On Love and Marriage

If you had told me when I was younger that I’d meet the person I’d want to spend the rest of my life with at eighteen years old, I wouldn’t have believed it. I probably would have laughed at you, actually, because love wasn’t exactly a priority for me as I grew up. Was it something I wanted? Sure, but I certainly didn’t expect it to happen when it did. I guess that’s kind of how love is, though.

My boyfriend and I met at the end of August in 2008. We were both college freshmen and we met during the weekend of freshmen orientation. I thought he was this really awkward nerdy kid, and I’d imagine he didn’t think much of me at the time. He was nice, though, and he offered to let me tag along to a party during one of those first few times we talked. I was so excited to go to one of those cool college parties that I’d been looking forward to for ages that I immediately said I’d accompany him! Maybe I’d finally be a cool kid, the kind I’d never been in high school. Much to my disappointment, however, the party I’d been invited to turned out to be nothing more than a quiet social event, a barbecue at a local fraternity to meet some of the incoming freshmen boys, along with a few girls here and there. It was awkward, I felt out of place, and I pretty much clung to this boy the entire time because I didn’t know anyone else.

We hung out everyday after that. Something just kind of clicked, and he quickly became one of my best friends. He was goofy – in a good way – and I really enjoyed spending time with him. At some point, I realized I had feelings for him, and after we’d been friends for a few weeks, I finally admitted it to him. I got no real response on his end, so I dropped it altogether, until a few days later when I found out he also had feelings for me. It was a bit of a rough start, but at the end of September 2008, we officially became a couple and I was ecstatic. It had been a while since I’d dated anyone, and it was nice to be in a relationship again.

As happy as I was, I didn’t really expect it to become anything serious. (And this is no shock to him – we’ve talked about this before, and he didn’t really expect it to be, either.) We were both so young, and we still had so much to learn about each other, ourselves, and adulthood. We continued to spend every free second we had with one another, and quickly became very close. He wasn’t just my boyfriend, he had become my best friend, my confidante, and he made me so happy. We fell in love quickly, which I think very often spells out “doom” for so many young couples, but even after nearly six years, we’re still going strong.

I can’t say our relationship is perfect – in fact, it’s far from it – but there’s a lot of love and a lot of commitment involved. We’ve certainly had our moments, where we weren’t sure if we’d both make it to the other side, but even in the worst of times, we’ve always managed to pull through. In the fall of 2011, for example, we had nearly reached our breaking point. We were both so stressed with things going on in our lives that our relationship began to suffer, but there was light at the end of the tunnel, and we stuck it out – things got better. I think that’s something that so many couples seem to forget: things really can and often do get better if you give them a little time and have a little patience. Don’t throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble because, more often than not, you can and you will get through it.

In May of 2012, life had serious plans for us: we were going to have a baby. It was such a surprise for us, and it really threw a kink into our relationship again, when it had finally started to become solid again. It took a few weeks for us both to come around to the idea of becoming parents, and when reality really hit us, my boyfriend embraced the coming change in our lives. He was incredibly patient and kind to me during those next few months, and in January of 2013, as I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, he was right by my side, supporting me every step of the way. He was amazing.

And, in February of 2014, we made the decision to finally set a date to get married. It wasn’t some big romantic gesture, but rather a conversation over Valentine’s Day dinner that started with, “You know, it’s been five years, we have a one year old daughter, do you want to get married? Just pick a date and do it?” out of my own mouth. Without hesitation, Mike responded that yes, in fact, he did want to spend the rest of his life with me, and no, he wasn’t sick of me yet – which really was a relief to me, because even I get sick of my own company sometimes. (I kid, I kid… kind of.)

I love my boyfriend – baby daddy, fiance, I kind of call him all of the above – with all my heart. I certainly don’t need to get married, and I don’t think it’ll make us any more of a family than we already are, but it will be nice to finally tie the knot later this year with our immediate families and grandparents. We’ve set the date and we’re ready to “just do it.” I suppose it’s not a very traditional way to get engaged and certainly not the traditional way to get married, but Mike and I have never been a very traditional couple anyway. All that matters is that we’re happy with what we do, and I think we will be. I wouldn’t want our life together to have turned out any differently than it has.

I’m excited. He’s excited. It feels like the right time and the right way for us to do things.

Friedrich Nietzsche is quoted as saying, “There is always some madness in love, but there is also always some reason in madness.” I think he was onto something. Relationships can drive us crazy and push us to our emotional limits sometimes, but there is also so much good that can come out of a relationship. Mike and I disagree and we argue and we drive each other crazy sometimes, it’s just like any other couple, but we’re also very happy together and we’re so ready to start this next chapter in our lives. I am so lucky and thankful to have such a wonderful significant other and a lovely daughter.

 

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