Getting engaged

I have become engaged, almost exactly a year ago. getting engaged

I have considered the circumstances under which I would find myself this way long before I had any particular partner in mind. I had always supposed it would be due to a culmination of feelings, where such a welling up of love and emotion naturally spills over into the next obvious and logical steps of engagement, and then marriage. This is not how it happened.

Family and friends had been for years asking me when I would become engaged. and my response was always that I didn’t know. This is a fair question given their knowledge of me, and Shannon, and our relationship together. Most men in my situation likely would have pulled the trigger much sooner. They probably assumed I was keeping my cards close to my vest, which may have in part been true. But the question of “when” was one I had difficulty answering myself.

For one, there wasn’t an apex like I had always imagined. Our relationship grew linearly, not exponentially. I don’t mean to sound like there isn’t a deep connection that we share – there is, unlike anything I have experienced before. But this is necessary, and not sufficient. Secondly, I have a healthy trepidation about decisions on the magnitude of forever (and a distrust when others aren’t so careful). How  is one supposed to make a choice that doesn’t expire, based on how they feel at one particular moment in their life?

I mentioned my confusion to a wise friend who suggested that for him, the decision to get married was not a realization of emotion, but a choice that marks the beginning of their life together. That is to say, while uncertainty may abound, they knew enough about themselves, and each other, and their feelings about one another, that they can make the choice to pursue each other for the rest of their lives. This made some sense. I would suggest a different way to put it would be that engagement is a choice to choose. It is an inflection point marking a commitment to choose to love, forever.

One of my friends has a cousin who was planning his wedding in India. He hired a band, purchased his outfits, and made all other necessary arrangements for the multi-day affair. He showed up in India a week before his wedding with lots to do. His most important task, though, was to find someone to marry. Hackneyed as it may be, love is a choice.

Fortunately for me, I had the luxury measuring twice before making a decision. And while choosing “forever” was unnatural, the choice of my partner was effortless. It became clear to me that this was already a decision that we had made, albeit less formally. We’d been making choices for years that reflect this end, independent of any aberration of circumstance or emotion. The benefit of making it official is that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend, wakeboarding, snowboarding, scuba diving, raising our dog, and eventually a family.

I am glad that our relationship is not predicated on an emotional high or deep seeded longing for companionship. It is much easier knowing that there is no pressure to have it all figured out up front. We are getting married soon, but this has never been the goal. Our goal is to never stop choosing love. On May 11th, we are putting it in writing.



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