Hi everyone! Welcome to day 2 of my 30 Days of Gratitude!
Day 2 is dedicated to your spouse/significant other. Let me tell you, there's lots for me to be thankful for in that department.
It's amazing looking back to when we first started talking. We hardly knew each other. Now, I couldn't imagine a life without him in it.
We have been together for almost six years, and what a wonderful ride it has been. There's a lot of things I wouldn't have done if I had said no to that first date.
I wouldn't have moved to Denver for a year, and experienced life outside of Utah.
I wouldn't know the names Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, or Julian Edelman. I wouldn't be fans of them now, or be a football fan in general.
My cooking skills would be to the extent of cooking Top Ramen, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese.
I wouldn't laugh every time I was angry or sad, because I wouldn't have someone making hilarious comments to make me smile.
I wouldn't have someone there encouraging me to be my best self every day.
I wouldn't know who Master Chief or Cortana was.
I surely would still be an Iphone user.
I wouldn't have ever experienced panning for gold, or wanting to go to Alaska one day.
I wouldn't be choosing to stay in for the night, over hanging with the girls. I choose to do this almost every night, because you are my best friend, and I would rather hang with you.
I am grateful for these things every day, whether they are big or small things. I couldn't have chosen a better life partner. Everybody has a person, and there is no doubt he is mine. He is my best friend first, and lover second. Thank you for all you have given me babe.
I know I'm 20 years old.
I know I have a full life ahead of me and a lot to learn.
I know I'm marrying young.
I know what I'm about to talk about doesn't apply to every couple.
I grew up in a community where marriage is HUGE. Everybody gets married, usually at a young age, and if you aren't married by a certain age there's usually "something wrong with you." Not only do you need to get married, but you need to have a perfect marriage, or at least the image of a perfect marriage. Everyone is comparing other's "highlight reels" to their own "behind the scenes." In the 20 years I've been alive and the good and bad relationships I've been surrounded with, I've learned one thing:
Find somebody you absolutely cannot live without.
So many people my age get sucked into relationships by what they believe is love, and later realize it was just infatuation. When things get hard and the real things that come with a relationship set in, it's time to bail out. When the person you were when you were first dating starts to disappear and the REAL you starts to slip out, it can make or break a couple. In the case of a marriage, they usually tolerate each other and try to make it work for the wrong reasons. Maybe for the image of having this happy, perfect marriage.
Or one of those reasons usually being a child.
Let me tell you one thing coming from a household where I don't ever remember my parents being married for they were divorced when I was so young:
It is so much easier on the child when the parents split up and find someone they can be happy with, than when the parents are stuck in an unhappy relationship. In turn, it always gets taken out on the child. Besides, is that really living life at the fullest? You are just existing in a relationship. I completely understand and agree the phrase "If it's broken, you fix it," but only fix something that is really worth fixing.
Why do we do this? Why is there so much pressure to have a successful relationship over being happy?
People will try to tell themselves that they are in this boat. They will try to tell themselves they are truly happy in their relationships when deep down they know they are not. Divorce or splitting up is messy. Staying with that person is safe. "What would people think if we split up?"
When I started dating Gage, it was as if we had been best friends our whole lives. There was this chemistry that was so different from the other relationships our age. We knew we were going to get married when we were 15. We tried breaking away and dating other people, sometimes for months at a time. At the end of the day we were suffocating without each other. We weren't just living without our relationship, but we were living without our best friend.
I was very fortunate to find a relationship like that at a very young age.
As Carrie Bradshaw said it best:
"I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't live without each other love."
So to those who feel like you are in the other boat, what on earth are you doing?
My advice to you:
Don't find somebody you can live with, find somebody you can't live without.
I want to talk about why Gage and I chose to have a long engagement.
Some people's version of a long engagement are different than others. When I say a long engagement, I mean 15-20 months. I know there are pros and cons to both short and long engagements, but we decided to stick with 18 months.
Now the first thing people assume is that we're scared or hesitant to tie the knot. People are always asking why we're waiting so long. When we hear this, we usually give a short answer of: "We chose to have a long engagement. It's what we're comfortable with, and that's all that matters." They usually get the point. Believe it or not, we've known since we were 15 we were going to get married. It was just a matter of getting through school. Like I've said before anything worth having requires working towards it, and that includes our relationships. It hasn't always been easy to grow up together and not to grow apart, but 5 years later we are here and still as in love as we were when we were teenagers.
Being scared was never a reason for us to wait, but here's a few reasons we decided to:
1. Weddings are stressful:
There is no sugar coating how stressful planning a wedding can be, especially when you're in school 40 hours a week. I couldn't fathom having to do it in just a few short months. 18 month gives us time. Time to enjoy each other, and time to enjoy our engagement before all of the crazy planning. We aren't rushed into making decisions because of a shortage of time. I don't feel rushed at all.
2. We get the vendors we want, at the price we want:
As of April, we have our wedding planner, ceremony site, reception venue, photographer, florist, caterer, minister, DJ, and bartender all booked 11 months in advance. We got to take the time to shop around for places and vendors that would work for us. We made sure to get the best people for the price we budgeted for without feeling rushed. Having the luxury to get what we wanted instead of settling for second best has made the process so much easier.
3. Not many people can come up with that kind of money that quickly:
Weddings are EXPENSIVE, and that might be the understatement of the year! I don't know too many people who have that kind of money laying around to spend right away. I am lucky enough to have parents who are financially helping with the wedding, but not everybody has that luxury. It takes time to put that kind of money aside for a wedding, unless you take out a personal loan (which I would advise against). The longer you wait, the more you can save up, so the bigger the budget.
4. Our planning skills:
For some people, procrastination is a breeze. Planning a wedding in 3 months is a challenge some people are willing to take on. I'll be the first to say that we are not one of those couples! I am a person that likes to plan ahead, and know what's coming next. Planning the wedding of my dreams in such a short amount of time just sounds like a nightmare to me. I break under great amounts of pressure, so I definitely took that into consideration when picking our wedding date. I wanted to be able to plan at my own pace, while still being able to relax and focus on school.
Of course there are pros and cons to having both long and short engagements. Certainly long engagements aren't for everyone, but this might help those who can't decide weather to keep it long or short. You just have to decide which option makes the most sense for you and your hubby! Congrats to those who are recently engaged, and happy planning!