Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Letter to All the Girls

Dear girls (my nieces included),

Don’t ever settle.

Whether you’re 8 years old or 35 years old, there are probably people in your life right now saying things to you like, “when you get married” and “when you’re a wife” and “when you’re a mother.” These things might make you feel like the most important part of adulthood is walking down the aisle. You might feel like getting married is THE thing that will make you a complete person. THE thing that will make everyone proud.

It could be your parents encouraging you. Or your church. Or maybe you’re old enough that all your friends are saying I Do and you feel the pressure to fall in line with your peers.

But marriage isn’t the most important thing. Becoming a bride isn’t what matters.

The thing that matters is finding the right person. Why? Because you deserve him.

You deserve to be with someone who treats you like a precious gem. You deserve someone who respects you. Who wants to make you happy. Who leads a life that makes you happy. You deserve to be with someone whose stories you’re proud to tell. Not someone who you construct an intricate façade around to conceal his behavior or his true identity.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how many of your friends or family members are attached. You should wait for the man of your dreams.

If you waffle back and forth on whether or not he’s the right guy, he’s not the right guy. If he makes you cry on a regular basis, he’s not the right guy. If you find yourself keeping secrets about who he is or how he acts, he’s not the right guy. If you’re hoping he’ll change after you get married, he’s not the right guy. If you hope he’ll change at all, he’s most likely not the right guy.

Find someone who you don’t want to change. Find someone who you’re so proud to call your own that you want to climb up the Empire State Building and scream off the top that you love him. Find someone who worships you and makes you feel like the funniest, smartest, most beautiful girl in the world. Find someone who embodies your dream.

And if you don’t find him at 23 or 29 or 36, wait for him. Don’t marry someone else who is okay and makes you relatively happy but doesn’t light your fire and make you want to stage a celebration rally in Union Square on his behalf. Don’t settle.

You deserve the best. You deserve the guy who you truly respect and love. The guy that makes YOU want to be a better person. The guy who fits the bill on who you always imagined yourself with.

Don’t walk down the aisle until you find him. It’s not about getting married, it’s about finding him—finding the happiness—that will stay with you for the rest of your life. And if that happiness doesn’t arrive in your twenties, it’s okay. Stick it out. Because the rewards of being with the right person will far, far outweigh the joy you’ll experience the day of your wedding.

Mel Heth (aka Auntie Lissa)


varietyisthespice said...

We all need that reminder/kick-in-the-ass sometimes. But more importantly, I'm glad you've found yours. =)

SoMi's Nilsa said...

So true, my dear! And *this* is why I was almost 35 before I did get married!

laura said...

well said!

Sizzle said...

I needed to read this. I have some hard truth to face.

Lara Watkins said...


Mandy's Kidding said...

I was very lucky to meet such a man at 18 years of age. I married him and spent 12 years with him. I felt very lucky, but honestly didn't know any better. Unfortunately my sweet husband succumbed to paranoid schizophrenia. No one ever tells you that part of the story. I mean, you can find a sweet, gentle man who treats you like gold and you may lose him still.

At almost 38 years old, some 20 years later, I have met another kind, gentle, funny, man who treats me like gold.

The interim was not so good. The interim was where I met a man like you describe here. It's never too late to be a dumb girl who thinks she can change a man, but it's also never too late to change back to the girl you once were. The girl who knew she deserved better.

These are things every girl should know, but somehow even the smart ones forget. Thanks for reminding us all.

Mel Heth said...

Variety - Thanks. :) I hope I didn't kick too hard!

Nilsa - You did it the right way, sister. Sweets sounds like the cat's pajamas (or the dog's tuxedo if you don't like cats).

Laura - Thanks. Pretty sure you aced this one, too.

Sizzle - I'm sorry, Sizz. Trust your instincts and your intuition and you will find the happiness you deserve.

Lara - Thanks for keeping me occupied while I waited for him. :)

Mandy - My goodness - I knew bits and pieces of your story, but not the whole thing. Thank you for sharing this here. You are a truly amazing person and I'm so impressed you found your way back to yourself and to real happiness. You're an example for all of us.

Semicharmed said...

"Find someone who you don't want to change" Loved this. Beautiful.

JustRun said...

So, so true!

geekhiker said...

Can you add a PS for me?

PS. And if he's NOT the one (and he's not a jerk), have the decency to let him know, and not just take the easy way out and leave him in the dark without a word.

Alysha said...

Very true and well said! I sure am hoping that I find him sooner rather than later though... And I agree with Jane, I'm glad you found yours!

brookem said...

i love the letter!

Mel Heth said...

Semichrmd - Thanks. I read a great quote similar to that somewhere and it really stuck with me.

JustRun - I wish everyone could understand how true and important it is.

GH - I'll either add a PS or write an entire post dedicated to that situation!

Alysha - I can tell you that it's entirely worth the wait. If I had stayed with or married any of the ones who came before, I wouldn't be happy. Hold out for the very best, sister.

Brookem - Thanks, doll. :)

cripkitty said...

I should have read this sooner. I think that's an eternal struggle as a single woman I have spent way too much time saying, "Well he could be right...but is he?"

I wonder even now when I think I don't quite know what I would do with the love and affection I have in my current relationship. I tell him often, I love you...but I don't need you. I think because of that mutual's helped a lot.

Big Sister said...

Too bad you were the Little Sister, and not the Big Sister, and you could have taught me this way back when...maybe my bad example was part of your research for this post. Not only will I share your wisdom with your nieces, I am planning to share it with my High School small group. It's never to early....

Mermanda said...

I have kept this in my reader unread until I had time to savor it... I could tell from the title it was going to be a good one. This is a really great message.