Friday, 24 October 2014

How I knew he was 'the one.'

Ten years ago, at this very minute, I married him, for the second time. 3pm on Sunday October 24th, 2004.

Technically and legally, our first wedding was a secret affair, merely to let my (then) Australian boyfriend remain in the country with me; we regarded it as 'the step between moving in together and actually getting married.' It was held at a registry office on the Kings Road, where Judy Garland, Roman Polanski and allegedly George Clooney all wed.  We told only a couple of close friends, who we asked to be our witnesses and signed on the dotted line a year to day of our first date. I wore a white suit and he wore a nervous smile.

Looking back on that day, some folks would have called me crazy, to marry a man I had only known for a year. But I knew, deep down, that he was the one for me. Even though it took him another 14 months to actually propose (then I had to sink a bottle of wine before I broke it to my Mother that we were in fact already wed, but yes there would be a wedding) and another year for us to have the actual church wedding and all the formal celebrations with all our friends and family.

Prior to meeting my Husband, when I was 28, I'd had 6 long years in the dating wilderness: filled with broken hearts (mine) and bloody awful dates. I had almost given up on 'the one' ever appearing. I'd quiz all my married friends, desperate to know how they 'knew' and what had separated Mr Right from all the Mr Wrongs that went before. Most people mystifyingly said things like, 'I just knew,' and 'it was different,' which was about as helpful as a chocolate kettle.

So how do you know when he is Mr Right as opposed to Mr Right-for-now? How can you be sure that he isn't gonna run off at the first hurdle, or he wants the same things out of life that you do? In short, how do you, 'just know?'

My answer is this: it all comes easily. Not that any relationship is easy - of course, over time there are all sorts of things to have to negotiate - but the thing I realised most about my Husband, when he was my new boyfriend, was that it all came easily. He didn't play games, he called when he said he would. He didn't play it cool, but nor did he chase me. It just felt like I'd known him a long long time, and every time we hung out, we had a great laugh. Plus I fancied the pants off him. Before him the men/boys I'd dated were all either: super hot and super dull, or really great but really unsexy. I just couldn't find someone that I wanted to go to the movies with and then snog the face off him later.

I met Husband because I walked through the wrong door in a hotel, hoping to find the bathroom, only to knock him on the head and send him flying. Turned out he was the cute barman and later, a bit tipsy, I gave him my number. He looked at that bit of paper as if I had handed him a used tissue. I didn't expect him to call, so I shouted as a passing shot, something like 'I believe in Carpe Diem, so if you call you call, if you don't you don't.'

He thought that was funny, and called. So my first idea about Mr Right - you'll never find him sitting waiting for him to come to you - get off your arse and give a hot guy your number.

Then he called, leaving the DULLEST message I have ever heard. Next bit of info: single ladies, if he sounds awful on the phone, do NOT despair - most men are useless on the phone.

He expected me to call him back and to be a 'sure thing.' Nice. I was busy with work, so didn't get to call him back until 5 days later. We met for coffee - which is a BRILLIANT first date. Why? Because you don't get hammered and fall into bed with them and be filled with a well of regret and never see them again. Day time dates are ace - because you get to talk, see them in cold harsh daylight and all that stress of 'will he expect a kiss/shag/to come to mine' doesn't exist.

I waited 5 dates until he stayed over. Oh yes! Treat 'em mean! Every woman I know who waited 5 dates to sleep with someone, married them. TRUE STORY.

But how did I know that was 'different?' Well, on our second date, a heard that a friend of mine had died. A bit of a mood killer, on a date. But he was great - being supportive, taking me for some food and trying to be as understanding as he could, seeing as he barely knew me. A week later I attended the funeral and as I was travelling on a coach home from it, very upset, he rang. He asked how the funeral had gone and how I was doing. When I asked about his day - he'd been to some excellent England v Australia cricket match, he didn't answer. Then he said, 'I called to see how you are, I didn't call to talk about me and my day.'

At that moment I knew. It was in that split second, I realised he was special. All it takes is one moment - one seemingly insignificant sentence, or gesture and you KNOW.

Then I let myself fall in love with him. That also is crucial - that you are ready in your life, to love someone else. Sometimes, we think we are ready, but we're not. Plus, sometimes we have our own baggage we need to address, before we can allow ourselves to love someone else. Because falling love is a scary old business - it makes you vulnerable. At that point, you have something to lose and those who have had their hearts trampled on in the past, it is doubly hard to let yourself trust again. But if it feels right, it isn't scary. It is only when it is bad love, do we feel anxious and fretful - because that is our intuition telling us it isn't right. Danger ahead!

I listened to my gut. I let go of all my fears and did it anyway. He moved in 3 months later. A while later I found a diary entry with a list of all the qualities my ideal man would have. It also said where he'd live and what job he'd do and a load of superficial stuff about what books he'd read and movies he'd watch etc. What a load of crap! The first thing that any single woman should do, is take that tick list for her ideal man and burn it! Because no one ever fits a specific list. And when you find him, the elusive 'one' (and for the record I believe in life there are many 'ones' along the way that you could meet, not just one) there are things you'll have wished for and others that you never imagined, and are even better.

Then one day, you'll wake up and discover you've been married for 10 years. Then someone will congratulate you and ask how you knew he was the one, and you'll find yourself saying, 'I just knew.....'

1 comment:

AG said...

This is so lovely, happy anniversary! X