I was watching a television show the other day and two women in their twenties were talking about love. One of the women was married and the other had been dating a man for a few years. The single woman was talking about getting married and asked the married woman how she knew her husband was “the one”. In typical movie dialogue, the married woman answered, “You just know it.” I don’t know why that answer bothered me so much. Maybe because I thought it was a cop out answer. So I started to think about it a while.
I thought back to when I met my husband and how I knew he was “the one.” First, I would say that if I needed to ask someone else about the man I was dating, marriage would not be part of the discussion. If you can’t answer that question on your own, then I would say either he is not the one or you do not know him well enough to be thinking about marriage. Putting that aside and taking marriage off the table I thought about when I met my husband. Ours was a very unusual relationship. I lived in California and came out to Missouri to visit a friend. I was not looking for love. In all fairness, he was not looking for a relationship either.
So we met and right away I noticed things about him that I was very attracted to. He was thoughtful, honest to a fault, considerate, hardworking and kind. Our first date was not really met to be a date. Every August there is a big meteor shower. Because of the clear skies and the rural area the night sky is bright and clear, perfect for star gazing. We were both in our 30’s and I was surprised that he had never watched a meteor shower. We lowered the tailgate of the truck, he placed a thermos of coffee between us and he sat on one end while I sat on the other end of the tailgate. When I saw the first shooting star I told him to make a wish and he asked me why. I could not believe he never heard of wishing on a falling star. We sat like that looking at the sky for hours and talked about everything and anything.
When I returned home to California, there were a dozen red roses delivered to my door from him. He called to see if I got the roses and asked if he could call me again. I said sure. He called every night thereafter. Each night we would talk on the phone for hours. He invited me to visit again in November for Thanksgiving weekend. Again a complete gentleman, I stayed about 4 days and enjoyed every minute I was with him. I knew I was falling in love with him, but had no idea what he was feeling. I returned to California and we continued our nightly phone conversations. We both enjoy sports and a lot of our conversations were about life and sports. In our conversations we would kind of talk about what life would look like if we were to get married.
By the first week of December he said, “If we are going to get married I better get out to California, meet your family and ask you dad”. I never questioned whether things were moving too fast, if we really knew each other well enough. I knew I had never met anyone like him before and there was an ease about him. Besides enjoying each other’s company, we also shared common values. I knew I was in love with him and not just the idea of being in love. I found myself thinking of him constantly, rerunning our conversations over in my mind several times a day and waiting for the phone to ring every night so we could talk again. He was due to arrive in California the week before Christmas and I was nervous that my family would think this was moving too fast. As it turned out, they saw the same things in him that I saw. They loved him from the minute they met him. Next thing I knew we had plans to marry on New Year’s Eve. Almost 5 months from the day we had met.
Fast forward 20 years and every day I still see that same farm boy I met so long ago. He has never tried to be anything other than who he is. Neither of us were looking for love, love found us. I believe that because we were not looking for someone to complete our lives, we were able to be ourselves. Every relationship is different and while I would say that marring someone 5 months after you have met them is not the advice I would give to someone, the most important advice I would give someone is to make sure you are getting married for the right reasons. Don’t marry because you are lonely, because all your friends are married or because you are unhappy with your life. Marriage will not solve any of those issues. Have a good sense of the person you are going to marry. See how they handle disappointment, anger and hard times. Make sure you don’t see their potential and think you are going to somehow change them. If there are any red flags do not think that marriage will take care of them. If you do not love them as they are then love yourself enough to walk way.