Their eyes met from across the room; there was an unmistakable, immediate attraction--a gravitational pull of sorts. The room went quiet as they made their way to one another, strangers at first, but by the end of the evening, soul-mates who would spend the rest of their lives creating their happily-ever-after.
Um...yeah. That love story doesn’t belong to us.
My husband and I will be celebrating our eleven year wedding anniversary this summer. We’ve been together the better part of twenty years (yes, two decades!) and to this day, when people ask how we met, we both still enjoy telling the story of what it took for us to get here.
There was no gaze from across the room that would have us bee-lining to one another and then down the aisle. In fact, my husband and I went to the same high-school but did not meet until shortly after graduation, when we both went to work for the same Marketing company. We were total and complete opposites and had very little in common, but we were cordial with one another simply because we shared a cubicle wall and the same boss.
It would be almost a year before his smiles and “hellos” would give me butterflies. It was the weekend of my birthday when he graciously offered his apartment as the location for my party (because he was the only cool kid with a place of his own) and at the end of the evening, like any good host of a party, he offered to drive me home. Pulling up in front of my parent’s house, he came around to my side of the truck, opened the door for me, handed me the balloons my friends had given me (seriously), gave me an awkward hug and mumbled a goodbye before driving off.
I was smitten.
On December 12th, exactly twenty-seven days later, we went on our first “date”: Christmas shopping, a movie (oh, the innocence of youth!) and a goodnight kiss that left me punch-drunk. We spent the next few years breaking up, making up, growing up and ultimately falling in love.
It took us eight years to become engaged and almost ten years from our first date to finally tie the knot. We endured years of relentless “When are you getting married?!” badgering, while we watched our friends (some even younger than us) date, become engaged, get married and have babies in less time. But here’s our school of thought: What’s the rush? When you are young and fresh out of high school, you have no business thinking about marriage and babies. College life is a rite-of-passage that should be lived, experienced and enjoyed. It may have taken us ten years to finally make it official, but this summer, we will celebrate eleven years of marriage and twenty years of love.
During this time, we have witnessed our friend’s marriages unravel and sadly, end in divorce. And the very same friends who impatiently asked us “When are you getting married?!” now ask us what our secret is to staying together.
We neither consider ourselves experts, nor do we have a secret to longevity; our key to a happy marriage is simple: you love and respect one another from the deepest part of your beings and you never, ever stop trying to make your partner laugh. Not only is laughter essential, but it keeps you young at heart.
And I’m going to be honest here; even after all these years together, I love that my husband still does the little things he did early on in our relationship: simple things like opening the car door for me, pulling out my chair at a restaurant, guiding me into a room with his hand resting gently at the small of my back. Unabashed romance, silly little love-notes and fresh flowers...just because.
My husband and I may not have an impressive “How We Met” story, but the love we share? Yup...it’s the real deal.