I’m about to take what, for me, is a very giant step.
I’m getting married.
I know people do it every day, and I know buying a house together was probably a bigger leap of trust, but I still feel that this is immensely important and a little scary.
My parents were divorced when I was seven and, unlike most kids, that’s how I thought it should be. There was a very brief period after my mom’s second divorce when my parents had a few conversations that weren’t driven by any child-related purpose—and I thought that was very weird. Before then, the idea that there was a possible alternative reality where they stayed together and had a happy relationship had just never occurred to me. They didn’t really try to make my brother and me take sides or play us against each other or any of that, but my mom was usually mad at my dad for something and they never talked unless they had to. I really couldn’t imagine them together at all.
I’ve had a handful of key relationships in my own life, but I’ve spent most of it single—usually pining after someone who didn’t reciprocate my feelings or occasionally trying some relationship that I didn’t think would last. Usually single. Despite the angry demands of a few high-school guys, I didn’t say “I love you” until I was a sophomore in college. It took me longer than that to find a relationship I could sustain for more than a year. Marriage was not something I could imagine. It was always “maybe someday.”
Sometimes I sit and try to figure out how my mind transformed so quickly. I had gotten used to the idea of maybe not marrying. Well, not really… but I certainly thought it would take me longer to be convinced.
When Brian and I met last year, we were immediately drawn to one another. He could match and sometimes even top my weird travel stories. He potentially had my long, lost espresso-maker filter (it was the wrong one). He was very cute. He was just as animated and fun as me! I didn’t want the night to end so at 2:00 a.m. I dragged my friend Angela to a very small after-party with his friends. There, we talked politics, which was very fun—partially because I don’t think his friend had ever encountered a highly opinionated female Democrat who was not only well-versed on the gun issue, but also on his side, and partially because it reminded me of the good old days when these types of conversations were much more common in my life.
Brian called me a few days later for a date (one of very few actual dates I’ve ever had), and that was amazing too. We sat and played a game where we free-associated and conversed on a variety of topics from A to Z. It was fun and scary to see where it led us. We had a crazy amount of ideas, past experiences, and interests in common. We disagreed about Quiznos, snakes, and Zen, but that was it. And the differences in opinion were pretty minor.
From there, we’ve spent a lot of time together and we’ve grown closer and closer as a result (even though we have found a few more differences too). He helps me stay active by suggesting rollerblading or getting up early to put in some exercise. He’s awakened parts of me… let’s just say I didn’t even know. He likes to talk about the same things that I like to talk about. He helps me be the version of myself that I like. He’s been there for me in a truly scary situation and he’s made me feel better about it. In our day-to-day life, I can literally feel his love for me.
It’s so weird to feel safe enough to be vulnerable—to be able to truly love him back the way he deserves to be loved. This weekend I’ve been writing my vows and it’s so difficult to try to summarize all these feelings into a paragraph, something coherent. I just hope he can feel that kind of love coming from me too.
So this is a giant step, but I’m ready for it. I’m excited about it. And I can’t wait to find out what comes next.
Copyright 2005, Christine Chase
Image: Copyright 2005, Christine Chase
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