|This was our first photo together 🙂
I’m going to tell you a little story. Sometimes I’m a little self conscious to be TOO honest here but I am who I am so I’ll just do it.
I have wanted to get married since I was 15 years old. I remember my friend Claire had a boyfriend and I loved the way they were SO into each other. I couldn’t wait for someone to look at me like that!
I was gushy romantic and was even writing a “book” — a love story about this young girl and boy who fall in love in a small town and she has a baby, blah blah blah.
From that time, I wanted to get married as early as possibly and have kids young, just like this story I had in my head. Looking back, it makes me so sad that I was so fixated on this — dare I say I was a little pathetic.
Well, I just got married — clearly my teenage fantasy wasn’t meant to be (something I am actually happy about!) I fell over for different boys when I was young — none of them nice enough, none of them who paid me enough attention or respect, none of them who could be what I needed them to be.
|The best part of dating when you are young? Sharing bad date stories with your friends 🙂
I had a lot of heartbreak and a major lack of self-confidence. I actually couldn’t believe that someone would actually love me enough to want to spend the rest of their life with me. In college, I had a group of friends — many male — and I didn’t understand why none of the guys were ever interested in me romantically. It seriously messed with my head.
I remember once a few years ago, looking in the mirror before bed thinking I looked especially pretty for some reason. I thought…someday, it will just be a normal night in my pajamas and I’ll look pretty like this and someone else will be here and think so too.
Some may think this sounds sad — that I would care about that. But it’s not just “any man” — it’s the one “right” man that I hoped to find. The truth is, I had to give up the fantasy I had in my head at one point — I actually had to make myself accept that I might never get married. Yeah, I mean, I realized that I wasn’t “old” but for me, to find peace, I HAD to accept it as okay if that happened. And, for the most part, I did. I don’t like admitting that here but perhaps others can relate so I wanted to share.
When I started doing online dating, via Match.com, it was just “for fun.” Why not try it? I ended up using the service on and off for about 2 years — not much luck. Then, I read a book called “How To Get a Date Worth Keeping.” It was excellent — and basically it encouraged you to stop taking dating so seriously — to go out with every one that asks you, to look at every date as a potential friend, connection, bridge or just someone you have a nice conversation with.
So I took the advice and started saying yes to people who asked me out (and that I thought had at least a little potential) on Match. Not taking it seriously was the way to go. I didn’t put pressure on myself and I just enjoyed conversations. After going out with five or six people, I was kind of tired of it and decided to shut it down for awhile.
I decided to take one last date. Might as well, right? So I show up at Lebanese Taverna and his back is turned — but I knew it was him. I walked up and said “Rick?” He turned and I thought…man, he’s really good looking and has a great, warm smile. In an instant, this felt different.
We ended up talking over one glass of wine for about 2 hours, covering a myriad of subjects. I was actually leaving to go watch The Bachelor with my friends after that and he laughed at me (in a nice way.) We hugged and and I walked away with a spring in my step, a butterfly in my tummy and hope on my mind. Unlike every other date I had been on, I wasn’t asking myself “Do I want to go out with him again?” It was just known. Yes, I wanted to go out with him again.
|Wedding guests (I was a bridesmaid)
From that point on, we started dating seriously almost right away and I remember how I couldn’t believe how much he liked me. Sweet notes, endearing text messages, always being a gentlemen. It was something I’d never really experienced.
In the past 3 years, we’ve been through some tough times together as a couple. The thing is — we are very different. We have many different interests, our families are nothing alike and we grew up in two different worlds. There’s a lot I had to start understanding about him and a lot he had to start understanding about me. It hasn’t always been easy — and I am well aware there is still a lot of learning to do.
But like so many couples, many of my weaknesses are his strengths and many of his weaknesses are my strengths. Like Rocky said, “She’s got gaps. I got gaps. Together we fill gaps.”
He makes me feel like I am the most beautiful girl in the world. And I love him for making me laugh everyday, for being excited to see me when I come home from work, for just ultimately wanting me to be happy. He stands behind me and gives me confidence and encouragement in everything I do. It’s a wonderful thing to feel that support.
We’re both going to screw up. And we know we have to have grace. We know we have to have God in this thing — and we do.
Knowing we are married, committed, in it for the long haul hasn’t made me nervous — it’s made me happy. It’s made feel like maybe this whole time it wasn’t real but now it is and I can rest easy in our love — cause he’s not giving up on me and I’m not giving up on him.
I don’t mean to be all gushy or whatever (I always hated that “when I was single”) — but I wanted to share my feelings on this. One song that I didn’t get to play at the wedding but has really meant something to me regarding our relationship. That’s Jason Mraz’s, I won’t give up. I’ve shared it here before but find it worth sharing again now:
It’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well, there’s so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
Well, I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up
And when you’re needing your space
To do some navigating
I’ll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find
‘Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We’ve got a lot to learn
God knows we’re worth it
No, I won’t give up
I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am
I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, still looking up.
So here’s the thing — I’m one week married and I have a lot to learn. But I know that my husband is a good man with a good, compassionate heart that loves me. He’s a man that’s overcome amazing odds and keeps believe in love and in good and in God.
He makes me omelettes, he puts cucumbers in my water for me (for glowing skin!), he buys me my favorite yogurts and watches me cross finish lines even though he hates to run. He promised to have and to hold me, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish me from this day forward until death do us part.
Call me lucky, call me blessed, call me loved. I love you, Rick.