“No one who is married is happy.”
I said that before when I was younger (many times).
“Marriage is stupid!”
Guilty, Your Honor.
Mr. Cubic Zirconia here, dear reader.
I’m gonna open a vein and bleed a little on the page here today... in hopes of helping a guy out there reading this who’s on the fence about choosing a wedding and a marriage with a woman who’s expressed a desire for that life (where I was personally for over a decade-- ironic for someone that makes a good part of his living all these years later selling engagement rings, huh!?).
Should you or someone you know read this?
As sellers of engagement rings such as those used in thousands of engagement proposals around the world, our team at CubicZirconia.com talks regularly with guys who are making-- or about to make-- what we believe is among the most important few decisions of his life.
‘Do I REALLY want to get married?’
‘Is she FOR SURE the one I want to marry?’
And these aren’t decisions that a man should make lightly-- especially a man who isn’t even yet sure he wants to get married at all.
As I write this, it’s my 39th birthday-- and it’s also the day before AND the day after the anniversary date of when my wife and I got married (how that little piece of multi-date wedding trivia can be possible, though, is a story for another day).
Today, Mrs. Cubic Zirconia and I have now been married (mostly happily) for years .
----> Catch that “mostly”?
Yeah, many couples-- perhaps even those you’ve known-- will answer questions about his or her relationship by saying “everything is fine”.
Yet they’ll toss off that BS non-answer with about as much conviction as the person who reflexively answers “How you doin’?” from a questioning stranger with “fine”-- even if their house was recently robbed and their cat just died.
That’s simply not how we communicate here.
When we decided to make value-add relationship discussions in content via email newsletters and blog posts an integral part of our outreach to grow our CubicZirconia.com business, we decided to be honest….perhaps even brutally honest.
> No spinning the truth.
>> No airbrushed, only-happy instagram photos.
>>> Please forgive the profanity, but we don’t sugarcoat shit here.
Marriage can be hard,
and every single day isn’t gonna be
a happy day for most married couples.
We’re not perfect here. And we don’t pretend to be.
If you’re a long-time subscriber to the CubicZirconia.com cosmos, you may have even read about some of our struggles as a couple-- and the relationship lessons Mrs. Cubic Zirconia and I share about what we’ve learned in overcoming some of those challenges together.
But sitting here today, I’m damned grateful to be married to my wife.
And damned proud that the woman I chose also chose me.
But yeah, in the past I REALLY DID say all those things that started this article.
When I was younger, I believed marriage was stupid…thought it sucked…and considered the institution a sop for people who couldn’t be happy while single.
Earlier in my life, I was vehemently opposed to the idea of marriage.
I scoffed at the idea that couples could be compatible for a lifetime.
I mocked other guys for “shackling” themselves to one woman forever.
Do you know anyone who feels or has felt the same way?
Let’s discuss some of the ways such (erroneous) thinking can be overcome, ok?
Even with all of that negative thinking I had on the subject…because the culture we live in seems to put so much emphasis on pair-bonding for life, by my early 20s I had at least considered the idea that one day I might get married…
But I resolved that I would get married IF AND ONLY
IF that woman equaled a very high standard I set for her.
At that time-- aged 22 and still young and dumb enough to believe I knew it all--
I wrote an audacious list of 50 attributes I wanted in a life partner, and titled the list “My Wife is She”.
(ASIDE: if you’re single and seeking someone great to share your life with,
that’s an exercise I highly recommend doing yourself)
>>>>> Making that list was kinda like one of those personal-development exercise things we all do and feel great about for a short time-- but which more often than not we promptly forget… or don’t make the necessary sacrifice and effort to live up to doing what we say we want to do.
Yet I printed that document and kept it with me or on my person across multiple moves and personal organization methods for years.
(17 years later I still have that original list…
in more ways than one :) )
The “My Wife” list detailed stuff like:
She loves to travel and be spontaneous
She understands the balance between pleasure and sacrifice
She is financially savvy
She is compassionate and shows it by helping others less fortunate
She's an amazing conversationalist
She's beautiful but not impressed by it
She's goal-oriented, wants more in life, and is a dreamer
She likes to play poker
She has a great ass
…and 41 other “checklist” items.
You get the idea, right?
If you’ve never done anything like that and you’re flirting with the idea of getting married-- maybe even to the woman you’re dating NOW…trust me, it’s not too late to make your own list!
Making my list helped me a lot.
Still, to be completely honest, it’s clear to me looking back that my standards were pretty high-- perhaps ridiculously so-- when you consider that I probably wasn’t particularly fit, good-looking, or successful enough to attract such an incredible woman to share my life with me!
It’s clear to me that I wasn’t ready for marriage, and not even sure it was REALLY something I really wanted…but in hindsight I think maybe that making that list was for me probably LESS about having a quantifiable criteria to compare against prospective mates, and MORE a subconscious way of proving to myself that I was right to be anti-wedding (after all, who could imagine finding someone THAT perfect for me... and this amazing female would actually WANT to choose me over everyone else in the world?).
