Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How I got here... by W

Well, my story is a little different. I am not on a dating fast... in fact, I'm on the fast track to ending my dating career once and for all when I marry my wonderful fiance in just 53 days! I could not be more excited.

Throughout my last 7 years of dating, I remember my mom making nostalgic sighs about how fun dating is. Yeah right. Being IN a relationship is fun. Finding the right relationship as not. Spending hours wondering how someone feels about you: not fun. Getting your heart broken: not fun. Pretending to like crab cakes so you don't look high maintenance during the prix fixe valentine's day dinners: not fun.

I remember reading a Jennifer Love Hewitt quote when she was engaged saying that when you get engaged, it's like joining a secret society of women under the unspoken mantra, "We did it." And maybe my mom feels like finding a husband was not an epic quest, but in this day and age, sometimes it feels like it.

Take M's list, for example. M is an intelligent, beautiful, loving, compassionate, humorous person. She has seriously dated 5 seemingly smart, motivated, quality guys, who in fact, turned out to NOT be husband material-- at least for her. In our era of the 50% divorce rate, text message cheating, internet porn, and women giving up more-promising-than-ever careers to be the housewife and mother, the stakes are high to find not just a great person, but the right person.

All this to say, I feel incredibly blessed that I have found T. Sparing you all the mushy details, I am grateful to have a fiance that is giving, loving, family-orientated, faithful to the Lord, who challenges me in the right ways and accepts who I am in spite of my quirks and faults.

But, this is supposed to be how I go to this point, so we'll start in high school circa 2004:

"The High School Sweetheart." March 2004-March 2007. I have nothing but fond memories from this relationship. We were each other's first kiss, and we dated for three of the most formative years of my life. While I made the ill-fated mistake of following this boy to the wrong college, which resulted in our break-up as I transfered to the RIGHT college, I have no regrets about the way I learned to love, compromise, and advocate for my own needs and dreams during those years.

"The Airport Dumper." January 2008-June 2008. Oh dear. This one gets his name because, after I spent a week at his house visiting him over the summer, he dumped me in the airport right before I went through security to get home. Cue tears and resentment. Things I learned: don't be with someone who you feel like you're not good enough for, don't be with someone who is still super attached to their ex, don't be with someone who is spending several months in a foreign country and dislikes long-distance relationships.
"The Winner!" Also known as T, also known as my future husband. T was my best friend throughout college-- he was the first one who I called and cried to after the Airport Dumper did his dumping. He was the one who encouraged me to write a 10 must-haves/10 deal-breakers
 list. He dated my sophomore year roomate. We talked about our respective relationship dramas and I felt no pressure to be anything but myself since he was "off-limits." ...Until he took me out for Valentine's Day in 2009 "as friends" and showed more care, concern, and love than anyone else I've ever known, much less dated.

After only 11 months of dating, T popped the question in front of our families and the cast of Dreamgirls on stage at the Cadillac Theater in Chicago. I said yes (duh!) and we've been engaged for nearly 17 months. This year has been incredibly difficult with T working 90-110 hours a week as an IB Analyst, the two of us living in different areas of the city, and me working to overcome my co-dependency issues that result from being a twin, but we are stronger and I am more sure than ever that T was made for me.

So, that's the story, minus the junior Olympian who picked me up on his motorcycle and used a foil-covered trashcan lid to grill hamburgers during our first date. But that's another story for another time.

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