An Open Message To Rory McIlroy

Relationship Design

roryandcaroline“In a bit of surprising news on the relationship front, Rory McIlroy has called off his engagement and ended his relationship with tennis star and girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.” So reads the intro to an article on Yahoo today.
Apparently, after sending out the invitations over the weekend, Rory realized he wasn’t ready for marriage and all that married life entails.
I can see how there is commitment-phobia in some people – but I believe Rory is missing the bigger picture here.
When you get right down to it … nobody’s ready for marriage. Only marriage makes you ready for marriage. <=== Tweet this
Marriage can be a daunting and scary proposition for some. And marriage continually seems to get dumped on by society, as if it is somehow flawed. Yes, I’ll agree that marriage is imperfect – but this is because people are imperfect.
Marriage is personal development boot camp.
You will demand much from your spouse, as they will from you. You will be challenged to experience love, even as you are angry. You will be challenged to fully forgive transgressions both major and minor. Your marriage, in short, is the daily practical exercise of the opportunity to grow in to your best self.
We can get hung up on the perceptions of what married life will be (or won’t be) and miss the larger story of the relationship.
Committed relationships, specifically marriage, are designed to help us grow up and face life on life’s terms.
Too often we look to our marriage to be a source of our pleasure. Let’s face it, there are some fun, pleasurable moments together. But what would happen if we began to view marriage as a source of deep meaning in our life?
To me, this meaning comes from the idea that marriage has a specific design.
At its core … marriage is designed to help us grow up, not provide us happily ever after.
Happiness is there, to be sure, but it’s not the ultimate goal. It’s a shared journey with someone who challenges you to become better, not as a golfer or tennis player, but as a human.
I’m not going to say that Rory’s decision to call things off was the wrong one, that’s strictly between the two of them. I am going to say that if he’s waiting until he feels ready for marriage before getting married, get used to being single.
It is sort of like waiting to have kids until you can afford them – those of us who have kids know what I’m talking about.
Relationships are designed to refine us. When we face them with the courage of standing on our own two feet and a willingness to confront ourselves and grow ourselves up, we discover a relationship far beyond what we could ever imagine. A relationship that isn’t with someone else, it’s with our best self.
When that side of us shows up to play, we win in life and relationships … and golf for that matter.