Have you ever felt that too-good-to-be-true new, exciting type of love? The kind that everyone tries to describe, but are usually unable to – unless they’ve felt it first-hand.
Let me make an attempt: It’s a mix of lust, excitement, nervousness, and awe. And it’s the best.
I felt that type of love eight years ago when I was 20 and first met the man who is now my husband.
After the first few dates, my future husband informed me that he had no interest in ever getting married. He didn’t have the best impression of marriage growing up, so he wanted to avoid it all together. While this comment surprised me, I just figured this fling we were having would probably never go anywhere serious.
Flash forward almost three years later and I was officially head-over-heels for this guy.
I was about to graduate college — and I was ready to get married. The problem: he had warned me years ago that this was not something he wanted.
I had daydreams of wedding bells, and he had visions of fighting and us drifting apart. With five divorces between his dad and grandfather alone, the idea of marriage was not a happy one in his mind.
While I can’t speak for his thoughts directly, I can tell you those last few months of our senior year were very tense. Not only did we have the pressure of trying to figure out what careers we wanted, we had to decide the future of our relationship.
Of course I started flashing back to the day he warned me he never wanted to get married. To be fair, he never said “I told you so” when arguing about our future. I could tell from the look in his eyes and how he spoke about marriage that his conflict with the institution was from his past experiences, not the current ones with me.
Some women might have given up and figured the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. I had to question what is more important to me: marriage in general… or marriage with him? Ultimately I realized I was most excited about spending my life with my best friend and the man I loved, not the specific idea of a big wedding and marriage in general.
Luckily, he began to realize that a marriage with his best friend and the woman he loves is very different than the marriages he grew up around. I told him I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, whether officially in a court of law as husband and wife, or unofficially living together as a family.
At the same time he convinced me that he did see marriage with me in the future, but that it would take him longer to be ready.
After graduating, we moved to a new state together where he would be attending law school with the idea of marriage in our future. After a year of living together, he proposed to me on the Navy Pier in Chicago at sunset.
A few people asked me if I had any doubts because of his feelings toward marriage as we prepared for our wedding. But to be honest, I don’t think I ever doubted his desire to marry me, even that day so many years ago when he said he never wanted to get married. Perhaps I was naïve, but I like to think I knew even before he did that we were meant to be together.
Now, after almost 8 years of being together and 3 years of marriage, we have never been happier. Patience has never been my strongest quality, but waiting for my husband to be ready for marriage was the best decision I ever made. Turns out, patience really is a virtue – especially when it comes to relationships.