I’m Glad I Didn’t Marry My High School Sweetheart

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Breaking up with my high school boyfriend Jason was awful. I can still remember exactly what room of my parents’ house we were in, where he was sitting on my mom’s favorite green couch.

Jason wanted us to stay together. He didn’t understand why I felt we should break up. No wonder, since I couldn’t give him a clear reason.

He was a good person and we got along really well. Staying in a relationship with him- perhaps even getting married one day- would be a safe choice. But was the safe choice really the right choice? It didn’t feel like it. I needed to become an independent adult for a while, to take some time to broaden my horizons and meet new people.

We went our separate ways but remained friends. We are now both married. He has one child, I have three. I think we are both feel sincerely happy for each other, yer both relieved we didn’t end up tying the knot. With better formed opinions and preferences, we each found someone better suited for a longterm partnership.

Jason and I seemed compatible as teenagers, but that was probably because we had never really talked about anything very significant. A few years into adulthood, we realized we had both developed very different political and spiritual ideals. That doesn’t keep us from being friends, but our opposing perspectives would definitely be a hardship for marriage- especially for parenting.

There are some people who do marry their high school sweethearts and live a long, happy life together. I think that’s romantic and wonderful. But Jason and I changed a lot in the years following high school. For example, I realized I thrive on change. I’ve love travel and adventure, so I’ve moved several times to different states. Jason has chosen to remain in the same city we grew up in because he values familiarity. Both are valid life choices, but our individual desires would have made maintaining a marriage challenging if we had stayed together.

Once I broke up with Jason I began to meet all kinds of different people through work, college and church. Through exposing myself more to people with different experiences then my own, I was better able to examine my own values. By the time I started dating my now-husband Eric, I had a much better sense of self and knew what I was looking for in a spouse. We are deeply compatible because we usually agree on the most important subjects, and are able to learn and grow from one another when we disagree. I’m thankful for what a good boyfriend Jason was at the time, but I’m also glad I didn’t make a life commitment to him at an early age. And I think he would say the same about me.

Flickr/Phae

Shannon

Shannon is a wife and mother of two boys who spends her time hosing mud off children, scrubbing sticky furniture, and rushing to the ER to have nails extracted from small intestines. Shannon lives in Iowa and blogs at We, A Great Parade (http://www.agreatparade.com/).She is part of I Believe in Love because she believes in the beauty of humanity.
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