Matt and I met in 2004 as freshmen at Stetson University. We hung out that year, but I was dating a friend of his and just considered him one of the many guys in my social clique at the time. When we went home for summer vacation, we realized we lived within 15 minutes of each other. Small world!
Not long after summer break ended, my boyfriend and I mutually split. He was going to come to a formal my sorority was having anyway, but came down with some hospital-worthy food poisoning; he urged Matt to go in his place.
|I can feel you judging our fashion choices. This was a long time ago, okay?
We continued to hang out, but this was nothing different than before. Matt's friends were my friends, and it wasn't unusual for us to be spending time together in that setting. But then winter break rolled around, and we found ourselves back in our hometown and basically inseparable.
|Busch Gardens, circa 2006
The remainder of college saw us break up, reconcile, travel abroad, break up, reconcile, and confess our undying love. We experienced long-distance dating the year I went to grad school, when Matt took a job in Indiana. If anything, it taught us that we wanted to be together permanently. We both learned to grow as our own people and together, to make compromises, to support each other, to expand our interests, and to become good listeners.
|In Glasgow, Scotland in the winter of 2007.
|Relay for Life 2008
|Sticking together during an 8k
|Up before the sun to cheer me on at the Women's Half last year.
|Our first moments as a married couple.
|Our first dance.
I can't imagine my life without him, and every year I look forward to the next.
I have my parents to thank (in part) for Matt's and my strong marriage. After all, they taught me what to look for in a good partner, and showed me what a healthy marriage looks like.
They're celebrating 33 years just two days after we celebrate our 3rd. I've learned from their marriage to enjoy your own pastimes, but make sure you nurture the things you have in common and what brought you together.
|Mom with her parents and siblings...and dad, doing a great job of blending.
|Dancing at our wedding in 2010.
So, here's to us, and here's to them.
How did you meet your SO?
Who do you look to as an example of a strong relationship?
How do your loved ones encourage you to follow your dreams?