I am originally from Sicily, the beautiful island at the bottom of Italy. My family still lives out there so I visit regularly, along with my husband Matt and our children. We try to visit in either the summer or at Christmas and when we’re there, Matt and I have fallen into somewhat of a ritual. We always go back to this lovely little restaurant on the sea, right next door to where Matt proposed to me.
This little place on the sea just hits all the senses at once. You walk in, there’s music playing, there’s the smell of the food, the sea breeze and a really warm and welcoming atmosphere. It’s heaven. When we walk in, the owner always come over to say hi, ask about the children and generally treats us like family.
So last summer, Matt and I went out and had a lovely meal. At the end of the meal, we asked for the bill and when the waiter returned, he looked at both of us as if to say “who shall I give this to?” So I jokingly said “Give it to him. Why do you think I got married?” To which the waiter replied “Yes, sorry, I know but you wouldn’t believe how many married couples who come here regularly go halves and they can get quite annoyed if you assume anything. So it’s become quite tense for me!” So we had a chuckle and that was that.
However in the car on the way home, I just couldn’t stop thinking about this — married couples who still go 50/50 when they go out for a meal.
Now, call me old fashioned but the way I see it is if you are married then you have made a massive commitment in front of your family and friends to spend the rest of your life together. Then you split the bill when you go out for a romantic meal. Isn’t that sending out a slightly confusing message to your relationship and to the universe? And to each other for that matter?
To me, it’s like saying:
“I, Alex, take you, Matt, to be my husband, to have and to hold most times, in good times and in bad (as long as they are not really bad), for better, for worse (but ideally better) for richer, for poorer (depending on what exactly you mean by poorer), in sickness and in health (although I don’t really want to get involved with man colds) until death do us part. Until death do us part (but actually, just in case it doesn’t work out, I’m going to keep my own bank account and an empty flat in case I need to move out in a rush as soon as you do something I don’t like…”)
Well, isn’t that a great way to have one foot in the relationship and one foot out the door as soon as there’s something we are not happy with? That’s not commitment. That’s ‘we’ll try, we’ll see’. That’s ‘I’m keeping my options open’ which is commitment’s number one enemy.
Commitment is saying we will work through anything. Commitment is saying ‘I have no plan B’.
Commitment is knowing that splitting up is not an option, so we’ll make this work. Full stop.