We were all taught from a young age to wait for that "can't-eat, can't-sleep, reach- for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff" (10 points if you know where that reference is from) feeling when you meet the person you're supposed to be with. Love at first sight happens in so many fairytales, convincing us all that there is no doubt that our Prince Charming is going to ride up like a knight in shining honor when we least expect it.
Justin and I met at Franklin College's Welcome Bash within the first few days of our freshman year, and I can honestly say that it wasn't a crazy love-at-first-sight kind of thing. We were friends for 7 months or so before ever considering the possibility of being anything more than that (at least I didn't, you'll have to ask Justin about how he felt ;)) As we began dating off and on and growing closer, I loved how secure I felt with him. It was so natural for me to simply be myself and say whatever I was feeling or thinking, and I think that can surely be a "he's the one" sign.
In my experience, love doesn't just hit you square in the face — it sneaks up on you. One day it wasn't really there, and then the next it is... and you don't remember life before it or how you even got to it. I don't recall a "that's when I knew I loved him" moment, I just simply felt it. Being so drawn to someone, so intrigued by both their mind and soul sparks a unique feeling: love, people! I think one of the most important qualities you can share with your significant other is being open and honest about what you want, while striving to meet their needs and make them equally happy as well every single day. It's a balance: working together as a unit, loving and respecting one another, and being sensitive and accommodating to each other.
Everyone has a different opinion on the ideal age of getting married. We all know a girl who laughs at the mention of the subject and confidently says, "I'm not getting married until I'm AT LEAST 30 and have traveled the world, started my own business, and have found myself!" Whatever "finding yourself" means, do any of us actually know? :) I believe this all depends on your life path. Some of us meet our soulmates at 15, while others don't find their match until later in life. However, I can tell you that you CAN, without a doubt, "travel the world, start your own business, AND find yourself" with your spouse, too.
It does seem that people are meeting their future spouse later in life these days, or are choosing to wait until their late 20s to get married. I don't know about you, but I've never felt pressured to get married at a certain age or to meet anyone else's standards — maybe this is because I'm the first of my friends to get married (which, let me tell you, I NEVER expected... but that's a whole 'nother post). I always assumed I would just know when I was ready to get married, and that actually proved to be true.
I had hoped to meet my "dream guy" (lol — as if people are made in factories or something) in college, get married a year or two after graduating, and start a family around age 25-27. I can honestly say everything is turning out the way I had hoped — I know this isn't the case for everyone and we should all avoid setting expectations like these, but I feel incredibly blessed. I've found the person I want to be with, so why not start our life together now?
I certainly don't feel "too young" to be getting married, but getting married earlier rather than later means I get to spend even more of my life with my husband, creating our story together. There aren't any set standards to be met before marriage and it's so important to remember that you are on your own path. Respect your journey. Don't let others' opinions or timelines sway your mentality on life-milestones and when they need to be met. Live and let live.
What are your thoughts on this subject? How did you know your significant other was "the one?" What age did you get married or what age do you see yourself getting married? How does/will his effect your life? Let's talk, I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories — leave me a comment!
(Photo by Caitlin French)