Yet I think even if in my early 20s I actually had found the special, hypothetical woman I described in that letter and list to myself....I would still have been hesitant to commit to marrying any woman.
The 2 primary reasons I’d have still hesitated to plan a wedding day may be relevant to a guy reading this and thinking some of the same thoughts:
- Back then, it seemed like most of those people I knew who were once married...were now/later divorced or obviously unhappy in their partnership!
- Even those that had once seemed happy as couples later (or often) seemed not to be still/again happy during future get-togethers.
- Asking questions about a relationship of either partner in a couple usually brought an obviously false smile and “marriage is OK” or some other vague and non-excited, but seemingly-positive comment.
My experience just didn’t include many real, legit, honest recommendations for getting married (from people that were actually married-- and happy).
- You see, I love variety-- which is why I’ve lived in dozens of cities. And that desire for variety is a big part of why in my 20s I dated a lot of women.
- While dating a bunch of people is sometimes frowned upon in our society-- and dating more than one person at a time can definitely often be considered taboo-- nevertheless, in my 20s I enjoyed a long period of dating a lot of ladies, and frequently more than one at the same time.
- Now before anyone reads this and goes off the rails, please know this: I never lied to a single woman about dating other women. I was transparent; each woman I dated knew about the other(s).
- Just FYI, my answer to why I dated multiple women was always clear: “I’m looking for the right one, but I don’t feel obligated to look one-by-one until I find her.” And I didn’t waste anyone’s time either; I was careful to confess this admittedly unconventional love philosophy within our first 2 or 3 meetings.
In fact, you could even say that my hang-ups on those two issues might even explain why for a long decade I was hesitant to get married (even for years after I found the woman who was the yin to my yang).
So, ladies, if you’ve got an awesome man in your life and YOU want a wedding…but it’s clear to you that he’s not quite sure.. giving him some time and space to make up his mind and get over whatever hang-ups he may have about marriage can be worth it (though as Mrs. Cubic Zirconia would say, you can and probably should encourage the hell out of him LOL).
Speaking of the ladies...
When it comes to my confession of dating multiple women at the same time in the past, I suppose some female readers will laugh, consider the approach refreshing, and respect the honesty... while others might wanna call me a real jerk
(I know because I’ve delivered that same explanation verbally to hundreds of women I dated or courted, and while some laughed and others demanded an explanation on a third date when told “Sorry, you’re not a #14 on my list, but we can still be friends”…others were quick to point out that I was being a jerk and I wasn’t perfect either.)
And I’m NOT perfect by a long shot!
No one is perfect.
But I DO think we are each perfect for someone.
Frankly, I believed then (and still do) that if more guys didn’t end up marrying the first woman who gave him regular sex— too often in large part because she was the first woman to give him regular sex— marriage might be a more meaningful pairing of equals.
Did I really just say that?
Yep, I guess I did.
And there’s probably a guy who will read that who was considering an engagement proposal…and he’s re-thinking that idea because he feels a bit ashamed that I just described his relationship with the woman he thought he might ask to marry him.
That’s cool, even if it costs us the sale of an engagement ring
he was thinking of buying from CubicZirconia.com.
(not saying your first can’t be the best, and if that’s your choice don’t let anyone dissuade you... I’m just hoping you make the choice for the right reasons)
Anyway, off the soapbox before we start tangenting about how sexual power dynamics ruin so many relationships when it doesn’t have to do so…
Back on topic!
Let’s hope that anyone who got mad at what I said has now left this website.
And I can get even more brutally honest.
My own personal belief is that any philosophy
should be judged not on opinions
but solely on its results.
Did writing down the exact attributes of the life partner I wanted, committing not to accept anything less for marriage, and breaking off relationships with women who failed to meet my standard…did all that help me attract the woman of my dreams?
I certainly think so.
It did for me, and I’d love to believe it could do the same for someone who’s single and reading this (male or female), wondering when and if the perfect Mr(s) Right will show up in his or her life.
I’ll even go so far as to say that making that list and knowing what I wanted, then dating a number of women and being choosy were each one of the four factors that helped me come to the realization that marriage was a good thing…and helped me recognize the most special one when she was available.
Call those pieces of advice number ONE and TWO for a guy who’s thinking about marriage (but a little worried, too).
Make the list.
And Make sure you’ve dated enough to be sure.
As for my story, after a decade of dating other women…and multiple years dating just her, some years ago I married ‘The One’ for me.
Marriage was my choice, made of my own free will-- AFTER getting my head straight about what marriage is and the benefits it can bring to two equal partners to make a lifetime commitment to love and honor and obey each other.
While I don’t know everything, I do think that CHOICE is one of the keys to a lasting happy relationship (not saying a marriage of convenience or circumstance can’t work, but it’s got a built-in handicap you won’t have if two adults consider the field and make an informed choice to marry one among many).
I had choices.
She had choices.
We each made what we felt was the best decision for us.
Back in my early 20s, most often when I thought of marriage at all it was as something that HAPPENED TO a guy rather than an active choice he made.
