One of my sons is getting married this year--our first of our four to do so. They'll be 2 years younger than my husband and I were when we met, and five years younger than we were when we got married. But everyone has their own time-frame. And when you feel you've met the one, age is irrelevant.
But what is it that makes you know he/she is the one? I look back on my wild, rebellious youth spent in sin and debauchery, (which I totally enjoyed, by the way), and I'm happy I got that out of my system before I met my husband. Instead, when I met him I was ready to settle down. How was I ready? I'd been out of college a few years, working steadily, and finding that dating anyone among the men I knew through work was disastrous. When it inevitably went sour, you still had to interact with that person on a professional basis, all the while wondering what he was saying behind your back. Not good when working in a mostly-male field. So I was dateless for quite a while before I met him. Celibacy is hard even when it's by choice. When it's not, it's brutal.
So I was ready to have a serious relationship. Then there's the physical attraction, which for both of us was instantaneous. Scientists have shown that we react on a chemical level to pheromones we're not even aware of. The more distant the person's DNA is to ours, the more our hormones will react positively, since we're programmed not to fall in love with someone with whom our children might be unhealthy. Not a very romantic way of explaining love at first sight, but as my husband always reminds me, he's the more romantic of the two of us. I want scientific explanations for things he just accepts. For example, when you're in love with someone, your pupils will dilate to such an extent when you gaze at him/her, that the color of your eyes will almost disappear. Your loved one's brain will recognize that you're signaling love, even though he/she will not be consciously aware of it--so his/her pupils will dilate in response. Your brain will recognize it, and it becomes a circular pattern of gazing and loving. No wonder new couples spend so much time drinking each other in with their eyes!
Thirdly, husband and I were compatible as friends. We enjoyed doing the same things. The first time I met him I told him I hated camping, since old boyfriends had taken me out to such remote places there weren't even outhouses. You had to do your business in a field. Bleah. When husband talked me into going camping in a state park early in our courtship, he set up the tent then cooked me a gourmet meal over the campfire. Then we walked together to the facilities building where there were flush toilets and hot showers. I was in heaven! I got to spend time outside, enjoying nature, yet still had creature comforts? That sold me, and we've been camping together for over 30 years. We've made all of our important decisions over campfires, like: Is it time to get married? What kind of ceremony? Is it time to have kids? How many? Etc. We also found we like the same music, and have similar education levels and religious beliefs.And he's from a family of seven kids, while I only have one brother. But my mother was from a large family, and I always liked the noise and confusion of being a part of that. The fact that I got my husband's wonderful family along with him, was icing on my cake.
To recap, you need to be ready for a relationship, there needs to be a physical attraction, then you need to be friends. I've told my kids that lasting love requires passion, respect and friendship. Passion will glue you together, but respect and friendship will cement you together for a lifetime.
The winners will be chosen on Monday, April 27.
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