“Man, that sounds an awful lot like love. So, why haven’t you bought a ring and just asked her to marry you?”
“I just…don’t want to be impractical. It’s unrealistic…”
Oh the weight of the words he spoke. The kind of weight that crushes hearts and ruins relationships. If I were a man who spoke of the woman he had just described to me in the way he had just done, I would have been buying a ring and on a flight to find her that night. If she truly loved him back, she would without hesitation, just say yes. It wouldn’t matter that they had not actually formally dated. It wouldn’t matter if the world was round or flat. If they were meant to be, nothing would keep her from saying yes to his proposal.
Except being practical.
As he continued to speak on his dilemma, verbally organizing his reasoning as he often did, I found myself shaking my head. What reason kept him so practical? He was marketable, and finance wouldn’t be such a terrible issue. I’m sure she was talented and marketable as well, because I couldn’t see him with someone who wasn’t. It had to be emotions more than anything. He was trying to be emotionally practical.
I was still shaking my head, even as he made such sound logic for why he was doing what he was doing.
“…I mean, I’m almost thirty…” Like age defines how two people go about being in love?
Not that I’m any kind of professional in the matter, but I found myself foolishly spellbound by the fantasy I had played out of his proposal to her. Were I a healthier person (you know, without diabetes and the multitude of other issues I have), I would choose love much more recklessly. I would probably be married and having adventures with my husband by now. Eloped at night on a beach under the stars before God and some strangers we needed to sign some paperwork. Living a penniless existence….and extremely happy because of it. Probably even nomadic. Living out of a van, camping in parks and finding odd jobs to make some funds for the next big move to however far we felt like going or our dollar would get us.
Here he was. Healthy. In love. Foolish.
Perhaps I am too much of a romantic dreamer? Maybe I ought not to hate the practicality forced upon me? Maybe it protects me from worse things? Or it might just be the precise fun sucker that destroys my heart every time I fall in love! The thing that ruins my deep desire to be with a person who is emotionally very good for me, only to end up being financially irresponsible for my circumstances. Being practical wasn’t an enemy for other people. It was just mine.
I stopped shaking my head. My heart could feel the understanding creep deeper into it. A sad personal realization. Empathy had taken hold now, even if I still felt that sting of a warm dream within, it was not my place to judge how other people loved. It was merely my place to decide if I was being loved adequately in my own relationships. No, I hushed my stubborn heart and quieted my noisy mind to listen to hear and not to respond. He wasn’t doing anything wrong of course, nor did I believe that he ever was. I only feared he might miss out on a beautiful chaos he would regret missing out on. I feared that he would not find love unless he proved he was willing to go out on a limb for it (as is the fate of many who are too practical and have to settle for lesser things because of overthinking). I feared too that if she refused his advances, that he may become too bitter from being practical, and that he would not love again.
Then again, there is more to life than being in love. There is always being healthy, practical, and foolish.