Upon My Engagement: A Letter to My Readers

 

pen-1420985-639x426Dearest Readers,

I am getting married in the spring. While there is much of my specific personal life that I keep separate from my blog, this is a life event I do not want to pass without me directly addressing you about it. I have written some of my most popular posts from my perspective as a single person. I have also written many posts about the ways the church and society’s emphasis on marriage is damaging to people and relationships of all kinds. So, I want to be honest about what this change may mean for you and for me.

First and foremost, to those of you who are single and to those of you for whom my singleness represented something else for you, I want to say that I am sorry. I am sorry if my engagement makes you feel abandoned in some way. I know I have felt that way many, many times. It is a heartbreaking feeling, especially when the world says you’re not allowed to hurt. Everything that I am going to say below cannot change the way you feel, and if this announcement upsets you, I am truly, deeply, sorry.

At the same time, I want to be exceedingly clear: My principles have not changed. I am firmly committed to my belief that marital status does not make one person “more than” or “less than” another. I also continue to hold fast to my belief that marriage is an earthly part of some people’s stories, but not everyone’s story, and that’s more than ok (it’s actually Biblical). I wish you could feel the fervor with which I type these statements. If you have trouble believing me, I only hope that my writing in the coming months and years can convince you.

I can’t deny that my voice will change. My voice would change with the passing of time regardless of whether I marry, but there will probably be some ways it changes specifically because I am married. Even if my writing weren’t to change, I know that my being married will ever so slightly change the way you hear me. I wish that weren’t true, but I know that it is.

Still, it’s not like I’m going to start writing a marriage blog, or that all (or even any) of my posts will discuss my own marriage. I write about lots of other topics, and even in the past two years of dating my fiancé, I have rarely mentioned our relationship (I think maybe twice?). Much of what I write about will be very much the same, and when I do write about marriage, I hope that being a married person who is vocal about what marriage is and isn’t will cause even more people to take what I say seriously.

I hope it is encouraging to you to hear my thoughts and expectations. I also hope it is encouraging to you to know that I have been and am approaching dating, engagement, wedding, and marriage in a way I believe is consistent with many of the beliefs I have written about here and elsewhere. Mentally holding the ever-constant Christian-y pressures about relationships at bay, I have been able to truly enjoy dating and our developing friendship and love for one another. I am so excited to pick out a colorful (not white) dress. I love my custom wedding ring (which I’m wearing on my right hand—instead of an engagement ring—until the ceremony, when I’ll switch it to my left). It has been incredibly affirming and joyful for me to live out my convictions in these practical ways, especially to discover that they have been just as meaningful and freeing as I hoped they would be.

It may seem strange that I haven’t actually said anything about my fiancé, who is obviously the most important other person involved in this decision. I’m not going to say much about him, because I can’t and won’t speak for him. He’s also a very private person, and would never open himself up to the internet the way I often do.

But, for practical purposes, in the way of introduction: His name is Tom. We met through an online dating site, after two years of my own on-again off-again venture into online dating. Tom is incredibly kind and supportive, and I know you would like him. I am not just saying that because I am in love with him. I know you would like him because everyone he meets likes him. He is helpful and considerate and listens carefully in conversation.

We are both very excited to live together and share much of life with each other, even as we continue to be individuals. There are ways he and I are very similar, and there are ways we are very different. There’s a quote I love that says, “What do you say we be independent together?” Sure, it’s from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and it’s the elf-dentist talking to Rudolph. But I love that phrase, even if it seems contradictory… “independent together.” Tom is a man with whom I can joyfully live out that kind of marriage.

That said, dear readers: Please feel the way you need to feel about my decision. Feel upset, feel happy, or feel indifferent. Above all, be honest with yourself, and if you feel the need—now or in the future—be honest with me. You are welcome to comment or ask questions below or to send me a note through my “contact me” page.

Thank you for reading. I hope you will continue to read my thoughts and to share yours with me.

Yours,

Emily A. Dause

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One Response to Upon My Engagement: A Letter to My Readers

  1. Sarah Fox says:

    Emily, I absolutely LOVE this blog! You are such a sensitive and genuine person and reading this made me feel like you are here next to me…though it REALLY feels like I should be running 🙂
    “…marriage is an earthly part of some people’s stories, but not everyone’s story, and that’s more than ok (it’s actually Biblical).” Amen!!!
    and I love that Quote from Rudolph…and I really DO like Tom 🙂 Thanks for writing this you are a special person Emily and Tom is blessed to have you for his bride 🙂

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