Today Will and I are celebrating two years of being marriage. On one hand I’m like HOW HAVE WE BEEN MARRIED FOR TWO YEARS! And then on the other hand I’m like…wait haven’t we always been married. Maybe it’s because we have been together, in total, for 8 years.
When I was thinking about my upcoming anniversary it hit me that I’ve never really shared my own love story! I think I’ve thrown out bits and pieces of it but I’ve never written it out here. So let’s do this:
So how did we meet?
I was a junior in college and I’d pretty much figured I wasn’t going to meet anyone in college at this point because I’d either dated the ones I was interested in (small college so it’s not like it was that many) or the ones that I COULD be interested in were definitely just friends at this point or I was NOT INTERESTED. I pretty much resigned myself to the fact I would meet someone after college but definitely not now unless they transferred. (Dating someone that was a freshman was not even an option for me). Pretty much all my friends were in serious relationships and this was the year I was FINALLY okay with being the single girl. I was having so much fun and embracing going on dates when I wanted.
Enter this goofy freshman who always wore his hood up, blasted his music too loud and was always driving like an idiot (seriously he would drive fast and pull the e-brake!). One of my friends was on the basketball team and Will came in as a freshman and was also on the team and they became friends thus introducing him to me.
Was it love at first sight?
Hahaha no. NOPE. NO. I remember when my friend, that I mentioned before, started hanging out with him I’m like WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS KID HE IS ANNOYING AND STUPID. Then I got to know him a bit but we were just friends and actually, come to think about it, I was crushing on another guy and always talked to him about it because HE was friends with this guy. I EVEN TRIED TO SET HIM UP WITH MY SISTER BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SAME AGE. That was pretty much the joke of my sister’s maid of honor speech at my wedding.
We progressively started talking more and I started enjoying his company more but I still didn’t ever picture an US. I mean we are OPPOSITES. Especially back then. I was picturing some guy in an indie rock band with jeans as tight as mine who would write me songs, would be cultured, go to shows with me because we liked the same music and would read alongside me…and never make me watch sports ever. And well Will….he liked rap. He rocked the typical jock guy attire — sweat pants and basketball shorts and t-shirts — and was obsessed with sports. His idea of dinner was a corndog and fries (yes I love those things) while I was like YES THAI FOOD PLEASE? And Will has probably read like 1 book in his life. He didn’t necessarily check the boxes for DREAM GUY though most of my dream guy criteria was pretty superficial because tastes change and develop.
So what made it finally click?
I’m not sure the exact moment it clicked but I remember feeling a distinct shift in my feelings after one REALLY long conversation we had together in the car one night. We got into more matters of the heart and BIG LIFE THINGS. I talked about my mom this night. At this point in time, it had been only a few months since my mom had passed away. I was a mess even though I was really good at looking like I wasn’t. While my sister went wild and crazy and reckless, I held it together but inside I just couldn’t make sense of things.
After I told him my story, he shared with me that he lost his biological mom to cancer also when he was 4. There was just this vulnerable side of him this night that I had never seen and while I don’t think I was all heart eyed and in love….that couple hour honest conversation is something I will never forget.
I’ll never forget the moment I finally admitted I like him. We had a little house party at a friend’s house. I was a wee bit drunk. I was supposed to be super into and paying attention to the super popular basketball player (the friend that introduced Will and I actually) on campus but that night I kept finding myself gravitating closer to Will. I think it was pissing this other guy off and my sister cornered me and was like “omg he won’t stop talking about you to me” and I was like “yeah, I don’t think I like him…I think I like that kid.” To which my sister was like, “interesting.”
So for the next couple months I spent A LOT of time with him and we were “talking”…going on a few dates (dates are generous considering we were both super broke college kids). We would write each other long emails (where he would woo me with his high school level French), have long chats driving in the car and meeting each other after classes so we could walk together. Then we made it “official” on January 16, 2007 and here we are married two years today despite the fact I never saw this relationship being super serious.
The Day I Knew I Loved Him & Wanted To Spend My Life With Him?
It wasn’t a particular moment but a couple years after we started dating his father got diagnosed with ALS. It’s just him and his mom (stepmom really because his real mom passed as I said but she’s been his mom since he was like 5 or 6) and we spent much time on weekends and in the summer there. Watching him take care of his dad was what made me know. When my mom was sick and dying from brain cancer my stepdad took care of her in a way that made me look at love & marriage in a whole new way. My stepdad is basically my hero to be honest. At some point I vowed, during that time, that I wanted to marry a man who would take care and love me in the way my stepdad did my mom. I never knew HOW I would know at the time but as I watched Will care for his dad in a way that breaks my heart because no son should have to do these things so young…it just made me KNOW. There was no complaining or resentment..just genuine love.
Things I’ve Learned From Finding My Happily Ever After
* The story is still a work of progress and happily ever after does not mean we ride off in the sunset with no more battles or conflict or work involved. It does not mean I am happy every day. Good fictional reading related to that topic: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid & Landline by Rainbow Rowell
*Sure, common interests are good but it isn’t necessary to like all the same things (obviously I learned this also while dating him because OPPOSITES). When Will and I met he was an 18 year old boy and he hadn’t even begun to discover what he was into. He never cooked when we met and now cooking is one of the things he loves most in life. He dresses differently now (and not on account of me changing him or anything) and he’s even discovered he likes some of the same music as me. I’m okay with our differences and I embrace and love them. They are what make us remember that as much as we have become “one” in marriage we are still very much our own person. We learn and experience new things because of our different interests and I’m glad I never tried to mold him into who I wanted him to be in some areas.
* Most of my ideas about love and marriage were highly romanticized and were mostly based on movies and tv…and books to some extent but mostly movies and tv. How it works on the big screen is not necessarily how it works in real life.
* Sometimes you will go to bed angry. It happens.
* I never realized the new and exciting things I would learn about Will and the ways I could fall in love with him even more after marriage. Sometimes I think you have this idea after being together with someone that you know ALL THE THINGS but you don’t. And the falling in love part isn’t just a beginning occurrence…it happens to me at the most random of moments.
* Our relationship is not perfect and that’s okay. In the age of the internet and social media, it’s easy to look at the lives of others and think our relationship is inadequate. I’ve learned to reject the feelings that creep up when I see things online with someone else’s picture perfect relationship and it makes me start to doubt or think less of my own.
* I don’t ever want to stop fighting. I’m not saying I want to fight day in and day out in an unhealthy way. No, no not at all. I don’t want to FIGHT and scream and be miserable and awful to each other. What I’m saying is that, coming from divorced parents at a young age, I watched a relationship that eventually they became so apathetic/indifferent that they just stopped caring. They FOUGHT LIKE CRAZY but it was no longer serving a purpose but just to spite and let each other know how much they hated the other. (This kind of fighting is not want I want). I want to care enough to still disagree and that any “fight” we may get into will result in us taking the effort and time to work hard to bring a clear end to it.
I could write a lot more about what I’ve learned but those are just some of the most pressing things on my mind as I write this. I would LOVE for you to share your love story if you have one! And if you don’t, that’s okay too! I’m telling you…I really loved and embraced my days of being single once I came to realize it was okay and I wasn’t strange for NOT having someone.
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