As I was driving tonight, I forget what train of thought brought me there, but I had a bit of a realization.
I spent twenty-some years firmly believing that family relationships, beginning with the sealing covenant of temple marriage, are not only meant to be eternally binding and unifying but are the central apex of the entire purpose of our existence now and into eternal immortality. I spent twenty-some years pitying those whose marriages were for time only and hoping they'd eventually choose to be sealed by (LDS) priesthood authority and keep their families together forever. I spent several years believing same-sex couples won't even have that option, to make their unions eternal. That they are definitely and finally separated at death, which makes their lifetime together a mere bandaid of temporal comfort which will sting that much more when removed. I believed that the truest, most beautiful, most godlike, most loving, eternal, glorious, celestial relationships were unions solemnified in holy houses of the Lord, built on love of God first, and the pure love Christ for each other, forged by the priesthood (power of God through men), all else being secondary and maybe primarily mortal...lower.
Now, I'm afraid that next to that, no relationship other than a temple marriage will ever seem quite as wonderful and glorious as it otherwise should. No worlds without end, no celestial king and queen, no bond forged eternally by God and unbreakable by any man, no love supposedly gifted/borrowed from deity. I'm afraid of what might happen if I never shake those notions, that I might marry or partner with a beautiful, wonderful man (or even woman) and always, in the back of my mind, even if I no longer believe we continue living after death, vaguely or diffusely regard our relationship as inferior to those of my temple-married family and friends.
I actually teared up at the thought that "regular" love, even if it's the storybook love most people are jealous of and which lasts a lifetime and builds a family, might be ruined in my mind, inferior by its mortality, that some part of me might never let go of what I thought it was supposed to be.
I'm not sure this fear is something I'm willing to just hope goes away when I find someone. Since I've never gotten as far as "committed", but the love I've felt for a guy or two I've fallen for has felt as 'divine' as any I've known, I suppose I don't know whether this would've come up or whether it's a non-issue. Just seems like something I should at least be aware of and not sweep under the rug to resurface in a relationship. For now, though, it's just a thought...back burner...I've got bigger fish to fry.