Not long ago, in finals week, I was talking to a friend about the future. Both of us graduate next year but our lives are far from similar. She is a 30-year-old woman who is married and with a kid. While I am 22 with a fairly new relationship and no kids. She asked me if I planned on staying in Iowa (where we go to school) or go back home. For me home is outside the United States, so naturally that question is always on the back of my mind. I told her that I didn’t know, it was the truth, there are still many decisions to be made. She asked me if any of the decisions that I was still making had anything to do with the fact that I have a boyfriend, and I said that in fact they have everything to do with him. She looked at me almost concerned, like I had just told her something horrible, and she said, “you can make your own decisions, you know right?” I simply replied, “of course I know” and that was the end of the conversation.
Here is the thing though, of course I know that I don’t need his approval or even his input to make my decisions. So why don’t I make my own decisions without him? Because we are together. It is that simple. The reason why we are together is because we want to do life together, if we didn’t want our life instead of his and mine, then we would just be friends. We have decided to share life, and yes, we have only been together for six months but still I feel like from the beginning we have to do these kinds of things together so that we can grow towards something that both of us want.
Making decisions should be like walking holding hands. I am a slow walker, while he walks somewhat fast but when we walk holding hands I am forced to walk a little faster and he is forced to walk a little slower, until we find a pace that works for the both of us and I think that is what relationships are about. It doesn’t mean that I lose my independency or that I just follow him around, what it means is that we combine our lives and we make it one. We combine them in a way that we share everything and that means also sharing decisions. He has his dreams and I have my dreams but now we are trying to find a way to make those dreams work together. We are dreaming a bigger dream, a combined dream that we both love, and we are both passionate about. That is how we are going to live and share life together, that is why my decisions have everything to do with him. It is not just me anymore.