As my eyelids close, I focus on the simple rise and fall of his chest under my cheek. I can feel the tickling of his beard on my temple. His arms are wrapped around me, resting on my shoulders. I feel a gentle stir of our child’s movements in my womb, as though he can sense his parents’ sweet bonding. I feel warm, secure, but most of all; I feel peace. I could look at his features for hours and it would feel like minutes. His plump lips, his gorgeous almond shaped eyes, the way his mouth wrinkles into a loving frown when I act like a peckerhead. If we could just stay like this, our relationship may have a fighting chance to see a glimpse of forever.
“Forever”. What an impractical word. When I was a little girl I pictured forever only in a fairy tale way. There wasn’t anything tangible that came into focus in my brain when that word was used. It was an idea. Something that never ends. It made sense when I had utilized it to express things like ‘my parents always loving me’. Things that children believe can never come to a screeching halt.
It’s amusing how ‘forever’ changes once you hit the teen years, especially as a girl.
I was sincerely convinced that I’d be dating some of those losers forever.
So I was pretty relieved to find out that immature “forever” wish that you long for so badly doesn’t get granted every time we promise it.
Pffft thank god.
Though it would be nice if some of the times we did, it came through.
Now that I’m in early adulthood, though, forever has quite a different meaning. With the constant pressures to get engaged, be married, have a family, buy a house, all lingering on every unread page of Cosmopolitan, or thrown in our faces in every terribly vain reality TV show, forever is such a laughable thought to the modern young adult woman.
Most of us want to establish a well-paying career before we even think of saying Yes to any dress. For me, forever has always been something I was ready to start. Not particularly by marriage, but I always wanted to find that person I’d be old and gray with. Sad to say, there aren’t too many marriages that I can refer to that I actually admire.
I’ll publicly admit now, that a few of my previous “forever” promises weren’t in my best interests, and I’m glad I got out when I did.
“Forever” seems to be comparable to the last light of day. It’s really stunning to see. The tail end of the sunset, with the colors so vibrantly displayed, right before the sun is completely gone..
And that beauty is brief, if you think about it. If you calculate how long that moment is here compared to how long it takes it to come back around, it’s pretty fleeting.
That’s what I interpret ‘forever’ to be. That brief moment where there is a breathtaking sight. Some people work every day at that time and never have a chance to see that last moment of sun. Some people are simply too busy to notice it. ‘Forever’ seems to be like that. A select few actually see forever come to pass. They marry someone and are faithfully theirs until death or other natural causes separate them.
Then there are the rest of us dreamers, who would literally hand over an ovary to have that happen to them, but have no such luck.
Why are relationships so finicky? Why doesn’t a man seem to want to work toward that idealistic ‘forever’ as gravely as so many of us women want to? By no means do I wish men thought about marriage, but just the thought of being with a woman everlastingly.
I would kill to see any man taking the time every day to better their relationship, seeing this labor as an essential long-term investment.
So, I finally found a man that I could totally spend my life with. I know I’ve been engaged but this is a totally different feeling. Before, it was more like “yeah he’s great I could do this forever”.
Now, believe me this one’s far from perfect. But so am I. There are plenty of things I’m crossing my fingers that he will grow out of or stupors he’ll awake from. He’s so smart, and he has so much potential.
But there is this brand new, and quite frankly peculiar, feeling that I keep getting in the deep bowels of my being that this is the grass I should be watering.
That no matter what comes in the way, I need to suck up my pride, and put more work in. I’m constantly looking for new ways to deal with problems, and different ways to talk to him, so that in the end we’re both happy with the result.
Some struggles we’ve had have seemed to graze the sharp side of the end for us. But here we are, past them, and we’re stronger.
So why is it that while I’m lying here, almost drifting away to the metronome likeness of his steady heartbeat, I am so completely sure I could do this the rest of my life, and at the exact moment, I feel nauseous with a piercing numbness as though he is unbelievably far from feeling that about me?
I sense this gut-wrenching awareness that he could quite simply drop me any day and find someone else who he believes will deal with all of his flaws and make him happier than I have. I worry silently that he may not feel that this is the grass he wants to water the rest of his life and that he may not feel that I’m worth it. Is it worth it for me to keep putting all of this work in, if eventually he’ll just move on to the next girl? Does he feel like he’s done shopping around for a lady or am I just a stepping stone?
Is there no magic 8-ball I can ask these questions to save me from wasting my time? Why is there such a terrible fear of heartbreak lingering around every corner? The more one gives of oneself, the more vulnerable one feels.
And now that I’ve ripped myself open entirely, exposing flaws and the inner workings of my soul, what does one do when “forever” ends?