Updated: Apr 2
Getting engaged (to the right person) is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced. I had been engaged before as a 19-year-old, and it didn’t feel real, but when asked at 27, it felt surreal! Like instant joy, and I cried right there in front of everyone (something I did not imagine I would ever do). I would marry the love of my life, and all I had to do was plan a wedding and live my happy life from there, right? Nah, that is not how it works. Being engaged is kind of like going back to the honeymoon stage of your relationship. When everything feels good, and you are so in love and happy. But just like the early honeymoon stage, that feeling wears off a bit, and you are back to reality. Things that annoyed you, pissed you off, and even gave you doubts are still there alive and well. But that is okay because no relationship is perfect, and the person you said yes to marrying is still the one for you.
This engagement time made me really look at myself. Knowing after my union, I would no longer go by the name that had earned me two degrees and started a career in a field that I love. It made me think, damn am I going to be a new person? Am I going to lose who I was before my relationship? It is a bit scary and the longer the time before the wedding the more time you have to sit and think about this. I believe that is what cold feet represented for me. The idea that I might lose who I was before my relationship so I could become the person who holds this new name and title. I’m going to be someone’s wife. WOW. There’s a lot of responsibility with that. Also, the thought of being less desirable crossed my head, like, “will people (men) treat me differently because I’m married?” I mean, I’m married, but dang, I still want to be attractive (silly, I know, but I thought about it). All of this crossed my mind, but then I had to realize I was holding on to my past.
I was thinking about the young college version of me. I am no longer that person, and I do not desire to be with anyone else, so there is no reason to fear that I will lose myself. Honestly, college me is already gone, and that is okay (Girl, you don’t party or drink like that anyways, plus you were broke, let it go). I am growing in all areas of my life, and marriage is no different. I have found the person that completes me, and I will have a fun and happy marriage, and it is on me if I lose myself. People will think you have changed regardless of a marriage, a new job, a new car, etc. Let them see you have changed for the better, but no name, title, or degree will change who you are at the end of the day. The two shall become one, but the old you will not be forgotten.
Enjoy your engagement and continue to do the work required to have a loving, happy relationship. The work does not stop once you get married. Staying happy and in love for the rest of your life while not losing yourself takes balance, hard work, and commitment. Getting cold feet is normal but make sure you explore the reason you are feeling that way. You do not want to walk into a marriage with doubts.