Couple on their wedding day

First comes self, then comes marriage

When it comes to life, love and relationships, the most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself. Until YOU are YOUR chosen one, you will struggles to feel whole and complete.

by Carlii Lyon 

I spent pretty much my entire 20s looking and waiting for a knight in shining armour…

I was never a girl who dreamt of a big white wedding, however, I was adamant I would not be entirely happy until I had a ring on my finger. It was as if I would only be complete when I was someone’s chosen one. That’s certainly a lot of pressure to put on another person.

“It was as if I would only be complete when I was someone’s chosen one. That’s certainly a lot of pressure to put on another person.”

I shamefully admit there were many times I would meet a guy, and within weeks I would be signing my name with their surname to see if it sounded right. Again, another manifestation of me thinking I was incomplete just as me.

Even in the professional arena, client pitches would end up turning into dates as I would never dream of letting a professional persona stand between me and the potential Mr Right. Just thinking about it makes me feel exhausted and I am sure there are other women and men who can relate to this.

I did find the love of my life but I rescued myself first

Being his chosen one is an honour beyond compare, however, I soon discovered that being MY chosen one is essential to feeling whole and complete. I also came to realise that depending on a partner to be your primary source of love and self-esteem is futile. It is unfair to put that level of expectation on another person who is ultimately on their own journey of loving and accepting themselves. Loving each other is healthy; being needy of one another’s love on the other hand is not.

Couple holding hands at sunset

“I also came to realise that depending on a partner to be your primary source of love and self-esteem is futile.”

I do love being married, however, funnily enough I did not give up my surname (despite the fact he has a beautiful surname). My name is my own and it is ME who he married. I am not someone else now that I am married. I am the same woman sharing my life with a tall dark and handsome man whom I love.

The relationship with SELF is the one that counts MOST

I believe the more you love and give to yourself, the more you have to give to the ones you love.

I was reminded of the importance of this life lesson when I farewelled my mother as she went travelling alone in Europe to walk the Camino de Santiago. My mother is in her 50s.

If you were to have asked her 20 years ago where she would be now, she would have replied, “Married in a nice house with my husband and grandchildren as regular guests”. She could never have imagined that she would be divorced, studying later in life and travelling the world solo.

“The relationship with SELF is the one that counts MOST!”

When I say travelling the world, I do not mean peering out the window of a 5-star hotel, instead my mother chooses to go to a place and immerse herself as a local. It has lead her to many life-enriching experiences and even life-threatening moments, all of which she knows in her heart were meant to be. My mother is one of the bravest women I know and I am not sure she will ever truly understand how much I look up to her.

Am I suggesting this is about the fragility of marriage as an institution?

No. I am suggesting that life at the best of times is unexpected and ultimately the only person that is guaranteed to be with you to the very end is YOU. If that is the case, you might as well learn to love yourself and know that if one day you end up walking the Camino de Santiago, you will be just as happy with someone by your side as you would be walking alone.

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