Jul 242019

Growing up, I believed in romantic films. My mother would play old movies whenever she had time off from work. It’s how I fell in love with Jerry Lewis at the age of 16, only to be disappointed when I saw him in his old age.

It wasn’t the last time I felt love just wasn’t in the cards for me. With time, I fell for other classic films and loved another man: John Cusack. “Say Anything” was on repeat and so were the ideas of what it meant to be with someone who appreciated me.

Years went by and I entered the dating scene after a bad break up. Every date led to a rollercoaster of emotions. Happy, but never satisfied.

Do you know that saying that tells you to love yourself before loving someone else?

Well, it’s true.

Nothing felt right until I learned to love myself, wholeheartedly. Learning to accept my flaws, embracing them along the way and everything that comes with being me.

I spent four years dating myself to help achieve all the above. I actually went on lunch dates alone, and once I went to watch a movie. It felt liberating to do so.

Mixed Emotions

A year before meeting my husband, I met someone who I thought was a single dad. Turned out he was married. Somehow, that didn’t keep me away.

I was a college student who didn’t want anything serious. Yet, this was satisfying. No attachments, just a good time.

With time, I felt uncomfortable knowing two people were living a lie. I tried tricking myself into thinking I’d be 100% okay creating something with a married person. The idea of being with someone who was emotionally unavailable was no longer exciting. Maturity was slowly kicking in.

This Mr. Unavailable told me I should never get married or have kids if people and things quickly bore me.

I believed his words for a long time. In fact, I thought marriage would become like a routine — the same thing over and over again as the love begins to fade.

There was someone else who once ended things with me by saying I wasn’t looking for anything serious and that I played mind games.

Another who I had been seeing on and off for years had told me the opposite. It’s funny how people get a different version of you when you’re dating them.

He said, “I can tell you’re looking for something serious — settle down and start a family. That’s just not something I want for myself.”

I laughed and I couldn’t believe he had told me this since I heard the exact opposite from someone else.

Maybe it had something to do with the connection we had over the years, but he was right. I hadn’t realized it then, but he made me come to the conclusion that whatever we had wasn’t going to become anything else.

Walking Away

Writing has always been therapeutic for me. When I walked away from Mr. Nothing Else, I needed to figure out what I wanted for myself. That’s when I took out my Notes App and jotted down the qualities I looked for in a partner.

Spending time with family and friends will remind you of all the things you need in life –– great food, genuine people and good laughs. I had all that with them, but I wanted more.

I turned to religion and prayed that those from my past would find happiness and love. I went on family road trips every weekend and focused on work. By focusing on the things I already had in life, I made time for the things I wanted.

The Beauty Of Life

Life has a funny way of showing you how to appreciate things for what they are, not how you’d like them to be.

When friends ask about love, and where to find it, I always tell them love finds you. You can’t go looking for it, you just need to focus on the things you enjoy and the people you love. In time, everything just falls into place.

Today, I’m married with three kids and two pups. I met my husband while chasing a car in New Jersey. We’ve been together ever since. I can assure you this, marriage might not have been in the cards for those people who gave me advice, but it was in my future.

What were your thoughts about marriage when you were younger? Tell me about it in a comment below!

Fatima Torres

What's life like with three kids and two pups? It's entertaining, that's for sure! MTME breaks down family fun ideas and shares personal insights from a former B2B editor and digital marketer turned mom running a business and a household -- all under one roof. With her husband as her #1 fan, there isn't anything she can't accomplish. Read on to learn how she breathes in fire and exhales success.

Reader Comments

  1. You have kissed some frogs to find your prince, and I have been fortunate to have been apart of some of that growth. You did marriage your way and that is the most beautiful thing you can pass down to your babies

  2. Growing up I had so many timelines plans and they all came crashing down. I thought maybe my future wasn’t going to be what I had planned. I ended up with exactly what I wanted, just on a different timeline.

  3. I didn’t give marriage a thought when I was younger. For it was some not necessary something I might do if needed or something. got married 7 years ago because my husband could get promotion but there was the unofficial habit of promoting people with family, at least with a wife and so we got married. generally my seeing of it didn’t change a bit with years

  4. I thought for sure I would be married forever. I married young, had four kids, and a wonderful life. Then a surprise divorce popped up (my ex just married the reason why) and a new life began. I loved being married, but I love being single too. I don’t forsee, or want to get married again. I love a happy ending though, for those who do get married. I’m glad you found your life partner. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Sometimes, marriage isn’t for everyone. There are pros and cons to bother options, I have found. Happiness is not guaranteed and sometimes being bound to someone is not the answer. I think before leaping into a relationship you need to have a strong sense of security and happiness in yourself. So many times I have seen people seeking a relationship desperately because they truly feel their happiness lies in another. Such a great and interesting post.

