I’ve never really considered myself a romantic. In fact, I always felt like I was a bit on the cynical side. If you’ve read here for a long time, chances are you’ll agree with me.
Then I found myself on a first date with a beautiful, kind, compassionate, and independent girl named Nicole, knowing halfway through the date that I was going to marry and spend the rest of my life with her. It turns out she felt the same way, albeit a couple of days later rather than during the first date. But it was an instant click. Neither of us had any doubt.
Surprisingly, family on both sides of this equation have been fully supportive and positive, while some friends (just a few) have been very cynical about it. I’ve heard “rebound,” “what’s the rush,” etc. from a couple of people lately. Perhaps they are skeptical of my relationship decision-making given my history. Maybe it’s just assumed that one has to “rebound” after a breakup.
Can you really know right away? There are countless stories of folks that met and got married in weeks or months who stayed together for life. There are also countless stories of people who dated for years and then got divorced as soon as they got married. I don’t think time has anything to do with success. Compatible values, aligned goals and dreams, mutual attraction, and chemistry are either there or they aren’t. You can’t generate attraction or chemistry no matter how hard you try. You can’t change someone’s values, personality, or goals no matter how hard you try. Those things have to align from the start. Potential is irrelevant, a lesson both of us have learned from prior relationships. I’d be the last person to say I’m an expert at relationships… but I also know that in every prior relationship, I’ve had serious doubts. This time, I have none.
For a relationship to really work long term, there has to be the mental decision to love, even on days when emotionally you aren’t feeling it. You have to handle disagreements calmly and fairly. You have to invest in the other person enough that when you mess up you don’t overdraw the account. You have to give each other affection, kindness, and consideration without worrying about keeping score. You have to wake up every day choosing to love, praise, support and build up that person.
And in the end, it has to go both ways. One person can’t make a relationship work simply by working hard at it. Mutuality is something I’ve never really experienced before. A relationship that isn’t hard work… that’s how it should be, and finally for me, that’s how it is.
I never believed in love at first sight. Now I do. Completely, without a doubt. I always prayed and hoped I’d find someone that simply clicked with me on all levels. That prayer was finally answered when Nicole walked into my life just 6 short weeks ago. She will be my wife on 9/22/12.