This is the second part to this post. The first is available here
In our days, we have the benefits of modern technology, the internet, computers etc. However, community spirit just does not exist in the same way, we are no longer as strongly dependent on our neighbours, our relationships within our local communities seem to be less strongly bound together, and more ephemeral, if they exist at all. Because of the ease of global travel, it is not at all uncommon to marry someone from a vastly different culture, from the opposite side of the world. (Ethnic intermarriage has always existed, of course). However, all of this does mean that we simply do not have the same opportunity to get to know one another as potential spouses as we might have had if we lived a few hundred years ago.
So ultimately, this is what I think. It is all about truly getting to know one another: truly, deeply consistently, and building a relationship based on that, rather than trying to build a friendship based on the fire of attraction. People say that attraction eventually fades. I would love to think that in my own case, attraction could last for a lifetime, and even get stronger as time passes. This is yet another dream for my marriage. However, I know that if I eventually decide that I am not impressed by someone, then even any initial attraction will dissolve overnight.
To conclude, I have a very radical thought. You know how I’ve been shouting about two years? Well a number of people have been advising me that that is unrealistic (Tosin!) You need to be more open-minded (Tosin!) For everyone who has been in touch with me about this, thank you so much for this, and I completely agree that you have a strong argument. However, sincerely, I found myself wondering whether even two years might be “two” short…. I’m now thinking something along the lines of ahem…ten years! However, I can concede that that would be in an ideal world. That is obviously going to be implausible for most people, myself included. I’d ask myself if there was any way to truly get to know someone, to see them inside out. OR perhaps if there is someone that you do have access to observe, even if this is someone you would never consider romantically, perhaps use that knowledge to inform your understanding of what you do truly want, who you truly are, or what you definitely cannot tolerate in a relationship.
After just publishing the post above, I’ve thought of something that I find quite humorous. It is characteristically irreverent, and also largely irrelevant, but, I think, quite funny. It is this: that even 300 years ago, it would not have been the case for everyone that they married someone that they grew up with. I suspect (by which I mean that I secretly hope!) that I would have been the kind of woman to have been carried off by a marauding soldier to an exciting new life and culture. (It is with things like this that “womanity” had to make do for excitement before Facebook was invited!)
I like to think of myself that I am someone who quietly and peacefully minds my own business, but adventure somehow always manages to find me. And that is what I suspect, or hope, would have happened if I lived hundreds of years ago!
I hope I can trust myself that I would at least have made sure that the soldier in question would have been cute. Laughing to myself, I’m thinking that if there was a way to make sure I was carried off in the arms of one particular soldier rather than any another, trust me, I would have found it! Even if there was not an established way, I would have invented it! Knowing me, I would probably already have thought it through long before the situation would actually have arisen!
For instance, while the soldiers from the opposing army were still laying siege to the city, I may innocently have wandered along to where the most valiant soliders were known to be fighting. Members of my family may have asked:
“Where’s Tosin?!” “She said she’s gone to choose her soldier!”
And then I would have been conducting my chores, so carefully not letting my eyes wander to that one soldier, – no, not that one, the one next to him, with the – hmm yes, him! I would of course demurely avert my big wide eyes from looking into his face, day in, day out, while he equally shyly tries to avoid looking at me, concentrating instead on his military exercises… And if one day I should accidentally wander across a river at the wrong time, I might find myself shocked and embarrassed at a tiny glimpse of a certain soldier bathing before quickly running away – shocked and embarrassed, yes, and yet, not altogether put off…
And you’re trying to tell me that when the city wall finally falls, he is not going to make his way straight for one particular house, and one particular girl? Seriously?!
I bet that in these situations, girls would even have argued between one another. “I really like “Red Scabbard.”” “Don’t even think about it! He’s mine!” I bet that they might even have had their first, second, third and fourth choice. “OK, if I cannot get Red Scabbard after all (as he was after all smiling at my sister in a certain way!) then maybe I can get Blue Helmet. If not him, then maybe Yellow Tunic, and failing him I’ll just have to make do with Black Sandals…”
If all this failed, and you still somehow found yourself carried off by the wrong soldier, then perhaps you could let him know that your friend really liked him, while shyly asking about his friend… And as for the lazy girls who could not be bothered to sort themselves out this way, then they would clearly just have to make do with whoever found them!
I’m sure that even in a situation like this, human ingenuity would still have found a way, so that even between the captured and the capturers, there would still have been a degree of choice, with a certain degree of success and happiness at your choice!
And how about the two year thing, I hear you ask?! Well, as it happens, many historical city sieges lasted a lot longer than two years. The fictional siege of Troy, which culminated in the defeat of Troy by means of the Trojan horse, was supposed to have lasted a full ten years. This may not have been true of the Biblical battles, but in those cases I guess I would just have had to trust myself to the will of God! 😉
17 A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
Photo of soldier from Pixabay