As with most life lessons, the ones I learned from being married and divorced in my 20s were better absorbed through personal experience, not by listening to someone else. That bothered me; I felt my aloneness was a reflection of character flaws.
Was I too nerdy? My family knew about my insecurities, so they were elated when I finally met someone at at I introduced Scott to my parents after a few weeks of dating and they approved.
But it turns out that was the easy part — the initial approval quickly turned sour when I announced we were engaged and getting married just six months later. The conversations were mostly via yelling. Some talking, but mostly raised voices.
Bondage in the dumpster
Eventually, I ran out of energy to shout back. It took a while for my parents — especially my dad — to accept the reality that I was getting married.
Either they would support me or they wouldn't. It was a small affair, only about 75 people. It went by so quickly, but I do remember dancing with my dad to a song he'd turned me on to.
I put my head on his shoulder, he kissed my cheek and whispered, "I love you and wish you nothing but happiness. There was no yelling anymore. My husband and I were married for two years. The first three months were magical, a honeymoon.
Belly laughter nearly every night. I thought it would last forever. The marriage was over by the time I turned I learned about love, relationships and myself in the process. I learned three major lessons from being married and divorced in my 20s. My marriage to Scott taught me that love is not lust or connection.
It's deeper, almost metaphysical. Scott and I never had love. We had a fling that we took too seriously too quickly. You rush into their arms.
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I wanted a boyfriend all through my teens, but it never came to pass. Being married and then divorced, however, taught me the value of independence and the strength that comes from having a clear sense of self. Marriage diluted my individualism. My marriage was a byproduct of impatience, an emotional flurry culminating in a breakdown.
We were young, impulsive, and most importantly, not ready. Experience is a wise instructor.
I learned too much from it to consider it a failure. And I'll always remember the words of my good friend Sarah during the engagement phase: In order to be your best self in your relationships—whether it's with a friend, family member, or partner—you need to FEEL your best, inside and out. Ready to learn more about how to become your most vibrant self?
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Group 4 Created with Sketch. I was met with skepticism, to put it lightly: In the end, they did support my decision, even graciously helping me pay for the wedding.
I learned what love isn't. I learned the value of being alone. Carmel Jones is a year-old social worker who also writes about romance, dating and love for her blog, The Big Fling.
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