Forsaking All Others

While watching two television characters share a first kiss yesterday, the thought occurred to me that I won’t get any more first kisses (I mean, barring adultery, divorce, or widowhood. Let’s bar those things, shall we?) And I was a little sad, because that magnetic pull and surge of excitement that comes with a first kiss, I think we can all agree, is pretty freakin’ awesome.

And then I started to think about all the other things I’m closing the door to by getting married. No more goofy phone calls with my sister and my girlfriends that start with, “So I met this guy.” No more dirty dancing with total strangers at clubs. [Wait, I never go to clubs. What I mean is no more dirty dancing with total strangers at icky bars that look like grandpa’s basement where they serve $1.50 PBRs and call it “80’s Night” when half the music is from 1990-1992. Which is something I did only slightly more often than never.]

It reminded me of Beautiful Girls, which is a terrible movie that I nevertheless love. How terrible? The main character falls in love with his thirteen-year-old neighbor, and I think we’re supposed to find it sweet. He has a perfectly fine girlfriend who is above the age of consent, but he doesn’t want to commit to her because then he won’t get that feeling of first falling in love anymore. “Why not have two, three more of those beginnings before I settle into the big fade?”

[I’m not saying this dude is right. This is a guy who, while heading upstairs to bed his adult girlfriend, stops to lean out the window and tell his thirteen-year-old neighbor that she’s prettier than the girlfriend he’s about to bone. He’s a total jagoff.]

On the flip side, I’m sure a lot of people like the “settling down” part of marriage because it spares them all the bullshit of dating. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot about dating I will never miss. And I obviously think being with Collin is better than first kisses. Better than 50,000 first kisses, which is probably more than I could hope for.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t mourn a little bit for the potential beginnings I’m closing the door to. And I’m glad I do, because it makes choosing to get married more meaningful.

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13 responses to “Forsaking All Others

  1. Love this post. Hate Beautiful Girls also.

  2. Allowing yourself to mourn paths not taken and to have mixed feelings is good, I think. None of this starry-eyed it was always meant to be business that really should just stay in movies because in real life I think that just blinds people to being prepared to deal with the down times.

  3. gotcha.

    today at the wine festival i told josh it was a great first date place. he agreed. and then i got a little sad thinking that i’d never have those first date flutters.

    but his foot rubs totally make up for that.

  4. I totally know what you are talking about. It’s weird to think that I’ll never have another first kiss. It makes me wish I had paid more attention to my last first kiss. I still remember it, but I had no idea at the time, which means that I’m sure there are a lot of details I didn’t actively try to absorb.

    But in all honesty, I think we’re all bound to have butterflies over other people in the future. I definitely believe that marriage does not mean you stop finding other people attractive and get flustered some time by a new person. I do mourn the fact that I will never get to act on those butterflies, but I know that settling down with the Beagle is billions times better than chasing butterflies. Chasing butterflies might yield instant gratification, but marriage to the Beagle will be my rock. I’d rather have the rock.

  5. Great post! I completely agree with a lot of your feelings. It’s been a little tough for me because I’m pretty much the first one of my friends getting married (I’m 26, how is that possible?). Glad I’m not the only one with these types of feelings 🙂

  6. Such perfect timing on this post – I just engineered a re-meeting of a bridesmaid and groomsmen who hit it off at the wedding and they were SO flirty and cute at the bar (leading up to that first kiss, which you could just tell was going to happen that night) that I got kind of nostalgic/sad that I will never again have the “flirtation leading up to a first kiss again.” And then I spent the rest of the weekend on the couch with my husband watching football and bad movies (Beautiful Girls included, weirdly enough!) and remembered why that’s really more than ok, it’s great.

  7. A first kiss is exciting, but sex with someone who knows you really well is much better than first time sex. Also, isn’t it nice to be with someone who automatically hands you the crusts from his pizza because he knows that’s your favorite part? Or lets you warm your cold nose in his collar?

    Also, I don’t think you ever really lose that first kiss feeling with your sweetie. There will be moments when he’ll just suddenly get that look (you know the one), and you know that a First Kiss kiss is headed your way. At least, I hope you get that, too.

  8. I completely agree with KWu that mourning those paths not taken makes it all that much more healthy…Otherwise you wake up someday..three years in or something, feeling like you got taken or something. That you didn’t even realize everything you (both) were sacrificing. I love Sarah’s comment as well…there are still firsts out there..do you watch How I Met Your Mother?

    • Yes! I feel like every post I write could reference four or five episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

    • Exactly! It really helps you to value what you have and realise what it must mean to you, when you see what you chose to give up in order to have it. A choice is nothing without context 🙂

      However, when I see one of my friends dating, sometimes I have a little regret for the first kisses, first hugs, first shy smiles – not because I want them with someone else, but because I’d like to go back to my first date with my fella and experience it all again – to see what I might have forgotten, to live all the butterflies, nervousness and silly conversation again 🙂

  9. I think about this sometimes too (usually when I have dreams involving me smooching someone else, the dream cheating makes me feel so guilty!) btu I have to say, marriage is way better because I’m lazy and the thought of going out looking for love makes em break out in hives. also, all my clothes have holes in them and I can’t imagine I can wear those out

  10. Last week, I was at a bar with friends. We were two married chicks and one single chick. And our single pal — who earlier this year went through a horrendously emotional breakup — was talking about a couple guys she’d recently developed a mild interest in. And us old, haggard married ladies were lapping it up. I found myself unconsciously leaning forward, as if I could willfully insert myself into her life, her mind. Sometimes I feel like I want that fresh start again. To feel like the possibilities are wide open.

    And part of it, too, is regret. I feel like the older I get, the better I am. The more I know about myself and what I want, the more I miss the parts of me that I will never be. But I chose to make this commitment for a reason. And part of choosing that is also choosing to see (and pursue) the endless potential in front of you and your partner when you get married. Having the space to be yourself in a relationship is just as sweet as a first kiss. Totally different, but just as awesome. Still, sometimes I need to be reminded of that. This was one of those times.

    So, yeah. Exactly what you said, times 1,000.

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