Straddling the Boundaries: Where Do We Go From Here?
As I listen to the Beach Boys sweetly croon, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older? Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long,” I can’t help but commiserate. Sometimes I think that if Brandon and I were just a few years older, a few years wiser, more mature and had solid jobs, I could stop feeling like I’m constantly walking on eggshells while I wait to see if our relationship will blossom into something more.
We have been together for about two and a half years. We have learned a lot about each other and actually like the good and almost always tolerate the bad in each other. Our love, friendship and understanding of each other steadily grows and the more time we spend together, the better everything gets. But there seems to be a relationship limbo when you are too young to get married and too serious about the relationship to break up. I wouldn’t call it a stagnant slump, but there is a sense of curiosity about where this is all going.
Brandon and I have discussed our future a few times and although we usually agree that we could see ourselves getting married someday, there are those moments when we can’t help but think, “What if…?” What if we are not meant for each other? What if the comfort level we have as a couple is the only thing keeping us together? What if there are other people out there for us?
I even made it clear to Brandon that if he ever wants to take a break in order to date other girls, he can. But as my gigantic sunglasses hid my watering eyes, I couldn’t hold back the tears that welled up as soon as I said it. As much as I want to believe that I would be okay with dating other people so we could truly discover if we are truly meant for each other, the thought of separating breaks my heart.
My friend Lucy was in a serious relationship with her high school boyfriend for two and a half years. They were best friends, they were in love, they were happy and her boyfriend made it clear to Lucy that he felt that she could be “the one.” Being only 20 years old, with a whole life ahead of her and an unexplored college dating scene, Lucy wasn’t ready to commit to the same feelings her boyfriend expressed. Sure, she loved him and considered him one of her closest and dearest friends, but she decided she needed to see what else was out there.
An unexplored college dating scene soon became a well-navigated landscape of eligible bachelors for Lucy. She didn’t have trouble finding what else was out there, but she did have trouble trying to keep things casual because she wasn’t quite ready to get back into a serious relationship. About six months after ending things with her high-school boyfriend, Lucy is starting to fall for one of the eligible bachelors as she lets the other ones go. However, there are times she cries over her ex, unsure of whether she is truly and completely over him and if she ever will be. There is a part of her that believes she will always love him and bachelor number one will just have to allow her to come to terms with that.
I don’t know if Brandon is “the one” for me and might not ever be completely sure. I don’t know if there is someone else with whom I am meant to be. I don’t know if down the road we might grow apart and break up and move on. I do know that right now, I am happy and in love with Brandon. I feel secure that we are in a steady, solid relationship. I think that this limbo period is a chance for us to grow as friends and comrades who share more than kisses and lovey-dovey gestures and have burping contests instead of romantic, candlelit dinners. I do know that I don’t know where we go from here, but I will wait and see what happens.