Somewhere along in the process of seeking for one woman by dating many, my thinking about marriage began to evolve.
That’s when my habit of dating a lot of women became less about a love of variety and the pursuit of pleasure-- and more about a focused search for the right woman to marry.
What made the difference?
- Making the “My wife is she” list
- Dating enough women to be sure of my choice
- Proactively going out and seeking marriage role models.
- A book called “The Case for Marriage” (a gift from my future wife)
What’s a marriage role model, anyway?
For me, it was finding a handful of couples who could show me that it’s possible with love, work, and sacrifice to have a happy marriage.
If you’re a guy reading this and thinking of marriage-- while at the same time having heard yourself thinking or saying “marriage is stupid” or “married people are all unhappy”-- as piece of advice number three, let me challenge you to seek out better marriage role models than you may have experienced with couples in your family growing up.
While no marriage is perfect, I promise you there ARE couples out there who are happy together (most days), and still glad after many years they made a lifetime commitment to each other (usually).
What’s “The Case for Marriage” book?
I read a book called “The Case for Marriage” along this journey.
My future wife actually gave it to me as a gift (hint, nudge). And she asked me to read the book as a favor to her (after we’d been dating exclusively for a number of years).
I’ll likely write a summary of the book in a future post, but for now I’ll just say that “The Case for Marriage” made a very strong impact on my thinking-- and how the cohabitation life we led at that time was very selfish of me as a man.
You can get the book off Amazon or your local bookstore, and call that piece of advice number four for a guy who’s today thinking like I was years ago.
(of course, there may also be a woman reading this with a wedding on her mind, dating a guy who isn’t sure marriage is a good idea or not, and I’d absolutely say doing the same thing my lady did could be a great idea)
I’d now like to speak directly to the guy who’s
in a long-term relationship with a woman
who’s expressed a desire to get married…
but has thought some of the same
negative things about marriage that I did.
Do her and yourself a big favor.
Befriend a couple of happily married couples, and read that book, ok?
And even if you’re in a committed, exclusive relationship-- and dating a bunch of other women isn’t possible-- make that list of what you want in a wife.
Then be prepared for your perspective to change.
You may, too, soon begin thinking of how much of what you’re seeking is (or is not) in the person you’re dating. And if she’s the one, you may find yourself thinking of the incredible potential for the right woman to be an invaluable partner in the life you wanna build…rather than simply an adornment to make us look good and feel good for a short period of time.
Before you know it, if she’s the match for what you want…don’t be surprised if your past-negative attitudes towards marriage change, too.
And if comparing the list to the woman you’ve been dating for some time while she’s dreaming of a wedding reveals the fact that she’s NOT “The One” for you-- then you really ought to have the courage (AND THE DECENCY) to tell her once and for all she’s not the one for you.
I hope at least one reader today can experience the same transformation I did.
It’s entirely possible, though, that someone reading this will break-up with their long-term significant other instead of staying together and maybe one day getting married. We fully understand that publishing this post might cost us the sale of one of our high-quality diamond lookalike engagement rings this year, but we truly believe it would still be helping that person-- and maybe one day as part of a future, more-compatible couple, we may still get that customer’s proposal ring purchase!
Making that list of what you want in a lifetime partner BEFORE getting into a long-term relationship is no doubt ideal.
But even if you do it after years of dating, with a plan to convince yourself ‘she’s the one’, it could be a good thing.
Fellas, I guess what I’m saying is that IF you’re gonna commit your life to one woman, we want you to be sure she was the best woman for you.
Making that list was a life-changer for me.
The list wasn’t a life-changer for just me, either.
After years of dating, when I finally shared that very personal list with the woman I later married, in many ways I think she considered it akin to a marriage proposal
(the formal proposal came years later, but that’s another story for another day!).
Indeed, sharing the list with her may have been MORE important than a traditional proposal for us.
- First, 6 years before, when we were only friends, years before we started dating, I had previously told her about the existence of the “My Wife is She” list-- just not the specifics.
- Second, while we were still just friends she was inspired to make her own list at that time-- calling it “Looking For” and posting it on her refrigerator.
- Third, years before we got engaged, I read her the specifics on my list, and at that time I also told her that she was that woman for me (maybe I should have proposed to her at that time, too? Yes, in hindsight I probably should have).
There you have it.
One guy’s story of radical 180-degree change within a decade from vehemently anti-marriage to diving deep into a lifetime commitment of marriage with a wonderful woman I adore (who yes, also sometimes drives me bonkers).
Once I decided I wanted to be married, and to be married to her, the day came when I asked her parent’s permission, and purchased an engagement ring…and you know the rest of how that story unfolds.
(Frankly, my biggest challenge may have been convincing her parents and family that I REALLY wanted to get married-- since her family had interpreted some comments I’d made in the past about “no one who is married is happy” as “I am not ever going to get married”!)
Thanks for reading, and considering a possible choice to make CubicZirconia.com part of YOUR story.Sincerely,
Mr. Cubic Zirconia