The other night I was talking to a friend about her dating life (if you haven't noticed, for single people, that's all we really talk about. For married people, talk just revolves around kids. We should both compromise and talk about something mutually interesting...how about supply-side economics? or the Ming Dynasty? you suggest some). She has, what I think, are some valid concerns about him, even though he's mostly just a really good guy. He knows her whole family, has for years and years, and they're really just interested in having her get married, so they apply a hefty amount of pressure on her to go ahead and move forward in the relationship, and she is. The part that would rub me wrong, however, is just how much their ideas about what she should do seem to possibly override the concerns that she has about the relationship.
I have had a number of friends express this feeling about their friends and family - mostly just an inability on the part of friends and family to understand the fact that these people are single, and more is going on than just the inability to commit. There are two people I get this from, and I feel like I get a lot of eye-rolling when I talk about dating and relationships, but from all my friends, you guys have all been amazingly understanding of the ups and downs of this aspect of my life. And really, I just can't say thank you enough for how supportive you all have been. Even when I make bad choices, I still feel an overwhelming amount of understanding and I can't tell you how nice that feels.
I've been thinking lately about how committing to a person is very similar to deciding to getting over someone else - people will move on from someone (or move on to someone) only when they are ready. You can tell a person until you're blew in the face (I know...like mind-bottling, right?) that they just need to cut off the ex, that it's time to let go, but until that person is ready to make the decision him or herself, it's just not going to happen. It doesn't matter how convincing you are or how right your argument may be. It's the same way for committing to be with someone, I think. However great the person, or however much potential it has to work, it's just not going to happen until the person is ready to commit.
Anyway, I'm just grateful that I have people in my corner who are unfailingly supportive. They let me learn from taking my lumps, and I like to think that sometimes I'll take their advice, but I also kind of prefer just figuring it out on my own, and they really allow me to do that without making me feel like an idiot about it. And for that, I'm really grateful.