I’ve been seeing an overwhelming amount of articles on Facebook with titles like these:
7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married
10 Things To Look For in A Mate
4 Things That Led To My Divorce
They are usually posted by multiple people, adjacent to comments such as:
“EVERYONE needs to read this article!!!!”
“This will change your life whether you are married or single!!!”
I get it.
People like numbers.
They are more apt to keep reading when the author is counting.
(See, my title tricked you into coming here.)
We want simple catchphrases.
There are a lot of broken relationships out there, and we want easy answers.
A to-do list to avoid another heartbreak,
We want simple directions so bad we forget how messy life is.
We forget how different individual human beings are.
We like to poke and prod at these big things in life, to squeeze them slowly until they are small enough to fit into neat little boxes.
With knowledge right at our fingertips we’ve all become sudden experts on everything, and the internet is a bullhorn to yell our expert opinions.
Maybe it’s my rebellious right-brain talking, but when I see a title including a number, I almost never want to read it.
When I hear a blog or book or sermon make a promise to me that’s practically guaranteed if I just follow their simple steps, I immediately call bullshit.
Honestly, I don’t want your easy answers.
(There is no such thing.)
I don’t need you to tell me your formulaic way of living and expect it to work for everyone else.
That isn’t life.
Life is a whole lot messier and more colorful than that.
And two people coming together to live life, it’s not textbook.
It’s crazy and hard and wonderful and natural and takes courage and love and an open heart and mind.
Like the words inscribed on the compass necklace my husband gave me at the airport before his first of many trips say,
There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.
So, I decided to give my own “expert” advice, since I’ve been married a whole three months and have become oh-so-much wiser.
3 Things You Must Know About Marriage
1. Love is not a formula.
2. Love is not a formula.
3. LOVE IS NOT A FORMULA.