Before I got engaged and a little bit after, I read a lot of newly wed blog posts. I read them in hopes that I would feel a bit more normal. I read them because I was nervous. I read them because I was having some major doubts and commitment issues.
Let’s start from the beginning. I met Jeff through a mutual friend about two years ago. We met at a tiny coffee shop at his tiny Christian university and talked for about three hours. At the end of it, we hugged good bye, he went off to class, and I went home.
It was not love at first sight. I knew we had a lot in common, but he hardly seemed interested in my life. He rambled on about his own for what seemed like the entire three hours! I would later realize this is just a nervous habit, but at the time I barely knew him. Instead of sitting in silence like I do when I’m nervous, he just talks and talks and talks. Anyway, the next day he called me and asked me out on a real date. I said yes, but I was hesitant.
We went on the date, had some really great conversation (conversation being that I actually got the chance to talk this time!) and I enjoyed myself. From then on, we texted endlessly and saw each other once a week.
Fast forward two months of dating (i.e. going on dates), we become “officially” boyfriend/girlfriend. At this point, I STILL didn’t know exactly how I felt.
I know this is normal. Most people do not know if they’ve found “Mr. Right” after two months. But the media and movies and T.V shows and even online advice made me feel like I should know already. Like I should have had this magical, mystical, “Love at First Sight.”
I knew in my heart that love at first sight was a load of BS. But I wanted it so badly. I wanted to know because after only six months of dating, Jeff was ready to move forward. As in, he knew he wanted to marry me. I was still clueless.
I talked to tons of people before we got engaged. I spoke about my fear of commitment, about my hesitations, about the fact that it had only been seven months since I met the guy…and I was given this answer almost all of the time: “You’ll just know.”
I did not “just know.” And I never did. I never had that moment of “just knowing.” I never had any magical, romantic night out by the stars where I looked into his eyes and thought “yes, this is right.” Instead, I knew how I felt about him (I loved him) and I knew how he felt about me and how he treated me (amazingly) so I took the plunge through the fears and doubts.
We got engaged.
Except, the doubts didn’t stop there either. Society tells us early-twenties that we’re supposed to be out there travelling and drinking and exploring and making thousands of new friends and dating as many people as you can and casually sleeping around before you settle down. Although none of that appealed to me, I was afraid of going against the norm.
I kept these doubts to myself for a long time. It was hard. I felt like I couldn’t come to my best friend (my fiancé) about what was eating me up inside. Until one day, all these fears and doubts accumulated and I exploded. And to my surprise and actually to my relief, Jeff felt this way too.
We were both scared. We both had doubts. Although it was a tiny bit hurtful to hear my partner was having doubts about our upcoming marriage, it was also majorly relieving. I felt normal again. I no longer felt like I had to put on this facade of perfect bride-to-be who had it all figured out. I didn’t. And neither did he.
I was so happy this all came out, even though at the time it was painful. We were finally about to talk about the reasons we had doubts, about the issues we saw in the other person that we felt we couldn’t mention before. We did pre-marital counselling, we openly spoke about our fears and doubts, and things significantly improved.
I’m not saying the doubts and cold feet completely went away, but at this point I knew it was normal to feel this way before such a big commitment, and I allowed myself to feel it, but not to dwell on it.
On May 23, 2015, we got married.
Our relationship has only improved since the beginning. You always hear of couple’s relationships going downhill the longer they’re together. Ours is the complete opposite. In the beginning months of our dating relationship, we argued a lot. We’re both very stubborn and very strong willed. We argued about everything. One time, we argued for over half an hour about a muffin. We joke now that we only stayed together during those times because of how stubborn we both are. That’s obviously not true, but it shows what those first few months were like.
We didn’t have love at first sight. There was no instant spark. There was no fiery passion. Our relationship is where it is today because of hard work and dedication to the other person and the choice to continue loving each other and a willingness to (at least try to) serve the other person and keep God at the centre of it all.
So if you get caught up in all the unrealistic portrayals of romantic love and marriage in the media, read my post one more time. Don’t let that crap cloud reality. No matter how much you love a person, you will feel doubts and you will scared and you will sometimes feel like running away. But you won’t, because love is a choice. And love at sixth sight is okay too.