“Knowing who you are (and what you want out of life) before getting married is how you avoid a midlife crisis that results in affairs, motorcycles, and unfortunate piercings.”
The above paragraph (number 6 in the MSN article, link at bottom of page) provokes thought – hopefully. Aside from the midlife affair cliché, a newfound interest in shiny, noisy toys and relieving your eyebrow of its virginity, it brings up a serious point. Not to say big engines and holes in the body couldn’t pose serious threats on some level, but, the real issue here is knowing who … you … are.
It’s fairly easy to assume that we know who we are. We’ve each been handed a set of circumstances that help form our personalities and outlooks by way of cultural, familial, and religious influences, to name just a few. We also have a fundamental element that occurs without much thought or input – our innate nature. Yet, if you were to ask yourself a few simple questions would you have the answers, and believe them?
Yes, we can qualify ourselves, such as: I’m friendly, I’m stubborn, I like popcorn with less salt, more butter and added jalapenos, please. Are you someone who wants to jump into life and experience every little thing you possibly can, or are you someone content to have structure and a schedule? In bed by 10 p.m., up by 7 a.m.; every single day. Do you hate cats, or can’t bear the thought of sports on any level? (Why so many sports channels at the gym?!) And, if you do have concrete answers, will you stand by them if you feel your happiness could be compromised otherwise? A tough question for some in the moment of challenge.
It can be difficult to be honest about our deepest needs, wants, and desires. What will others think? Will we appear too self-centered or uncaring and possibly off-putting to a potential mate who is perceived to be best-partner material? With that, comes fear of never finding the right person should our authentic sentiments be revealed. Most importantly, will you be able to walk away if the life items you value cannot be adjusted enough to suit both your needs? FYI, they have yet to make a square peg that fits into a round hole. We’ll-see-what-happens also has its shortcomings.
Sacrificing self for someone else’s ideal will undoubtedly result in a very unhappy, repressed individual, or one who fiercely revolts. Trying to conform to the dictates of another for the sake of having a relationship, any relationship, can birth all kinds of negative passive and/or aggressive behavior. A life half-lived or lived angrily, begets all sorts of chaos. Definitely not your happily-ever-after.
Trust that self-awareness is your friend, one of the truest you will ever have. Make time to grab paper and pen, and get down to some serious writing and reflection. “Know thyself” “To thine own self be true”: you pick.
So – who are you?
- MSN article, 7 things you should know by the time you get married: http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/weddings/7-things-you-should-know-by-the-time-you-get-married/ss-AA3dBzJ#image=1