Eight Years Together

This Saturday is our five year wedding anniversary. I’ll do a cute wedding-related post tomorrow, but in the meantime, here is some background to the love story of The Sailor and me 🙂

Maggie & Robert
Shortly after we started dating. This is The Bean! With seams! The Bean is as old as "us."

We met in 1998. I was a sophomore in high school, he was a senior at a different school. We met because our friends were dating. My friend had “the hang out house” (during high school and later on, when she and her now-husband bought a house). When her then-boyfriend would come over, he often brought some of his guy friends (maybe he told them “hey my girlfriend has a lot of cute single friends that just hang out there … “). One of those guy friends was The Sailor. By the time our friends broke up, The Sailor had become a part of our group.

I had my first real “relationship” in 1999. (As real as it can be for high schoolers.) And he dumped me. I was pretty bummed. Shortly after that, The Sailor asked me out. I was still hung up on my ex, and hoping he would come back around. So I turned down The Sailor.

For the next five years, we saw each other once in awhile, usually during summer or winter break when we were hanging out at that same friend’s house (the one with the hang out house). Nothing ever happened though. One of us always seemed to be in a relationship.

In 2004, we both finished college and moved back home (he graduated from high school two years ahead of me, but took a little longer to finish his undergrad, plus I think he had started taking graduate-level classes). And, we were both single. Actually, we had both recently gotten out of long relationships. Neither of us was really looking for anything serious. But we both seemed interested. He asked me out again, and this time I said yes.

When he came to pick me up for our first date, my parents were across the street (talking to the mom at the hang out house). They saw a young man park in front of their house, and walk to their front door with flowers (I don’t think I told them I was going on a date that night). They asked the other mom who that was. She said “Oh that’s [The Sailor]. He’s a really nice boy.” (Or something to that effect.) My parents’ reaction was more of less something along the lines of “Yes!!”

Early in our relationship. I like that we're wearing the same color.

I mentioned in a previous post, that when I graduated from college, I thought to myself that I would just enjoy my 20s and worry about settling down when I was “like 30.” Instead, I fell in love. The Sailor told me that before me, he never really thought he’d get married and have kids. But, instead, he fell in love. Funny how that happens.

We knew pretty quickly (within a few months) that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. But we were young (I was 21 and he was 23 when we started dating). So no rush.

However, he kept bringing up the idea of enlisting. Before we started dating, his plan was to enlist and that would be his life. Now that I was a big part of his life, he had to take me into consideration. The first time he brought up enlisting, I started crying and told him our relationship probably wouldn’t make it. (I was young! We hadn’t been dating that long!)

After a couple years of him bringing up enlisting every so often, it finally sunk in that that’s what he wants to do. It’s clearly not just a passing idea. So I finally told him that I supported whatever he decided. He started meeting with a recruiter, and getting serious about signing papers.

I also realized that the military doesn’t recognize girlfriends. If he was going to be in the military and we wanted to be together, really together, we needed to be married. (At the time he was planning to enlist as active duty, not reserve).

So, in October 2006, we were going over his timeline, and realized that we needed to start planning a wedding for the following spring if we wanted to be married before the earliest possible date he would leave for bootcamp.

The next day, I asked him “wait, does that mean we’re engaged?” *

Right after Navy bootcamp graduation (This was in 2009 ... clearly there were some detours on the way to military life)
* The funny thing is, our answer to that question was “yes.” To me, if you’re planning a wedding, you are engaged. We have friends who are currently planning a wedding (date set, hall booked, dress bought, etc), but because he has yet to formally propose, they do not consider themselves engaged. (It’s almost becoming a running joke at this point.) Maybe I’m just too post-feminist for my own good (because now I don’t have a “cute” story for the grandkids), but I don’t need my future husband to “ask” me to marry him. We came to a mutual agreement.
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3 Comments on “Eight Years Together”

  1. Congrats on five years! I love that you agreed together to be engaged. The fact that you kept running into each other tells me that it was meant to be 🙂

  2. I loved reading this story! And that you knew right away that you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together. That is how I felt with my husband 🙂

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