As a high school teacher, it was incredible to me how interested my students were in whether or not I was married. When I first stepped into the classroom as an educator, I was twenty-five, and when they inevitably found out that I was a Ms. and not a Mrs., they would tell me, “Don’t worry, miss! You’re still young! You have plenty of time!” It was the same when I was twenty-six. And twenty-seven. When I was twenty-eight, they seemed to think there was slightly more urgency, but they’d always punctuate with, “But you’re still young!” Something happened when I turned thirty, though. Suddenly, I was running out of time. My clock was ticking, and if I didn’t get married and have babies soon, I ran a very real and terrifying risk of dying alone, an old maid surrounded by cats or something. I didn’t really think anything of it, but what really worried me was that the majority of the students who told me this were the girls.
It didn’t hurt my feelings or anything. But it did concern me because the consensus appeared to be, that it was better to be in a relationship with the wrong person than it was to be in no relationship at all. Of course, many of us remember our teenage years as the time to make mistakes, begin and end relationships, and not have to worry about things like marriage and children. But, I have run into my fair share of twenty-four year old women who believe that because they are not yet married, they’ve somehow failed at life.
So, I’m going to tell you something I wish somebody told me when I was younger: You do not have to be with somebody or have children to live a happy life!
It took me a long time to accept this. As the baby of five siblings, I am keenly aware that all of my sisters and my brother were married well before the age I am now. And if I forget, it’s okay because my grandmother is all too happy to remind me of my unmarried state. It wasn’t that I was averse to relationships or had never been in one. I would say of all of my past boyfriends, two I seriously considered marrying and one even asked my father for his blessing. We had our wedding planned out, but thankfully, not paid for. It took me stepping back and really looking at my situation to see what was actually happening. I cared about him, but was I marrying him because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, or was it because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do? You can guess by my current unmarried status the conclusion I came to.
It was a hard choice, but in the end, it was the right one. Not only for myself but for him as well. The reason is simply that everyone, including my ex, should never just settle for somebody who isn’t in it fully. Before him, I’d been in love once before. I can truly say that this man was my first great love. I had it in my head that he was my be-all-end-all. I poured my heart out to him, told him I really wanted to be with him, and he replied by friend-zoning me. But that wasn’t the end of it… After all, I was young, and I was in love. About a year later, he confessed that he’d developed feelings for me, and we entered a very tumultuous and strange on-and-off relationship. He was a good man, but it was not a good relationship. Yet, I refused to see that I was allowing myself to become a doormat because I falsely believed that if it meant I got to be with him, it was worth it.
I graduated before he did, so I moved back home while he continued working on his degree. It was that space that gave me the time to really think about what I’d gotten into. I loved him. I really did. I think part of me always will. But… the fact of the matter was, he did not love me the same way. I realized that I would always love him more than he loved me, and… that’s not what I wanted for myself. It’s not what I deserved. So I ended it.
What does this have to do with love spells?
Can you imagine how wrong it would have been if my ex-boyfriend who wanted to marry me decided to craft a spell, forcing me to love him and marry him? What would have happened if the spell wore off? We would have been married, living in another country (he was English, and I live in the United States), and one of us would have been stranded far from home. What if we’d had kids? What then? On the other hand, what if I’d decided to put a spell on my first love? Forcing him to ‘love’ me as much as I loved him? Is that even real love? Is that fair to him?
My view on love spells is that to perform them means you are okay with robbing somebody else of their free will. You are taking the choice away from them and locking them into a situation they may not have chosen for themselves. Without getting into the ethics of that, the reality is, it’s the acknowledgment that you’re fine living a lie. But you shouldn’t be. You deserve more than that and so does everyone else.
Unrequited love sucks. When you’re experiencing it, it’s easy to feel like it’s the end of the world as you know it. But at the end of the day, understand that there are worse things than not getting married or having children. Of course, there are types of love spells that do not work like this and are, in fact, designed to help you find your soulmate rather than forcing somebody to fill the role (or variations of this). Those aren’t the spells I take issue with. But before you sit down in your circle and begin preparing your spell, just think to yourself, “How would I feel if somebody put this spell on me?” If it gives you pause or makes you feel uncomfortable, maybe it’s best to let things play out the way they are supposed to.