Looking back, the craziest thing I have done for love was to never get married. Craziest, better, healthier. Don’t judge me yet – let me tell you my story. I know I am coming from a place of fear and precaution, but hey, what if not signing a piece of paper really makes things lighter and love lasts more because there is less pressure? Shakespeare once said that “a light heart lives long”, so why not?
By not getting married, I got to have two very long-lasting relationships that I am not sure would have endured the tyranny of a sealed and stamped deal. And I would hate to have to stay with someone for fear of divorce. I prefer my fear of marriage.
Four Commitment Bands and No Wedding
My first love story lasted from 18 to 30 years old. We had two beautiful, amazing children. Our first born arrived eight years into the relationship, so we had plenty of time to build trust, travel the world, have quiet Sunday brunches and move houses. We wore commitment bands (total of four sets throughout the relationship). But we never signed a paper or had a ceremony to declare and lock our love. I wish we had a beautiful party, looking back.
When things fell apart, we split up. It was sad, devastated. But I was extremely grateful that I did not have to go over a divorce, on top of all the emotional pain.
Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend
My second love story lasted five years, but we shared the same roof for only one of them. It started when I was 39 years old and I was a bit more formal. We dated for three years, broke up a couple of times until he proposed to me. I got a beautiful princess cut ring, and the wrong notion that it will make us last forever, pass the expiration date. At the same time, I did not want to get married, and when I accepted the proposal, I said yes only to being engaged and sharing a roof, not to being legally married – and I told him that, very clearly.
Since I had skipped the celebration of my first relationship, this time around I wanted a party to praise our love, but he thought it would be “cheating” if we invited people to our wedding and did not get officially married. Well, I guess he had a different notion of cheating, so much so
that when he actually did cheat on me, he thought
it was just fine.
Rules of Engagement
When he proposed to me, I decided to propose back. Because if there is something that really unnerves me in America is the fact that men don’t need to wear engagement rings. So uncool and unfair! In Brazil, we make sure we have equal rights and both parties wear a commitment band, no matter what. It is so comfortable for men to not show their commitment while women display their hearts around their fingers.
On New Year’s, in Tulum, Mexico, I decided to propose back to him. Bought a silver band in a local street market, had it engraved with our names. Then I wrote on the sand of a deserted beach “will you be my husband?” (I used the word husband in Portuguese, “marido”) and took him for a walk. On our way back, I made sure he saw the writing on the sand.
“Oh, look, what is this?”, I asked, pointing to my proposal.
It took a while for him to spot it, then he read it and got it.
He smiled and said “Yes.”
I was carrying the ring with me and gave it to him. No kneeling, please.
He put it and kissed me. We took pictures. It was cute.
He hated that band and would remove it when going on business trips. He would come back not wearing it, or on the opposite hand, as if it was a simple ring. Right there I knew this man was not up to any commitment. I was glad that was just a test drive! We were engaged for almost two years before we split up months later, for reasons above mentioned. And we did not have to deal with any divorce, thank Goddesses!
I never liked the word wedlock. Locks are for doors, not hearts. The moment you are in a relationship because you are locked in, you should get out. But that’s just me.
What is the craziest thing you have done for love?