I have been thinking a lot, I think while I spin and while I knit and while I sew and this holiday I've been doing all three as much as possible. Also family conversations and comments have directed my thoughts.
As you probably know I'm dating someone, no shock, and while I am trying to not treat it as a casual relationship I am trying to avoid the pressures that my family puts on my relationships and the relationships of other people in the family. I've dated twice before and in some ways I blame the pressure for problems in the relationships, not all the issues, but some. I have seen the same pressures put upon my siblings and its almost a family tradition to marry the first person you date, or so it seems to hear people talk, even when thats not what usually happens.
The first guy I dated I ended up getting engaged to, not because I was madly in love but because I had to impression that I was supposed to say yes... I liked him, but I had hesitations and instead of listening to those hesitations I said yes and by the end it was a mess. The second wasn't healthy either, but my family was mad about him and I constantly felt like people made assumptions about my future with this guy when I wasn't so sure myself. I know that when it ended it disappointed many people in the family, but it wasn't worth it.
Now I'm in a relationship that really makes me happy, I am relaxed and Its a release from stress not a source of stress. My family have begun asking how serious I am with this guy and I find myself wanting to shut them out because I don't want pressure and expectations on my future relationships. I have enough pressures in my future. I am expected to excell at school and life and to be merely above average is not good enough. I am dating my best friend and I knew that when we took that step out of the friend zone it would be a risk and a challenge. I want a future with him, but I don't want to have to worry about it. My dream would be to keep on as things are for quite a while, I am content and I don't need more than a vague understanding of my life plan to be happy.