I've heard it said many times before, and I never thought I would be the one saying it, but it seems like everyone I know is getting married or having babies.
This holiday season alone many of my friends, family, and acquaintances have gotten engaged or had babies, or announced they are going to be having a baby. It's like it all happened out of the blue.
To any of my regular readers it's no surprise that I do not keep or create relationships very easily. I am an introvert and relationships seem to run against the grain of who I am, and yet I do crave companionship. I'm not talking about romantic relationships solely, but friendships in general. I am always amazed when I see new relationships form and grow and develop. Different lives combine and part and start over again like a dance. Most days I feel like I'm just a wall flower at that dance. It is a mystery to me. What I wanted to write about is a series of short thoughts on those mysteries I want to understand better. The following are a random collection of stories and thoughts that illustrate my understanding, or lack there of, and experiences with relationships.
Back in the day, at bible college, a friend of mine got engaged. About a quarter of the student body got engaged to another quarter of the student body. They don't call it bridal college for nothing. Anyway, my friend was sincere and his fiance was great. She was one of three females I hung out with at school and felt comfortable around. After school ended they travelled to each other's home cities and spent some time with each other's families. Normal stuff I suppose. A couple days after she left for home, my friend asked me my opinion of their relationship. As an INTJ (Myers-Briggs personality) or someone who hadn't learned to refine his social skills too much at that point, I told him what I thought without much filtering. I told him I didn't think they worked well together. I thought they were too intellectually different to have a meaningful discussion on anything of importance. He was smart, she wasn't. I told him I didn't think it would last. Ultimately he broke it off. He told me later he agreed with me. A decade later and he's still not married. She is, with two kids. I sometimes wonder if I may have cost him an opportunity that has not returned since.
I have a friend who seems to be with a different girl every couple months. I don't know how that's even possible. Of course I have a friend who seemed to be with a different guy every two months for almost 10 years and now she's married with a baby and another one on the way. I have a cousin who dated one girl in Junior High and High School and ended up marrying her. They've been together for 25 years, married for 20 and have a gaggle of kids.
I know a woman who was going out with a man. I don't know how the relationship began, I just know that one day, there it was. A couple months later it was gone. I don't know how that happened either. Shortly after the dissolution they both started expressing interest in different people. A couple months after that they were back together again as though nothing happened. I don't understand.
I rented a room to the boyfriend of a girl who was helping with youth group in the Spring. Six months later they were engaged, to other people, on the same day. I don't understand.
I know a guy who I've worked with for a couple years now who had everything I want. He's a guy who seemed to have an idyllic marriage and a couple kids. And he's crossed a line that could destroy his relationship with his family. That has really shocked me. It's probably the reason I started writing this post. I don't understand.