A few months back a good friend of mine, Andrew Buss, texted me asking if I would write a piece for their website that used their motto #movingforeword. When I was first asked I immediately said that I would do it, however, when I sat down to start writing I wasn’t sure what it should be about. I have had a lot of awesome experiences in my life and could share my story but I wasn’t sure how I could tie it all into the idea of moving foreword. A few days later it finally hit me!
My story was going to be of a moment in life when everything was about to change. However, mine was going to revolve around the experience that I was having in real time. To understand where I am coming from with this you will need to know just a little bit more about me. My name is Curtis Hughes and I have been dating this pretty awesome girl for five years. We have been through a lot together. My life was all about me until the moment I met her. It was what I wanted to do, what I needed to do; my life was concentrated around me. When I met her that started to change and my wants and needs started to take a back seat in some situations.
Now everyone understands that in a relationships there are going to be ups and downs and that you will always fight with your significant other about all sorts of things. However, when you’re just dating there is no sense of true permanency with them. You always wonder if and when the feelings will go away and what life will be like if and when that time comes. When you’re just dating you still put yourself first because you never know what the future will hold. It will be that way up until the point in a relationship where the two individuals take a step back and decide that what they have together is real and that they want to be with each other for the rest of their lives and add that sense of permanency to their relationship, which is what we know as marriage.
Marriage is what changes one persons mindset of moving foreword as an individual to moving foreword as a pair and as a family. Your wants and needs become the same things and you begin working towards a combined goal. Making that decision can be one of the most stressful points of your life and that’s where my story really begins.
You see when Andrew texted me asking me to write a story the idea of marriage had already been a long discussed topic between my then girlfriend and I. When I came up with this idea of moving foreword as two rather than one I decided that I would keep notes as to what the experience felt like for the guy who has to do the stressful part of choosing a ring and asking the girl to marry them. I thought it would be a neat experience, and if I were to document the whole experience this story would end up being way to long so I’ll focus on the three biggest factors: the ring, the parents, and the actual popping of the question.
Choosing the ring is easily the most intimidating part of this experience for me. First of all, I am a country kid who loves NASCAR and knows nothing about jewelry other than the idea that it needs to be shiny. Luckily for me my girlfriend and I have a great relationship and in our discussions about the “right” ring for her she offered to go to the store with me to help narrow my decision down to a certain style so that I wouldn’t get something that she didn’t like AND her be stuck with it AND me be out a lot of money AND have a fiancée that wasn’t blown away by her ring. Now I am going to warn any other individual who chooses to do this, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a very long day looking at rings that you can’t seem to see a difference but clearly they all are . Now, everyone should also remember that the ring size should not matter, but the meaning of the ring is what matters. For us, the ring is an example of us working together to reach a goal we both want to get to, it has a little bit of both of us in it. She indirectly chose the setting and I chose the diamond. For me this means a lot because no one will ever be able to take that away from us. The ring has a special meaning to us and it combines our thoughts within itself. A perfect example of what marriage should be about.
The second point I will talk about is the family of the significant other. Luckily for me the years of dating prior set me up well for this step. In fact, when I called to talk to them, I think they knew what was coming. I am pretty sure anyone who knows us expected this to come eventually and most probably all said “finally” when they found out the news. This step though is something that should not be taken lightly. This is the first step to joining your families together and you want to make sure that you are on the same page as they are. It is a once in a lifetime that you get to choose who is a part of your family so you want to make sure that everyone is happy. This step is also very important to the girl in my case because her family means a great deal to her and I wanted to make sure I had done everything possible to make sure her parents were supportive of her in her decision to spend the rest of her life with me.
The final step that I will discuss is easily the most frightening. I can guarantee you that when you make it to this point you will feel sick for the time leading up to the moment when you say the words “will you marry me” I was so nervous that instead of trying to figure out how to speak, I wrote her a letter. The letter described everything that had lead up to that point. It described to her that today was the day that our lives were going to change and that we were no longer two individuals but that we were one unit and that as long as she was okay with it that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. Now, looking back on it, I probably wrote too much as I had planned for her to be reading it while we were taking a walk to the end of our dock. Sadly, though when we got close I realized I had the same problem with writing words as I do when speaking them. I clearly use too many. But when that time came for me to take a knee and ask for her hand, everything was perfect.
Marriage is an intimidating thing. But at the same time it can be something that carries you to a whole other level of happiness that you have never experienced before, and that is what I felt when she finally said yes and I put that ring on her finger. Even though we are only engaged and have not quite set a date and said, “I do” we still move foreword together as one. The moment that two people stop moving foreword as individuals and start moving foreword as one is truly life changing experience. I hope everyone who takes the time to read this has the chance in his or her life to experience it. Love is a crazy thing but loving someone to the point of marriage is even crazier. And when it gets hard just remember to keep #movingforeword and it will all work out in the long run.
Thank You for saying YES! Christine “Teeny” Robbins and here is to many years of happiness and to #movingforeword together!