Sunday, October 23, 2005

Good Enough

I just got back from another wedding. I have been to four weddings this summer and fall. I guess I am just at that age. But, it's made me think a lot about commitment and the nature of relationships.

This latest wedding was really beautiful. The bride was gorgeous, the food was great, the decorations divine. And all the same, there were people, including the groomsmen, who were making bets on how long it would last. Why? Well, perhaps a short history of the (happy?) couple is in order.

The best man introduced S to L. They started dating, then got pretty serious. S wanted to have sex, even though L is catholic and had never even had a boyfriend before. But L said okay, as long as S was sure he loved her and was going to marry her someday. So then they moved in together. But, then it seemed like S got sick of L. He was annoyed with her, and was thinking of breaking up with her. In fact, S even told L he wanted to break up. But, L had nowhere to go, and so they continued to live together. Then, like two months later, they're engaged.

So, did S suddenly have a change of heart and realize that he loved L? Or are other factors at work? When a friend asked S if he loved L, S replied to the effect that she was a good cook and housekeeper (which she is, she takes care of everything). Now, was S just joking, or was there a little kernel of truth to that statement? Instead of suddenly realizing how much he loved L, it seems to me more likely that S: 1) Felt bad that he was about to dump a nice, good catholic girl that he'd pressured into having sex, and going to break his promise to her that he'd marry her someday. 2) Realized that L is basically a nice person, and a great cook and housekeeper. What's not to like?

Basically, I'm wondering if S really loves L, or if he just settled for "good enough"?

And really, what's the difference? I'm not one of those people who believes in soulmates. I think there's more than one person out there that we could end up with. You basically gotta find someone that you're mostly compatible with, and then work hard at the relationship. None of this "meet your soulmate and live happily ever after just cuz you're meant for eachother" stuff. But now I'm wondering, if you're like me, and believe that no relationship is ever perfect, then how do you know that you've found someone to share your life with, or if you're just settling for "good enough"?


Anonymous said...

Never settle!
This is your life you're talking about, not a choice between the McChicken combo and the Happy Meal! If it was me, I'd hold out until I had enough to buy the McChicken. I'd never be satisfied by the Happy Meal, and I'd spend the entire day wishing I'd waited. You might have to work for it--lemonade stand, mowing lawns, etc. But the moment you taste that McChicken-y goodness, you realize it was worth the wait.

p.s. Sorry for the analogy...


Violette said...

Yes, absolutely. But what I'm wondering is how you tell the difference between the McChicken and the Happy Meal??

Ash said...

Sometimes it's hard to tell. I spent two years of my life with an extremely substandard Happy Meal, all the while thinking it was McChicken. I didn't realize just how bad it was until I found something so much better.

I think, in my heart though, I knew that I was settling. It's the difference between being content and being really happy. Leaving the relationship seemed too hard because I didn't want to have to look for something else...if your main reason for staying with someone is that it's easier to be with them than alone. Well...then you have a Happy Meal.

PS This really is a disturbing analogy, Frances. :)

Library Lady said...

I know... I'm sorry. Now I want a McChicken... (a real one, not a guy one).

Anonymous said...

This is a difficult question -- not sure if there is a "right" answer. Some people believe in soul mates and find him/her. Some people believe in working hard at the relationship and the "good enough" principle.

It depends on the person. Some people have a mixture of both -- find Mr./Ms. Right and then work hard at it too.

I'm hoping that I never am stuck with "good enough" though... if/when i get married i had better really be 100% sure or else I'll just be single.