“Uh, Ray Rice, running back? I think?”
I was sitting in a semi-circle with a plate of chips and salsa in one hand and an ESPN cheat sheet in the other participating in my first ever all-girls Fantasy Football League draft. My girlfriend’s husband volunteered to run our league of newbies, and he laughed as we selected our players.
“Reggie Bush – he dated Kim Kardashian right?”
“How about Jacquizz Rodgers. I just love that name!”
I was probably the most clueless of them all, shamelessly admitting that I planned to devote the least amount of time to this new venture during the season, especially since my first love, baseball, is still underway.
Despite my embarrassing lack of knowledge, I selected players each round without the help of my CatholicMatch boyfriend, George, who I know would have gladly offered his input. I know many of my girlfriends compared stats and strategies with their significant others, but in a very small way, I honored my former single self with this show of independence.
I’ve spent more of my life single than in a relationship, and it was in those years that I relied on myself (and God!) for what I needed – not a member of the opposite sex. Oil changes? I brought the car in myself. Bad day at work? I griped to my roommate or my mom. Date for a friend’s wedding? I went stag.
It was up to me to navigate through the daily ups and downs, and I had to rely on a firm faith and resilient heart to find my way to CatholicMatch.
It was nearly one year ago that I first received an emotigram from my boyfriend, and in that year, I’ve appreciated how his strengths balance out my weaknesses. While finances make me queasy, his logical accounting mindset tackles every budget with ease. While a busy weekend schedule is more than he can comprehend, I can keep us on track with a Type-A planner’s mind. We’re a team, and we rely on each other in a way that I know will benefit us in the future.
Although I am blessed to have George in my life, I still make conscious choices in my day-to-day life to honor the independence that I honed for all of those years. Most week nights are spent separately, tending to our daily schedules or strengthening our own friendships. Girls’ nights and guys’ nights are held sacred, and we respect each other’s need for space. “Dependence” has never been in my vocabulary, and I plan to keep it that way.
As you continue your search for your future spouse, strive to build your independence while recognizing that someday, you will meet someone who will balance out your weaknesses. It’s through our single years that we develop a strong sense of self that can never be taken for granted.
As for my Fantasy Football team, I’ll let you know how I fare. One thing is for sure, each pick was my own.