At age 12, I hoped I’d marry my first love. It wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have money or if circumstances tried to drive us apart. I hoped we’d be able to work through it all and be thankful we had one another. He would propose with a ring pop, and we would marry in Vegas - it didn’t matter how it all happened as long as it did. Love would conquer all.
At age 16, I hoped I’d meet a rich Prince Charming by serendipitous chance (because it’s more romantic that way) and that we’d have a picture perfect wedding (with a carriage, doves dressed in tuxedos, and swans in gowns). I hoped for three kids who were to not only be brilliant but gorgeous with shining personalities, and we’d raise them in a huge mansion in Bel Air.
At age 21, I hoped I’d meet the _right_ man who’d have great ambition and intelligence. Oh, and a smokin’ body. He wouldn’t have to be rich or have a great personality but he’d need to have a Masters, at the very least. He’d need to treat me with respect and make me feel loved. I hoped we’d have a big wedding at a tropical location, and that I’d be able to wear a bride-tailored bikini and flip flops to my reception. I hoped we’d have smart, thoughtful children who would be easy on the eyes. We’d raise them in a nice home in Orange County, and settle there until the end of our days.
At age 25, I hoped to meet a man who isn’t a playboy, a cheat, a liar, a gambler, or a sports fanatic. I hoped he’d treat me well, and that he could commit. I hoped if we became serious enough, we’d bear intelligent children who we’d teach to think for themselves, ones who’d have a good moral foundation to lay their ambitions on. It wouldn’t matter where we lived so long as we were comfortable, warm, and together.
At age 29 (soon to be 30), I realize that having hope is wonderful but it’s really the little things that matter in the end. It doesn’t matter if I have a grand production of a marriage at an exotic location or if we honeymoon in paradise. It doesn’t matter if my kids are good-looking or if they’re champion cellists (who can kick ass in chess). I realize my wants are so simple now, and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve become more realistic with experience (some would call that jaded) or if I’ve become more mature with age (some would call that desperate). Sure I still want all of these things but if I don’t get them, it’s okay. I just don’t need them to validate my success in life and love. They’re just nice extras.
In the end, I just want to marry my best friend, have practical expectations for our marriage, and keep the romance and passion alive well into our retirement. I want healthy children above all else, and for us to take measures to maintain our own health. I want for us to have a home we can make many memories in, even if it isn’t a nice one near the beach.
It’s funny how after so many years of living and experiencing, my expectations and desires in love and relationships aren’t so different from those expectations I had when I was just 12. It seems life has come full circle for me, in that even after all of the negative experiences I’ve had with love and relationships in the past, I continue to hold on to the dreams I used to have as a child. And you know, no matter how silly this sounds to others, I won’t give these dreams up because I have every intention of making them into my reality.