Although it is an honor to grace the cover of Today’s Bride, it is also bittersweet because I decided to not get married.
It hasn't been easy. It's a hurtful, gut wrenching experience. I gave it a long hard look and had to make the most painful decision of my life but I know in my heart, it was the right one. I was 21 years old when I began dating Ray. We were together for 7 years. I spent the majority of my 20's with my first real boyfriend & the reality is, what you choose to accept at 21, is not necessarily the same for 28, or forever. I was unhappy for quite some time but I believed loyalty & patience took precedence over my own contentment. Over the years, I dedicated & sacrificed a lot to support his career & well-being only to realize I lost myself, compromising my own hopes & dreams in the process. The relationship became unhealthy. Countless chances were given yet not enough changed. Ultimately, you can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves. A few months before the wedding, my gut reaction was to finally accept that it just didn't feel right. I was no longer willing to accept less than what I deserved.
So many of us get caught up in the pressure & expectations to get married. We should follow our hearts & make decisions for ourselves - not to appease social norms, or try to appear "perfect" for others. Weddings are beautiful but they should be about the celebration of a beautiful life & union!
Despite all of this, Ray & I will always love each other. I respect him & our time together immensely, simply it is time to move on, and that’s ok. We only have one shot to live our best life and it's time I live my life for me. xx