  6. Lovely to read your heartfelt post, this is not something a lot of people share as marriage can be hard work and most only tell you the good things. So glad you found the right person for yourself

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. Marriage definitely isn’t like what the movies portray. In fact, it’s better because yours is real!

  8. This is such a lovely read. This only shows that marriage is not an ideal solution for every couple. There are things you need to learn before getting that and it is a matter of a lifetime commitment.

  9. I don’t believe in marriage but that is not because of men I’ve dated before. It is because I have seen so many broken marriages and so many people suffering because of it. I believe that two people can live and love each other the same with or without a paper that declares them married.

  10. Thanks for sharing this topic. For me, marriage is not for everyone if you don’t do it with the right one. It really is about finding the right person for you.

  11. I really is interesting how our perspectives on things can change over time. I’m glad you found your special somebody!

  12. I honestly didn’t think much about marriage when I was younger. I did get married at 19 since I got pregnant though. And in the beginning, marriage was terrible and I didn’t know why anyone would bother. But then my husband and I grew with each other, so I get it now. But I still like my personal space!

  13. I thought marriage was for me but apparently not, as I’m going through my second divorce now. What I thought was my soulmate, my everything, turned out to be the total opposite. Since I have been on my own, I’ve reflected on everything that I have gone through and I don’t plan on getting married ever again. It is hard to say that but I’ve been burned way too many times to trust another person with something so sacred (considering the person I am still married to at the moment is a Christian). ๐Ÿ™

    For now, I’m focusing on myself and my health, my kids, and my puppy dog.

    I’m determined. I would rather be happy and poor, than married and miserable.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with marriage, Christy. I’d be lying if I told you marriage is easy. It takes a lot of opening up and honesty on both ends. You don’t always get that, and sometimes you need to realize what’s more important. At this point, it’s you and your children. You hit the nail on the head about choosing happiness and poverty over courtship and misery.

  14. Yes Marriage will happen and remain successful until we find out soul mate. I know that not every relation will be good. but good one make successful married life.

    1. Yes, this is true. My approach when I was dating my husband was “be a friend first, always.” I keep that mentality today. We are best friends because of the way we treat each other.

  15. Honestly, for me it doesn’t matter if you are going to marry on your younger or adult years what matter is if you are perfectly and willingly ready to take that commitment and responsibility for a lifetime.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Tammy. Sometimes we forget that finding someone isn’t the same as being with the right one. You’ll find a lot of people along the way — some more suited than others. It doesn’t mean that’s your forever person. Maybe that “forever person” is just you.

  16. I was too focused on graduating high school and learning my accounting as I wanted an accounting degree. I never remember having thought about marriage or having my own kids while I was in high school. I guess I was just focused on a career, but then I had a kid 20 days before I turned 21 and never looked back. Been a Mama ever since, although I’ve been married and divorced, I am back with the one forever man I married and divorced, funny how we need to grow a little to realize what we created was awesome, but I loved reading your story! I can relate to some of those feelings you had back then and I do agree, you have to love yourself to be ready for such a committment.

    1. It’s amazing to read how you took your time as well to figure things out. It does take time to love yourself first. Thank you for checking out my post, and I’m glad the two of you were able to find each other again.

  17. When I was younger I knew I always wanted to get married, and I did. I’ve been married for ten years now. I know there can be some good and bad, but overall I think it’s wonderful to be married.

  18. It’s funny how things change over time and we learn new things about ourselves. Our lives are definitely evolve. I always see things about how people say “I would never” when they have kids, but that seems to change. Hard to know what we might like so far in the future.

  19. I truly enjoyed reading your post! Wow!! It’s interesting how one person thinks of you one way and another the opposite way. Growing up, I’ve always believed that a girl’s goal should be to marry in her 20s because when she gets to her 30s, she’s like old stock (aka on clearance) that no body truly wants. But now I know better!

    1. That’s an interesting way to put it, Louisa. I don’t know how my life would’ve been had I not had our kids in my 20s, but I know it wouldn’t have been this exciting.

  20. I’ve always thought it’s just great and super romantic. I now know it would take a lot of patience and work. It can be beautiful but also worse.

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