As wonderful as marriage can be, the fact remains that it's an institution loaded with pressure.
On our nine-year anniversary, Nathan and I went out to dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant. After our wine had been poured but before the appetizers arrived, he slid a card across the table. I tried to skim the inscription, but my eyes were drawn immediately to the question scrawled at the bottom of the page. As I realized what was happening, my heart started to pound and I felt my face begin to flush. "Will you marry me?" read the small, precise print. "Circle yes or no."
Nathan and I met as undergrads at Purchase College, the art school of New York’s state university system. He was temporarily homeless, living in a tent in the woods while waiting for a bed to open up in the dorms. I was a studying poetry and fiction, a wannabe-hippie with a wardrobe that consisted mostly of brown corduroy. After our first conversation, Nathan proved to be smart, adventurous, and unpredictable. He was also good-looking, with blond hair, blue eyes, and forearms sculpted from weekends spent rock climbing.
On one of our first dates we went rappelling in the Natural Sciences building — an activity that was slightly dangerous and probably illegal — and as I lowered myself down the stairwell, attached to a rope, wearing a harness, and inexplicably trusting a boy a barely knew, I realized Nathan was the perfect balance to my bookish personality.
We promptly fell in love, positive we'd be together forever. There was just one problem — we were only 20 years old.
Read the rest over at xoJane: I DATED MY HUSBAND FOR 10 YEARS BEFORE I WAS READY TO MARRY HIM
This article was originally published at xoJane. Reprinted with permission from the author.