We weren’t even technically dating yet. Sean and I were in that weird grey area where you’re spending time together, you both have expressed interest, but you haven’t had that talk yet. I don’t like being in that grey area. I like clear boundaries and definitions. Grey areas lead to trouble.
My husband and I met each other while we were in technical training in the military. Our weekends were our only free time, but there wasn’t much to do in the small town we were in. One weekend, my friend and I decided to go out on the town. There was a local country bar that everyone frequented and we were going to go check it out. I invited Sean to come along but he was busy so off we went!
We got to the bar and the music was blasting, people were drinking, line-dancing, and all around having a good time. As we made our way around the place, I saw Sean’s best friend and he headed towards us. Here’s where the trouble begins. See my friend had brought along her boyfriend. But it was a well-known fact that Sean’s friend had a major crush on my friend. Too much alcohol, lowered ambitions, and rejected affections do not mix well. An argument broke out and things began to get intense. Sean’s friend was starting to become belligerent. So I called Sean to come pick him up.
Sean showed up quickly to pick up his drunk friend. As I escorted his friend out to the car, it was my surprise to find another girl in the car with him. Now, I knew we weren’t technically dating but that didn’t make this sight any easier. He tried to talk to me but I brushed him off and went back inside. I was hurt and he knew it. I proceeded to have fun with my friends and drown my sorrows.
Upon my return to base, Sean called and called. When I finally answered, he asked if he could come see me. As I headed outside to meet him, I stumbled down the stairs and laughed at how silly I had been. This whole night had gotten way too out of control and it just wasn’t worth being upset over. Sean walked up and started to explain that we weren’t dating and she was just a friend and blah blah blah. To be honest, I don’t even remember most of what he said. What I do remember however, is when he leaned into kiss me and I bit him on the nose! I was still a little hurt and didn’t want a kiss so I somehow thought that biting him was the better option. What was even better, was that Sean looked down at me and said, “Did you just bite me?” and started to laugh.
Looking back, I think that was when he realized he loved me.
Fast forward to six months of actually dating and we were as happy as could be. We were still in technical school and spent all of our time together. We were deeply in like, right on the precipice of love. We were both waiting for the other to make that jump into the unknown. We had spent the weekend together and it had been amazing. We always had fun together and this night was no different. We were sitting down watching a movie when Sean asked if I wanted to order some pizza. “Of course!” I replied so he got on the phone. He asked me what kind of pizza I wanted and I said, “Oooh, meat lovers!” He laughed and said “God, I love you,” under his breath. I didn’t even hear it. He said it and I didn’t even know.
A week later he would decide to tell me again. And this time he would be sure I heard it. With shaking hands and a nervous flush, he held my hands on the couch, looked into my eyes and told me he had something important to say. My heart started beating fast. I knew what was coming but I still felt so nervous. Then he said those three beautiful words – I love you. I smiled, said it back, and kissed him deeply. I was beyond ecstatic. And then he told me the story – the story of how just a week ago he had told me he loved me over movies and meat lovers pizza. And I didn’t hear him.
Looking back, I think that was when he realized I was The One.
Fast forward a year and a half later and our relationship was going strong. We’d had our ups and downs, our struggles along the way. But we were in love. The best friends who make each other laugh and support each other through everything kind of love. The real kind. We had been doing long-distance for a while now. He was living in California and I was in Ohio. Our relationship was full of text messages, late-night phone calls, and Skyping over dinner. Peppered in-between were flights across country and trips to meet each other’s families. It was a hectic time. We were starting to discuss the future. This long-distance thing wouldn’t last forever. We needed a plan. We needed to make moves. We needed to be together. Little did I know that he had a plan, he was making moves, and we were going to be together forever.
It was late October and he flew out to see me. He was coming to visit for a week and I couldn’t wait. I had plans to take him to my favorite spots, show him my new apartment, and spend time with my family. It was going to be a memorable trip, I just didn’t know then how much. We spent the week doing all of those things and we had a great time. But Sean kept wanting to go over to my dad’s house and spend time with him. I thought it was a little weird but I knew he loved my dad’s work and thought he wanted to see it. Turns out they were talking about more than cars in that shop.
It was his last night in Ohio. He was flying back to California the next day and I was sad to see him go. We headed back to my apartment and Sean suggested we take a walk on the trail through the woods across the street. But it had just started snowing! I didn’t want to go on a walk! Sean insisted. I had just got a new puppy and he said it would be good for her. So we went. As we were walking through the woods, Sean pointed up at the sky. It was really starting to snow. Walking through those beautiful trees with the light snow floating down around us – it was picturesque. I looked down from the falling flakes to see Sean down on one knee in the snow with a ring in his hand. He teared up as he told me how much he loved me and how he dreamed of a future together with me. He asked me to marry him and of course I said yes! I jumped up and down, he slid on the ring, we embraced, kissed, and smiled as we realized that this was it. We were going to have everything we had ever hoped for.
As we reveled in this moment, I looked down to the ground. I looked around and quickly realized that Sasha was nowhere to be found! My puppy was gone! In all the excitement, Sean had accidently dropped the leash and she had made a break for it! We started running in her direction, shouting her name. After a couple frantic minutes of searching, we finally found her. She was safe. As I hugged her, I looked up at Sean and we laughed. Way to ruin a perfect moment huh?
Over our years together, our marriage has been full of these perfectly imperfect moments. The highlights of our relationship are the times where things didn’t go according to plan, but we laughed and loved each other in those moments anyway. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but neither is life. And those imperfections can sometimes be the best parts. So, while we may be imperfect, we’re perfect together.