Something weird happened this week: I saw a blogger’s recent teaser post about her wedding, and her dress looked similar to the one I purchased seven years ago for my wedding.

THIS is the dress, by the way. *sigh*

This is THE dress, by the way. *sigh*

I didn’t get married. In fact, I’m *still* not married (obviously, I’m not with the same person anymore either). Believe me though, I’m not hung up over it — that whole experience basically turned me off to the idea of marriage. But I was struggling with why it made me so sad to see the dress. Was it because she looked beautiful in it, and I never had the opportunity to look beautiful in mine? Or was it simply just another hurtful pang of memories passed?

Or perhaps it was the $700 deposit that I couldn’t get returned?

From wikipedia:

Motivated forgetting is a debated concept referring to a psychological defense mechanism in which people forget unwanted memories, either consciously or unconsciously. There are times when memories are reminders of unpleasant experiences that make people angry, sad, anxious, ashamed or afraid. Motivated forgetting is a method in which people protect themselves by blocking the recall of these anxiety-arousing memories… This could induce forgetting without being generated by an intention to forget, making it a motivated action. There are two main classes of motivated forgetting: repression is an unconscious act, while suppression a conscious form of excluding thoughts and memories from awareness.

As my friend so eloquently put, “It’s a memory… not necessarily a bad memory, and a very important part of your life that shaped you.”

Now, as I’m remembering all of this, I almost want to have a good memory (wedding) to replace the bad one (canceled wedding). But this would mean getting married, which… I have mixed emotions about altogether. I’m sure many 30-somethings have found themselves in similar emotional turmoil. Let’s have some group therapy in the comments!

More:
Why People Remember Negative Events More Than Positive Ones {via New York Times}

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  • I was married before… And I know how you feel. Recently I’ve resolved to only remember the good things about the relationship, not so to glamorize it, but to remind myself that it was not a complete waste of time. Rather, it shaped me, and provided me with a learning experience that I cannot ignore.