At first I was afraid of living alone, fearing I would be lonely. But once I got the hang of it (and a cat) (yes, I know the cliche'), I fully embraced my own space, my own food, my own mess. During the living alone years I also remained equally independent from romantic commitments that lasted longer than a couple of years.
Honestly, I didn't mind dating. Meeting someone with new ideas and interests, different cultural background or religious values was something I found enticing. Routine was boring. I have friends who were lucky enough to find their soul mate in biology. The concept of soul mate was lost on me, I had little idea who or what I was looking for.
About 6 1/2 years ago I met someone who changed my life. Mark. He was everyone I hadn't typically dated. Responsible, mature, kind, and incredibly adult like. Not to mention bonus points; super cute, athletic, funny. I was definitely the pursuer in this tango. He won't admit that he wasn't that into me when we first met but either way we made a connection.
A year into our relationship we moved in together. Everything I feared; losing my independence, identity, own closet space, was unfounded. Aside from his messiness, I enjoy everything about our life together.
Often we are often asked about marriage and children. The kid thing not so much since the biological ship has sailed (For the record, I never wanted kids). But the question of marriage is brought up all the time.
Question is, "What's the difference between how we currently live our life and what it would be like to be married?" we live together, share household responsibilities and expenses, have a joint saving account, own property, are each others beneficiaries, share health plan. His nieces and nephews call me Aunt , at the request of his adorable niece Jess (insert fuzzy warm feeling).
I wish more people would give pause as to whether or not marriage is for them, especially young adults who tend to have grandiose ideas of what marriage is about (pretty wedding dress, big diamond, "happily ever after"). This kind of commitment isn't easy just look at the divorce rate
It isn't easy taking a different life path. But, it's too important to not too. Do what feels right for you, I promise it will serve you well.