When it took me three weeks to call Katie back, I realized that getting married was going to require a change in mindset.
You see, when first I started dating Greg, I only got to spend a few hours at a time with him (except for that Saturday date that ended up lasting twelve hours…). During those dinner-and-a-movie date nights, I made the focus completely on him. I tried not to answer non-essential phone calls, I didn’t text or work on my computer, and I certainly didn’t call up my girl friends for hours of catching up. It was good and proper. Greg and I focused on each other – eating, laughing, talking, and falling in love. He was the star of the evening and got all of my attention.
I am, however, discovering that marriage will require me to change that. Over Christmas break, I got to spend all of my waking hours with Greg (how wonderful!). Problems starting coming up when I had my dating mindset on during every waking hour. I didn’t call many friends back, it was a chore to keep up with work emails, I didn’t do any reading on my own, and my room quickly turned into an unorganized disaster (how can I hang up clothes when Greg is here?!).
When we marry, this will be a problem. (I mean, I assume Greg will like to see the floor of the closet occasionally – right?)
Even though we will be married, things still have to get done! People other than our spouse – people whom we like – will still exist! Keeping up with my family, going out with my friends, going to work, keeping the house clean. We cannot focus on each other in the same way that we do while we are on a date.
And the shift in mindset is not a bad thing at all. Greg goes from being the featured performer one or two nights a week to the background music and melody of my day-to-day life. We will become used to one another’s presence in ways that dating never allowed us to be. We will learn to balance the times when we shut out the world and focus completely on one another – even more deeply than when we were dating – with the times when we work side-by-side to do the things that need to be done or when we separate to foster our other relationships.