Why You Don’t Need a Ring on it For Christmas

FB EngagementsSo last night and this morning, I was scrolling through Facebook, and I saw the beaming faces of multiple, old classmates announcing their Christmas engagements. While it’s a somewhat predictable time of year to propose–and where’s the fun surprise in that–I was genuinely happy for these women who are well deserving of lifelong love. But I must be completely honest with you—I was surprised by the twinge of envy I also felt. While I don’t consider myself a romantic traditionalist in general, a part of me couldn’t help wondering when—if—I will reach that exciting milestone in my own relationship.

There are a few things I share in common with my newly affianced friends. We’re no spring chickens. I’m the youngest, having just turned 37 two weeks ago. While we’ve never been married, all of us have been in more than enough relationships to genuinely recognize authentic, enduring love when it is staring us in the face. Our relationships aren’t new. Loved ones have long inquired when to expect the big day and babies. Friendships and families have blended. Lives and residences have been entwined.

In my case, I’ve been with Warrior Poet for more than two-and-half years now, and we’ve been living together for a year-and-a-half. He’s been by my side through the best and the worst of times. We’ve been each others cheerleader, champion and best friend. We have three families and a supportive circle of friends with whom to share special events together throughout the year. And in a couple weeks, we’ll be taking a trip of a lifetime together to one of the world’s most romantic cities and then to one of the most magical countries. Thinking about this, I was immediately chastened by how greedy and selfish it was to wish for more right now.

Christmas Love BouquetIn one of my FB groups, a woman posted about her disappointment that, after four-and-a-half years of a relationship, she wasn’t proposed to over Christmas. She said the only thing she wanted for the holiday was a commitment. People quickly responded to remind her that there is not time clock on commitment and that everything happens in its own, right time. While one couple got married after seven months together (15 years ago, btw), it took 16 years for another couple to get engaged. Yet the most sobering response was from a woman who said that while she understand the disappointment of the girl with no Christmas ring, there were many who wished that they had even a taste of what she already has—someone in her corner, someone by her side when the going gets tough.

It reminded me how important it is to recognize and express gratitude for the blessings we do have now. As single people, we can be grateful for the opportunity to really get to know ourselves, for the time to become our best selves, and for the experience of growing more complete and content on our own. If we’re in relationships, we can be grateful to have someone who sees, accepts and loves us for who we really are and has faith in who we can become. We can cherish the nurturing and support we receive. We can marvel in the process of getting to know each other even more with each passing day and the experience of our shared journey together. We can celebrate the continued acts of loving and the commitment it takes to show up for each other day in and day out, whether we’re wearing a ring or not.

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2 thoughts on “Why You Don’t Need a Ring on it For Christmas

  1. Yes, girl. Yes, yes, and more yes. It’s funny… Just before Christmas this year, my bf and I actually went ring shopping. Granted, I am 35 years old, have never been married (or engaged for that matter), and this is something that is as sacred to me as it gets. We’ve been together for three years, and I love him with all my heart, but there are still times when I wonder “Is this IT?”

    Sometimes I think that getting engaged/married later on in life is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because we know exactly what we want, and a curse because we aren’t always willing to compromise on things we may have in our youth. Or maybe that’s just me.

    The bottom line is that this whole circle of life stuff? It’s happening for a reason. I have to learn to be more in the moment with my bf, because I’m not always. And when you are ready for that next phase in your relationship? I am certain it will happen. Focus on the here, the now, the things that make you happy together and that exciting once-in-a-lifetime vacation you’re planning. Everything else (I believe) will fall into place 🙂 XOXO

    • Aw, congrats on the ring shopping, Charlotte! So excited for you.

      I definitely agree…waiting to become “hitched” (I just turned 37) is a mixed bag. On the one hand, you hopefully have enough experiences in life and relationships to know exactly what you want and be at a point in your life to readily receive and enjoy it. On the other hand, old habits and thoughts sometimes get in the way of making big changes.

      He believes I know how he feels about me and us. However, I feel that there’s something extra and significant about the official commitment. I suppose we’re not there yet, partly due to getting our individual lives more on course for longer, I think. But I’ll be patient, and we’ll see what the future holds.

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