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Dear Breakup Girl,
I have been with the same person for 2 and a half years now, and things have
been really good--the best I've ever had. However, since I'm 25, and most of my
friends are around that age too, the big topic/issue/event of this past summer
should be obvious--yup, weddings. Goin' to 'em, bein' in 'em, bridal showers,
engagement parties, flowers, dresses everything. Luckily, it's mainly
"other" people,not close friends. (A co-worker; my best friend's old
high school chum; the son of some of my parents' friends, etc.)
But---and this is an important but---it is driving me absolutely insane.
Normally a reasonable and logical person, I am finding myself alternating
between renting movies or surfing web sites or talking to engaged people,
basically doing having to do with weddings OR feeling the urge to dump my
boyfriend, quit my job, and flee the country. Hike around Europe by myself,
work in a coffee shop, basically pretend I'm still 19. Or pick up guys in some
random bar. Something. Anything but wearing white. All of which would be fine
if it weren't for the dreams. Yup. Normally sane me has been having terrible
anxiety dreams where I get married but I don't want to, where my boyfriend
catches me kissing other guys, everything. I want to marry this guy,
eventually. Maybe even in a year or two. I just want to stop being bombarded by
this whole mudslide of marriage details while I'm trying to figure out my own
life. (And yes, I know, the magazines/movies/stores have always been there, I
just never noticed.)
My questions: First of all, how do I get a grip? Second, do most people go
through this kind of mental trauma when they are trying to transition
themselves into adulthood and marriage, or is my subconcious trying to tell me
-- Pre-pre-pre Marital Girl
Now try doing that
without a boyfriend.
But either way, actually, I think your situation is
easily analyzed. "Before," you could just have a boyfriend and do
girlfriendy things. But now you have entered The Wedding Zone. (Not to mention
turned 25, when EVERYTHING changes. Grownup rites of passage occur left and
right: you take a definitive step toward that place where What You Do is Who
You Are, you actually frame your posters, and, well, you go to weddings.) And
when you enter the WZ, you start tripping wires. You start thinking, "Hey,
those married people aren't, like, big old grownups named Luke and Laura;
they're my peers! Could this happen ... to me?" The whole thing can
certainly cast a whole new harsh naked lightbulb on a relationship that had
been doing just fine, thank you very much.
So the way to get a grip is to go, "Duh! For the
reasons that Breakup Girl described, of course this is flipping me out!"
The marriage flood may not stop, PMG; you're just going to have yo give
yourself a few coats of perspective and let it bead off. That's what you should
do regardless of what your nightmarish subconscious is telling you. If you do
(a) wanna get married, and (b) think you might wanna marry this guy, then fine.
What else do you need to know? But just in case, at the next wedding you attend
(like, tomorrow, no doubt), watch the couple exchange vows. Squint really hard
and picture yourselves there, saying words like "forever" and
"death." Can you picture it? At least, like, maybe, eventually? Even
with a side of heebie jeebies? I betcha you can.
And remember, PMG, you don't have to dump your
boyfriend in order to hike around Europe by yourself and work in a coffee shop
for a spell. If you're thinking that relationships -- not to mention marriasge
-- are all or nothing, no wonder you've having anxiety dreams.
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