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I was always a very practical dater. I thought love at first sight was a naive fantasy. I didn’t believe in trying to groom a partner. What you meet is what you get; there is no point trying to change a man. I didn’t believe in living together, intertwining finances and lives without some sort of commitment. I wasn’t keen on long distance romances. Bottom line, I wasn’t one for taking chances. In love, like most other things, I was boringly responsible. (I think it’s the eldest child in me.) I tell you all this, partly, in my defense. Because here’s the real: On July 4, 2000, in Chitown, this cute guy offered to help carry my bags at the University of Chicago/59th St. train platform. On September 16, we were engaged. If you’re keeping track, that’s about two months later. It was a whirlwind romance.

Now, we weren’t dumb kids, my sweetie and I. We were both in our 30s when we met. We’d been around and knew what we wanted and needed in a lifelong relationship. By the time my then-boyfriend proposed, with roses and a ring before a boat ride on the Chicago River, we had discussed the big stuff: religion, goals, finances, gender roles, politics, and family. I had met his family and he had met mine. To my surprise, I had found a man who understood my diverse (and sometimes weird) interests. He had me ensnared on our second date, a movie night when he brought over the black film classic, A Cabin In The Sky, and Monty Python’s Holy Grail. He digs black history and British comedy. And knows all the words to that cheesy, ’70s song, “Please Come To Boston.” Guuuurrrrllll … I was hooked.

Who am I kidding, though? Despite all the things I felt I knew about my intended, getting engaged so quickly, and married exactly a year later, was a big gamble. I took a long shot and I won, though. (Remind me to play the Blackjack tables more often.) My husband and I will celebrate our 11th anniversary this week and, more than ever, I know he is a good man, a great husband and dad, and the best partner for me.

As much as my logical, responsible self hates to admit it, there may be something to that old adage about marriage: You’ll just know. In talking to my dad after my engagement, I learned that my parents were engaged about six months after meeting. And they’re coming up on their 45th wedding anniversary. Not too shabby.

I’m not about to tell any woman she should do things the way I did. It’s never not going to be a good idea to know a potential partner as well as possible before you form lifelong bonds. But like that old song says, love is strange. And sometimes, yeah, you just know.

(Happy anniversary, Sweetie. Love you.)

Have you had a whirlwind romance? Do you think you could?
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  • Lady P

    “And sometimes, yeah, you just know” ~ I wholeheartedly agree with this now and forever. Congrats to you guys..:)!

  • Roses

    <3 this! Gosh I would love for it to happen this way for me. :) Happy Anniversary and continued to be blessed in your marriage!

  • Tami

    I would love to have a whirlwind romance & be swept away. When it comes to love, I think love just can’t be explained. Like the old saying goes, love is blind. That’s why people put up with so much. I liked reading this article. It made me smile…

  • HopelessRomantic

    So ironic…I just met someone a month ago. However, we didn’t start talking until the week of the 4th and we instantly clicked over the phone. So we went out on our first date July 4th and it was an amazing date. We instantly clicked in person too. It was the best date I’ve ever had. We hung out the next day just playing board games. And it just seemed so natural. And we’ve also had the same serious conversations every relationship should have….you know, religion, kids, and what not. And without me saying anything about how I feel about him…he’s telling me he wants to marry me. And he thinks it’s crazy that it’s only been a few days and that he feels this way. I think it’s crazy too. And for those wondering…it hasn’t gotten physical at all. And we’re not kids. I am also not the type of person to fall like this and neither is he. Everyone is telling me it’s crazy for us to feel this way and that I should back away. But I don’t know how I should feel. However, this article does make me feel so much better about our situation.

    • DatingCoach

      Ask yourself these questions: Do I feel good about myself whenever I am around this person? Do I feel that my Must Have’s and Dealbreakers have been addressed? Am I trying to fit a square peg in a round hole? Do we have the same Life goals? Are we both in for the long haul?

      Sometimes, we need to step back, wait, and listen.

  • Louise

    I loved reading this article. I’m 34 and have always wanted a secure, family oriented future. I came out of a 7 year relationship 2 months ago during which I was led to believe that a proposal was always just around the corner, but it never happened. I felt really let down. I’m not a hopeless romantic, rather practical actually, and have always wanted to meet someone who I know will support me and offer a secure future together – yes with marriage and kids as you have to have a bit of romance!
    1 week ago I went on a date with a guy and we clicked. We talked for 12 hours before dragging ourselves away from each other, and have spent every day since talking about all sorts of things. The main thing we have in common is that he is also looking for someone to spend his life with, a dependable “other half”.
    Last night he proposed! While part of me thinks we’re completely insane, the other part is like “why not?!”. If you know it, you just know.