What’s in a Ring? 

Elizabeth Hyman

Staff Writer

In this life, there are some things we simply aren’t ready for. In this case, that thing would be my engagement. Last night I told my girlfriend what was exactly on my heart. I’m not ready to be engaged yet. Not now. She understood, and not an ounce of love has changed.

And that was that. We’re still together, still madly in love, and we’re enjoying the NOW, that’s something I never learned how to do.

What led me to this decision? Did I not want to marry her? Of course I did, and I do. That was hardly it. Here’s what I knew to be true…I simply wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to commit to someone with an object. A ring. A seal of affirmations and love that’s presented on a finger or a card or a reception. She and I are committed enough; I don’t need the labels, and I don’t need the pressure of a changing environment. Moreover, the main reason I decided to call off the engagement (for now) was because I had to honor myself. There’s so much I want to do in my twenties, things that, yes, I could do while engaged, but I’d rather do them just “existing” with her. I have to be able to breathe. I can’t grow up too quickly; I won’t let it happen. 

It’s so surreal, because growing up is what I wanted, but not this fast. She’s 19, I’m 21. I was thinking of her as well: what if SHE wanted changes… What then? Better to be in love and free than in love and boxed in. As far as I’m concerned, she’s my wife already. Hell, her name is tattooed on my chest, I’ve BEEN committed, but I haven’t been free, and that’s my fault. I’ve built a cage around the word “engaged,” and I broke out last night. Broke out to be fully alive with her, destroying all those age-old expectations I’ve mentioned in previous articles.

Now, was I nervous about what this said about me? Sure! What if I have commitment issues, what if I led her on, what if we’d be better off just broken up? I worried about all these things leading up to this decision, but I had to press on, and I know none of these what-ifs are true. I’m a kid, she’s a kid, and I think we know enough about feelings to know when we’d prefer something else, and right now, I WOULD prefer just being girlfriends, or partners, or whatever the hell you call it. The word “fiance” took the meat out of our love—it became very sterile and mechanical, and I found myself, in the most honest way possible, unable to breathe.

Judge me if you dare, but Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, some of the coolest stars of our time (maybe not OUR time, but like in the early ‘80s…) have been together for over forty years and aren’t married. They just said it was never necessary, and I’m here to tell you, right here, at this moment, yea…they’re right.

P.S. This is more information than you need, but for your consideration, we (my girlfriend and myself) agreed if I ever change my mind, or when we’re BOTH ready, we’ll just re-insure the engagement, like putting batteries back in a remote. Until then, it’s about NOW, and I can’t tell you how happy I felt this morning about all that.

Categories: featured, Opinions


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