I bolted upright. Did he just say he wanted to get married THIS summer? Like in five or six months?
As per our usual post-9 pm ritual, Adam and I were chatting by phone. Me, nestled in blankets and curled up on my apartment couch, and him, four hours away taking a break in between writing papers and telling jokes with his roommates.
It was January, about three months after we had started dating and following two holidays full of getting to know one another’s families. As we chatted that night about future jobs and cities to live in, we used our usually terminology of “in the future” and “as we think about marriage” and “if we get married.”
So I took a deep breath and asked, “When we talk about marriage and our so-called ‘future family,’ is there a specific timeline you’re thinking of?”
I was curious if he saw marriage in the near or distant future.
“Well, I don’t think getting married this summer would be too soon,” he replied. He was so sure, so certain, that it made me tremble. I sat up and immediately began fanning myself.
Really, I shouldn’t have been surprised with his response because Adam never left me wondering about his intentions. A week before we started dating he told me he wanted to pursue me. When we started dating he told me he was doing so to consider marriage. So it was par for the course that he was so forthright that he did want to marry me. . .and soon.
And I knew I wanted to marry him, too. But sadly I was worried about what others would think – that it would be too soon, did I really know him and you’re so young! Plus, in our church we’d need to be engaged six months before tying the knot, meaning he’d have to propose in the next week or two to meet that deadline.
So we decided to wait a few months and then get engaged, planning the wedding for the following summer. But that conversation opened up a new window of communication for us. The hypothetical became more real. All of our decisions – most notably Adam’s future employment – became about us, our future marriage, where we’d like to raise a family and the dreams we had for our future. We talked about the sacrifices we were each willing to make, both individually and as a couple.
This “secret” we both had of wanting to marry the other was out in the open and it brought us so much peace and joy in our relationship and in our outlook on the future. We grew in greater knowledge of the other and deeper in love than ever before.
For us, it wasn’t a great moment or a sign from above that changed our relationship to marriage-bound, just the courage to both vocalize what we had been thinking all along.