My husband and I were college sweethearts, then dated long distance across the Atlantic for a year, and finally moved in together and dated for a few more years. By the time our marriage rolled around, I thought we had everything figured out and there was nothing left to discuss.
Kids? Yes, two. (Three automatically if twins first.)
Pets: a dog, but not until we have a backyard.
What else is there?
We were so compatible we couldn’t think of anything we disagreed about and didn’t worry too much about figuring out any problems in the future. But, as we sat with Rabbi Lynn (his choice of religion, my choice of requiring a woman to officiate, check, check), she threw us a curveball.
“Here’s your homework,” she said. “I want you to think of five reasons you love your partner.”
In the coming week, I was shocked by this simple request. We decided that we wouldn’t discuss the answers, but that we’d write them down and share them with each other (and the rabbi) the following week.
We’d never once asked each other why we loved each other. I don’t know if other couples do this or not, because it honestly seems really corny. Love is love, right? Why do you like ice cream? Why does the moonlight feel romantic? Why is anything I like in a store the most expensive item they carry? It’s hard to put into words. But once I started thinking about it, I didn’t take long to write down my reasons – though I worried they wouldn’t be as amazing or profound as my fiancé’s.
The day rolled around and there sat my fiancé on a picnic bench across from the rabbi at the Brentwood Country Mart with a ripped piece of newspaper and some illegible scribbling in the margin. Seriously? A scrap of newspaper? I had typed my list, formatted it and printed copies. This was our future!
And then he started to read. I don’t remember what happened after that, because I dissolved into tears.
I’m convinced now that the best thing an officiant can do for a young couple is to help them to illustrate their love to each other. I remember being so shocked at how a lot of little things that I did (and some of them I felt were highly annoying habits) added to that mysterious recipe for love. Now that we’re sharing our lives with a highly energetic tornado of a 1-year old, it’s been especially helpful to have this solid foundation of love to stand on.
Seven years later and I don’t remember my vows, but those five reasons come back into my head all of the time. I truthfully only remember two of his reasons now – where is that scrap of paper! – but we’ll always have the mental exercise of pondering our relationship and communicating it to each other.
Thanks to midiman for the image (CC).
Sarah is an LA based online marketer and writer navigating her way as the wife of a start-up company owner. Since becoming pregnant, you can usually find her in the fridge.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
Follow Dating & Hookup on Instagram
Follow Jess on Instagram
Follow Becky on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter