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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ask the 21 year old me ... please.

If you and your girlfriend had paychecks that amounted to $3500/month together, and you don't own a house...
I'll start this post with a question I was asked recently:

"If you and your girlfriend had paychecks that amounted to $3500/month together, and you don't own a house, would you get married ?"

Think about this question for a minute... There really is no right or wrong answer here. We all put milestones in our lives that help us define how close we are to our goals. Some of these goals are related to whether or not we feel we are financially (among other things) ready for marriage. Where do you draw the line, below or above $3500 ? and why ?

You might feel that once you get married, you will be more restrained, and less inclined to take risks. You might also feel that marriage will take a part of your life that you will no longer be able to sacrifice to build your career. And with your career as a second-grade priority, you might feel that your income might not increase at the rate you would like it to, and that just might leave you, twenty years into the future, not paid well enough to provide all the things you wanted to provide for your family.

In all that thinking, you might be right. I wouldn't know where to begin if i were to convince you otherwise, because when I was asked that question, my mind followed that train of thought, and I answered "I probably wouldn't".

Unfortunately, I don't think that's anywhere near the right answer for me. Feel free to question your thinking as well.

What does getting married mean to you ? For me, it's finding someone to share my life with. My Entire life: Not just in length, in depth as well. That means someone that I'm willing to sacrifice everything for and who is willing to do the same in return, a "Life Partner", even though that term is often brought up lightly, and with no understanding of the commitment it entails. A marriage is not forced upon you, it is a choice. If you still haven't found that person that can truly be your partner in everything, then you really don't have to get married, at least that's what I think.

So allow me to revise my answer.

If I was in a situation in which the combined salaries of my girlfriend and I amounted to $3500/month, and I was truly in love with her, and believed she should be my wife, then I would marry her, no matter what our financial situation is.

A few years ago, I would've said that one should get down on his (her) knees and propose the moment he (she) realizes that the person they are with is the one they want to share the rest of their life with. A lot has happened since then, and today I realized that I have changed for the worse. The fact that it took me two days to figure out the right answer to that question for me, while it should've been so obvious, makes me worry about other things that I might have lost in the last few years.

Finally, I would like to thank a very special person that I admire more everyday, for saying the words that inspired this post:

"Your dreams don't die when you get married, you add someone to your team to help you achieve them"

This isn't the first time you wake me up back into myself, and for that I am forever grateful.

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