Before I met Eric, the idea of marriage really scared me—I couldn’t imagine meeting anyone whom I could love enough to marry.
When we first met, both of us were just starting our Army careers. I wasn’t looking for someone to marry when Eric came along. In fact, dating was at the very bottom of my “To-Do” list.
We worked together and had been casual acquaintances for several weeks when, quite unexpectedly, we ran into each other while grabbing something to eat at an Anthony’s Pizza at a military post in Texas. The next thing I knew, Eric and I were sitting down together in the food court, and thirty minutes turned into three incredible hours!
That first real conversation changed everything, and it certainly changed the way I thought about Eric. We realized how much we had in common and how closely aligned our values and life goals were. As we shared our stories and experiences, we felt the thrill of that rare mutual understanding that makes two people great friends long before they become lovers. He wanted to live an unordinary life filled with adventure—just my kind of man.
As we parted that afternoon, Eric was already making me reevaluate my current priorities, as I considered the possibility of carving out a little room in my life for romance. As I related my own goals, desires, and experiences to Eric, the effect on him was the same. He told me later that our first effortless conversation marked me as the girl he wanted to marry. I’m sure we didn’t fully realized it at the time, but that conversation definitely placed us on a trajectory to get married a little over a year after we met.
I always figured that if I fell in love, I would be that girl who would agonize over whether “to marry him or not to marry him.” But reality for me was nothing like that. The sense of security, admiration, and respect that we developed eliminated my fears and anxieties. I realized I couldn’t imagine not having this man as a permanent part of my life.
We still talk about that first food court lunch when Eric and I reminisce about the events that brought us together. And every time I see an Anthony’s Pizza, I remember that fateful, wonderful day that changed everything.