The two questions I get when people find out that I dated my husband Brandon for five years before we got married are:
- “Why did you wait so long?”
- “How is marriage different than dating?”
To answer the first question, we started dating in college. That lasted for two years, then our relationship was long distance for two years because I was building up my career, and then we finally lived in the same city for about six months before he proposed. My education and career were top priority, so I wasn’t going to let anything come between that. LOL.
The second answer is a bit more complicated. How is marriage different than dating? I’m sure you’re expecting this long list of how it’s a whole new world, but in my situation, that isn’t the case.
Brandon and I started out as friends, continued to be friends, and are still the closest of friends. That’s that.
That beginning phase of wining and dining never happened , we weren’t purposefully dressing to impress whenever we’d be around each other , and if we didn’t like something, we’d definitely voice our opinion about it . So, there was no weird phase of revealing the “real” you to your partner. We were real from the start.
Does that mean everyone should be like that? Gracious no. Brandon asking me to be his girlfriend literally went like this:
*Both of us are sitting and watching T.V.*
Brandon: “We’ve been kicking it for a long time.”
Brandon: “So… you’re my girl, right?”
Me: “ Was that you asking me? How romantic…”
So that was the precedent we set. (Pretty low, huh? LOL!) On a scale (1-10) on all that mushy stuff, we’re probably a four… and I’m probably overestimating it. But I love it. Instead of terms of endearment and sap, we indulge in sarcasm and jokes. I’ll take humor over a blubbering Romeo any day.
Plus, it makes the real moments of thoughtfulness count that much more.
Now back to the question. What’s different then versus now?
To start with, there was no fornication(lol… had to make it biblical).
And secondly, I didn’t have to see him 24/7. I had more space back then. When there was an argument, I could go back to my apartment. When I felt like being a loner, I didn’t have to see or talk to him. In other words, I had to learn how to deal with being around someone all the time… even if I didn’t feel like it.
It may not be that big of a deal to most people, but I never did the whole roommate thing. (I had one in my freshman year of college, and she was awesome, although I already knew her from high school. But then she transferred colleges, and I moved to an off-campus apartment for the rest of my university years.)
So really… that’s the biggest difference. The person you’re married to will be right there next to you for a majority of the time. It really is a great thing, unless you feel like being alone.
Writing this blog post reminded me of that Monica song from the ’90s. (Geesh… kids these days will never know the wonder that was a heavy one-rhythm bass line and a voice track that sounded like it was recorded in a padded bathroom. ) Please take 44 seconds of your time to reminisce with me.
Anywho… those are the only differences I’ve seen in marriage. Granted, it’s been only two years, so we’ll see what surprises are in store.