Just recently, I received a "Save the Date" from my friend Maria. It was one of those mini CD things that when you popped into a computer was a photo montage of her and her fiance all over the world, with Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," playing in the background. I watched it a few times, smiling, a little nauseous, but also happy for them.
This is one example of the ongoing reality in my life -- more and more of my closest friends are finding long-term mates. For them, their planning now involves another person, essentially trading the "I" for an "Us."
Admittedly, I'm impressed and amazed at the commitment they're making. I've spent most of my life single, so I've been able to channel my energies into lots of things: an aggressive work schedule, socializing hard and being a little selfish in terms of only having to worry about me.
Now don't misunderstand -- I was once in a relationship where all I could dream about was our future... (That's another post) But a broken heart ensued, which took a while to recover from.
The truth is, I think being in a relationship requires a desire to want to share part of yourself with another person and accepting all that comes with it. It's reaching a new level a maturity and it's different than other types of growth because it involves making choices that affect the two of you. I see my friends taking their vows and essentially deciding that they want to keep growing together for the rest of their lives. Pretty heavy stuff.
One could also argue that people use a long-term relationship as a scapegoat -- needing to be with someone for the fear of being alone. In that case, it's much more about co-dependence than about actually being with someone.
While I am sure that I am capable of being in a relationship, I've become comfortable in the world I've created for myself where I worry about me and what makes me happy. And, because it's been a while since I've been in a relationship that looks like it had long-term potential... There's been no need to think about much more than that!
Some of my friends poke fun at me for multiple dating interests that I "squeeze" into my own life. I laugh because it IS true. But, until I meet the one that will make me think "we" I'm OK with thinking "I."
(Although, it would make weekends so much easier to plan... )