I’ve had a few people request that I do an open-ended “ask me anything” series on Wholefully. So, here it is! You’ll see me answering a reader question each week. Submit your questions by e-mailing me or commenting on this post. If you want to be identified in my answer, include your name and website (if applicable).
Literally, ask me anything. I’ll answer anything!*
*Okay, maybe not anything, but almost anything.
You can see previous AMA responses here.
Now that we’re to the point in the story where we are engaged, I thought I might take a slight detour and elaborate on something I mentioned early on in the story—how Babyface and I both lost friends during our relationship.
A little bit of my relationship history to set the stage. I had my first serious boyfriend when I was a sophomore in high school. We were very much in love (and not just luv-love, it was real). But we were also very young and very incompatible. The first two months were fun, but the remaining 6 months of the relationship were painful, emotionally and verbally abusive and confusing. I was not emotionally mature enough to deal with being in love—let alone strong enough to realize I was in an abusive relationship. In fact, it was relatively recently (5 or so years ago) that I actually came to the realization that it was abusive. Anywho, after 8 months of pain and suffering, I finally left that relationship defeated, broken and completely pessimistic about the future. Pretty awesome for a 15-year-old, eh?
On the bright side, after my first fail of a relationship, I dated a string of guys in high school and college that were amazing. I had another serious boyfriend later in high school and he taught me so much about how a real relationship should be. He was kind, complementary and sweet. For one reason or another it didn’t work out, but he gave me so much. Throughout college, I dated pretty regularly. Of course, there were a few duds, but for the most part I dated nice guys.
Basically, why I’m sharing all this is the set the scene for my relationship judgment. I wasn’t new to the dating scene. I had been to hell early on and had, over the years, learned what I wanted in a partner. So when I met Craig, I wasn’t blinded by infatuation or naive to the struggles. I’d been around the proverbial dating block and more, or less, knew our relationship was something to pursue.
Some of our friends didn’t agree.
My closest friends were hesitant, but they all asked me, “Are you sure?” and when I replied with an emphatic, “Yes!” they dropped the issue, hugged me and told me how happy they were.
The standout was my closest male friend. In about the span of 15 minutes, after I told him I was engaged, he spiraled into a curse- and insult-ridden diatribe telling me how he wasn’t going to watch me ruin my life. It was hard for me. I wanted him to be happy for me. I wanted him to trust me. To see what I saw. But he didn’t. And it literally went from someone being my best friend to being a complete stranger in a day. I had no problem with him voicing his concerns—I got that an engagement after 6 days was weird. What I struggled with was his approach. He was mean. And talked to my like a child. I felt like I deserved more credit than that. Or at least more respect.
He walked out of my life. Or I walked out of his. I’m not sure which.
Babyface’s side was a little more organized. After the news spread that we were engaged, Babyface received a joint email from a number of his closest friends telling him that I “wasn’t good enough” (exact words). I translated this into three things:
- I’m too fat. I’ve been varying levels of chubby my entire life. This wasn’t the first, and certainly wouldn’t be the last time someone judged my character based on my size. I’m assuming to his friends, “good enough” meant skinny, when in reality, that wasn’t what Babyface wanted. I doubt they’d ever admit to the prejudice, and they may not even realize they are doing it.
- They judged my entire personality on about 6 hours of interaction. They thought I was the quiet, tired girl from the party. They never gave me a chance past that.
- They thought I was kidnapping him. It is easy to see how someone might think this from the outside. American girl swoops in and forces the Canadian to move to her country. But truthfully, we talked through all possibilities, including me moving to Canada, but I was the one with a full-time job, benefits and an apartment. It made sense.
What is most interesting is that his friends could have brought any of these (well maybe not #1) to Babyface and just talked to him about it, and he would have addressed their concerns—just like I would have with my friend. But instead, they ganged up on him and basically gave him an ultimatum—them or me. I’ll let you guess who lost that game . . .
If anything, the way in which his friends approached him proved to Babyface how much of a different place he was in than they were. I don’t think he was even that upset by it all. Mostly just surprised at their complete lack of tact.
So, with a few weeks of us getting engaged, Babyface and I both lost a whole lot of people close to us. Which sounds terrible, but in the end, it brought us closer together. We didn’t have many other people to lean on, so Babyface and I leaned on one another.
We focused on our relationship and each other. And when I went to visit him the next time—for my birthday—we didn’t see any of his friends or have any parties. Instead, we stayed inside, ate pizza and fell even farther in love. We started to realize that, as codependent as it sounds, we didn’t really need those other people anymore.
And on that visit, he gave me a Kinder Surprise Egg (for those of you Americans, it is a chocolate egg that you break open and has a prize inside) and inside was a vintage diamond engagement ring.
We didn’t need anyone else.
to be continued . . .