Sunday, 23 February 2014

Dating, marriage, and some other stories

Today is a different kind of post. I'm going to write about my marriage and my husband a little bit because something special happened this past Friday - hubs and I celebrated our fifth anniversary! Five years of ups and downs, five years of amazing surprises, difficult decisions, and five years growing together as individuals and as a couple.

There's so much I want to share, so much that I have been reflecting upon as my husband and I approached this date. I wrote last week about how I've been trying to come out of a rut. My relationship with the husband is one of the areas I have been trying to improve upon. We've both been short tempered, stressed, and just tired of winter. We want to move, desperately, and have been trying to negotiate a deal on a house that was foreclosed upon that we want to purchase. It's been going on for months. We're tired of it. Tired of the home we are currently renting. We're also busy, and we haven't been on a date since... we celebrated my husband's birthday in April 2013. All of this has been impacting our relationship, and as much as we love our son, we desperately needed to reconnect alone.

So we went on a date to celebrate our fifth anniversary! I was so nervous. It felt like our first date again! We held hands as we walked to the restaurant, we sat down next to each other, hubs put his arm around me, we looked into each others eyes again, we actually had a conversation! We had adult time.

I hadn't realised how desperately we needed to go on a date and how not doing so could impact our relationship. Afterall, after the kiddo goes to sleep, we are alone. But then we usually watch television or a movie, and we don't really talk. It was nice to be able to see each other in a romantic way, to stop worrying about getting something done, washing an extra dish, what the kiddo is doing, and to just be a couple.

As hubs and I were walking back home, I told him that I felt like we were back in Prague again. We reminisced on how we first met, how unlikely it was that our lives brought us together at that exact moment in time, in that exact place. Surely it was fate, and if fate brought us there, we owe it to each other and ourselves to put effort into our relationship again, and to remember how much we love each other even during the difficult moments of our relationship or the 'for worse' part of our marriage.

So on that note, I want to share (briefly I hope) the story of how I met my husband.

At 20 years old, I was going to spend the summer between my junior and senior years at University studying abroad. A girlfriend of mine was doing the same programme and we decided to spend a few days traveling beforehand, and first on our list was Prague.

Hey look, it's Prague! You should go there - it's absolutely beautiful!

We arrived early in the morning, spent the day sightseeing, then got ready to explore Prague's nightlife. Now, let me just add, I'm not a big drinker, never was, so the decision to go out was really out of character for me.

We had a lovely time, nothing too exciting happened, and we headed back to our hostel at around 4 in the morning! The sun was rising as we got into a tram. My girlfriend and I started chatting about some nonsense as I looked around the tram, thinking about the exciting day we had had and the adventures the next one would bring.

That's when I saw him - the man of my dreams! I had had this image of what my fantasy guy would look like, how he would be dressed, how he would be this gentleman with a dash of European sophistication and, and ... and there he was! I was taken aback and I'm pretty sure I was staring with my mouth wide open. Oh no! He's going to notice. I turned away quickly, hoping he didn't notice. He was there with a group of other well dressed young men, speaking a language I couldn't understand.

I kept glancing back at him, hoping to catch a quick glimpse of his eyes before having to turn away again, or before he would have to leave and he'd be gone from my life forever. I knew a man that handsome couldn't possibly be into me. After all, I'm quiet, short, and even though I am fairly thin, I'm nothing special. Men like that don't go for girls like me.

The group of sharply dressed young men left the tram. One stop before my friend and I. I sighed and knew it was over. I tried to get back into the conversation that I was sort of participating in with my friend.

We got out and headed back to the hostel.  I could hear a group of men chatting away in that weird language from the tram. Then I heard in broken English - one of those ridiculous pick up lines that are so frequently used in cheesy romantic comedies, followed by an invitation to join the boys for a drink. It was almost five in the morning. I most certainly will be doing no such thing! I am not that kind of girl, I thought.

I turned around to see my dream guy from the tram, catching up to us, smiling, and asking again if we would like to join them. We said no, and continued walking to our hostel, which just a few feet in front of us. We arrived, and so did the young men. I told my dream guy that I would consider meeting him for a coffee during the day. He accepted, and we agreed to meet in the lobby of the hostel where we were all staying. I guess guys like that could be into girls like me.

The next day, we met up for our coffee and talked. And talked. And then we talked some more. He was a perfect gentleman. I was shocked by that to be honest. In spite of meeting at four in the morning, this man treated me with respect!

Here's a silly photo of us from back in the day

And another 

We met in the tram in Prague at four in the morning. We had booked the same hostel. It was fate! It had to be, I mean, what are the chances of meeting your soulmate like that? We hit it off so quickly, and stayed in touch for a while after we left Prague. Actually, we had lost contact for a few months due to language problems causing a miscommunication where my dream guy thought I had a boyfriend. We still thought about each other even during our break. After a short stalk on facebook, we eventually realised both were single, and we have spoken every single day since. We were 19 and 20.

Now, it's been almost seven years since we met. We've been through so much - a long distance relationship, dealing with immigration, finishing off university degrees, getting jobs, getting married, having a baby, and now we're trying to buy a house. When we first noticed each other in that tram on a random summer's night in a foreign country, we had no idea that that was the start of a beautiful life together. We're blessed to still be together, to have met in such an incredible way, and to still be in love years later.

I feel so lucky to be able to say that my dream guy is my husband!

If you're still with me, thank you for reading the not so short story of how we met! Here are some random photos of Prague to reward you: 

Purty, isn't it?

Thank you for stopping by,