“So, are you ready to take the next step?”
This question was enough to drive me down the hill, with the fearsome image of myself in a white dress billowing around me. I could even hear a bunch of screaming ladies, ferociously fighting for the imaginary bouquet.
Don’t get me wrong. I used to have intense crushes that lasted for months, even years. But dating was enough for me.
The moment the guy started to show signs of long-term affections, a sudden uncontrollable feeling of repulsion took over me. And this is not a case of falling for the bad boy and refusing the nice guy who wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
I simply could not imagine changing the course of my life and fully indulging in a lifetime of devotion to this one person.
And the upsetting thing was that I’m loyal and would die for the person I love. I spent hours upon hours dreaming of building a life with the love of my life. But when it came down to it, I simply ran away.
For years, I truly believed I was going to spend the rest of my days single, which is not wrong. But I’m not someone who liked being single. I was too romantic by nature and had too much love to give. I loved relationships. I loved love. I loved sharing. I loved relying on someone. But not marriage. Not long-term relationships. Not back then.
For years, I blamed myself for relationships that did not work.
For years, I kept saying that I had to get over my commitment issues because I was simply contradicting myself by wishing for something that would last long, and at the same time, fearing it when it came to me on a silver platter.
For years, I asked myself , “How is this possible?”
And the answer only came to light when I met my boyfriend.
I was afraid to commit because I hadn’t met the love of my life just yet.
There were many instances after I had met him that made me realize commitment was a good thing. They made me realize that I wasn’t afraid anymore.
Here’s a shameless list of things that will praise my boyfriend and that made me realize I want to spend the rest of my life with him:
1. I stopped overthinking even when we’re not together.
Overthinking is my sh*t. Thinking and mulling things over once, twice, thrice, creating scenarios that would never happen, and coming up with decisions based on a conclusion I made out of a ridiculous fear have always driven me in the past.
But not with him. Whether we were together or not, I trusted him. I always knew his heart. He told me everything. And when I shared with him my fears, he would hug me and tame my demons. He would assure me that everything would be okay, and not just by words, by his actions as well.
2. His family became my family and vice versa.
Some people don’t realize how important it is to be on good terms with your partner’s family. Especially in my culture, it is extremely rare for a couple to live away from their families with minimal contact. In here, family is everything.
And so, when you meet someone and don’t get along with the mother, father, or siblings, a number of problems may arise because your partner would either have to keep acting as the mediator, take your side and ignore their family, or take their family’s side and ignore you.
When I first met my boyfriend’s mother, we were still friends back then. And let me just say, she’s a ball of sunshine. She broke all the misconceptions about the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law dynamics. We are on such good terms that I’m truly never worried about our future relationship after my marriage to her son. Then I met his father after he had returned from Qatar. He is one of the most pleasant men out there. He suffered from the war, watched his friends die, became a survivor, and yet, he never lost his inner peace. He is an exact replica of my own father.
All of this doesn’t even compare to my boyfriend’s relationship with my own parents who treat him like their son. There are no quarrels, no acting, no pretending. And I could never ask for more.
3. We are patient with each other.
All couples argue. No two people have the same exact mindset, and no two people always agree. But it’s how you handle the disagreement that matters. We both burst out in anger; we both scream; we both grunt and pace back and forth. But never at the same time. Whenever one of us loses their minds, the other remains calm and tries to assess the situation.
Things usually ebb when we hug each other and put a pause on the argument. It’s never the “I’m always right” mindset. When we calm down, we talk things through, and sometimes, we both agree to disagree.
To us, love is more important than being right. Our feelings matter more than our ego. Our relationship is way too valuable to taint it with meaningless cockfights.
4. We are always open about our feelings.
I met many men who considered it manly to keep their feelings to themselves. They never shared, but they lashed out when a minor inconvenience happened. And because of that, I started doing the same. Then things would pile up, and we would start arguing about the most meaningless stuff, which would lead to a definite breakup.
In this relationship, we made a pact. We won’t go to bed without working things out and reaching an agreement. We can’t sleep mad at each other, no matter how serious the argument is (which it almost never is).
Honesty is everything. Why? Because we know our intentions and how much we love each other. And so, when we are open with our feelings, we just know that whatever we are talking about doesn’t stem from resentment.
5. We went through hell and back and survived together.
Ever since we got together, the world hasn’t been treating us nicely. All the problems that would hinder our plans to make things official happened; whether it be COVID-19, the economic crisis, the fuel shortages, the revolution, the sh*tty government, the world being angry at us for just being Lebanese. And yet, we powered through.
There were times when I couldn’t see him for months, although he lived an hour away from me. And yet, our love grew stronger.
Our relationship went through tests that weak couples may have not survived.
6. Being away from each other pained us.
Whenever there were days when I couldn’t see him, I felt…odd. I didn’t know how to work throughout the day. I would suddenly slip into my daydreaming habits (I will talk about that in another article). I would find myself lost in my phone’s gallery, looking at pictures of him and wishing he were with me.
And then, my phone would ring. He would tell me how much he missed me and how he felt lost when I wasn’t there next to him.
We didn’t have to keep playing with each other’s hair all the time while we were together, but his presence with me made me feel at ease. Safe.
I knew I did not only want to spend the rest of my life with him, I needed it.
7. We have the same mindset when it comes to family and values.
There’s not much to say at this point other than we were born in the same circumstances, raised the same, have the same family values, beliefs, vision, mindset. We don’t have to have the same interests, but we know that the major decisions that are to come when we get married will please both of us.
And that’s truly important.
Eventually, when he asked me, “So, are you ready for the next step?” I held his hand, smiled, and answered with, “I can’t f*cking wait.”