrettably we were together again a month later. The abuse continued and the other girl was still a part of the picture. Like an idiot I stayed in the relationship another six months until I received a wake up call-- my grandmother died. I came home from her funeral in Tennessee with the realization that I didn’t want to be like her and experience one bad relationship after another. So I ended it.

Now somewhere in that little overview, my heart was broken. I’d given my heart to a boy I thought I could trust. In a dramatic, yet realistic sense a part of me had died. As a naive girl I’d unconditionally loved this boy. I spent a winter vacation after our first split sleeping on the couch, crying in Bella-nightmare-like hysterics while my mother combed her fingers through my hair night after night + calmed my question to, “Why didn’t he love me?” It’s a tragic tale that’s all too common. It’s the continuing story of another heart not handled with care, from both parties. A story sometimes viewed insignificant, with the belief that teenagers can only experience adolescent love, as if their hearts don’t have the capacity to love as deeply as adults. When really isn’t it the other way around? We become so hardened over time with such experiences that we don’t dare to love as freely as we once did. We take more precautions. Sometimes being too cautious. Or at least, that’s my story.

From that first relationship I learned this: 1. There’s a reason God said, “Guard your heart for it’s the wellspring of life.” 2. I don’t trust my taste in men. 3. I refuse to let history be repeated.

So what did I do? I dated a guy completely opposite of the first... five months later. He was a nice guy, by all means, but my respect for him was zero. He was in his early twenties, didn’t have a car and never held a job in his life. We dated for about six months. I never loved him and as far as I know he never loved me. In the time we were together I had issues. For one, I had trust issues. Second I was still dealing with a broken heart. My annoyance with myself carried into an annoyance of him, so I ended it. It was a relationship that, for a very long time, I regretted. It was a rebound. It was pointless. And it was unfair to him. I had issues that I didn’t understand. While on a smaller level, they’re issues that I still don’t completely understand.

Somewhere in those two relationships I’m sure are hidden several reasons why eternal singleness sounds pretty darn good. But I think reason #1 can be pretty much summed up in: I have trust issues with men... at least when it comes to matters of the heart.

REASON #2
I’m still learning-- about life, about who I am and who I’m meant to be. I crave travel. + I’m convinced my mentality of marriage is a good thing for a gal in her twenties. Well not every gal necessarily, but this gal. It’s allowing me to focus on my journey, whatever that entails.

BELIEF #1
This belief is the big one-- God. + Its’ a sure sign that I haven’t given up on love. Why? Because I’m head over heels in love with Jesus. + I’ve been in a deep, romantic relationship with My King since I was fifteen years old. Before I go any further, I want to say that the intention of this post is not to preach or to convince you of anything. I’m here to say I’m a girl who believes, whether you do or not, that there is a God that I can trust with my heart. There is a God who loves me so deeply that it was worth His death on a cross. & No matter how imperfect I am, His love is unfailingly perfect.

Our relationship has been full of its ups and downs. God knows I’ve had trust issues, with Him especially. For quite some time I built my confidence in past relationships and how I was viewed by men. That confidence was destroyed and left me in a very dark place. A place I didn’t believe, or trust, I could be pulled out of. And if I was going to make it out, heck-- I was going to do it on my own. So in many ways I turned my back on God while He patiently waited by my side. Over a year and a half process I slowly learned how to trust God again and in His beautiful, mysterious ways He brought me out of darkness.

His perfect love is the most real thing I know. Without a shadow of a doubt, I know there is a God who loves me unconditionally. There is a God who will never leave my side no matter what I say or do. There is a God who thinks I’m beautiful. There is a God who calls me daughter, friend and a princess. I am loved unconditionally by the Creator of the Universe. & Heck, that’s good enough for me.

So that leads to this: While I say I do not want to get married, I’m not naive enough to not know that God sometimes has other plans for my life. That sometimes- most of the time- okay, all the time-- His plans are better than my own. So I may or may not get married one day. I’m content with not knowing. I’m content if I stay single. & I’m not stupid enough to think this is how I’ll always feel about marriage. This is simply my thoughts right now, as a 20-something trying to make her way in the world.

GIRLISH STUPIDITY #1
Even if I wanted to get married, I’d still say: God help the man who would be stuck with me for the rest of his life. Amen.

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So let me sum this up before I forget whey I even decided to write about this topic in the first place. Oh yeah, I wanted to figure out why I don’t want to get married. I’m already questioning whether or not to post this because quite frankly I think I come across as a lunatic at least half the time in my writing. Bless you for putting up with me, reader. You’re a doll.

Let's just say everyone has an icky past. There are things we aren’t happy about, things we sometimes regret. But those are usually the things and the moments that shape our character. They’re the things that make us strong and help us grow. My past just so happens to have shaped me into a person who is indifferent toward marriage. & That’s okay. Maybe marriage isn’t for everyone. & if that’s the case, why spend my time trying to find the right guy? I’d rather put my energy into the things I love-- like travel, writing, my relationship with Christ, my friends, my family and so on. Since I was a young girl my grandfather used to tell me all I needed to do in life was to marry a rich man. I would always respond along the lines of, "Why can't I support myself instead?"

If writing this post has taught me anything it’s that my mentality toward marriage is not a bad thing. + That there could be more reasons why I don't want to get married that I don't even know about. That's all a part of this journey of discovering who I am. Sure I may still have a few issues-- who doesn’t? Sure I don’t trust a guy with my heart, but I trust God with my heart. And if marriage somehow is written in the stars for me, He’ll take care of it. + That’s good enough for me.

Feel free to share your thoughts on marriage, reader.

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