One of my friends was recently married. I had the honor and pleasure of watching him go from single and swinging to affianced and adoring, to married and mushy. It was awesome and beautiful and inspiring and…you get the picture.
Someone very close to me is has recently moved slowly past the dating into the engagement and is methodically preparing for the marriage thing. Again, there are fewer more precious things to watch than someone in love doing "in love" kinds of things.
Now I find out another person close to me is jumping into the same circus. No shower before the pool, clothes and all, just one quick look and then Splash! She's moving quick but seems no less sure than either of the other two. The only difference is the relationship velocity. Sort of…
You see, the other big difference between these three is their ages. The more mature they each were, the slower, the more precise, the more aware they were of surroundings, repercussions and implications.
The first one was older and the whole thing took longer; it was way more deliberate. Each step from she's cool, to she's the one, to I'm doing this, to we're really doing this, to it's done, was a shift. You could see the attitudinal change, the wheels turning, the conscious choices being made, and the glow of satisfaction that comes from the deliberate pursuit of love. It honestly humbled me.
The middle one wasn't so old, but not so young. The whole thing moves along a bit at a time, passion leading to thinking, thinking leading to passion. From phase to phase, more and more thought and effort is applied. It becomes more and more real, and you can see the personal investments increasing to that point where you can't separate the two lives anymore.
The youngster has no idea what's in store. It's all roses and blushing. Everything is a problem we'll figure out later because love conquers all and we love each other. Which is not to say it won't, they won't, or they don't. It's just at the speed they are moving their it's hard to see how they each individual operate. Which is tied to their youth. Neither has enough history and personal experience to know who they are individually, which makes it really hard to understand what they'll be like together. Of course, maybe who they are together is all that matters.
What I find so interesting about this particular reflection isn't the difference that age brings to our relationship velocity. It is the difference that maturity makes in our individual personas. When you marry, you aren't marrying the person you think they ARE, you are marrying the person you think they WILL BECOME. When you have so little insight into the person they really are currently, how well can you really understand the person they will evolve into later? Because they will evolve. And so will you.
The pressure of time, our culture and both your choices will act on you both. Like it or not, you will grow. You will change. And unlike the stock market, with people, most of the time past performance is a measure of future performance. If you are going to invest, get as much of that diverse past performance as you can so you can invest wisely.