Though often quiet about her personal life, Scarlett Johansson was seen wearing an engagement ring from Romain Dauriac, her boyfriend of 10 months. It's public! And gorgeous! Also public knowledge is the fact that ScarJo was once married to Ryan Reynolds (who now calls Blake Lively his wife). That ring finger wasn't cold for long -- Ryan and Scarlett divorced in 2011. Ryan remarried in 2012 and Scarlett is probably now daydreaming of white dresses. Or is she? It would be her second marriage.
What does getting engaged after going through divorce feel like? She's been there, done that, but with a different person and totally different circumstances.
So many of us, myself included, think that when we get married, it's forever and ever. Put a ring on it and it's true love always. I saw rocking chairs and gray hairs and matching canes. Sure I've seen friends get divorced and have engagements end, but I never thought it would happen to me. No, not me. Until it was me. My ring finger is bare. I still feel for my rings sometimes. I used to spin them with my thumb. Admire them. Remember that day. That feeling. I loved what they meant. But they don't mean that anymore.
When Scarlett talks about her divorce from Ryan, she admits it was devastating and "the loneliest thing you'll ever do." I get that. You can have all your friends and family around you supporting you but divorce is lonely. It's the end of the one thing you thought would make you not lonely for the rest of your life. The "I do." The "for so long as you both shall live." Then you don't have any of that with that person you thought you were committing forever to anymore. You both shall live, but your marriage is dead.
It's lonely. Yes. It's devastating. Yes. The fairytale of happily ever after is over. But fairytales are for winged creatures and mermaids and girls who wear glass slippers. I don't want wings -- they sure look cumbersome. Tails make it hard to walk or wear jeans. And glass slippers will only make your feet look like sausages. We're living humantales. And humantales involve happily ever after even after divorce. Even if that "forever" isn't forever. Let's redefine forever. It's just the end of one relationship. Not the end of love. Not the end of you. We should think of divorce as the relationship has been completed. Completion means it's time to move on. And moving on is what Scarlett is doing.
It must feel strange to wear another engagement ring. She may even recall the time she first started wearing the one Ryan gave her. Maybe she even compared them -- the men, the rings, the feelings she felt each time. This time she has perspective. Insight. Learnings of her first engagement and marriage she is carrying with her.
Maybe this time the wedding will be smaller. Or larger. Maybe her dress will be red or black or yellow. Maybe she learned so much about what she really does want in her happily ever after that she's willing to take that risk committing to a new man knowing that sometimes even when you think it's forever, forever is not what you think.
That's romantic. That's loving life and loving others and loving yourself and loving fully without fear even when you faced devastation and loneliness. We can't dwell in the sad. There is so much happy to be had. So much life to live. Still, as I face my own divorce, all these feelings are strange and hard to deal with at times. But most times, they are full of hope.
Have you been through a divorce and faced these feelings, too?
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